Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas on a Budget, Part 4

Maybe your child has a favorite toy that could use some accessories. It's a perfect Christmas gift idea, and it doesn't have to cost a lot. An example would be the previous idea of homemade Easy Bake oven mixes. Here's another idea: food for Baby Alive.

My daughter and one of her cousins has a Baby Alive doll. Another cousin (from the same family) is getting one for Christmas. If your daughter has one, I'm sure you've noticed the outrageous price on the food mixes. I figured someone had to have found a cheaper alternative, so I googled it and came up with this.

It doesn't get any cheaper than baking soda! I used two boxes ($0.59 each) to fill three recycled glass jars. These are former jelly and jam jars, so they're not tiny.

I decorated the jars, as you can see in these pictures. Nothing fancy, but they're cute for baby doll food.

And then I had a major brainstorm: Why not make a Baby Alive cookbook? So that's what I did:

I used 3x5" colored cardstock rectangles (color-coded by the color of the food), printed each recipe, and then bound them with my comb binding machine. I included recipes for: apple juice, apples, bananas, blueberries, carrots, grape juice, grapes, green beans, peas, pumpkin, strawberries, sweet potatoes and tomatoes.

The recipes are simple:

3 Tbsp baking soda (aka Baby Alive food)
2 Tbsp water
1 drop food coloring (appropriate color combinations suggested)

And for juice, it's simply:

1 bottleful of water
1 drop food coloring (appropriate color combinations suggested)

Each of these will be packaged with a box of liquid food coloring tubes ($1) and a measuring spoon set ($1) to make it even more "realistic" -- and so mom's measuring spoons don't go missing!

Total cost: $2.39 each for LOTS of Baby Alive food


Susan said...

This and the Easy Bake Oven mixes are great ideas for little girls! I wish I'd thought of the EBO mixes when my daughter had one (she's almost 17 now and bakes in the real oven! LOL). Your nieces are going to love all these surprises!

Stephanie Harbin said...

I love all your budget ideas. My daughter has a baby alive doll and the food is not only expensive, but hard to find. Our local store doesn't carry it except for Christmas and then it was snatched up too fast. I can't hardly wait to see the look on her face when I give her some baby food jars of food. Thanks so much for sharing.

Sophia said...

Oooh, baby food jars! Too bad I don't still have some of them hoarded. That's a fabulous idea!

Minnesota Momma said...

Do you have a link or more pictures of your "cookbook"? My niece is getting a Baby Alive doll for her birthday and I am looking into getting her food and juice and it's so spendy!! I came across your blog post and it's such a great idea!

Christa said...

Unfortunately, I don't have any other pictures ... and the cookbooks are long gone. (These nieces are 14 and 16 now.) However, the concept is very easy. Just use the same basic recipe for the base (same ratio of baking powder and water) and change out the food coloring to make an appropriate color for the food you're making. I hope that helps!!