Beverage prices, along with everything else, are rising.

An inexpensive, tasty beverage can be made at home and/or give the dry mix in a jar as a gift.

Enjoy these beverages at home, or think about giving them as gifts for Christmas, birthdays or other special occasions.

According to the Nebraska Extension Service, follow these tips and recipes for yourself or to share with others.

When making beverage mixes, store them in airtight wide-mouth containers for best quality and easy use.

One possible container is a canning jar. Decorate the jar with a bow or cover the lid with cloth tied by a bow.

To cover canning jars, you need about yard (9 inches) of fabric. Cut a circle, preferable with pinking shears, so it hangs down about 2 inches from the top of the jar. Place the fabric under the band or over the band. Tie with a ribbon, holding the fabric in place with a rubber band if needed.

Photocopy and cut out the directions for mixing or hand-print each set of directions on a card and attach it to the jar.

Double Chocolate Peppermint Candy Hot Cocoa Mix

1 cup instant skim milk powder

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup white sugar (or equivalent of a non-nutritive sweetener)

teaspoon salt

cup crushed peppermint candy

cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Add the skim milk powder, cocoa powder, sugar and salt to a food processor. Pulse until thoroughly mixed.

Transfer the mix to a large bowl. Add the peppermint candy and chocolate chips. Stir until distributed throughout the mixture.

Store mixture in an airtight quart-sized container. Decorate the container as desired.

Yield: 12 servings

For each serving: place 1/3 cup cocoa mix in a mug and stir in 1 cup boiling water.

Per serving:

160 calories

3 grams fat

4 grams protein

30 grams carbohydrate

2 grams fiber

130 mg sodium

Spiced Tea Mix

1 cup orange breakfast drink (such as Tang)

cup iced tea mix (unsweetened)

1 cup white sugar

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground cloves

Mix contents in a large bowl.

Store mixture in an airtight, quart-size container. Decorate the container as desired.

Yield: 64 servings

For each serving: Place 1 cup boiling water in a mug and stir in 1 teaspoon mix.

Per serving:

60 calories

0 grams fat

0 grams protein

10 grams carbohydrate

0 grams fiber

0 mg. sodium

French Vanilla Coffee Mix

1/3 cup instant coffee

1 cup instant skim milk powder

cup powdered nondairy coffee creamer

1/3 cup white sugar

cup French vanilla instant pudding mix

Add the ingredients to a food processor. Pulse until thoroughly mixed and you have a smooth powder.

Store mixture in an airtight, pint-size container. Decorate container as desired.

Yield: 16 servings

For each serving: Place cup boiling water in a mug and stir in 2 heaping teaspoons of mix.

Per serving:

50 calories

1 gram fat

2 grams protein

10 grams carbohydrate

0 gram fiber

65 grams sodium

Mint Candy Coffee Mix

1/3 cup instant coffee

1 cup instant skim milk powder

cup powdered nondairy coffee creamer

cup white sugar

cup unsweetened cocoa powder

cup instant chocolate pudding mix

6-8 red and white striped candy mints, crushed

Add the ingredients to a food processor. Pulse until thoroughly mixed and you have a smooth powder.

Store mixture in an airtight, quart-sized container. Decorate container as desired.

Yield: 9 servings

For each serving: Place cup boiling water in a mug and stir in 3 tablespoons of mix.

Per serving:

110 calories

1 grams fat

3 grams protein

23 grams carbohydrate

1 gram fiber

120 milligrams sodium

Enjoy these beverages after a hectic day of hitting holiday sales! And, mix up some for those special people on your gift list.

Rita Hodges is the Ellis County Extension Agent-Family & Consumer Sciences Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Contact Rita at 972-825-5175 or rmhodges@ag.tamu.edu. Extension programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin. The Texas A & M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating.