If you're cheap but want to give nice gifts, you'll love these 65 things

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Amazon
Shopping
ByChristina X. Wood and Erica Gerald Mason

When you are shopping for gifts, it’s tempting to just buy everyone a Tesla — but someone would have to pay for that. Since there are only about 2,500 billionaires in the world who can entertain that sort of frivolity, chances are you might be more interested in budget-friendly buys. Yes, the rest of us like to keep the price tag of gifts down to something that won’t bankrupt our cute little bank accounts. That means we have to be clever. Instead of buying the obvious luxury automobile, we have to think hard about what people need or want, and then find something they wouldn’t think to get for themselves (even if it’s within their budget). That takes research. But I’ve got you covered. If you're cheap but want to give good gifts, you'll love these 65 things.

When your friends are drinkers, that’s pretty easy. Everyone wants a wine opener that’s also a hilarious corkscrew-leg pirate with a shoulder parrot, right? Tea drinkers also make this gift-shopping conundrum a bit simpler, because everyone who loves a cuppa will appreciate a big mug that makes brewing loose-leaf tea an easy ritual. But sometimes, you may want to go a little dark. Since we’re living in apocalyptic times, why not help your friends gear up for it? A solar-powered phone charger with flashlight is just the thing.

I’ve got 62 more of these, so read on and solve your gift-buying problems right now.

01

A solar battery charger for apocalypse-survival kits

If the power threatens to go out — whether the reason is apocalyptic or, you know, camping-related — you will still be able to charge your phone and find your way in the dark with this solar-powered power bank. Just leave it in a sunny window and charge it to power up your phone or use the built-in flashlight. It also charges via USB for normal times.

02

An incredibly soft (and affordable) blanket for cuddling

This cozy throw is perfect for huddling under while watching a movie, sprucing up a pet's favorite sleep spot, or for giving the baby a soft place to play. It goes in the washer and dryer, is light and packable, comes in six colors and four sizes, and gets rave reviews. One reviewer says, “I never imagined how soft, cozy, and lightweight this little blanket would be. I absolutely love it!”

03

This handy long-armed phone mount

Clamp this cell phone mount to any table, cabinet, or desk and bend the 43-inch gooseneck arm to position phones exactly where you want them. It holds them steady and in perfect position for following a recipe, enjoying a hands-free video call, or filming the next sensational TikTok dance routine.

04

A laptop sleeve with matching accessory case

This flexible, water-resistant sleeve for your laptop is the perfect way to transport expensive tech, especially for folks without dedicated laptop bags. With a two-way zipper, shockproof sponge mid-layer, and plush liner, it protects computers from scratches and drops. And it comes with a matching case for a mouse, charger, and accessories. It’s available in 14 colors and five sizes.

05

This pour-over coffee maker that’s almost automatic

Pour-over coffee is often heralded as tip-top, but standing diligently over it holding a kettle... is not. This pour-over coffee maker is carefully designed so the carafe on top can be filled to exactly the volume of your cup, and you can walk away. It drains the water at the precise speed required for an excellent cup and keeps the water hot while it does it. You can even use the lid as a drip tray.

06

The retro toaster that looks amazing on the counter

Take the kitchen back to an era of dials, chrome, and push buttons with this gorgeous, wide-slice, retro toaster. Just put a bagel or bread in the slots, dial up to the desired level of toastiness, and press the big button. It pops up when the toast is done. There’s a defrost button, a bagel button, and a slide-out crumb tray.

07

A reusable notebook that stores jots in the cloud

This little notebook lets you live on both sides of the notetaking landscape. You can enjoy the analog, tactile sensation of pen on paper as you take your notes. Then use the Rocketbook smartphone app to store those notes to the cloud destination you prefer. They will arrive there transcribed and searchable. And when the notebook is full, wipe the pages clean and do it all again.

08

These 4 big wine glasses in colorful silicone sleeves

These big wine glasses — they hold 17 ounces — are the perfect container for wine, sangria, or any cold beverage that befits a heavy pour. Each one comes in a colorful, silicone sleeve that acts as an insulator, gives the glass a grippy texture, and ensures that every glass has a coaster. They’re also just fun and festive.

