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I recently attended the New York  Stop & Shop Holiday Luncheon and learned some great holiday gift ideas and tips from their Consumer Advisor, Andrea Astrachan (pictured above). This year, with so many families experiencing financial trouble, why not give the gift of food? You can awaken your crafty side and create yummy presents like Chocolate Covered Pretzels, Country Soup Mix and Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix. Add ribbon and a gift tag and you’ve got presents!

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For the Chocolate Covered Pretzels: Heat up some chocolate (white chocolate will work too), dip a pretzel rod in the chocolate and then dip in various toppings like crushed Oreos, sprinkles, or nuts. Then let it dry and then place in a cellophane or plastic bag and tie with ribbon. The recipe is in the current issue of Stop & Shop’s Small Victories Magazine, which is geared towards moms (and contains coupons!)

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We also were shown how to make Country Soup Mix and Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix — you can use any cookie dry mix at Layer the dry ingredients in a glass jar (made by Ball, you can also find them in Stop & Shop) and tie on a pretty ribbon with the recipe on a little card (you can print it on business card cardstock or cut an index card in half. If you don’t have the time or skills, a supermarket gift card can make a terrific present too.

Stop & Shop has a new Holiday Rewards program to help consumers save. Between now and December 10th, if you spend at least $250, you’ll get an in-store coupon for 5% off a future order. Or let the rewards build up to bigger savings – up to 20% off!

Andrea also told us that now is the time to stock up on items for baking – they are the lowest price they’ll be at all year! Stop & Shop also offers complete holiday dinners (or just sides!) for 2 or more people, with prices starting at $19.99!

The Writer received a Stop & Shop gift card and complimentary luncheon.

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