If you're on a budget but want to give good gifts, check out these 65 things

From a change-counting piggy bank to a portable campfire, these gifts are pretty cool.

ByJulie Peck and Claire Epting
Originally Published: 
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Gift-giving can be tricky. There are the people who are completely inscrutable — you never have any idea what they want or even need. Then there are the people who will only ever admit to wanting money, and no matter how much you try to reconcile yourself to the idea, you still feel like it’s a cop-out. Then there are the people you want to spend enough money on, but not too much. Fear not: This list of great gifts you can get on a shoestring is here to save the day.

There’s something for literally everyone on this list. Shopping for a kid? Get them this piggy bank that counts up their change, so they’ll know exactly how far along they are on their path to world domination. Longtime friend? How about a photo album customized with some pictures of the two of you? Give grandma this moisturizing hand repair kit and some extra hand-holding time, and wrap up this Chia Pet of The Child for the Star Wars fan in your life. Give your favorite camper this portable campfire and give any gourmand this cheese board set.

For the person who’s impossible to satisfy? This portable charger is a foolproof gift, and I can personally attest to the fact that you can never have too many of them. You’re welcome. Now check out more amazing, cost-effective gifts.


This essential oil diffuser for lots of relaxing vibes

If anyone knows about scent, it’s the folks at Yankee Candle, so you can trust that their essential oil diffuser will be a most welcome gift. It provides up to four hours of continuous scented mist, and also features optional LED lights — choose from among 10 colors or cycle through them all. For safety, an auto-off function kicks in when the water runs out.


A sleek jewelry organizer that prevents necklace tangles

A useful gift that’s also aesthetically pleasing, this jewelry organizer is both stylish and functional. With sturdy metal construction and an attractive brass finish, it features three T-shaped rods for necklace and bracelet storage, as well as a small tray at the base for earrings and rings. A padded base protects furniture from scratches.


These 3 houseplants that help purify the air

If the person you’re shopping for needs some green in their life, this trio of houseplants is budget-friendly and attractive, too. These plants are between 8 and 12 inches tall and will be chosen by expert growers from the brand’s O2 for You Clean Air Plant Collection. This collection makes use of plants that are the most efficient at filtering indoor air pollutants, so your recipient can breathe easy at home or in the office.


The rotating organizer that’s perfect for the makeup enthusiast

If you have a beauty enthusiast on your list, check out this turntable-style organizer that’s perfect for makeup. Made from durable BPA-free plastic, it has plenty of compartments to keep products organized and provides a clear view of everything that’s inside, making it easy to access items on the fly.


These flameless candles that add tons of ambiance

For anyone who loves entertaining, this set of flameless candles would make an ideal present. Available in both silver finish and gold finishes, the set of six comes with candles of different sizes, and you can display them together or separately to provide a cozy candlelight look without the trouble of dripping wax and an open flame.

  • Available colors: 2


A set faux leather coasters with a chic marble pattern

Crafted from faux leather with a marble pattern, this set of six coasters is a great hostess gift and you can give it on a stand-alone basis or wrap it up with a bottle of wine. The soft material won’t scratch wood, and the coasters come with their own holder to ensure that they’re always close at hand.

  • Available colors: 2


The compact blender that’s perfect for smoothies & sauces

Whether the person on your gift list is a smoothie lover or someone who likes to whip up a good sauce or guacamole, they’ll love this personal blender. With a motor that makes short work of ice and fruit, this full-featured set includes a tall blending jar, a short blending jar, and a travel mug with a handle for easy portability.


The scented candles that smell like “heaven”

You know how you can tell you’re getting closer to the ocean when that first scent of sea air drifts into the car window? That fresh, briny, and totally relaxing smell is what you’ll get with this sea salt candle — but you can also choose from fragrances like blackberry and absinthe or gardenia. This generously sized candle is made from clean-burning soy wax and comes in your choice of a tin or a jar.

  • Available sizes: 13
  • Available scents: 6


A Brita water bottle with a built-in filter

Perfect for anyone on the go, this Brita water bottle has a filtration system built right in to ensure that users stay hydrated with the cleanest H20 possible. Available in colors like sea glass, sapphire, and orchid, the BPA-free bottle has a generous 36-ounce capacity and is compatible with most standard car cupholders.

