‘Tis the Season(ing) :: Budget-Friendly Spice-y Holiday Gifts

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‘Tis the Season(ing) :: Budget-Friendly Spice-y Holiday Gifts

If you made it through that punny title, thank you. Glad you’re here!

We are approaching that time of year when thinking of my list of people I need to buy Christmas gifts for immediately shifts my anxiety into high gear. It seems like the list gets longer and the budget gets tighter with each passing year.

Enter: the homemade gift.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: homemade gifts often feel a little ho-hum to give. But I’m about to change that. Let’s give a gift that stretches your dollar AND looks great while doing it. And, even better, is something your recipient will actually use. (And if you’re looking for an alcoholic gift option, this Apple Pie in a Glass is great!)

Labeled spice jars with their matching kitchen tools

Here’s our formula: homemade spice blend + complementary kitchen tool + recipe tag for using the spice blend = budget-friendly gift

Love these oven mitts we found at the Dollar TreeI buy my spices in bulk at Sam’s Club, but if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, head to Dollar Tree. While you’re there, be sure to pick up some mini jars to hold your blends, oven mitts to go along with your gift, and tissue paper and ribbon. You can also order spice jars like these from Amazon or use 4-ounce Mason jars that are readily available at most grocery stores.

Pro Tip: A standard coffee scoop is 2 tablespoons. Using a coffee scoop makes filling your containers quicker. (I used 6 tablespoons of seasoning blend in my 4-ounce Mason jars.)

Decorative oven mitts with the utensils of your choice is such a cute gift!

Spice Blends

These are the basic recipes for each blend, which is usually about 2-3 servings. Scale up to the number of servings you need accordingly.

Taco Seasoning Blend

Taco Recipe: 3 tablespoons seasoning blend + 1/2 cup water

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano

Chili Seasoning Blend

Chili Recipe: 2 tablespoons seasoning blend + 1 pound ground beef or turkey + 1 can Rotel + 1 8-oz can tomato sauce + 1 can drained & rinsed beans of choice

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Burger Seasoning Blend

From Allrecipes.com. Burger Recipe: Measure with your heart! Use on both sides of a burger patty.

  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

BBQ Dry Rub

From Hey Grill, Hey Recipe: Pat ribs, chicken or pork dry with paper towels, sprinkle rub generously, and massage until it sticks to the meat’s surface. Let sit 15 minutes to 2 hours before grilling.

  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Garlicky Dip Mix

Dip Recipe: ½ cup sour cream + ½ cup mayo + 2 tablespoons seasoning blend

  • 4 tablespoons dried minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried chives
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil

Seasoning’s Greetings!


Joey Yearous
Joey is a New Orleans native, Dominican alum, and LSU grad who joined the ranks of motherhood in the summer of 2019. She and her Colorado born-and-raised husband, Phil, left their Mid-City apartment for a house on the Northshore about ten days before they welcomed their son, Sam, into the world. A short 19 months later, their daughter Sloane arrived and their caboose Nicholas completed their family 17 months after that. Though she’s always had a passion for writing, it’s her work in whole-home generator sales that pays the bills. Her 3 kiddos keep her busy, but when she’s got a free moment, you can find her cooking, trying new restaurants, and listening to true crime podcasts. A consummate Pinterest fanatic, she’s always looking for her next DIY project or recipe to try. She believes good senses of humor and random acts of kindness make the world go ‘round.


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