Psst, I make money on some of the links in this post at no cost to you. It keeps the lights on around here.

It’s that time of year, y’all! We’re all trying to figure out the best gifts for our loved ones that won’t make us cry over the tattered remains of our budget.

The holiday season is infamously awful for your budget. Shopping smart is the best way to give in a meaningful way without ruining your finances this season.

It’s important for us to remember that the holiday season isn’t about receiving, or even giving. It’s about honoring and loving the people around us. So, while this guide has plenty of gift ideas, I wanted to put in the caveat that gifts shouldn’t be our focus during the holidays.

I’ve compiled this ultimate affordable holiday gift list to help out readers who are looking for gift ideas at all budget levels. This list is tiered by budget, starting at $1 and going all the way to $100+.

This isn’t a list of useless crap, either.

gift

I hate gift guides that encourage us to give light-up robots, glow-in-the-dark compression socks, and cup-warmers to others. This is a list of stuff that I would personally be thrilled to receive and that I would actually use. Many of the suggestions are also frugal-living friendly, so you can spread the frugal cheer!

Without further ado, here’s the ultimate affordable holiday gift list!

The Ultimate Affordable Holiday Gift List

$1 Budget Range

These $1 gifts might not be the most ~exciting~, but they are budget-friendly. These gifts are perfect for coworkers or neighbors who you just wanna give “a little something.”

1. eBook on Amazon (shop here)

Amazon sells a huuuuge variety of eBooks for $1. The best part? They even include a “Give as gift” option that will send the eBook to your giftee through their email address.

You don’t have to have a Kindle to read Amazon’s eBooks. You can just download their Kindle app for free and you’re good to go. You can download the Kindle app for free here.

2. A cute mug

Dollar Tree is my bestie for $1 gifts. Did you know that they actually have really cute mugs? The selection will vary by store, but they do have some nice ones.

In the past I’ve bought blank mugs and decorated them with ceramic markers (Amazon link here for the markers).

cute mug

3. Magnetic containers

Dollar Tree to the rescue! They sell some really flippin’ cute circular magnetic tins.

You can put them on your fridge and hold all kinds of cute tchotchkes. They come in packs of two at Dollar Tree. You can fill them with candy, a sweet message, stickers, or maybe office supplies as a passive-aggressive jab at Mike-the-paperclip-stealer.

magnetic canisters from dollar tree in a two-pack

4. Face mask

I looove using face masks. They’re so refreshing and they make my skin feel squeaky-clean. They’re a frugal and fun alternative to a $50 facial. I gave out face masks to my bridesmaids at my wedding and they were a great hit.

I bought this 16-pack of face masks for $10 (Amazon link here). That means your cost per mask is under $1.

I’ve also made my own face masks out of honey and cinnamon. Here are 9 DIY face mask ideas to try out. You can make a big batch and package them in little plastic tins from Dollar Tree with a ribbon.

5. Mix CD or tape

When I was a teenager, my friends and I would always gift each other mix CDs. Back in the day it was an awesome way to find new music for free.

Get old school with it and burn a CD (or super-retro with a tape!) and share your favorite songs with other people. You can get a pack of blank CDs from the store for about $10 – $15.

If you want to do a mix tape, make sure the recipient of said tape has a tape player.

6. Squishy cat stress ball

Okay, this isn’t a necessity, but I found it online and I want it (cough cough), so I’m listing it here.

If you know a cat-lover who’s high-strung (like me!), these cat stress balls (Amazon link here) are adorable enough to distract them for a moment of peace. It’s a three-piece set for $4, so your cost-per-kitty is under $1.

7. Lottery ticket

This sounds weird, but I enjoy receiving lottery tickets. I would never buy lottery tickets for myself, but I love playing scratch-offs that I receive as gifts.Β 

A family member gave me lotto tickets last Christmas and we all had a good chuckle when I thought I had won $500. I read the results wrong and I had actually only won $1. I hung the lotto ticket on my cubicle at work to fondly remember the time I thought I hit the jackpot. I got a lot of joy from that rinky-dink $1 ticket!

8. Spatula with a recipe

This is a great gift for your neighbors. Dollar Tree has a selection of spatulas; pick out a cute one. You can even decorate the handle with Christmas Washi tape if you want. Print out a family recipe and attach it to the spatula with a ribbon or string

9. DIY rice hand warmers

This is another cute gift for neighbors. It could also be funny to gift to a coworker who’s habitually cold (we all know at least one).

I like this tutorial for making hand warmers. The materials will cost more than $1, but you should be able to make dozens for about $15. You can switch up the materials and do different colors too!

10. Candy

Dollar Tree to the rescue! They sell boxed movie theater candy at Dollar Tree. Just snag a box of candy, slap a ribbon on it, and it’s suddenly a great present.

candy!

11. Homemade caramel popcorn

I loooove homemade caramel popcorn. Here’s an easy recipe for caramel popcorn. Just made one big batch of this stuff and wrap it in baggies from Dollar Tree.

12. Bubble wand

You might laugh at this, but I love bubbles. I’ve never been disappointed when someone has given me a bubble wand.

Maybe I’m just being weird here, but I don’t think you can ever outgrow bubbles. Amazon sells a psychotic jumbo pack of bubble wands for about $15 (Amazon link here).

13. Pocket planner

Do you have a coworker who always misses deadlines or meetings? Get them a pocket planner from Dollar Tree as a tongue-in-cheek gift. Maybe Danny will finally get his shiz together.

14. Mistletoe

If you’ve been crushing on a certain someone, you can send them a cute gift of mistletoe (just don’t make it weird with unwanted advances, y’all).

Dollar Tree sells fake mistletoe for $1. I’m not even sure where to get real mistletoe, actually.

mistletoe

Anyhoo, this is a sweet gift whether you want to make your feelings known to a crush or if you’ve been married for 50 years.

15. Sandwich mold

This is a little over $1, but they’re really cute. This bear-shaped sandwich mold would be adorable for a kid or for a mom with toddlers who hate sandwich crusts. Hell, I kinda want one.Β Amazon link here.

You can use those sandwich crusts to make homemade bread crumbs, too, FYI.

16. Seeds

This is a cute gift that gardeners in particular would appreciate. You can snag bulk seeds from a local feed store or co-op. If you have a garden of your own, harvest seeds and pass them on to friends as a gift.

Decorate small envelopes with the seeds inside and, hell, why not put a ribbon on there for extra fun?

seeds

17. Exotic candy from an ethnic store

One of my favorite things about traveling is tasting new-to-me food. Swing by your favorite ethnic grocery store and find fun snacks. Give the gift of a little adventure without busting your budget.

