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  • FIRST POST
    • mrs motivated
    • By mrs motivated 10th Nov 18, 9:47 PM
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    mrs motivated
    Christmas hamper help
    • #1
    • 10th Nov 18, 9:47 PM
    Christmas hamper help 10th Nov 18 at 9:47 PM
    Hi everyone,

    I have a friend with 2 children and they are really struggling financially at the moment. For Christmas I would like to give them a food hamper, but the commercial ones are not really practical (to fancy and not very good value)so I want to make my own, filled with more practical food.

    My budget is about 80 to 100, so far I am thinking a small turkey crown, pigs in blankets and mince pies.....but not sure what else to put in Any ideas? I have set aside a shelf in my freezer and will give it to her a week before Christmas , but want it to be a surprise and be I know she will really appreciate it.

    I have invited them over to mine on Boxing Day, when we normally have a buffet so that sorts that day out for her, children are 10 and 12 and will eat just about anything.

    Do you think it would be best to fill the rest of the hamper with things like teabags, cereal, and everyday food or would you stick to Christmassy treats?
    Well Behaved women seldom make history

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Page 1
    • VfM4meplse
    • By VfM4meplse 10th Nov 18, 10:02 PM
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    VfM4meplse
    • #2
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:02 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:02 PM
    What a lovely thought!

    Given your friend's circumstances, I'd probably run with the vast majority of long-life staples, with a few treats on top. So yes to tea, also to rice, pasta, couscous, lentils, dried fruit, jam, biscuits, condiments, pickles, breakfast cereals: anything with a long date that can be enjoyed every month until Christmas 2019. It will make your friend's weekly budget stretch so much further and she will thank you for it!
    Value-for-money-for-me-puhleeze!

    "No man is worth, crawling on the earth"- adapted from Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio

    Hope is not a strategy ...A child is for life, not just 18 years....Don't get me started on the NHS, because you won't win...If in doubt, don't pull out... I love chaz-ing!
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 10th Nov 18, 10:02 PM
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    Spendless
    • #3
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:02 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:02 PM
    If they're struggling financially in general, not just with any additional christmas costs, I'd do a mainly practical hamper with a few additional xmas treats filled in.

    Are they staying at home for Christmas day and so will buy a turkey or alternative themselves, or are they going to a relatives, in which case is it still worth getting them one?
    • Brambling
    • By Brambling 10th Nov 18, 10:06 PM
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    Brambling
    • #4
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:06 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:06 PM
    This is a really nice thing to do

    Personally I think if she is really struggling financially she would properly appreciate every day food to feed her children, treats are nice but it would be better to feed them for a week rather than a day.

    Maybe add in some nice biscuits or sweets as a little treat
    • mrs motivated
    • By mrs motivated 10th Nov 18, 10:08 PM
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    mrs motivated
    • #5
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:08 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:08 PM
    What a lovely thought!

    Given your friend's circumstances, I'd probably run with the vast majority of long-life staples, with a few treats on top. So yes to tea, also to rice, pasta, couscous, lentils, dried fruit, jam, biscuits, condiments, pickles, breakfast cereals: anything with a long date that can be enjoyed every month until Christmas 2019. It will make your friend's weekly budget stretch so much further and she will thank you for it!
    Originally posted by VfM4meplse
    Thank you, I think you are right about long life staples and I know they do eat quite a lot of pasta and rice based meals. This would also mean I could buy such a lot too ( although the actual 'hamper' might have to become a large Santa sack)
    Well Behaved women seldom make history

    Accessible EF #152 1000/1000


    Vets EF 2000/2000
    • mrs motivated
    • By mrs motivated 10th Nov 18, 10:11 PM
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    mrs motivated
    • #6
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:11 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:11 PM
    Hi Spendless

    She has no real family to speak of and is normally at home on her own with the children on Christmas Day, but I take your point about the turkey. Maybe a couple of chickens she could freeze if need be would be more useful than a turkey?
    Well Behaved women seldom make history

    Accessible EF #152 1000/1000


    Vets EF 2000/2000
    • VfM4meplse
    • By VfM4meplse 10th Nov 18, 10:12 PM
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    VfM4meplse
    • #7
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:12 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:12 PM
    Thank you, I think you are right about long life staples and I know they do eat quite a lot of pasta and rice based meals. This would also mean I could buy such a lot too ( although the actual 'hamper' might have to become a large Santa sack)
    Originally posted by mrs motivated
    You could buy 10p bags for life, they'd be very welcome too I'm sure!
    Value-for-money-for-me-puhleeze!

