Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla: In winter, our family likes to make little packages of "Snowman Soup." Basically, it is a pouch of hot chocolate mix, some mini marshmallows, a couple of Hershey's Kisses, and a little candy cane. We put it in a cellophane bag tied with ribbon, but you can use a mug or cup if you like.
There are lots of cute tags you can print off the Internet. Check out Crafty Sayings.com and Organized Christmas for some ideas. Make a basket full -- and it's a fun way to thank someone or send a little something home with a guest.
Here's the best part: Until January 2, the hot chocolate is free (or nearly so) at Target! You can go to Target.com and print a coupon for $1.00 off a Swiss Miss box of ten. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a grocery coupon link and there's also a $.50 coupon for the chocolate kisses). There is one coupon per box, but you can buy as many boxes as you like at one time. Since the coupon has no restrictions about being copied, you can print as many as you like. I generally like to limit myself to 10 or 12 at a time and leave some for others. At my Target, the hot chocolate is on sale now for $.97, making it free after the coupon. I think the regular price is $1.22, so 22 cents is still a great deal.
I've made a ton of Snowman Soup packages and given boxes of hot chocolate to friends and family. I have a bunch ready in the car for when I see food collection bins, and I'm saving some for my kids' school food drive. Why not spread a little holiday cheer this season?
A former state deputy attorney general and current stay-at-home mom, Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla has three kids and ten years of experience stretching one salary to cover the necessities and more. She's all about saving money whenever you can, so you have it to spend on whatever you want!