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

Yield: 2 cups

Prep Time:5 minutes

Total Time:24 hours

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


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.

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.

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.

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. Flowers to add to the table are great. Look at these gorgeous homemade painted vases!

painted bottle vases

Photo credit: Angus McRitchie (L’express Bistro) for Canadian House & Home.
Found via poppytalk.

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.

hostess gifts - eat well spend less

These gift ideas are a simple way to show a little extra appreciation to those who have so willingly opened up their home and hearts to entertain. Be sure to check out the other Eat Well, Spend Less ladies to read their thoughts on inexpensive summer entertaining.

Once everyone has posted their topics, I’ll update this with links direct to their posts.