My all-time favorite “foreign” snack is these chocolate mushroom things (Amazon link here).

I have no idea who invented these or why they did it, but I can eat my weight in these weird mushroom chocolates.

$5 Budget Range

As you saw in the $1 budget range, you can get a pretty impressive gift for just $1. At $5, you can do even more.

1. Earbuds

People can get really crazy with their earbuds. I’ve seen these things sell for as much as $200! While I’m sure those $200 earbuds are high-quality, you can get decent ones for about $5.

I once had a coworker who passed out earbuds for Christmas and everyone thought it was a wonderful idea. How many of us have forgotten our headphones at home? It’s nice having a pair just for work.

Here’s an Amazon link to a decent Samsung pair for $5. Amazon sells bulk packs of earbuds, but they look like they suck. This pair is nice enough for gift-giving without breaking your budget.

 

2. Recipe box with recipes

I am always on the hunt for recipes. And not just any recipes, but good ones that I can trust.

One year my sister put together a family recipe book for my birthday and I absolutely loved it. You can share your recipes with friends and family by printing 10 – 20 recipes on index cards. Store the recipe cards in a tin (you can get a nice one from Dollar Tree) wrapped with a bow.

3. Reusable plastic baggies

It’s no secret that single-use plastic is bad for the environment and puts a strain on your wallet.

Give the gift of savings with a reusable baggie that will replace your pal’s Ziplocs. I like these reusable silicon bags on Amazon (link here). You can get two of them for $7, so it’ll be about $3.50 per baggie.

4. Homemade soup mix

This is a classic Mason jar gift that I never get tired of receiving. I mean, it’s DINNER in a JAR.

I just have to add chicken stock?

That’s flippin’ magical.

For this gift, make your homemade dry soup mix and put it in a Mason jar. Then, print out the recipe and attach it to the Mason jar. Hell, you can even get a soup ladle from Dollar Tree and tie it on there, too.

Here are six homemade dry soup mixes you can make.

homemade soup mix

5. DIY beeswax cling wraps

Saran Wrap is also expensive and bad for the environment. A frugal alternative is a beeswax cling wrap (tutorial here).

I’ve given a few of these as gift and people have absolutely loved them. It’s unique and not something people would typically think to make for themselves.

6. Thrift store book

Why buy a book at Barnes & Noble at full-price? Thrift stores have many, many amazing books at significantly lower prices. Snag a few books at the thrift store as a great gift for a bookworm.

thrift store book

7. Decent lotion

Sure, Dollar Tree sells lotion for $1. I think it’s absolute crap.

At the $5 level, you can get some nice lotion that people will appreciate. You can swing by Bath & Body Works and snag a few of their mini lotions and people will love them.

8. Pot clips

I love cooking, but it does come with its problems. For example, I’m sick to death of my spoons falling into whatever I’m cooking.

I came across these nifty pot clips that will keep your spoon or spatula in place while you cook. Sure, it’s kinda kitschy and not a necessity, but I’d pay $5 for one. Amazon has this six-count pot clip piece for a little over $6.

9. DIY pampering basket

$5 can buy you a lot at Dollar Tree! Put together a small pampering basket as a gift.

Get a container or basket and fill it with cotton balls, nail polish, emery boards, loofah, a comb/brush, wine glass, face mask, lip balm, or any other pampering item that you think they would like.

Not quite the same as a day at an actual spa, but close.

10. Homemade pet treats

One of your friends or family probably has a dog or cat. Why not make a little gift for their furry companions? You can buy treats at the store, but the fancy gourmet pet treats cost an arm and a leg. Make your own!

Here are recipes for dog treats, and here are some for cat treats. As an added bonus, you can get cookie-cutters and shape the treats as bones, hydrants, mice, or fish.

zap resting after the vet

Zap wants kitty treats!

11. Coffee sampler

Do you know someone who’s nuts about their cuppa Joe? You can gift your caffeine junkie a sampler of nice coffee.

Many grocery stores sell bulk coffee by the pound. Take one scoop from as many coffees as you can for $5. Store the fresh beans in mini Mason jars or in small paper sacks with labels.

a coffee sampler is a great holiday gift idea

12. Canvas tote

A canvas bag is a stylish and practical gift. If you want to go the extra mile, you can stuff the tote with goodies, but that’ll land you outside of the $5 gift mark.

I like this natural canvas tote on Amazon for just over $5 (link here). If you’re artistically inclined, you can paint a custom message or image on the tote to make it really special.

13. USB Flash drive

Flash drives are fantastic gifts for your coworkers. I always let out a little squeal of glee when I get a free flash drive, because I know I’m gonna fill that sucker up in a heartbeat. Amazon sells a bulk pack of five flash drives for under $25 (Amazon link here).

 

14. Fidget cube

I think fidgeting is a healthy habit. It helps me stay active and focused so I can get stuff done faster. However, fidgeting can be annoying for the people around you!

I’ve been meaning to get one of these cute fidget cubes so I can fidget ~silently~. I like this blue one on Amazon (link here).

 

15. Homemade cookies or treats

I mean, who doesn’t like homemade cookies?

When I was a kid, my mom and I would do a ridiculous amount of holiday baking. We made sugar cookies, peanut butter balls, chocolate-covered pretzels, and fudge. We packaged the goodies in tissue paper inside nice boxes from Dollar Tree and sent a box to each of our neighbors.

It was a great childhood memory, and it’s also a great gift idea, too!

homemade cookies

16. Succulents

Succulent plants are all the rage these days. Throw a little cactus in a cute pot and it’s instantly stylish! I normally hate cacti / succulents, but when you throw them in a corgi planter,Β like this, you have my immediate attention.

I’d totally get this little guy if Zap wouldn’t destroy him in five minutes.

17. Phone car charger

Have you ever been on the road for a while, only to discover that you have 10% battery left on your phone? Since I rely on my GPS to get me everywhere, a dead phone isn’t just an inconvenience–it borders on emergency (I can’t read a map, don’t judge).

A phone charger for your car is an affordable way to make sure you always can charge your phone. It’s especially nifty in cases of emergency. I like this adapter that fits both iOS and Android devices (Amazon link here).

The only downside is that this adapter doesn’t come with cables for the device, so it would be smart to order a couple extras.

18. Travel utensils

A set of travel cutlery is one of the best things Mr. Picky Pincher has ever bought for himself. He uses it at work for lunch, on camping trips, and any time we leave town for the weekend.