    "No man is worth, crawling on the earth"- adapted from Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio

    Hope is not a strategy ...A child is for life, not just 18 years....Don't get me started on the NHS, because you won't win...If in doubt, don't pull out... I love chaz-ing!
    • mrs motivated
    • By mrs motivated 10th Nov 18, 10:26 PM
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    mrs motivated
    • #8
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:26 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:26 PM
    Great idea about the bags for life VfM4meplse, especially for the food staples and then perhaps an additional small hamper with a few specific special Christmas treats in for her and the boys.

    I just love the OS forum, I'd been thinking about this for ages and kept changing my mind about what to do....a quick post on here and a clear plan is emerging.
    Well Behaved women seldom make history

    Accessible EF #152 1000/1000


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    • Bigjenny
    • By Bigjenny 10th Nov 18, 10:26 PM
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    Bigjenny
    • #9
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:26 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Nov 18, 10:26 PM
    Another suggestion, make the hamper slightly smaller and include a supermarket card with some money on it.
    "When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us" Alexander Graham Bell
    • THIRZAH
    • By THIRZAH 10th Nov 18, 10:31 PM
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    THIRZAH
    Perhaps a piece of gammon if you are not sure about the turkey? It will keep for a while in the fridge and be cooked when she needs it.


    I'd certainly include a few treats-maybe a box of chocolate biscuits if she has children.
    • mrs motivated
    • By mrs motivated 10th Nov 18, 10:36 PM
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    mrs motivated
    Another suggestion, make the hamper slightly smaller and include a supermarket card with some money on it.
    Originally posted by Bigjenny
    I didn't know you could do that, do all the supermarkets do this? I'm thinking Aldi, Lidl or Asda would be the most useful for her as all 3 are in walking distance of where she lives.
    Well Behaved women seldom make history

    Accessible EF #152 1000/1000


    Vets EF 2000/2000
    • C J
    • By C J 10th Nov 18, 10:43 PM
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    C J
    Asda certainly do, and towards the end of November they add a small bonus to the card depending on how much you have saved with them.
    An ever-shifting labyrinth of chiaroscuro
    • C J
    • By C J 10th Nov 18, 10:44 PM
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    C J
    From the Asda website :

    Save 49 and get a 1 bonus
    Save 97 and get a 3 bonus
    Save 144 and get a 6 bonus
    You need to have saved the qualifying amount by 5pm Sunday 18th November 2018, The bonus will be applied to your card by 8am Monday the 19th of November 2018.
    An ever-shifting labyrinth of chiaroscuro
    • bobsa1
    • By bobsa1 10th Nov 18, 10:53 PM
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    bobsa1
    I would go with the staples but include treats as well as i know part of the entire excitement of Christmas for me as a child and for my daughter's has been treats they don't normally get. I'm thinking pringles, schloer or fizzy pop. Sugary breakfast cereal, chocolate orange, popcorn, milkshake mix etc. I started my Xmas cupboard today with 2 bottles of peartizer (makers of appletizer) which was 1 for 2 bottles (heron) and caused massive excitment!
    • BooJewels
    • By BooJewels 10th Nov 18, 11:10 PM
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    BooJewels
    Someone beat me to the Asda gift card idea. A few years ago when we were really hard up, a family member did exactly this for us (and one for my son who was a university student at the time) - they presented a lovely hamper with a selection of practical treat items, but there was an Asda gift card in there too, which we really appreciated and made go a long way.

