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Simple and Inexpensive Hostess Gifts – Recipe for Vanilla Scented Sugar

Anyone who’s ever hosted a party knows that a lot of work goes into it. It doesn’t matter the occasion, every hostess deserves a little token of your gratitude.

Summer is often a time for entertaining. This month for the Eat Well, Spend Less topic we thought we’d focus on ways to make that fun, inexpensive, and memorable. You’ll definitely want to check out what the other ladies are sharing (links at the end of this post).

lemon curd recipe

Because it’s so hot right now, we haven’t been doing a whole lot of entertaining, or even spending much time outdoors, so I thought I’d share some tips and ideas on Hostess Gifts.

With back-to-school and holidays sneaking up on us before we know it, keep this post in mind to refer back to next time you’re in need of a holiday gift or treat for your child’s teacher.

Inexpensive Hostess Gifts

Hostess gifts don’t have to be extravagant, expensive, or even store bought. Check out these simple and inexpensive make-at-home ideas next time you need a little something extra to tell someone “thank you.”

Edible Gifts

It is always wise to ask your hostess if she needs any help with the food or drinks. Many hosts appreciate extra hands and help, but some prefer to run the show themselves. If your hostess declines your offer, consider treating her to one of these delicious recipes instead.

how to make vanilla scented sugar

photo via My Baking Addiction

Any of these fun recipes can be neatly packaged in cute, inexpensive containers to serve as a hostess gift. Some, like the canned homemade salsa, scented sugar recipes, and homemade pancake mix can be made ahead and stored for when the need for a gift arises.

Vanilla Scented Sugar

Vanilla Scented Sugar

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 23 hours 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 day

Vanilla Scented Sugar is a great way to get another use out of leftover vanilla bean pods.


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 - 4 whole vanilla beans, empty pods work too


  1. Layer sugar and vanilla beans (you can slice them in half for smaller jars and for stronger scents) in a jar. Let sit for at least 24 hours for the sugar to become scented.
  2. Sugar can be used in baking, tea, or anything else you'd want a lightly flavored sugar for. Makes a perfect, simple and inexpensive gift.
  3. Variations: Use citrus peels, herbs or rose petals for other scented sugar options.


Adjust the number of vanilla bean pods you use to make the vanilla sugar to vary the strength of the vanilla scent.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 32 Serving Size 1 tablespoon
Amount Per Serving Calories 49Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 0mgCarbohydrates 13gFiber 0gSugar 12gProtein 0g offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

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Other Thoughtful Gifts

Often times the focus of party preparation can easily become directed at the food, drinks and guest list. If you’re hostess has all of that covered, look for another way to show your appreciation.

Entertaining takes a lot of energy. Sometimes something as simple as fresh flowers or something to soothe the body show your gratitude. Try some of these gifts to treat your hostess to some pampering.

Carol Egbert

Friday 11th of November 2011

I'm planning on making ketchup for giving this year, homemade of course, as soon as I perfect my recipe. It is red after all.

Shari Brooks

Wednesday 3rd of August 2011

I love this idea. Just the other day I bought some beautiful Ball jars and spent an afternoon making homemade jams and pesto sauces with items from my garden. I put a label on them and have been using them as thank you/hostess gifts! Not only are people pleasantly surprised but it's seen as a very thoughtful gift.


Tuesday 26th of July 2011

I just bought a dozen vanilla beans. Yum!!! Can I store the whole (uncut) beans in sugar until I'm ready to use them? Thanks!


Saturday 23rd of July 2011

These ideas are wonderful! I'm always at a loss as to what to bring to my hosts, and these are so creative yet simple to make. Thanks for the inspiration!


Thursday 21st of July 2011

Hi - the links to the salsa, pancake mix, curd and hummus did not work. I love this idea and would love to check out more of the links, especially the curd and the salsa. Thanks.


Thursday 21st of July 2011

It should be fixed now. Try refreshing or clearing your browsing history if it isn’t. I just went through and edited. For some reason wordpress keeps adding an extra 2011 into the url.

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