He likes having a three-in-one travel utensil that makes cleaning a breeze. It also means he doesn’t have to carry around a lot of loud cutlery. I really like this three-in-one fork, spoon, and serrated knife on Amazon (link here). At $2.95 apiece, it’s super budget-friendly.

 

$10 Budget Range

What would you do if you could double your $5 gift budget? At the $10 level you can either DIY or buy great gifts that your loved ones will appreciate.

1. Sriracha keychain

I half-jokingly told Mr. Picky Pincher this morning that I would probably starve if it weren’t for hot sauce. It makes almost anything taste AMAZING. While I’m not part of the Sriracha cult, I know many people are.

Sriracha keychains made a huge splash a while back and I know many hot sauce aficionados who would love to have one.

Sure, it’s not crazy-useful for normal people, but if you’re obsessed with hot sauce, it could be a life-saver. You can get two keychains on Amazon (link here) for under $10.

Note that they ship empty, so you’ll have to fill them with Sriracha.

2. DIY no-sew fleece blanket

Give the gift of warmth by making a homemade no-sew fleece blanket. We have a few of these around our house and they make excellent throw blankets for the living room. They’re also wonderful to keep in your trunk for picnics!

blanket

Here’s a tutorial on how to make these cute no-sew blankets.

The best part? You can customize the blanket with whatever fleece material you want, so each blanket can be unique to its recipient.

3. Reusable, washable shopping bags

Plastic bags are a scourge on the Earth. I’ve been using reusable grocery bags for years now, and I’ll never go back to plastic.

They’re much more durable, and that means I don’t have to worry about milk falling through the bag. It also means I can carry more stuff in the bags, which means less trips to and from the car when I’m unloading groceries.

I really like these washable plyester bags on Amazon (link here). This fabric is particularly good for groceries because it’s washable. I didn’t think that was a big deal at first, until I had milk spill ~all over~ my bags once.

Washable is a big deal!

4. Cable clips

Does anyone else have an unholy, tangled mess of cables? These cable clips keep cables in place so desk areas stay tidy. Amazon link here. Perfect for neat freaks like me!

5. Waterproof phone pouch

Back in December of 2016, I had the unfortunate mishap of dropping my phone in the toilet (don’t judge). After that fiasco, I know how heartbreaking it is to see your phone drown.

You can save someone that same heartache with a floating waterproof phone pouch, like this one.

6. Spotify Premium

I love listening to music when I work. I don’t like listening to commercials. Most people dislike commercials, so the gift of commercial-free Spotify Premium would be pretty welcome.

spotify

Spotify is a little weird in that I don’t think you can gift subscriptions online. You’ll need to get a Spotify gift card, which is carried in most grocery stores.

7. Cloth napkins or handkerchiefs

I tell ya, I absolutely adore my cloth napkins and homemade handkerchiefs. We used to spend a lot of money on single-use paper products, which ate into our budget.

Cute, reusable cloth items are a great gift idea and can help your loved ones save a bit of money, too. I recommend looking at Etsy for some really cute hankies and napkins. You can also take a stab at making them if you’re crafty!

8. Apron

Last year my sister made me an apron for Christmas and I wear it every week. It gets a lotta miles in our kitchen! If you know someone who loves to cook, consider getting them a nice apron.

I like ridiculous aprons, like this one, but a plain Jane apron is also a great gift.

9. Coloring book with markers

Adult coloring books are popular nowadays, and with good reason. They’re a wonderful artistic outlet for us oppressed adults. Coloring is stress-relieving and gets our eyeballs off our screens for a little while.

The downside is that adult coloring books can be expensive. If you’re looking for affordable ones, you can sometimes find them at Dollar Tree. I’ve also had luck with Hobby Lobby’s clearance bins. I’ve had to dig, but I’ve found their fancy $20 coloring books on sale for just $3 apiece.

Also, I was trolling around the internet and found this beautiful gem of an adult coloring book:

It increasingly feels like this is a list of stuff I want for Christmas …

10. Wine or beer

$10 will get you a decent bottle of wine or six-pack of beer. If you opt for wine, Dollar Tree has very nice wine bottle bags to wrap it in. Hell, they even sell beer mugs and wine glasses for $1 apiece.

wine

Try to go for something here that you think the person would like. If they don’t like IPAs, it’s probably not the best time to buy them an IPA!

11. Butter dish

I’m one of those weird people who leaves butter at room temperature. If you know one of those, they might appreciate a nice butter dish. I have this simple glass one for years (Amazon link here):

12. Watter bottle ice cube tray

Do you know someone who regularly uses water bottles (reusable ones, that is)?

resuable water bottle

A water bottle-friendly ice cube tray could be a great gift for fitness junkies who like to have cold water when they work out. These trays make skinny rods of ice that fit perfectly into a water bottle: Amazon link here.

13. Laundry bag

In college I had a favorite shirt. It was teal, stretchy, and had puffy sleeves. It made me feel like a goddess. Imagine my horror when, one day, I removed my favorite shirt from the washing machine, and it had a GIANT hole in it.

Laundry machines make laundry easier, but they’re really hard on your clothes. A nice laundry bag can protect your clothes from damage in the wash, saving money in the long run.

We use a laundry bag similar to these (Amazon link here).

14. Microwave cover

Okay, so this isn’t the sexiest of gifts. But I do think that microwave covers are frugal! They prevent splatters and messes in a valuable kitchen appliance. This keeps your microwave in good condition while preventing gunked-on messes that take forever to clean.

I use a microwave cover like this one. It’s not a super-interesting present, though, so maybe toss in a bottle of wine, eh?

15. DIY citronella candle

Maybe this isn’t a winter-friendly gift in the North, but in Texas we have problems with bugs almost all year round. I’ve started making our own DIY citronella candles that we burn when we’re outside. It doesn’t take the place of bug spray, but it definitely wards off bugs!

candle

If you don’t want to make a citronella candle, you can always try your hand at making DIY candles. I love to buy old teacups from the thrift store and convert them into candles. Here’s a tutorial if you’d like to check it out.

16. Bath bombs!

Who doesn’t love bath bombs?? They elevate bath time into something really special and luxurious. I like bath bombs, but I don’t like how expensive they are.

I like this tutorial for making my own bath bombs. Get creative with the scents and colors to give your friends and family a unique set of bath bombs.

17. Smartphone stand

Maybe I’m just lazy, but sometimes I like to prop my phone up on our fruit bowl when I watch cat videos. I recently discovered that smartphone stands are a thing, and I’ve been meaning to get one.