    It'll save you a lot of shopping and the risk of getting things that aren't suitable, but it'll be clear from the hamper you do present them with that you've gone to effort and given it thought.

    Often when things are tight, it's not just basic food that is needed, but non-food essentials like undies, shampoo, deodorant, washing powder, bin liners etc. So somewhere like Asda ticks a lot of those boxes too.

    What a lovely thought, I am sure your friend will appreciate it.
    • PollyWollyDoodle
    • By PollyWollyDoodle 10th Nov 18, 11:17 PM
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    PollyWollyDoodle
    I think some items that they might not normally afford - chocolate biscuits (they could be 'value' ones and they'll have a long life on them). Would the children enjoy one of those 'kits' for making fajitas or similar? How about some tuna to make the pasta dishes more exciting, or a jar of mayo, or branded ketchup - they're all things that sometimes get cut if you're on a tight budget. Bobsa1's suggestion of popcorn is good, I'd aim for things that will make a basic diet of rice and pasta dishes more exciting. A couple of packets of Angel Delight would be on my list, too!

    I think it's a lovely idea.
    "Inconceivable". "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
    • bluenose1
    • By bluenose1 10th Nov 18, 11:28 PM
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    bluenose1
    I do home made hampers every year for family. I wrap a cardboard box in wrapping paper, line with tissue paper and wrap in cellophane.
    Looks really professional and always well received.
    Normally put in - Tbags, coffee, hot chocolate, tins of soup, salmon, jam, Christmas cake etc.
    Bottle of wine, biscuits and chocolates.
    Money SPENDING Expert

    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 11th Nov 18, 7:20 AM
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    PasturesNew
    The trouble you are up against is you don't know who else is "treating" her. You say yourself "I have set aside a shelf in my freezer and will give it to her a week before Christmas , but want it to be a surprise".

    It's possible others are thinking of her too.... individuals, neighbours, organisations, charities. They might be a surprise too.

    For that reason you should really stay away from items that can't be used/stored easily. Fresh stuff needs to be thought about.

    Your budget is huge... does she have a slow cooker? That might be a nice gift for the longer term if she's not got one.

    It's not "the dinner" that people struggle to put on the table ... Xmas Dinner's "cheap". It's all the other stuff that some pile on. Booze, fizzy pop, crisps, nuts, sweets.... all that German biscuit stuff ... cheese/biscuits ... nuts you can crack, chestnuts for roasting .... little bit of Baileys.... box of liqueurs ..... party nibbles .... box of Ritz crackers ...

    That endless raft of "everything you ever liked and everything the shops thrust at you at every turn".

    So maybe a bit of that "other stuff"....

    It can be hard to know what people like though - the wealthier have different tastes to the less wealthy simply because they're exposed/used to different ranges which, to the poorer, are simply "weird/alien, what's this??" which is why you first said a formal hamper's ingredients are too rich.
    • silver-oldie
    • By silver-oldie 11th Nov 18, 7:46 AM
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    silver-oldie
    Just discovered Milk Chocolate Oatie Crumbles biscuits from Asda, best chocolate biscuits and only 41p for 300g. I'm sure they would go down well.

    https://groceries.asda.com/product/chocolate-biscuits/asda-milk-chocolate-oatie-crumbles/910000424916

    I think supermarket gift voucher is a good idea. After Christmas you can buy some really good reduced items
    If you walk at night no-one will see you cry.
    • buildersdaughter
    • By buildersdaughter 11th Nov 18, 7:58 AM
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    buildersdaughter
    I think you must know her well, so I would think about a few everyday 'luxuries' that she can't normally afford. Mine would be a jar of olives, a tin of posh pate - that sort of thing to be a 'treat' into the New year.
    At that age, my kids loved tortilla chips and dip, which is a bit of an extravagance.
    I'd definitely put in a bottle of wine for her (assuming she drinks!) but not fizz that needs drinking up quickly.
    Lovely ideas on here.
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