09

A 10-pack of high-capacity reusable shopping totes

These reusable shopping bags fold up so small that they can all fit inside the tiny case that comes with them — but they open up into huge, durable bags that will carry 50 pounds worth of stuff. They’re perfect for getting all the things upstairs in one go, and the handles are long enough to sling over the shoulder. The patterns on the bags are also pretty snazzy.

10

This big tea mug with an integrated infuser

Solve your deskside tea ritual once and for all with this big tea mug with an infuser and lid. Just scoop tea into the infuser, pour water into it while it’s in the mug, and put the lid on to keep it hot while it brews. The lid serves as a drip tray for the infuser while you sip your tea. The mug comes in 10 terrific colors.

11

The wrist rest & mouse pad that uplevels any desk

Everyone who works at a desk needs a wrist rest and mouse pad, and those basic black ones are oh, so boring. This colorful set brings a bit of art and whimsey to the workday. With 13 colors and artistic patterns to choose from, you will find something for everyone you know.

12

This complete set of camping cookware

This camping cookware kit is everything the dedicated camper needs to whip up some grub fireside and it all fits into its own mesh carrying sack. There’s an aluminum non-stick pot and frying pan, a kettle, two stainless steel cups, cutlery for two, a serving spoon, and a carabiner to easily hang the carry sack from a backpack.

13

The travel chess set for taking a Queen’s Gambit on the road

Ideal for chess die-hards, this folding, magnetic set is a cinch to take on a train, plane, or road trip. The pieces stick firmly to the board so the game won’t be lost amidst travel-based turbulence. It comes with a velvet bag to store the pieces in, and it all fits inside the folded board. The pieces are weighted and pleasantly detailed, and the case snaps firmly closed to keep them safe.

14

The Dead Sea mud mask with a cult following

This deep cleaning, Dead Sea mud mask is wildly popular, garnering close to 25,000 five-star reviews and people say it leaves their skin clean, clear, and baby soft. It goes on easily and takes just ten minutes, with no mixing. One reviewer says, “Obsessed with this mask! Gets deep in your pores and leaves your skin feeling refreshed!!”

15

An affordable speaker that can go in the shower

This cute speaker has a big suction cup on the back so it can stick to the shower wall, making it easy to enjoy your lather with a side of tunes. The buttons are easy to use, even with soapy hands. There’s a built-in speaker so you can take calls while sudsing up, and the sounds are crisp and loud. It comes in six colors.

16

This slab of Himalayan salt for impressive grilling

Set seafood, meats, or vegetables right on this Himalayan salt slab and put it on the grill. It will infuse food with the delicious saltiness of this healthy pink salt, while also looking quite beautiful. Or, use it to serve just-grilled foods and pick up a bit of salty flavor in the process.

17

A screw-leg pirate that’s ready to open the wine

Reached the bottom of the bottle? Not to fret, because this one-legged pirate is ready, willing, and able to open another. One arm is a foil cutter and the other is a bottle lever — look closely for the shoulder parrot — and his right leg has been replaced with a corkscrew. This clever wine opener will have you slurring your words like a pirate in no time.

18

These lenses that take phone photos up a notch

These three lenses let you take fun and beautiful photos with your phone that you can’t do with the standard, built-in lens. There is a macro lens for taking close-ups of tiny flowers or bugs, a wide-angle lens for grabbing landscapes, and a fish-eye for goofy fish views on the world.

19

The right tool for anyone who loves avocados

This avocado tool might seem like a frivolous kitchen gadget. But after you use it to take a whole avocado to perfect slices with just a couple of deft moves, you will wonder how you lived without it. The blade cuts the skin and halves the fruit. The clever pitter easily removes the seed. And the slicer in the handle quickly turns each half into seven perfect slices.

20

These giant claws that shred pork butt fast

Grab the hefty grip on these giant shredder claws, let out a giant growl, and engage in some Wolverine cosplay while the meat barbecues. Don’t worry. There’s time. Because when the pork or beef comes off the grill these killer claws will shred it quickly and efficiently, the way only an animal endowed with massive, powerful claws can. They come in three colors and go right in the dishwasher.