  • Available sizes: 2
  • Available colors: 5


This painting set that comes complete with a tabletop easel

The holidays are the perfect time to indulge in a new hobby, and what better way to light the fire under the creative person on your list than with this acrylic painting set that even includes a desktop easel? The lucky recipient will have everything they need to get started, including a full set of brushes, a rainbow selection of acrylic paints, a mixing palette, and a canvas.


The Chia Pet that looks like The Child

Looking for a gift for the Star Wars fan in your life? This Chia Pet version of The Child is sure to be a hit, and it’s also available in a Chewbacca version. They’ll smile and think of you every time they see that adorable little terra cotta face surrounded by the chia they’ve grown themselves.


This complete towel set in 14 color options

This set of soft towels is crafted from ring-spun cotton for lots of durability, and they’re perfect for anyone who’s just getting their home set up. The set includes two bath towels, two hand towels, and four washcloths, yet comes at such a reasonable price. Choose from 14 vivid colors like sage green, burgundy, and navy blue.

  • Available colors: 14


A s’mores kit for making dessert without the campfire

When it’s just too cold outside to huddle around a bonfire, this s’mores set makes it possible to enjoy this gooey dessert inside. It has a ceramic roasting chimney outfitted with a stainless steel grill and a fuel holder for a sterno. This set comes with four stainless steel roasting sticks and a handy tray with compartments for graham crackers and chocolate.


The felt succulent kit that’s perfect for craft lovers

For the craft lover on your list, this felt succulent kit is a perfect choice. When completed, the finished product is a frame packed with colorful felt succulents that can be mounted to the wall or displayed on a table. The set includes all the materials needed to create 18 succulents, and it comes with step-by-step instructions to make the whole process a breeze.


This insulated tumbler with near-perfect Amazon reviews

Boasting a near-perfect 4.9-star overall rating after 47,000 reviews, this insulated tumbler is a sure buy. Constructed from double-walled stainless steel, it keeps beverages hot or cold for hours, and comes with both a flip-top lid and a straw. Choose from five sizes and a wide array of colors and styles.

  • Available sizes: 5
  • Available styles: 38


The automatic laser toy your cat will love

Give the cat in your life — or his parent — this fun laser toy that provides hours of entertainment. To stimulate your cat’s natural hunting instinct, the battery-operated laser automatically shoots out a beam of light in random patterns — no effort required on your part. It shuts off after 15 minutes to prevent overstimulation, and there’s also a manual mode for interactive play with the kitty.


The portable campfire that’s great for anyone who loves the outdoors

Weighing just 4 pounds, this portable campfire offers warmth that far outpaces its compact 8-inch size. An ideal gift for anyone who likes to camp, tailgate, or have hangs in the backyard or at the beach, it’s crafted from recycled materials and only requires a single match to light. When you’re done, you can just place the lid back on to smother the fire.


This rechargeable hand warmer that doubles as a phone charger

USB-rechargeable, this hand warmer is a good choice for so many gift recipients, from the kid who has a long wait for the school bus to the avid skier to the golfer who plays 18 holes, regardless of what the temperature is outside. Crafted from smooth, aircraft-grade aluminum, it comes in multiple colors and even doubles as a portable charger for your phone.

  • Available colors: 7


A photo album with a fabric cover in 22 color options

With a fabric cover and room for up to 200 photos, this photo album is a great gift when given empty, but to make it extra special, you can personalize it by adding a photo to the cover and a few snapshots inside. Each photo pocket is archival-grade and has an adjacent memo writing area for captions and memories.

  • Available colors: 22


This toss & catch set that provides hours of enjoyment

Perfect for backyard fun — and compact enough to take on the road — this toss-and-catch ball set comes with six paddles and three balls, so small and big groups alike can enjoy it. Ideal for both kids and adults, it comes with a carrying bag, so it’s easy to take along on trips to the beach, grandma’s house, or just to the park.