I fell in love with these pig-themed suction cup smartphone stands on Amazon. It comes with 5 piggies, too, so you can gift to several people.

18. Tea infuser and a mug

I included a few gift ideas here for coffee-lovers, but what if you know a tea-lover? A cute tea infuser paired with a nice Dollar Tree mug is a great gift for any tea-drinker. You could also see about including some loose leaf tea if your giftee isn’t Picky about their tea.

I, um, am kind of obsessed with these Loch Ness monster tea infusers (Amazon link here). They come in a set of two, too.

One as a gift, and one for you. πŸ˜‰

19. Reusable water bottle

I’m not quiet about my hatred of plastic water bottles. They’re expensive and they’re polluting our oceans. Help a friend save a buck while preserving our environment with a reusable water bottle.

I’ve found some really nice ones at the thrift store, of all places. I tend to prefer metal or glass bottles for durability.

20. Coasters

Coasters are a great way to preserve your furniture and prevent annoying water rings. Honestly, I would never buy coasters for myself, but I’ve gotten a lot of miles out of the coasters other people have gifted me.

I use these irreverent cat-butt coasters that my sister crocheted (she sells them on EtsyΒ if you want a customized set). They’re hilarious, a great conversation-starter, and prevent water rings on our furniture.

cat butt coasters

Aside from veterinarians, my sister has seen more cat butts than the majority of the American population.

21. Birchbox subscription

My go-to gift for makeup-loving ladies is a one-month subscription to Birchbox. It’s a subscription box service that sends you surprise beauty samples each month.

makeup

My friends and family love sampling different cosmetics and household goods with these subscriptions. Sometimes I’ll do a three-month subscription for $30 so they can really give it a try.

I used to do Birchbox for myself, but I didn’t like the $10 auto-draft each month. It’s still fun to get as a gift, though!

22. Soft headphones for sleeping

These are on my Christmas list this year. I sleep with headphones for white noise, but I don’t love how my earbuds press on my ears, causing pain and soreness. Soft headphones are designed for sleeping, and they also can function as an eye mask, too. I like this one on Amazon.

23 DIY “minimergency” kit

I’ve seen a lot of sites recommend these Minimergency kits.

But um, at $30 a pop, that’s a little steep. It just doesn’t seem like a good deal to me. But I love the idea of minimergency kits, and that’s why you should DIY them as gifts.

You can buy $3 cloth zipper bags (or make your own!) and fill them with bobby pins, toothbrush / toothpaste, mirror, small comb, lip balm, sunscreen, bug spray, a Tide To-Go pen, sewing kit, bandages, antibiotic ointment, nail file, and any other little necessities.

Many of these can be found at the dollar store or at the clearance bins at Walmart.

You can also save more by buying items in bulk and divvying them up between several Minimergency kits.

24. Coin-counting bank

This is a money blog, so I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a piggy bank is a great frugal gift. πŸ™‚

I thought this digital coin-counting piggy bank is really cool. It counts the change as you put it into the jar, so you always know your balance.

$20 Budget Range

$20 can buy you a whole lotta gift, y’all.

1. Pocket knife

I believe that every woman and man should carry a pocket knife. There are so many useful applications in daily life. I personally carry this SOG knife everywhere I go.

It’s nothing super-fancy, but it gets the job done when I need to open packages or cut plastic ties off of things.

2. Nice measuring cups and spoons

It’s pretty hard to cook or bake at home if you don’t have a set of measuring cups or spoons.

How else could I bake such horrific dinosaur cookies?

While I got by for a while with a cheapo set from Dollar Tree, these days I’m all about stainless steel measuring cups. These suckers take a beating and keep their shape and sheen. They’re a much more durable and high-quality alternative to cheap plastic utensils.

I really like this stainless steel set of measuring cups and spoons on Amazon (Amazon link here).

3. French press

You can actually get a decent single-serving French press for $5 – $10. But if you want to get a nice French press, the $20 range is just right for watching your budget.

I almost exclusively drink French press coffee made in my very own kitchen. In my opinion, it’s the fastest and easiest way to make cafe-quality coffee. If you’re looking for a French press, you can sometimes find them at the thrift store.

If you’re looking for a new one, I like this glass and stainless steel model on Amazon (link here). It has a lot of filters to keep silt out of your coffee.

4. Spiralizer

Spiralized veggies are all the rage these days. I mean, who wouldn’t want to trick themselves into eating more veggies when they’re shaped like pasta?

I don’t own a spiralizer because I don’t like that it’s a one-trick pony. I think I would prefer to get an attachment for my KitchenAid to take up less space.

But if you know a health nut or someone who’s trying to eat better, a spiralizer could still be a thoughtful, quality gift. This spiralizer goes for $20 on Amazon.

5. Whiskey stones

I drink whiskey maybe a few times a year. I used to absolutely despise its harsh flavor, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate a nice glass of whiskey from time to time. Whiskey is better served cold, but ice will dilute it make it taste like nail polish remover. Whiskey stones are objects that you can freeze and add to alcoholic beverages without diluting the drinks’ flavor.

Most whiskey stones are, well, actual stones, but I like this stainless steel set because it’s more versatile. You can use them for white wine and cocktails, not just for whiskey.

P.S. If you’re into white wine, I’ve heard of people freezing green grapes to keep their wine cool, too.

6. Remote control and keys finder

I am really forgetful.

I can tell you what I ate for breakfast two weeks ago, but I lose my phone on a daily basis (hint: it’s usually in my hand). If your loved one tends to forget where their remote control or keys are, there’s a nifty little locator apparatus that will find them for you.

It comes with four beacons so you can have one on your keys, remote, glasses, and wallet. Here’s the link to the locator on Amazon.

7. A planner

I’m dedicated to my paper planner and I love it. It actually helps me save money by avoiding late fees, doing regular maintenance, and remembering doctor’s appointments.

Paper planners aren’t for everyone, but if you know someone who’s a type-A personality, he or she might appreciate a nice paper planner. I’m a big fan of the Blue Sky brand of planners, which usually go for around $20. Here’s the planner I bought for 2018.

8. Local honey

One of the best things in life is locally-sourced honey. It’s absolutely amazing how honey tastes different depending on the location, bees, and flora. I love to dip a spoon in local honey and slurp it up like it’s candy.

local honey is a great holiday gift idea

One beekeeper I knew even sold crystallized honey, which was his regular honey left to solidify slightly. The result was a delectable, sweet, and slightly crunchy treat. It was perfect on toast and in yogurt!

Check out your local farmer’s markets or nurseries to see if you can snag some tasty local honey.