21

A clever carousel that makes tea easy to find

When seeking a delicious cup of tea, it’s not so fun digging around in a high cupboard to find the perfect, albeit pesky, little packet. Bring all the options down to counter height and turn them into a spinning display with this two-tiered tea carousel that holds 60 tea bags, all right out where you can see them.

22

This pair of Llamas that shake out salt & pepper

Llamas are adorable. They are also beasts of burden, and this pair of Llamas are carrying salt and pepper right to your plate and looking so cute doing it. They are a great gift, will look super darling traveling across the table, and are made of quality ceramic.

23

The pan that turns out 7 smiley face pancakes

Breakfast does not have to be boring. It’s easy to imbue each pancake you make with a different smiley face emoji simply by cooking them up in this pan. Each flapjack is small, so everyone can have a stack of different emojis (or pile up their favorite). The pan is nonstick and easy to clean.

24

A phone case & mount that takes calls into the shower

Why does the phone always ring — or someone comes to the door — the minute you get in the shower? Keep this phone case mounted to the wall — it comes with three stick-on wall hooks for different placement options — and you can take that call or see who’s at the door (if you have a video doorbell) without missing a shampoo. Or, put on a movie or dial up some karaoke to make bathing more of a party.

25

The milk frother that makes foamy coffee drinks at home

A big, expensive machine is not necessary for making fancy coffee drinks at home. All that’s needed is this simple, battery-operated milk frother. Just dip it into milk — either cold or as it’s warming in a pan — and press the button. It quickly turns it into frothed, foamy, cappuccino-ready deliciousness. Just add coffee.

26

A pair of foldable headphones with a built-in radio

Everyone can always use another set of headphones. And these lightweight, padded ones fold up to make them easy to carry, connect to a phone via Bluetooth or the included AUX cable, and have a built-in radio so you can boogie down even if without a phone. They come in 11 colors and arrive with a carrying case that clips right on your pack.

27

The VR headset that lets you go anywhere (and leave your body at home)

Mount a phone into this VR headset, open a VR app, and strap it on. You can go to space, travel to Europe, or get deeply immersed in a game. Just be sure to store your body somewhere safe before you go. It’s compatible with any phone that has a gyro sensor, has adjustable straps to keep it comfy and firmly attached to your head, and comes with lots of VR content to get you started.

28

This thermos for slim cans

Keep those slender 12-ounce cans of beer or hard seltzer cold to the last sip by slipping it right into this double-walled, stainless steel can cooler. It has an extra copper layer to keep beverages super cold. It comes in 28 colors so you can pick the one that speaks to you — and so you will always know which chilled can is yours.

29

A cool mist diffuser for the car

Plug this clever cool mist humidifier and essential oil diffuser into the lighter port in the car and it will create just enough humidity to baby skin, hair, and eyes, while scenting the car with a favorite essential oil. Just fill it with a little water and a few drops of oil, turn the rotating misting element so it’s facing upright, and hit the start button to turn the interior of a car into a bonafide oasis.

30

These 3 cute kitties with hooks for tales

These three cute cats grab onto the fridge or any ferrous metal surface, because their little kitty bellies are magnets. Bend their tails into a hook shape and they will hold onto notebooks, oven mitts, grocery lists, or whatever else might be nice to keep handy. You’ll get a gray, striped, and black cat.

31

This attractive leaf that’s an absorbent bath mat

When this leaf drops onto your bathroom floor, there’s no need to get out a rake. It’s made from a super absorbent microfiber that feels great on your toes, absorbs water from your bath, and stays put due to the anti-skid back. It comes in four colors so you can create a custom leafy vignette on the floor.

32

A wireless charger that eliminates fumbling with plugs

Plug this wireless charging disk in one time and forevermore you can just set a phone down on it to charge. It eliminates one daily irritant from life, and that is a great gift for yourself or for anyone with a phone. It’s thin, works with any phone capable of Qi charging, comes in three colors, and lights up only briefly to show that it is connected and then goes dark so you can sleep.