A highly rated beanie in 23 colors

Boasting a 4.7-star overall rating after more than 4,000 review, this beanie adds both warmth and style to anyone’s cold-weather wardrobe. Crafted from soft, warm acrylic, the stretchy beanie is one-size-fits-most, offering a comfortable fit to anyone. Available in nearly two dozen colors, it has a wide cuff that can be pulled down to keep ears warm.

  • Available colors: 22


These eco-friendly makeup remover pads that are washable & reusable

Green up your holiday gift list with these reusable makeup remover pads that are crafted from a blend of cotton and renewable bamboo. A great replacement for one-use cotton rounds, they’re soft on skin and perfect for applying toner, makeup remover, or micellar water. The pads are machine-washable and come with a mesh laundry bag, so you won’t lose a single one on wash day.


A paddle brush that works on all hair types

Made with flexible bristles and a nonslip gel handle, this paddle brush looks as good as it performs. The ball-tip bristles prevent breakage while redistributing the scalp’s natural oils to naturally condition strands. Suitable for all hair types, the brush works on wet or dry hair.


This reusable digital notebook that stores your notes in the cloud

For doodlers or anyone who takes notes in class or in meetings, pick up this reusable digital notebook. It syncs notes to the cloud, so you can digitize any page and store it in Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, and more. The notebook comes with a Pilot Frixon pen for writing, and when you’re done with each page, you can wipe it clean with a damp cloth and start anew.

  • Available colors: 10


These shampoo & conditioner bars that are more eco-friendly than bottles

Solid shampoo and conditioner bars help eliminate one-use plastic waste, and they also make for a great gift. This sampler of shampoo and conditioner minis from Ethique includes formulations in a variety of scents that target everything from oily hair to frizz to sensitive scalps. They’re crafted from 100% sustainable and biodegradable ingredients, and the delightful heart-shaped bars come in compostable packaging.


This reusable food storage set with lids, bags & wrap

Any eco-warrior would love this reusable food storage set that helps eliminate single-use plastic in the kitchen. This 15-piece collection includes six silicone food storage bags, six lids that stretch to fit a variety of bowls, and three cotton and beeswax food wraps that are perfect for wrapping up sandwiches, fruit, cheese, and more.


An anti-plastic kit with toothbrushes, swabs, bags & more

Give the gift of working toward a better earth with this anti-plastic kit that’s chock full of alternatives to common household plastic goods. They’ll find trade-ins for their toothbrushes, straws, shopping bags, cotton swabs, cotton rounds, and more. Gifts like this are great because the recipient thinks of you every time they use an item, which — with two dozen pieces included — will be often.


This bamboo travel utensil set that’s perfect for the person who’s always on the go

This set of bamboo travel utensils is a thoughtful and practical gift for the coworker you eat lunch with all the time or your friend who’s always on the go. The set includes a fork, spoon, knife, chopsticks, and a reusable straw and scrubbing brush, all of which can be stored in the pouch. Get a second set for yourself and keep it in your backpack, purse, or glove compartment.


The overnight lip mask that softens & hydrates

The beauty lovers you’re buying for may be into facial masks, but chances are they’re overlooking their lips. Fix that with this overnight lip mask that hydrates and softens lips while banishing flakiness. Packed with plant-based oils like macadamia nut and sweet almond, the delicious-tasting mask is a great treat when harsh weather and dry air get the best of lips.


A cheese board set with a built-in storage drawer

For the folks on your list who love to entertain, there couldn’t possibly be a better gift than this cheese board gift set. The good-looking bamboo exterior is only half the story; this board has a hidden drawer that slides out to reveal four stainless steel cheese knives plus four chalkboard cheese markers and chalk. The set also comes with two ceramic bowls for honey, fig jam, or other accoutrements.


This Burt’s Bee’s gift set that deeply hydrates hands

Winter and handwashing can add up to dry, chapped hands, but this hand repair kit from Burt’s Bees can add back some rich moisture. The kit comes with a lemon butter cuticle cream, an almond and milk cream, and a deeply nourishing shea butter cream. Plus, a pair of cotton gloves is included for an intensive overnight treatment.