9. Un-paper towels

My sister introduced me to the idea of un-paper towels a few years ago when she gave them out as Christmas gifts.

At the time I was still very attached to my paper towels and didn’t want change, but now I can see that un-paper towels are a great idea! They’re washable, reusable, and adorable, to boot.

The un-paper towels roll up just like regular paper towels and are attached by a series of snaps. When you want one, you just snap it off the roll, just like a regular paper towel.

I keep meaning to get some of these so we can beat our single-use paper addiction!

I found some un-paper towels on Etsy at this link. This is just one kind; you can usually get them made in any print under the sun.

10. Cheese-making kit

Cheeeeeeseee!!!!

cheese as a holiday gift

I am a dairy fiend. I would eat my weight in cheese if it wouldn’t make me hurl. πŸ™‚ I’ve always wanted to make my own mozzarella, but the process is a little intimidating. Cheese kits make the cheese-making process a little easier. They’re a fun gift idea for home cooks looking to take it to the next level. I found this kit on Amazon that shows you how to make homemade mozzarella and ricotta (link here).

Fun fact: my local beer brewing store sells this exact cheese kit, but for $40. What a rip!

11. Outlet night lights

This isn’t a particularly exciting gift, but it’s something that we have around the house and LOVE. These automatic night lights turn on the second they detect darkness.

No more bumping into the table to get a midnight snack or feeling our way through the darkness after a night on the town. This is the set that we got on Amazon.

They come in packs of two, so I’d recommend getting a couple for full coverage.

12. Wax warmer

I really like having a wax warmer. It’s a much safer alternative to burning candles and makes our house smell ~amazing~.

Wax warmers are a fun gift for the holidays, but they’re also a great house-warming gift. Brand new, wax warmers cost about $20. But you can usually find really nice ones at the thrift store in the $5 – $10 range. I’d recommend looking there first before buying new.

Nobody likes a wax warmer without wax; snag a pack of wax melts to accompany the warmer.

13. Avocado tree kit

This might be a stupid-sounding gift, but I think it’s genius. Of course, this only works if avocado trees grow in your climate. It probably wouldn’t do to well in, say, Massachusetts. πŸ˜›

This avocado tree kit (Amazon link here) lets you grow an avocado tree from an avocado pit. I’d say to use caution here when it comes to selecting your avocado pit. Make sure it’s from a tree that will bear fruit (some grocery store varieties are weird GMOs that might not grow fruit).

14. Lifestraw

I’ve been meaning to buy a Lifestraw and add it to our emergency supplies. But it’s also a wonderful item for frequent campers or outdoor enthusiasts.

Lifestraw lets you safely drink water from rivers, lakes, and streams with its filter. It’s formatted as a straw, so you just have to stick the sucker in and, well, suck.

The only downside is that you do have to replace the filter every now and then. Here’s the Amazon link if you’re curious about it.

15. Portable charger

When I attended FinCon a few months ago, I had the foresight to buy a portable charger for my phone and devices (Amazon link here). I knew I would have little to no access (or time!) to camp out near a charger, and this portable device saved me a lot of grief.


In fact, I bought two more to keep in our vehicles, just in case.

16. Coffee grinder

Back in my blossoming days as a new adult, I gave zero shiz about coffee. I drank two-day-old Folgers and loved flavored who-knows-how-old-this-is ground coffee. It wasn’t until I met Mr. Picky Pincher that I discovered the world of Nice Coffee.


Mr. Picky Pincher ruined most coffees for me. I guess it turned out to be a good thing, though, because now I make all of my coffee at home. I use this nifty ceramic grinder to grind whole beans (Amazon link here), since that’s how we get the most flavor and freshness.

17. Iron cooking fish

I’ve always struggled with low iron levels. Being anemic is definitely no fun, but I’ve been able to fight it with changes to my diet including eating more veggies and cooking in a cast iron pan.

I was thrilled to see that someone made this iron cooking fish to help combat iron deficiency. You plop this fish into soups, stocks, and whatever else you’re cooking for an iron boost in your diet. Obviously check with your doc for medical-related issues before using this!

It’s a little over the $20 threshold at $30 per piece, but I think it’s really friggin’ cool. Here’s the Amazon link to check out the iron fish.

18. Digital password manager

This isn’t the sexiest gift idea, but it’s an important part of our digital lives. I’m guilty of just resetting my password each time I forget it. It’s a hassle and it’s annoying.

A digital password manager securely stores all of your logins for easy reference. It’s also an essential part of estate planning in the digital age. After all, how can your survivors access your email, social media, or bank account if they don’t have the login?

Lifehacker did a review of their top five digital password managers here if you want to learn more.

19. Fondue pot

Okay, I used to think fondue was stupid. But that was until I got a fondue pot as a gift one year for Christmas.

I first thought, “What the hell am I gonna do with this fondue pot?” One day later I was melting everything edible that could be melted in my fondue pot.

Many cheeses and chocolates were enjoyed that day. πŸ™‚

It’s definitely a one-trick pony, but I’ve used the fondue pot for several occasions. I whip it out when we have company and everyone goes bananas over the fun experience of fresh chocolate-dipped strawberries.

My sister got me this Velata fondue pot and it’s really nice (Amazon link here). I recommend buying chocolate at the grocery store; Velata’s branded chocolate is overpriced.

20. A drying rack

I first heard of an indoor clothes drying rack when Mr. Money Mustache wrote about his. We live in Texas, which has hellish summers. Our A/C bill soars during August, and by the time fall rolls around I’m grateful for cheaper utility bills.

One big culprit (aside from the Texas sun) for our home’s high summer temperature is our dryer. It noticeably heats up the house by 1 – 3 degrees, which the A/C then combats by working even harder.

That means we spend more money, which makes me sad.

I recently got into drying our clothes on our porch to minimize use of the dryer. If you want to be a touch fancier than me, you can check out an indoor drying rack, like this one (Amazon link here).

Ahhh, there’s nothing like the gift of lower utility bills.

21. Herb preserver

It amazes me how expensive fresh herbs are! Couple that with the fact that they go bad, like, two days after you open the package, and it’s a very pricey endeavor, indeed.

One day Mr. Picky Pincher and I were in the grocery store and he saw an herb preserver. I thought it was a hokey single-use item, and I told him we shouldn’t buy it. But since marriage is all about compromise (and picking your battles), we came home with said herb preserver.

You fill the bottom of the contraption with water and use it to store fresh herbs. I smiled smugly when Mr. Picky Pincher put fresh basil in the herb preserver, waiting for it to be rotten the next day.

Nope!