33

The sandwich grill that makes the best grilled cheese

This handy little sandwich grill whips up two sandwiches super fast. Just assemble the bread, cheese, meat, and other fillings, and close the lid. The sandwiches will emerge pressed, and with the edges sealed as if they were made in your favorite diner. And since the surface is nonstick, it just wipes clean.

34

This curtain of light that transforms a room

This curtain of twinkle lights creates a beautiful backdrop, holiday lighting, ambient element, or whatever your imagination finds to do with them. They come in five colors, and you can choose the mode so that your lights are continuous or go on and off in waves — sequentially, slowly, or in any of eight modes. Nearly 11,000 people give them five stars.

35

An instant organic mushroom garden you can eat

You don’t need to be a mycologist or a savvy gardener to grow mushrooms, all that’s needed is this kit that contains all the spores, medium, and know-how to grow an edible mushroom garden in the home. It even comes with a mister for watering the bb shrooms as they grow. Over 12,000 people have grown these successfully, and give the experiment five stars.

36

A stylish folding wine rack that holds six bottles

If you’re a lover of vino, stocking up is never a bad idea. This folding wine rack provides a place to keep those bottles on display, and also stored correctly so they don’t spoil. It holds six bottles, looks good while doing it, and folds away when all the wine is no more.

37

This travel adapter so all your tech works upon landing

You know what’s frustrating? Landing in London or Phuket with a dead phone battery and discovering none of your plugs fit any of the outlets there. Toss this universal travel adapter in your bag and you will be able to charge your laptop or phone wherever you go. It has plugs and ports for all the power types you will find around the world, and lets you charge three devices at once.

38

These luggage tags with a privacy flap

Choose from the 32 colors these two luggage tags come in and strap on for a pop of color for any luggage ensemble — also, if you get separated from your bags, they’ll be able to find you again. You can write two different addresses inside and flip to choose the one that’s appropriate for this trip. Plus, they have a privacy flap so you can lift it to see that you have the right stuff, but no one can glance at your bag and get your address.

39

The cute pillows that smell like they look

These soft and squishy pillows come in the shape of apples, donuts, cookies, and other yummy items, and smell as good as they look. They’re stuffed with scented microbeads that last up to two years. Want to fall asleep cuddling a donut? How about a cookie? Or maybe want the game room to smell of strawberries? Then these pillows are for you.

40

These margarita glasses that look like cacti

Bring the cantina home and pour yourself a margarita in these fun glasses that look like cacti. There are four in the set, they each hold 16 ounces, and they are made by the legendary barware maker Libbey, so, barring any tequila-related mishap, they should last for years. “All margaritas have that southwest feel,” says one reviewer. “But a glass that looks like a saguaro cactus? How can you beat that?”

41

This hammock for fruits to lounge in

Hang this hammock under a cabinet and give all the fresh fruit a place to chill while it ripens. The air circulation prevents mold and rot, and your fruit will be front of mind when the urge to snack hits. It has a large capacity and hangs in a snap.

42

An ethereal Himalayan salt crystal lamp

When unlit, this Himalayan salt crystal lamp is an organic object du art that’s rough-hewn and pink. Turn it on, and the 15-watt bulb within turns it a glowing orange that provides beautiful ambient lighting for a bedroom or living space. The base is made from handsome neem wood, and over 18,000 people give this beauty five stars.

43

The drink markers with names like Chad & Cody

Losing drinks at a party happens far too often. Next time, ask one of these Speedo-wearing, muscle-clad men to watch it for you. They have names like Chad, Cody, Josh, and Brad, and you know this because their names are printed on their butts. Protect your drink and have fun doing it.

44

This moon lamp that’s an awesome nightlight

This realistic moon light is rechargeable and changes color from white to yellow when you touch it. It’s calming and creates a beautiful light in the room, making it perfect as a night light. A long touch dims the light for an even lower glow. It comes with an elegant stand, and 11,000 people love it enough to give it a perfect five stars.

45

A nice bamboo cutting board with 3 utensils included

This cutting board and utensil set makes a great addition to any kitchen. The board is roomy and has a moat to stop fruit or meat juices from creating a counter mess. And it comes with three handy utensils — a pair of salad tongs, a spatula, and a spoon — all rendered from the same sustainable bamboo.

