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Cheap homemade party favors

Some wedding planning advice, please!

Here's the impasse: I think wedding favors should be inexpensive because people throw them into the garbage anyway. Instead, I'd rather they get something small and tasty, eat it, enjoy it, and be done with it.

So I'm thinking aobut buying really adorable gift boxes ($1 each for a white box with a colorful satin ribbon) and putting something homemade inside. My mother, Ms. Impressions, fears that might be cheap. We both agree that something perishable would be risky and we'd rather have something that can be put together a few weeks before and just packed up in a box.

Conclusion:
-anything that might look "cheap" is out.
-anything perishable is out (cookies, cupcakes, truffles)

What have people done? I was thinking for a January wedding, homemade cocoa mix and a little bag of mini marshmallows might be cute, along with a little note thanking the guest for coming and giving instructions for how much water/milk to add to the mix.

A little more complicated, but is there some kind of powdered cocktail/drink mix that I could package? Obviously giving guests a pack of margarita salt is a bit bizarre, but is there something like a powdered cosmo mix I could put together that's actually good?

I did find little boxed chocolates I like, and they're my backup plan at $3 a pop. homemade hot chocolate is $2.25 a pop, and I'm trying to find ideas that would be equally cute/nice but perhaps cheaper. I know getting under $2 is pretty impossible, but I can try!

My splurge idea was ceramic measuring spoons. I found sets sort of like the ones Giade deLaurentis uses at Cost Plus for $3 a set, which is awesome. But I'd have to package them somehow, bringing me to over $4 a set. Sigh...

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  1. Little jars of homemade jelly can be nice, but then you prob wouldnt use the lovely box.

    1. What about some kind of sugared/flavored nuts? Could be a cute play on the old school Jordan almond tradition, but done to be tasty and homemade. You could even do a few different flavors. Depending on how big your boxes are, they shouldn't be terribly expensive.

      1. I went to a wedding where they had bottled water with their picture on the bottle! That was pretty cool.

        My daughter had magnets made for favors at her wedding. It had their names and the date with a catch phrase on it. Not too pricey. You could probably get a kit at a craft store.

        1. I've done tea bags and little jars of honey or honey sticks for a shower.

          I've also done seeds and a tiny flower pot tied with ribbon.

          Depending on where you are, a something the local area is known for, like maple syrup in Vermont... Chili peppers in New Mexico etc.

          A lottery ticket and a lucky rabbit's foot or small horseshoe... would be fun.

          For hot cocoa/soup/etc mixes you can put in jars... Google "Gifts in a jar". Tons of sites.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Jennalynn

            i just went to a wedding and they gave us a powder margarita mix in a pouch with instructions on the back on how to use them. i'm not a big drinker and i don't have a blender, so that was of no use to me. but it was a great reflection of bride/groom, as they are big drinkers.

            another friend put together little white boxes of wrapped candy that she and the groom loved. they ordered it bulk via internet.

            i like the idea of something regional as mentioned by the poster above me. maple syrup, honey, mini hot/bbq sauce bottles, homemade jelly, teabags, etc are all very cute.

            the best favors, honestly, that i have received, have all been perishable foods. candy buffets, chocolates, and the likes - i ate my own and snatched all the ones that weren't taken! ;-)

          2. You could do cocoa or coffee w/ chocolate dipped spoons and make the spoons fancier w/ chocolate transfer paper. I'll bet you can get cheap spoons at IKEA. As a nonfood idea, I gave out flower bulbs which was nice because people would call me up in the spring and tell me their flowers came up.

            1 Reply
            1. re: chowser

              Oh, I like it! I could get cheap metal spoons from IKEA or get those really nice wooden disposable spoons that are popping up now that everything's going eco-friendly.

              All these ideas are great; thanks everyone, and keep them coming! I'm definitely of the school of thought that favors should be edible.