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When you need to find gifts quick and ones that don't cost a fortune in the process, here are some ideas that won't break your bank account.

My favorite is a food basket. Take Mason jars, any size, and fill with ingredients to make a recipe. (This works better with cookies or brownies that call for coconut, nuts, cocoa, sugar, brown sugar: ingredients that have multiple colors.) Put ingredients into jar one at a time so you end up with a multicolored layered look once the jar is finished. (Don't add liquid ingredients, just the dry ones.) Attach a tag, homemade or otherwise, with the liquid ingredients. For instance, say you're giving chocolate chip cookie dough. On the tag write, "Pre-heat oven to 350. Mix 1 cup shortening, 1 tsp vanilla, then add to dry ingredients. Bake for 10 minutes". Put several jars with different recipes in a basket, tie on ribbon or bow and you're ready to give! Also, add a few recipe cards with your own recipes written on them.

A great idea for wedding showers: Buy towels, wash clothes, hand towels, dish clothes and dish towels in multiple colors when they go on sale during the year. (Someone is bound to get married sooner or later and the ALWAYS need these items.) Also, be on the lookout for cheap baskets that are color coordinated with the towels. When you have to go to a shower, simply roll up towels, wash clothes, etc. and place in the basket. (There are many different ways to roll towels to give your basket a great look. Just practice until you find one you like.) Add a little ribbon and you're ready.

Everyone always needs soap. Find it on sale during the year, or make it yourself. Glycerine can be found via the internet for less than $4 a pound. (This will make a few bars.) Color it with food coloring and scent it with perfume or herbs to save money. You'll have great soap in no time flat and it always makes a great gift.

And, of course, where would we be without gift certificates? These are great for baby showers and weddings, as well as many other occasions. If you look hard enough on the internet you can find some great gift certificates, free! I found a $5 gift certificate for McDonalds the other day. If you don't feel comfortable about giving something you got for free, there are also certificates for $5 off $10 purchase. Use it yourself to get the present. You will end up giving a $10 present that cost you only $5!

There are many great things that you can make yourself that make great gifts. Just use your imagination and you'll be surprised at the number of things you'll think of!