46

This purifier that removes odors & allergens from the air

Clean the air in your immediate vicinity with this air purifier that runs your indoor air through a HEPA filter to remove particles that are larger than .3 microns. That includes pet dander, pollens, dust, and smoke, so it’s perfect for a bedroom or office to help reduce allergies or smells. It’s easily portable so can be toted the the room of choice.

47

A bed desk that’s adjustable & comfy

If work from home means never getting out of bed, this bamboo bed desk is a necessity. An adjustable laptop tray lets you adjust the angle to whatever suits, and it has cutouts to dissipate heat. The legs adjust to desired height. There’s a flat area for a mouse or coffee, and a storage drawer underneath for small necessaries. It folds up and goes under the bed come quittin’ time.

48

This restaurant-chic oil & vinegar set with carry caddy

Solve your oil and vinegar dispensing situation once and for all with these two bottles that come in a sleek carry caddy. Each one has a double-headed spout — one long and one short — so you can direct your condiments right where you want them. It comes with a silicone funnel to make filling the bottle a breeze.

49

The keychain that secretly houses an iPhone charging cord

You can hardly tell by looking at it, but this itty-bitty keychain houses a bottle opener and a phone charger. Clip the included carabiner to your favorite backpack or satchel and never worry about carrying tangled-up charging cords again. One happy Amazon shopper wrote, “It was supposed to be a gift for someone but now I have to buy a dozen for everyone that saw how cool it is!!”

50

The travel-friendly flatware set that can go anywhere

I actually own this set of ultra-portable flatware, and it lives in my carry-on. The kit includes two stainless steel straws and a straw cleaner, a pair of chopsticks, and a fork, knife, and spoon — all of which fits inside the tidy carrying case. Keeping this close not only avoids using plastic utensils, but also means noshing can happen anywhere (Union Square, under the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, the Spanish Steps). Choose from several classic or bold colors.

51

A fun bottle stopper that keeps wine fresh

Being old enough to enjoy a glass of wine doesn’t mean you need lose a sense of humor — this animal-shaped wine stopper will prove it while keeping vino fresh. It has self-sealing ridges designed to create an airtight seal on any standard-sized wine bottle, and is made of dishwasher-safe silicone. Not partial to corgis? Choose your own wine adventure by opting for a reindeer, snake, cat, a dude named Bruce, or a gal named Betty.

52

An alpaca-shaped night light that’s ready to party

“Not only is this a decoration but a trendy light as well,” one happy Amazon shopper writes in their five-star review of this alpaca-shaped LED night light, adding, “This could make a good gift if you [don’t] decide to keep it first.” The little alpaca brings flair to any room and has 10 LED bulbs that glow softly via two AA batteries. A cheeky unicorn or cloud is also available.

53

This set of geometric glass terrariums that only looks expensive

Bring the outside in with this set of three mini glass terrariums. Available in either black or gold, the trio includes tiny globe, teardrop, and pentagon structures constructed of glass inside a metal frame. Use for real or artificial plants, or perhaps even as mini storage on a bathroom vanity. Amazon shoppers report that the set is “good quality” and the “perfect size.”

54

An effortless bagel slicer for perfect halves

Sure, you can use this slicer for cutting bagels, but it’s way more versatile than that. Go ahead and use for rolls, muffins, and small pieces of bread, too — any carb will do! It features a serrated blade with a nonstick coating so it cuts neatly without getting covered with crumbs, plus has a safety guard to keep fingers away from any sharp edges. Choose from white, silver, red, or light blue.

55

This bottle that infuses water with fruit

A day at the spa may not always be possible, but the next best thing may be a fruit infuser water bottle that gives a similarly refreshing experience. This 34-ounce bottle comes with an infuser and anti-slip sleeve, so can be filled with any fruit, mint, thinly sliced cucumber (or any add-ons of choice to level up the hydration experience). It’s BPA-free, shatter-proof, and comes with a cleaning brush. Choose from a handful of vivid colors.