This contraption actually did keep our herbs fresh for way longer. They last about a week and a half now instead of a few days.

This probably isn’t the best gift if your loved one grows their own herbs, since they can pick fresh herbs whenever they want. But if you know someone who buys fresh herbs, it could be a good way to lengthen the usefulness of these ingredients. Here’s the one we got (Amazon link here).

22. Defrosting tray

Now that I work from home, it’s okay if I forget to defrost chicken for dinner. I can just slip away from my office and defrost a pack of chicken in time for dinner. But what if I needed to defrost the chicken a bit more quickly?

I know some people like to defrost in warm water or in the microwave, but I’m not a huge fan of those methods.

I’ve been wanting to get one of these defrosting trays (Amazon link here) for the days when I realize I need to defrost chicken at the heart-attack-inducing time of 4 pm.

23. Magazine subscription

When I was a kid I remember my mom had subscriptions to at least ten different magazines. I thought they took up way too much space and I was annoyed at the very idea of magazines.

magazine

Fast forward 20 years and now I’m the magazine freak. Ugh. I hate when I turn out just like my mother. πŸ˜›

I actually do like having a magazine subscription. It’s new stuff to read and it’s kinda exciting getting something in the mail.

If you’re concerned about clutter or the environment, many magazines offer digital-only subscriptions, too.

24. Tool set

I know that the $20 category probably isn’t going to buy your loved one a state-of-the-art tool set. But when I was 21 and moving into my first apartment, I remember wishing I had the funds to buy even a basic, cheapo set of tools.

Is this a super-exciting, sexy gift? Eh, maybe not. But it’s extremely useful and not something people will always buy for themselves. I remember getting by on a solitary flathead screwdriver for longer than I care to admit.

If you know your loved one needs a basic set of tools, this starter set on Amazon (link here), would do just fine.

25. Cards Against Humanity

Cards Against Humanity (CAH) is hands-down my favorite board game of all time. It’s highly inappropriate and for adults only.

It’s like playing Mad Libs but you get points for your irreverent answers. I’m adding this suckah to my own Christmas list because I’m sick of begging to use other people’s sets.

Here’s the link on Amazon if you want to check it out (remember, it’s an adults-only game!).

26. Safety razor

I used to spend a lot of money on disposable razor refills. I was so, so annoyed that it cost $20 for four replacement heads for my razor. If I replaced the razors at the manufacturer-suggested one-week time span, that would give me an annual cost of $260.

Just for smooth legs.

That’s dumb.

I wanted a more affordable option to tame my caveman legs, so I opted for a safety razor (Amazon link here). This contraption uses a single razor blade for a very close shave. It’s not as “safe” as you’d think, so you do have to be careful not to nick yourself, especially if you’re used to pressing down with popular razor cartridges.

But now I’m able to get a closer, better shave for a quarter of what I was paying before. The best part is that safety razors can be used by both men and women to shave just about anything – no pink tax here, ladies.

27. Soap nuts

I admit that I haven’t tried soap nuts, but I’m very, very curious about them. They’re a natural way to wash your clothes. Since I make my own laundry soap, I haven’t had the chance to try these, but several of our readers swear by them.

This would be a great gift if you know someone who’s into natural or eco-friendly products. It’s definitely got the weird / useful / novel factor that I love! Here’s the Amazon link to check out soap nuts.

28. Digital cooking thermometer

For 90% of my life I never used a cooking thermometer to check the temperature of things when they cooked. I could look at chicken and kinda-sorta guesstimate that it wasn’t raw. This led to me overcooking my food most of the time, which meant it was dry and terrible.

It wasn’t until Mr. Picky Pincher and I got married that I learned to measure the internal temperature of foods for the perfect, delicious bite. We used to use old-fashioned cooking thermometers, but we’ve fallen in love with our digital thermometer. They even make laser thermometers, but that’s outside of our thermometer-budget for now.

I use a digital cooking thermometer like this one (Amazon link here) and it’s a kitchen necessity for preventing foodborne illness.

29. Tumbler

A decent tumbler is great to have on hand, especially if you like to drink tea or coffee from home (which is a fantastic way to save money!).

I remember the Christmas of 2013. It was my first Christmas as a “real adult” and I had graduated early from college literally four days before. I didn’t have a cent to my name and I optimized everything in my life to have a purpose.

That year I only requested useful gifts (when people asked what I wanted, of course, it wasn’t unprompted!). I exchanged gifts with my friend Jordan, who sent me a very nice metal Starbucks tumbler. IΒ  needed a tumbler since I’d started full-time work and needed a caffeine IV to stay awake for 9+ hours straight.

It’s four Christmases later and I still have that same tumbler. It’s easily one of the most useful gifts I’ve ever received.

Fortunately, high quality tumblers are pretty cheap these days. You can opt for a suspicious Yeti knockoff, like this one (Amazon link), or a snap-and-seal tumbler like this one (Amazon link).

I prefer the snap-and-seal lids so I can toss the tumbler in my purse without spilling coffee everywhere.

30. Cast iron skillet

Our cast iron skillet is one of the most versatile and loved items in our kitchen. It can sear steaks to perfection, bake a mean cornbread, and put a kiss of smoky flavor on caramelized onions.

cast iron pan

A cast iron skillet would be a perfect gift for anyone who doesn’t have a cast iron skillet. It’s seriously one of the best and most frugal kitchen items I could recommend.

I prefer to go with the tried-and-true Lodge brand cast iron pans (Amazon link here), but you can sometimes find them at the thrift store, too.

$50 Budget Range

I have to be honest here. I rarely am able to gift items in the $50 range by myself. Sometimes I’ll go in on a nicer gift with another family member to keep the budget under control. Here are a few of my favorite $50 holiday gift ideas.

1. Kitchen knife

You can get a kitchen knife for as low as $5. But any kitchen knife that you’ll want to keep for years will be around $50.

One decent chef’s knife will enable you to chop like the wind. Back in my fledgling adult years, I chopped everything with a set of dull hand-me-down steak knives. It looked like everything I cooked had been torn apart by raccoons. I had a friend who was in culinary school and she was horrified that I didn’t have one decent knife.

Now that I cook at home every day, I realize the need for a good knife. It depends on your taste, but a knife like this one on Amazon is a great starter knife (Amazon link here).

Remember to wash a nice knife by hand and to regularly sharpen it.

2. Craft Beer Club

While I would never buy something like this for myself, I think a subscription to a craft beer sampler could be really fun!

