Stuck for gift ideas? Here are some low-waste gifts ideas for foodies. Options for all budgets and tastes.
My favourite gifts are food gifts. Every time I spread the mustard chutney on my sandwich I think of my friend and then sit down to a lunch that feels a little bit special.
Food gifts are great because there’s something for almost everyone you know. And there’s a food gift idea for any budget.
Whether you create a food hamper from stuff you buy at the supermarket (which is always useful and well-received) or you make your own food gifts, the key is to get what your recipient likes so there’s no food wasted.
Food gifts are great as hampers – theme and combine food ideas in a hamper that will send your foodie lover to foodie heaven.
Low-Waste Gift Ideas for Foodies
The ideas below include gifts that are low in packaging, like bulk purchased foods packed in recycled jars, or reduce plastic packaging in the future, like a reusable coffee cup.
Coffee and Tea Lovers
Those coffee machines that take the cups are sooo wasteful. Enjoy your favourite brew without all the waste with a plunger or for something different, try a cold-brewed coffee, which is supposed to be less bitter. Got beans to grind? Try a hand-cranked grinder.
This is one of my favourite gifts to give. I have a local coffee business just up the road who roast their own beans (many of which are Australian grown!). Given to a coffee lover, it’s always a well-received gift.
Reusable Coffee Cup
Encourage waste-reduction with a stylish reusable coffee cup.
Brewery/wine tour and tasting
Know someone who is into craft beers? Or likes wine? Consider a tasing voucher or a tour.
Treat someone to a meal out with a restaurant voucher.
Cooking skills not only add variety to your diet, but they also help you to reduce food waste. And cooking classes don’t have to be expensive. I have a friend who teaches Iranian cuisine in her kitchen. Small, intimate classes like these support the local economy and are super fun and intimate. You just have to keep your ear to the ground to find them as they are usually only advertised via word-of-mouth.
High tea can be a lovely way to while away the afternoon. If you can’t find one in your local area or it’s out of your budget, you could make your own high tea in your garden or at a park.
Bulk Gifts and Gifts in Jars
Gifts in Jars
Repackage bulk bought food into recycled jars for an inexpensive, useful food gift. Nuts make a great gift, but if you want to take them to the next level, you can spice them up with this delicious looking slow-cooker spiced nuts recipe. Decorate the jar with a personalised label and a ribbon.
Other options for gifts in jars included:
- bulk Candy or Chocolate
- spice mixes
- DIY loose leaf tea
- Chai tea mix
- fiesta dip mix
- soup mix
- trail mix
- infused oil
- infused vinegar
- DIY vanilla
Homemade Treats and Preserves
Homemade treats and preserves are a delicious gift and there’s something for everyone. These are super cheap to make if you have garden produce that needs using up or can pick up produce cheaply.
If you prefer not to make your own handmade treats and preserves, consider shopping locally or at the farmer’s markets to support local cottage industries.
Food Box Subscription
A food box or veggie box subscription can be a blessing to the time-poor. For a cheaper version, you can DIY a veggie box yourself by getting extra next time you
Beer brewing kit
I come from a family of homebrewers. It not only saves money on beer, but you can also make friends with other hobbyists.
Cheese Making Kits
Save money and packaging by making yoghurt. I use an Easiyo thermos, that you can buy at the supermarket – keep an eye out for when it goes half-price!
Useful Foodie Gifts
These are simple to make yourself. In fact, here’s a tutorial to make no-sew linen napkins and another tutorial on making simple cotton napkins. If you’re looking to buy napkins, I like these unbleached hemp napkins.
You can never have too many tea towels. I use them for drying dishes, wrapping salad in to keep fresh in the fridge, straining yoghurt, picnic tablecloths, gift wrapping… The list goes on. Again, these are super easy to make yourself, here are a few tutorials: easy tea towel tutorials. Or support a cottage industry and buy an organic linen tea towel.
An apron keeps your clothes clean while cooking and working, meaning they last longer and you wash less, saving water and detergent! Make your own from one of these tutorials or support a cottage industry.
Water filters are super practical gifts. We got one as a wedding present and we’ve used it every day for ten years. No need for bottled water, filter tap and it tastes perfect.
With a constant supply of filtered water, you can refill a reusable water bottle. Save thousands of dollars and plastic bottles.
A serving platter is useful when entertaining and serving everyday meals. Here’s a flattened recycled stubby bottle platter that’s a little bit quirky.
Avoid takeaway containers by taking your own food flask!
If you know someone who loves food and loves books, then you can’t go wrong with books about food. It’s certainly my all-time favourite gift. Here are a selection of foodie books:
- Milkwood: Real Skills for Down to Earth Living
- The Wildcrafting Brewer: Creating Unique Drinks and Boozy Concoctions from Nature’s Ingredients
- Ferment For Good: Ancient Foods for the Modern Gut
- Home Cheese Making in Australia
- Ottolenghi. SIMPLE
- Grow, Cook, Nourish
- Tonics and Teas
- The Art of Fermentation
- Weed Foragers Handbook
Save money and reduce waste with these low-waste food gift ideas for foodies. If they are a foodie, then you can be sure they will love and appreciate a food-based gift.
For more low-waste gift ideas, check out the low-waste gift page.
Melissa Goodwin is a writer and the creator of Frugal and Thriving who has a passion for living frugally and encouraging people to thrive on any budget. The blog is nine years old and is almost like her eldest baby. Prior to being a blogger and mum (but not a mummy blogger), she worked as an accountant doing other people’s budgets, books and tax.