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Recession Friendly Gift Idea: Stock the Pantry

Updated on March 11, 2011

When times are tough, people are more interested in making sure their ongoing needs are met than with luxury items that – while they might be nice to have – just really aren't necessary. Why not give gift items that the people on your holiday shopping list or who are celebrating a special occasion really need?

Why Consider Stock the Pantry Gifts

The increasing cost of food is having a major impact on household budgets around the world. Regardless of cost, however, everyone has to eat and provide meals for their families. That's what makes the concept of "stocking the pantry" such a great gift idea during difficult economic times!

Instead of purchasing gifts that your friends or family members may or may not actually need, giving food gift items is a great way to let people know that you're thinking about them on a special occasion while also doing something that will help them stretch their budgets.

Stock the Pantry Gift Ideas

The items that you should choose should depend on the needs (and circumstance) of the people that you are purchasing for. If you are buying for someone who has lost his or her job or has experienced a significant loss of income, you may want to think about buying basic staple supplies.

For those whose circumstances haven't changed but who are still experiencing a financial pinch related to increased prices and the declining economy, you may want to purchase those items that are nice to have on hand for meal preparation but that people often don't purchase when trying to make the most of their food budget.

Items you may want to consider including in stock the pantry gifts that you put together and share with your friends include:

  • Baking mixes -- bread, brownies, cakes, cookies
  • Beverages – coffee, hot chocolate, tea, etc.
  • Canned Meats – chicken breast, crabmeat, tuna fish, baby shrimp
  • Dried beans – navy beans, pinto beans, red beans, split peas
  • Extracts – vanilla extract, almond extract
  • Fruit – canned fruit, dried fruit, fresh fruit
  • Grains – flour, pasta, rice
  • Salad Dressing – Italian, Ranch, Thousand Island

  • Sauces – barbecue sauce, hot sauce, salsa, steak sauce, Worcestershire

  • Snacks – crackers, granola bars, tortilla chips, trail mix
  • Soups – dry soup mixes, canned ready-to-serve soups, condensed soup
  • Spices – staples like basil, minced garlic, oregano, pepper
  • Vegetables – canned veggies, marinated vegetables

Preparing the Gift

Think about what you'd like to receive when coming up with ideas to include in this type of gift and it'll be easy to get started. Be creative when putting the gift packet together so it won't just look like you just rant by the supermarket. Create an attractive presentation using decorating gift bags, ribbons, and tissue paper. For an even more creative – and practical – touch, place the items in a laundry basket or other container that the recipient will be able to use at home and top it off with a big bow.

Ideas Anyone?

Do you have other suggestions for items to include in a stock the pantry special occasion gift pack? Please leave your tips and ideas in the comments section below.


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    ks 8 years ago

    Fill up reusable shopping bags with your gift.