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

Gift ideas that both entertain and make life easier.

ByChristina X. Wood and Erica Gerald Mason
Originally Published: 
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If you're cheap but want to give good gifts, you'll love these 65 things. For the wine drinkers in your life, there’s this hilarious corkscrew-leg pirate with a shoulder parrot. Meanwhile, tea lovers will appreciate a big mug that makes brewing loose-leaf tea an easy ritual. I’ve got so many more of these low-cost, clever ideas, so read on and solve your gift-buying problems right now.


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!!”


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.


The credit card-shaped multi-tool that solves almost any problem

Keep this handy multitool card in your wallet and you’ll feel like MacGyver wherever you go. The alloy steel gadget functions as 18 different tools including a screwdriver, hex wrench, bottle opener, and even a fruit peeler. Fans love its pocket-sized dimensions and one Amazon reviewer wrote that it’s “perfect for those random ‘life-saving’ times.”


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!!”


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.


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.


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.


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.


This portable ring light that clips on to your smartphone

With this compact cordless ring light, you can be camera ready wherever you go. There are 10 levels of brightness and three color modes for a total of 30 customizable settings. The light runs for two hours on a full charge and clips to any phone, laptop, tablet, iPad, or computer desktop monitor for effortless setup.


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.


A clip-on cup holder that saves space

Say goodbye to water rings and spills with this clever clip-on cup holder. Made of ABS plastic, it attaches to table edges, shelves, and chair arms up to 1.49 inches thick. There’s even a cut-out for handles so you can use it with mugs.


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!”


This handy gooseneck phone mount

This gooseneck cell phone mount helps keep your phone safe and secure during hands-free operation. A padded screw clamp secures to any tabletop while a flexible aluminum neck allows you to adjust the phone for the perfect angle. The holder itself has silicone pads for a nonslip grip and accommodates almost all phone models between 4 and 7 inches.


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.


The retro toaster that looks amazing on countertops

This retro toaster will serve a side of nostalgia with your next breakfast. There are five browning levels for toast that fits your taste, plus extra-wide slots for thicker items like bagels and English muffins. When it’s not in use, hidden cord storage and an easy-to-clean crumb tray keep your countertop tidy.


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.


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.


This foldable tray you can eat or work on

This compact personal table is the perfect vehicle for breakfast in bed. Made of durable bamboo, it has foldable legs for easy storage and hollowed-out handles for convenient carrying. You can also use it as a laptop stand or display for decorative objects.


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.


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

Ideal for chess fans, 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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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.


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.


A budget VR headset that’s compatible with most phones

Experience a new level of gaming and entertainment with this budget-friendly VR headset. An adjustable head strap and nose pad relieve pressure on your head and an eyesight protection system includes anti-blue light lenses for comfortable viewing. It’s compatible with any smartphone that has a screen size between 4 and 6.3 inches.


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.


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.


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.


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.


A white noise machine that helps you drift off to sleep

With this portable white noise machine, you can improve your quality of sleep wherever you’re in your own bed or on the road. It plays six different sounds (Rain, Brook, Ocean, Thunder, White Noise, and Summer Night), and it has an auto-timer function in case you don’t want it to run all night. The compact device can be powered by an AC adapter or three AA batteries, making it easy to pack and travel with.


These handy over-the-door hooks for cat lovers

These cat-themed hooks keep your coats, bags, towels, and more neatly stored and off the floor. They hang over doors to spare you the need for nails or screws, and the triple powder-coated steel construction makes them a durable alternative to plastic hooks. “These hooks are so cute, and they hold the weight of clothes and bags surprisingly well for something so decorative.” wrote one satisfied Amazon reviewer.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


A stylish folding wine rack that holds 10 bottles

Show off your favorite bottles of vino with this countertop wine rack. It’s made of solid wood and folds out like an accordion to store up to 10 bottles at a time. When it’s not in use, it contracts and can be stored away without taking up too much space.


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.


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.


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.


This reusable drinkware set with lids and straws

With an overall 4.7-star rating after more than 1,900 reviews, this covered glass drinkware set is a best-seller in its category on Amazon. It includes four 16-ounce glasses with bamboo lids and glass straws for sipping. The glasses are dishwasher safe, and two straw cleaning brushes are included for easy maintenance.


This 2-tier bowl for your kitchen counter

Keep fresh produce or other ingredients within easy reach with this two-tier fruit bowl. The two bowls can be stacked or used separately, and a hook is included for storing items like bananas. Multiple Amazon reviewers have marveled over its sturdy construction and generous capacity.


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.


This card game for (responsible) adult drinking

Pour some shots and entertain adult pals with this popular drinking card game. It can be played with as few as two or as many as eight players and includes over 100 prompts and suggestions that are meant to elicit good-natured laughs. “Fair warning, the name of the game is definitely correct,” wrote one Amazon reviewer. “These cards WILL get you drunk!


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.


A nice wooden cutting board that’s also a chic serving tray

This acacia wood cutting board makes a great addition to any kitchen. It’s not only beautiful, but it’s made from wood that’s soft enough to be easy on knives yet durable enough to last a lifetime. Use it for chopping food, serving party appetizers, or even just hanging on the wall as gorgeous decor.


This mini purifier that removes odors & allergens from the air

Clean the air in your immediate vicinity with this desktop air purifier that runs your indoor air through a HEPA filter to remove up to 99.7% of airborne particles. 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.


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.


This grease keeper that hides in plain sight

You might never guess that this countertop canister is actually a bacon grease repository. It’s made of stainless steel and has a fine mesh strainer under the lid to separate solids from the drippings. Don’t feel limited to bacon, though — you can use it to save and reuse any leftover cooking fat.


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.


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.


The light-up clock that’s a true design piece

This electronic word clock is delightfully modern and analog, all at once. The backlit clock tells the time in words — instead of numerals — in five-minute increments. Measuring 7 by 7 inches, it’s perfect as desktop decor or looks great set on a bookshelf. Choose from colors like black, copper, and rose gold.


A rocking knife that lets you chop veggies right in the bowl

With more than 5,300 five-star Amazon reviews, this stainless steel mezzaluna is a popular (and cheap) alternative to a standard kitchen knife. Curved stainless steel blades rock across a cutting board or bowl to effortlessly mince herbs, vegetables, nuts, and more. It’s dishwasher safe and includes blade protectors for safe storage.


This glass pitcher for hot, cold, or infused beverages

With its 81-ounce capacity, this glass serving pitcher is perfect for entertaining a crowd. A stainless steel filter strains out ice, fruit, or unwanted tea leaves while a wide mouth makes it easy to clean. It’s also heat resistant up to 300 degrees so it can hold hot beverages as well as it does iced ones.


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.


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.


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.”


A large-capacity serving board for entertaining crowds

Whether you’re looking to compose a cheese, charcuterie, or butter board, this bamboo serving platter is a great blank canvas to start with. The sturdy board measures 16-by-10 inches and has two narrow side trays for a varied display. The side handles make it easy to carry and the water-resistant material helps keep mold and unwanted bacteria at bay.


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.


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.


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. Besides looking cool, the lights work to enhance the vividness of the picture while also helping to reduce eyestrain during TV marathons. An adhesive backing makes installation easy and the strip plugs directly into your TV’s USB port.


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.


These pillar candle holders with a modern silhouette

Create an impressive centerpiece or shelfie setup with this trio of pillar candle holders. They’re made of iron and come in three sizes for a staggered arrangement. They’re also available in different styles and work with both wax and flameless candles.