Mr. Picky Pincher is the beer-drinker in our house and he always laments about wanting to try lots of different craft beers. Sampler boxes like ones from Craft Beer Club are a great way to send the gift of beer to your buddy.

If you don’t want to subscribe them to Craft Beer Club, you could always use the $50 to buy a wide variety of single bottles of beer to make your own sampler.

craft beer club

3. Instant Pot

Y’all.

I wish I had heard of Instant Pot before I bought a pressure cooker and a crock pot. An Instant Pot is an insane all-in-one kitchen appliance. In one device you have a steamer, pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, and more. This item could easily replace several bulky items in my kitchen.

An Instant Pot is a great gift if you know someone who’s downsizing or someone who just bought a home. Hell, I want one just to minimize the amount ofΒ  crap in my kitchen.

You can check out the Instant Pot on Amazon (link here), where it’ll go for about $80. I recommend partnering up with another friend or family member to split the cost to $40 apiece.

4. Pasta roller

Although storebought pasta is cheap at $1 a pack, it’s still cheaper and tastier to make your own from scratch.Β I’ve attempted to make homemade pasta from scratch a few times and … it went not-wonderfully.

The issue was that I couldn’t roll my pasta dough thin enough to make the pasta a desirable (or edible) texture.

The key to a thin, beautiful pasta dough is using a pasta machine to roll it out. It’s the second best option to having an Italian grandma in your kitchen.

I like this pasta roller on Amazon (link here); it has good reviews and you can switch out attachments to make different types of pasta.

5. Reusable whiteboard notebook

I had no idea that reusable notebooks existed. I saw my coworker using one to take notes during a work function and I thought it was a brilliant idea. Unless you need to keep your notes (which isn’t often the case in our digital age), this is a space- and eco-friendly way to have a notebook.

My coworker had the Wipebook (Amazon link here), but there are a few different brands you can choose from. I know the Rocketbook starts at $20 if you’re looking for a more reasonable price point.

6. Electric kettle

An electric kettle was also one of those things that I subsisted without for a long time. To make my coffee, I would boil water in a pan on the stove. It took forever. Our electric kettle brings water to a full boil in less than two minutes. I use this kettle for damn near everything: coffee, boiling rice noodles, tea, etc.

You can get a nice electric kettle for $20 – $60. In the $50 range I like this kettle on Amazon (link here). I’ve also seen brand spankin’ new electric kettles in their boxes at Big Lots and even the thrift store.

Shop around both online and in-store, y’all.

7. Fermentation crock

Mr. Picky Pincher is in love with all things fermented.

He eats sauerkraut out of the jar with a spoon, for Pete’s sake. I’ve always wanted to get him a proper ceramic fermentation crock. These have been used for hundreds of years to ferment everything from sauerkraut to pickles.

While there are more fancy modern fermentation methods out there, a ceramic crock will last ages and has very few moving parts.

Crocks can be pretty expensive, but I found this one on Amazon (link here) in the $50 range.

8. Universal charging station

I have, like, four different areas where I charge my devices.

One spot for my phone, one for my iPod (yes, I still have an iPod), one for the Gameboy, and two areas for my laptops. It’s kind of annoying going from room to room to charge different devices.

For a more sane solution, they do make universal charging stations.

This sucker (Amazon link here) is designed to charge six different devices at once. You just connect your chargers on the back end and presto! Fully charged everything. It’s also nice because it prevents an unholy mess and tangle of chargers.

9. Solar-powered phone charger

While I really love my external charger, I do think upgrading to a solar-powered phone charger is a good idea. It’s a particularly nice item to have in our emergency essentials bag, as well.

You can snag a decent solar-powered phone charger here on Amazon (link here). This one comes with a flashlight.

10. Foldable street shoes

If you know a woman who commutes in heels, I salute her. It’s very, very difficult to commute by foot or public transportation while wearing heels for work. Many women opt for carrying a second pair of shoes with them to commute in comfort.

There are a lot of foldable commuter shoes out there, but women need something reliable and durable. These shoes are often cheaply made and break down after a few months.

I really like these stylish foldable flats (Amazon link here). They have a sturdy sole and are stylish enough to wear to work in case your high heels break.

11. A lightbox

Because I can be very cheap, I made a DIY lightbox a few months ago to take better photos (tutorial here if you want to make one on the cheap too).

However, if you know a budding photographer, they might not appreciate receiving a cut up cardboard box as their Christmas gift.

I found this LimoStudio lightbox on Amazon (link here) for $40. It helps you take insanely high quality photos thanks to a professional-looking background and solid LED lighting. This is great for photographers as well as people who sell online.

12. Stoneware chicken roaster

There are as many ways to roast a chicken as there are ways to season a chicken.

One of Mr. Picky Pincher’s favorite ways to roast a chicken is with a stoneware roaster. It has a slot in the middle of the pan for you to add beer, wine, or any other liquid to flavor the chicken. It’s a much healthier alternative to the time-honored recipe for beer can chicken (do you really want a beer can cooking inside your chicken…?).

These stoneware pans can be pretty pricey, but I found this one (Amazon link here) for under $50. You can occasionally find them at thrift stores, but people tend to hang onto these since they’re well-made.

13. Beer-making kit

Speaking of beer, a beer-making kit is a great gift idea for a budding brew master. I recommend starting with a smaller, more affordable kit like this one (Amazon link here) before advancing to the fancier kits.

We’re now able to save a lot of money each month because Mr. Picky Pincher now brews a lot of his own beer. It can be a pretty frugal endeavor, especially for beer lovers.

14. Ice cream maker

I’m going to preface this gift idea: I’ve seen far too many ice cream machines at Goodwill. If you do want to gift someone an ice cream machine, make sure that they’re actually going to use and enjoy it. It sucks that so many of these machines end up on Goodwill shelves!

With that said, a lot of people (myself included) love making their own ice cream. I’ve tried to do it without a machine and, while it technically makes ice cream, the texture is off. An ice cream machine makes the job much easier. I could see an ice cream maker as the perfect gift for people who love to cook and entertain.

It’s also nice for people who have allergies or want to control what’s in their ice cream.

I like this Cuisinart ice cream maker (link here).

15. A nice cutting board

A cutting board is one of those kitchen items that everyone needs. While we have a kitchen block, we also have a couple of cutting boards for different needs. A good cutting board is necessary for cleaner cuts and improved safety in the kitchen. And this is coming from a person who used to chop everything on plates – cutting boards are the shiz!

There’s a big debate between plastic or wood cutting boards. I’ve always preferred wood cutting boards. I found this very nice one on Amazon (link here) for under $40 that would look great in any kitchen.