56

An affordable drawing tablet with a sensitive stylus

Take notes or create works of wonderful art with this super affordable drawing tablet. It works with most operating systems (Linux, Windows, MAC, and Android) and has an integrated USB cable so you never have to worry about losing the charger. Its stylus has 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, so drawing delicate or bold lines is intuitive. There’s a 6- by 4-inch working area, and at 2 millimeters thick, it’s easy to throw in a bag and take anywhere.

57

The schnauzer-shaped multi-tool that solves almost any problem

Sure, having a multitool with bottle opener, flathead and Phillips screwdrivers, and a hex wrench is handy — but this one also comes in the shape of a schnauzer (or a hippo), and costs less than $10. Attach this scruffy stainless steel tool to your keychain or slide the whole thing into your wallet so it’ll be with you everywhere you go.

58

A moon phase mirror set that ups the enchantment

Decorate your space with a nod to… space. This five-piece moon phase mirror set will give your living room a laid-back vibe that invokes all the majesty of the night sky — while clocking in at less than $5 per piece. The mirrors come with adhesive backing for easy hanging and are made from acrylic, glass, and metal. Choose between beige, gold, or black frames.

59

A sleek charging stand that’s an Apple Watch’s best friend

Elago’s compact, tidy, and minimalist charger stand really levels up the Apple Watch charging experience. This wireless silicone stand is compatible with all Apple Watch series, has cable management cutouts and a design that keeps the charger securely in place, and comes in a range of bold or muted hues. “It holds my Apple watch extremely well, and connects to the charging magnet with ease,” wrote one Amazon reviewer. “Great for minimalists who want something sleek and simple.”

60

This pizza stone & paddle set that fits in a toaster oven

Make fresh or frozen pizza into a capital-E Event using the Geebobo pizza stone and bamboo paddle. Made from Cordierite stone, it’s shatterproof, great for even heat distribution, and can be heated up to 1,472 degrees Fahrenheit. According to reviewers, “It... allows the crust to get crispy but not burn.” Choose between 10- or 12-inch stones, both of which reviewers suggest can fit inside a toaster oven to make pizza night even easier.

61

The solid marble mortar & pestle that any cooking enthusiast will love

You don’t have to be an expert cook to use a mortar and pestle — but using one makes you feel like you are. Use this 6-ounce mortar and pestle to grind up spices, make a perfect single serving of guacamole, or even crush vitamins. It’s made from solid marble with a smooth, glossy exterior and rough interior for better grinding. It looks absolutely stunning on your counter and feels weighty and functional in hand. Choose from five different colors.

62

A fan-favorite insulated lunch box that keeps food cool for hours

Keep your lunch at the perfect temperature with this highly-rated insulated lunch box, which has more than 13,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. It’s waterproof and leakproof, and has pockets on the inside and outside to securely hold all your essentials. Thick foam core insulation ensures everything stays cool until lunch time. Choose between 15 colors and patterns, all of which are PVC-, BPA-, phthalate-, and lead-free.

63

This under-$20 TV backlight that looks custom

Level-up your viewing area with a set of LED strip lights designed to backlight your TV. An adhesive backing makes installation easy. Control them from a distance using the remote or phone app via Bluetooth. Customize the brightness, colors, and sound responsiveness (they can sync to the sound of your TV) to get just the right vibe. Over 3,800 Amazon shoppers give these lights a perfect five-star review, with one writing, “easy to install and adds great ambiance.”

64

These bamboo cooking tools with Star Wars burned into them

Go ahead and jettison those boring utensils, and opt for this five-piece set of cooking tools with favorite characters from Star Wars burned into them. There’s a solid spoon, single-hole spoon, slotted spoon, curved spatula, and slotted spatula and they are all safe for non-stick cookware and super cute.

65

These two mini trash bins for office supplies

Decorate your desk in the familiar style of municipal trash removal with this two-pack of miniature trash bins. They are perfect for pens, scissors, or other supplies you want to keep handy on your desktop. The wheels work, too, so if you want to give Barbie or Ken a government job — during dull Zoom calls perhaps? — this is a great option.