A set of 2 unique bowls made from real coconut shells

If you’re after a gift that’s truly one-of-a-kind, this coconut bowl set is the perfect choice. Made from real coconut shells, each bowl is as unique as a fingerprint, and they’re perfect for salad, poke, açai, and just about anything else. Handmade in Bali by local artisans, the bowls come with a fork and spoon set made from coconut wood.


This indoor herb garden kit for farm-to-table cooking

This indoor herb garden starter kit is a great choice for both cooks and gardeners, empowering them to grow flat leaf parsley, thyme, basil, and cilantro. The set comes with seed packets, gardening shears, burlap grow bags, potting soil disks, and bamboo plant markers — all packaged in a wooden box that doubles as a planter.


A well-reviewed air bed that won’t break the bank

For anyone who likes to camp or frequently hosts overnight guests, this easy-to-inflate air bed is a budget-friendly buy that gets very respectable ratings from reviewers. Weighing just 6.8 pounds, it features a velvety soft surface and a unique inner construction that provides lots of support. Plus, it has an internal electric pump that makes inflation fast and easy.


This luxe pillowcase made from smooth satin

Not only does this satin pillowcase feel luxurious, but it also has some really impressive beauty benefits. The smooth surface reduces friction on hair to prevent breakage and also won’t catch on skin and cause facial creases. That’s a seriously hard-working gift, and it’s available in eight colors.

  • Available sizes: 2
  • Available colors: 11


This slim leather wallet that minimizes bulk

Made from real leather and available in in nine colors, this wallet has a slim design that’s barely noticeable in your back pocket or bag. Along with a money clip for cash, the bifold wallet has 10 pockets for cards plus an ID window. It also features RFID-blocking technology to prevent digital pickpocketing while you travel.

  • Available colors: 9


A highly rated sunscreen & balm set that’s reef-safe

Give the skier or beach bum in your life the thoughtful gift of sun protection with this set from Sun Bum. Boasting a 4.8-star overall rating, this set comes with moisturizing SPF-30 sunblock, sun-protective lip balm, and a post-sun lotion that calms and cools skin with aloe, cocoa butter, and jojoba oil. All three are reef-safe and packed into a fun little go-bag they can take with them on the road.


These fan-favorite UGG socks that are so soft & cozy

Who wouldn’t love these warm and cozy UGG Socks that have earned a 4.8-star overall rating from reviewers who say they’re “so soft” and feel like “heaven”? The rib-knit crew socks have a slouchy style and fit women’s shoe sizes 5 to 10.

  • Available colors: 15


A luxe shaving set with German-engineered blades

While it may be reasonably priced, make no mistake — this shaving set offers a luxe experience, thanks the German-engineered blades, weighted handle, and rubberized matte exterior for a comfortable grip. The set includes a razor, five blade refills, a travel blade cover, and a foamy shave gel that’s free of sulfates, parabens, and dyes.


The portable power bank that offers up to 8 charges

Being able to power up our electronic devices is a necessity, and this portable power bank is capable of charging a phone six to eight times before it needs to be recharged itself. It also has three output ports — so you can charge three devices simultaneously — and the remaining battery is displayed on an LCD screen, so you can be sure to plug the charger in before it runs out of juice.


This all-in-one skin-moisturizing kit that’s travel-friendly

Given how dry things get in the winter, who can ever get enough moisturizer? This travel-size Jet Set hydration kit is the cure for parched skin, featuring nourishing ingredients like aloe, shea butter, jojoba oil, vitamin E, and hyaluronic acid. The five-piece set comes with a cleanser, daily moisturizer, night cream, eye cream, and balm.


The “Never Have I Ever” card game that’s born from a decades-old teenage favorite

Party games are always a fun gift, so why not try this card version of the teenage favorite Never Have I Ever? It’s packed with 550 cards’ worth of fun questions that make for a great evening in front of the fire with popcorn among friends. It’s available in multiple versions, including options for families and parents.


The charging station that powers up 6 Apple devices at once

You’ve probably experienced it yourself: Half the time when your devices are powering up, they’re scattered in six different places all over the house. For that reason, you know this charging station with space for up to six devices is a thoughtful gift. Compatible with Apple products, it has LED indicators that light up when each device is charging.


