Nuts, spices, candies and grains… you can get almost everything you need for a bountiful holiday in one trip to the bulk bins. For crafts and activities, save when buying in quantity. For personalized food gifts, scoop up the items you need to make colorful and appetizing recipes.
Garlands & Ornaments
Zero in on the cinnamon stick and star anise bins for great savings when you need a lot of “raw materials” for crafts and activities.
Cinnamon Stick Garland
For a rustic look, you just need lots of cinnamon sticks, colored wooden beads, twine and a long upholstery needle. Use the needle to string cinnamon sticks, divided by several wooden beads, on a long piece of twine. For a garland with more sparkle, just use fishing line instead of twine and glass, silver or gold beads.
Cinnamon Stick Trees
You’ll need lots of cinnamon sticks, star anise pods, small red and green craft sticks, twine, shears and a glue gun. Cut the cinnamon sticks into pieces of graduating sizes. Glue cinnamon pieces onto each craft stick in shape of a tree. Glue a star anise pod at the top and a loop of twine on back of stick for a hanger. Repeat process, and use as ornaments or tie onto gifts.
Festive & Delicious Gifts
It’s easy to personalize homemade granolas and candy collections to each recipient’s personal tastes, for the ultimate in thoughtful giving.
Holiday Fruitcake Granola
Make as much as you like by following the basic ratio of 2 cups rolled oats, ½ cup chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds or pecans), ½ cup seeds (sesame seeds, puffed millet or flax seeds), and dashes of cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Reserve 1 cup dried fruit (cranberries, apricots, cherries, candied orange peel and golden raisins) to add after baking. Mix the dry ingredients with ¼ cup sunflower or canola oil and ¼ cup honey. Bake on a cookie sheet at 300°F for 30 minutes. Let cool and mix in the dried fruit. Divide into mason jars or cellophane bags.
Aromatic mulling spices can enhance a gift of artisan ceramic mugs. Combine 4 tablespoons allspice, 4 tablespoons whole cloves, 8 cinnamon sticks, 3 small pieces fresh ginger, 2 star anise pods and 3 tablespoons dried orange peel. Place everything in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Make bundles by putting 2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time in squares of cheesecloth and tie up with baking twine. Add a tag that says add 1 bundle to a quart of apple cider, simmer for 25 minutes, strain and serve.
Sheer abundance can help make a gift memorable. With a variety of dipped treats in the bulk aisle, it’s fast and simple to fill cellophane bags with a pound of holiday cheer and seal with a red ribbon. Look for chocolate-covered almonds, white chocolate-covered pretzels, yogurt-covered raisins, chocolate malt balls and more.