The ultimate guide to building a thrifty Christmas food hamper

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A food hamper is always a wonderful Christmas gift idea for a loved one. You can tailor the hamper to include their favourite treats, and create themes and colour schemes should you wish to. The only trouble with building a Christmas food hamper can be the price. The cost of a food hamper can easily snowball due to the fact that you pick up bits and pieces on random occasions.

Before you know it, you’ve sat down to put the hamper together and you have WAY too much stuff, and you’ve got no idea how much you’ve spent on everything. So what if you could build a thrifty food hamper? Here I have put together the ultimate guide to building a thrifty food hamper so that your Christmas gift ends up coming in on budget.

how to build the ultimate thrifty christmas food hamper

Make sure the Christmas hamper itself costs you next to nothing  

Yes, hampers look great in beautiful wicker baskets, but the truth is, these baskets will eat up a lot of your gift budget before you even start putting goodies inside. The thriftiest way to contain your food hamper is using a cardboard box as a base. Check out your local supermarkets to see if they have any boxes that they are giving away for free, or keep an eye out for that perfect sized box from any parcel deliveries that may come your way.

You can then get creative by shaping and trimming down the box to make the front and sides come down lower than the back of the box. This makes sure that all of the items inside are on display. Use a pen to draw a guideline and then get snipping. Once you are happy with the shape of the box you can then cover it in wrapping paper and voila- you have the perfect Christmas hamper.

Add homemade treats

Homemade treats are always a wonderful addition to any hamper. You could even include some handwritten recipe cards to add another personal touch to your gift. If you save up some jars in the run-up to Christmas and make your own chutney, pickled vegetables or jams you will make huge savings on your hamper. Other homemade items could include some Christmas themed biscuits or cakes.

However, be sure to make these the night before gifting them so that they last that little bit longer once opened. Add some labels to everything you make with the date and what’s inside as a last little finishing touch.  

Use apps to get free (or discounted) items of food for your Christmas hamper

There are many apps out there which offer free or heavily discounted food and drinks- perfect additions to any thrifty food hamper. One of the best apps for free food is Shopmium, the app has a list of available free (and discounted) food items on the landing page, and then this is broken down into stores so that you can see what is available near you. At the time of writing, there are offers such as free popcorn and free crisps which are always great in a hamper!

As well as boxed specialist tea for £1 (usually £2.99) and a street food meal kit for £1 (usually £3.69). All you need to do to claim the items is to snap a photo of your receipt, and the cashback will appear in your PayPal account.

Another app that could prove helpful when putting together a Christmas hamper is Green Jinn. Green Jinn is a couponing app where you can find discounts on a ton of items in stores local to you. The majority of coupons available on Green Jinn are for general household and food items, although there are definitely a few items which would be perfect in a food hamper.

For example, at the time of writing there is a coupon for 45p off Camembert cheese, 50p off an Elderflower cordial drink, and 50p off Tyrell’s crisps. If you combine these coupons with some instore offers, you could save even more cash on your Christmas hamper.

Set a budget for your Christmas hamper. 

Before you start buying anything for the hamper, make sure you set a budget- and stick to it. It’s so easy to get carried away buying bits and pieces. Before you know it you will have spent more on your thrifty food hamper than you ever set out to. To keep track of what you are spending, make sure you note down each time you buy something on your phone or in a notepad, this helps to make sure your thrifty hamper comes in on budget. Click here to read my blog post on how to set a budget and stick to it. 

Happy Hampering!

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