A piggy bank that tallies up the coins as you go

A fun gift for adults and kids of all ages, this piggy bank tallies up all of the change that’s placed inside, giving you a running total of how much has been saved so far. It’s a great incentive to save up for a goal, but it’s also just perfect for corralling all the change floating around your house.


This massager with slings for your arms

With an ergonomic design and eight massage heads, this shiatsu massager is the perfect present for the hardworking person on your list who could use a little pampering. It offers optional heat settings to complement the massage and warm up muscles, and the nodes automatically reverse direction. Plus, you can put your arms through the slings to hold the massager comfortably in place.


A mini Carhartt backpack with major style points

This mini Carhartt backpack has tons of storage space but measures just 12 inches tall and 8 inches wide, so it’s great for concerts, sightseeing, or just trekking around town. It has a roomy main compartment, a fleece-lined outer pocket, and is totally water-repellent, so you can wear it in the rain. It comes in classic Carhartt shades like brown, burnt orange, and olive green.

  • Available colors: 8


This incredibly useful roadside kit for emergencies

While hopefully neither you nor your loved ones will ever have to use it, this emergency kit from AAA gives you peace of mind while on the road. Complete with 42 pieces — including booster cables, a first aid kit, flashlight, and more — this compact kit easily fits inside your trunk. “Purchased this for my daughter as a gift with her first car,” one reviewer wrote. “This set has by far more useful items than any of the others and was less expensive. She was happily surprised to see all that it had.”


The outdoor picnic blanket that’s waterproof & easy to carry

Whether you plan on hanging out at the beach or having a picnic in the park, a durable outdoor blanket is a must-have. This has a waterproof PEVA backing that keeps it dry when placed on wet grass or sand. Perhaps the best part? You can easily roll it up, store your keys and phone in the zippered pocket, and carry it with the included handle. It’s available in five different sizes.

  • Available colors: 6


A deep-tissue percussion massager with multiple speeds & attachments

At the end of a long day of work, does anything sound better than a soothing back massage? This handheld unit features dual heads that deliver a powerful percussion massage to your legs, shoulders, and neck. Plus, with multiple speed settings and three different attachments to choose from, this device allows you to customize the massage to your liking.


This brain-teasing puzzle box for wine-lovers

Instead of simply gifting someone with a bottle of wine, present them with this puzzle box as well. Made from wood, the box can be adjusted to hold — and lock in— any bottle of vino. The recipient will then have to solve the brain-teasing puzzle to access the wine. “We purchased this as a christmas gift for a notoriously hard-to-stump puzzle person. He undoes normal puzzles in minutes. However, he was stumped by this for almost an entire hour!” one reviewer wrote.


Some insulated wine tumblers that keep drinks chilled

Made from sleek stainless steel, these modern-looking tumblers are perfect for holding wine, coffee, or cocktails, and the double-insulated walls keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot for hours on end. Boasting a 4.8-star overall rating, they even come with to-go lids, so you and your friends can enjoy your beverages while hanging out in the backyard.

  • Available colors: 10


The acupressure mat & pillow set that eases muscle tension

At first glance, this spiked mat and pillow look like they could have been used as medieval torture devices. But in reality, they’re a super effective way to alleviate muscle tension and headaches, and they can even help you get a good night’s sleep. With over 7,000 acupressure points total, the foam neck bolster and mat work to stimulate circulation all over your body, which has all sorts of benefits. You know what they say — no pain, no gain.

  • Available colors: 12


An eye mask that lets you listen to music while you fall asleep

For those who like to drift off to sleep while listening to relaxing music, this eye mask makes it easier than ever. Besides blocking out light, it has built-in Bluetooth speakers that can easily be controlled with the buttons on the front. Great for airplanes, trains, and midday naps, this mask is an easy way to gift some restful sleep.


This ultra-soft blanket with sleeves

Like a robe you wear backwards, this sleeved blanket allows you to stay cozy while still maintaining full control of your arms. Made from a soft, plush material, the velvety blanket keeps you warm whether you’re on the couch, in bed, or on the patio, and the large pouch on the front provides the perfect place for your phone or TV remote.


A handheld vacuum cleaner you can keep in your car

No matter how hard we try, it’s impossible to keep dust, crumbs, sand, and pet hair out of our cars. But you don’t have to wait until your next car wash to get your seat cushions and floor looking clean. This portable vacuum cleaner plugs into your car’s 12-volt outlet and has an extra-long power cord that extends up to 16 feet. Complete with multiple nozzles, this vacuum suctions up dirt and debris from bumper to bumper. When you’re finished using it, pack it up inside the carrying case and store it in your trunk.


The pour-over coffee maker that’s easy to use

Convert your coffee-drinking friends and family to pour-over by gifting them with this durable glass coffee maker. Delivering a nuanced brew with more pronounced flavors, the coffee maker features a stainless steel filter, which catches the coffee grounds as you pour hot water over them. Watch as the freshly brewed liquid collects at the bottom of the carafe, remove the filter, and pour the coffee into your mug. It’s as easy as that.


This minimalist bird feeder that sticks to the outside of your window

Observe the beauty of wildlife right outside your home with this contemporary glass bird feeder that affixes to your window with four strong suction cups. Shaped like a miniature house, the feeder has a sliding feed tray with two separate compartments for different types of seeds. A large viewing window on the back wall allows you to easily take a peek at your new winged visitors.


A 6-piece nonstick bakeware set for baking enthusiasts

Suitable for everyone from baking novices to seasoned home chefs, this nonstick bakeware set allows you to make cakes, muffins, pies, bread loaves, cookies, and more. Complete with a loaf pan, two cake pans, a muffin pan, a roasting pan, and a baking sheet, this set has everything you need to get busy in the kitchen — at an affordable price, to boot.


The 15-piece cocktail kit with a bamboo stand

For the newly minted bartender or avid mixologist, this cocktail making kit has everything you need to whip up delicious drinks. Made from rust-proof stainless steel, the set includes a shaker, strainer, jigger, liquor pourers, and a booklet full of recipes to help you get started. Plus, the sleek set can be displayed on your countertop with the included bamboo stand.


This Bluetooth speaker that’s completely waterproof

Since this compact Bluetooth speaker is waterproof, you can take it practically anywhere — including the beach and the shower — without worrying about damaging it. Equipped with a carabiner, this speaker can easily be clipped onto a backpack. Or, you can use the included suction cup attachment to place it on your shower wall.

  • Available colors: 5


A set of compact packing cubes that saves space in your suitcase

Always struggling to fit your clothes and belongings inside your suitcase before traveling? These packing cubes are here to help. You get eight different organizers in a variety of sizes, including a large bag for your clothes, an underwear bag, a shoe bag, and a cosmetics bag. Made out of lightweight nylon, they compress contents but won’t add weight to your suitcase, so you won’t have to pay extra fees.

  • Available colors: 14


This ring light that clips onto your smartphone for better photos

Achieve next-level selfies by clipping this mini ring light onto your smartphone. The battery-powered LED ring softly diffuses light, giving any environment a studio-like quality. With three different intensity levels, you can easily adjust the amount of brightness, and it’s small enough to stash in a bag for on-the-go photo taking.


A pair of classic aviator shades with lens color options

Does it get any more classic than this pair of sleek aviator sunglasses? The slim metal frames are lightweight, while the mirrored lenses have a UV-protective coating. They’re available in several different colored shades, including silver, light blue, and pink. You also get a lens wipe and a carrying pouch, so you can keep them looking fresh.

  • Available colors: 20


This 3-piece set of smartphone camera lenses for on-the-go photos

Elevate your smartphone photography game with this set of camera lenses that clip directly onto your device. Complete with a compact carrying bag, this kit allows you to achieve different effects on your photos with the help of fisheye, super wide-angle, and macro lenses so you can try your hand at landscape and portrait photography.


The highly rated Bluetooth earbuds that come with a charging case

A cost-effective — and equally awesome — alternative to AirPods, these wireless Bluetooth earbuds make it easy to take hands-free calls and listen to music while working, walking, or exercising. When not in use, the buds can be stored inside their carrying case, which actually charges them before you reach for them again. You can easily answer the phone, switch songs, and activate Siri with just a few simple finger-taps.

  • Available colors: 5