16. This cat backpack


Okay, I admit that this isn’t useful or frugal in any way.

But if I’m making a list of gifts that I would want, this cat backpack is going to be on it. I’m sure Zap would freak out and be terrified the whole time, so I don’t think I’d actually buy it, but the idea is so adorable.

It would make him look like a fluffy widdle astronaut. πŸ™‚

17. Bonding Bees

Now that I’ve been married for a few years, I finally understand the challenge of making time just for myself and Mr. Picky Pincher to have a date night. It seems like we’re always tired or busy.

I stumbled upon Bonding Bees and I really like how it’s trying to bring couples together again. The basically deliver a “date in the mail” to a couple. The options start at one month of dates for $40.

The date ideas are a surprise, but as an example, they might send a themed Paris date night.

bonding bees

$100+ Budget Range

You can buy a lot of silly stuff for $100. To me, $100 is a lot of money. If I spend $100, it needs to be on something that can earn that money back, and then some.

These gift ideas might not be super-thrilling, but they’re great gifts for frugal-minded folks. Again, if $100 is way out of your budget, pair up with other friends or family members to split the cost.

1. Dehydrator

We used to have a crappy plastic dehydrator back in the day. It took days to dehydrate anything and it was made from rinky-dink parts. We ended up donating it to Goodwill once we had enough.

A few months ago we got more serious about preserving fruits and veggies from our garden. Instead of going back to a crappy plastic dehydrator, we updated to Excalibur (Amazon link here). This is the most badass dehydrator I’ve ever seen. It dries strawberries in one evening, where it took my old dehydrator two days.

2. Blender

Although I’m all about my Vitamix, I get that it isn’t the most affordable gift for Christmas. We owned a Ninja blender (Amazon link here) before our Vitamix. It did the job pretty well and stood up reasonably to anything we blended. I do think the Vitamix is better, but a Ninja is still a decent blender for the money.

3. Food sealer

Our food sealer has been a huge factor in reducing our food waste. We’re able to effectively preserve foods in our freezer for months without risking freezer burn. And that means saving money on our grocery bill. πŸ™‚

We purchased our food sealer on clearance at Cabela’s, but I did find this food sealer on Amazon that’s of similar quality (link here).

4. Fitness tracker

The holidays are a time of reflection for all of us. Many people are already thinking about the New Year’s resolutions, which usually include some kind of physical fitness goal. If you know a fitness junkie or know someone who would like to get in shape, a fitness tracker could be a useful and thoughtful gift.

These trackers can get really pricey, but fortunately competition has brought down the price a bit. This Fitbit (Amazon link here) goes for about $130 and has pretty good ratings.

5. Classes

With minimalism making a big comeback, many people prefer to opt for experiences instead of material goods as gifts. I love receiving pre-paid classes to new activities as a gift. This can include classes for painting, cooking, fitness, dancing, jewelry-making, and a lot more.

It sounds weird, but I like to look for local classes on Groupon to give as gifts. They’re sold at a discount already so they won’t hurt your budget.

6. Espresso machine

An espresso machine can be seen as a luxury, particularly if you don’t enjoy espresso regularly. However, Mr. Picky Pincher and I are coffee freaks and LOVE espresso. The downside was that we had to buy espresso at a coffee shop if we wanted it. Professional espresso machines were thousands of dollars, so we figured the cafe was the best option.

However, we soon realized more affordable espresso machines were out there. Were they as fancy? Nah, but they could still make good espresso. We splurged and bought this DeLonghi espresso machine (Amazon link here) to make our own espresso.

If you do buy someone an espresso machine, make sure they’re grinding their beans extremely fine to get the classic bold espresso flavor.

7. Solar oven

I had never heard of a solar oven until I read the Prudent Homemaker’s blog. She lives in Las Vegas and uses her solar oven during the hot months of the year to cook their food. Dinner gets on the table without heating up the house at all!

I want a solar oven so badly, especially since it gets so hot here in the summer. It’s a great way to minimize energy costs. I found this reasonably priced solar oven (Amazon link here) and it goes for about $160 – it includes relevant accessories too, so it’s not just the oven.

8. Hydroponic herb garden

I’m a big proponent of growing your food when you can. When we lived in an apartment we tried to grow our own herbs, but our north-facing balcony was a death sentence to anything we tried to grow. In hindsight I wish we’d opted for an indoor hydroponic herb garden. You can grow a variety of plants in a very small space with an all-in-one contraption like this one.

It’s also a nice option if you live in an area with extreme heat or cold that kills plants.

9. Standing desk

Y’ALL.

I’ve been working from home for over six months. One of the first things I did when I started my job was buy a standing desk for my home office. I was sick of the aches and pains from sitting all day.

behind the scenes filming

The standing desk!

This has easily been one of the best things I’ve ever bought. It’s an investment in my physical and metal health; I feel more alert and focused like never before. All because of standing instead of sitting!

The downside is that standing desks can get pricey. I opted for a well-made but reasonably priced wooden standing desk for $160. I got mine from Amazon (link here).

10. Sewing machine

For my 23rd birthday I was gifted Mr. Picky Pincher’s grandma’s sewing machine. I had no idea how to sew at the time and I was thinking of purchasing a machine so I could learn. This sewing machine has been one of the best little devices! I can make homemade dinner napkins, hem clothes, and even sew stuffed animals for my nieces and nephews.

A sewing machine is a great gift for crafty people who want to get creative with saving money. They don’t even make the brand of sewing machine that I have any more, but I trust any Brother brand sewing machine like this one (Amazon link here).

11. Weighted blanket

I had been eyeing weighted blankets for some time. They’re touted as a natural way to deal with stress and sleep issues. Since Mr. Picky Pincher tosses and turns each night, I bought him a weighted blanket for his birthday.

This weighted blanket is so badass that Mr. Picky Pincher, me, and even the cat fight over it. There is something so soothing and calming about the light pressure on your body.

A weighted blanket is a wonderful and cozy gift for anyone, but the company does say it’s great for people with sensory disorders, too. Here’s the blanket I got Mr. Picky Pincher on Amazon. If you don’t like the color or texture, they do sell separate covers, but at $60 a pop, I decided I didn’t care enough. πŸ˜›

12. Rechargeable toothbrush

Everyone brushes their teeth (or at least I hope so). While I enjoy the free toothbrushes I get every six months from my dentist, I admit I’ve swiped Mr. Picky Pincher’s rechargeable toothbrush a few times for a better clean.

Y’all. There’s a big difference in cleanliness between manual and electronic toothbrushes. I know it’s not a need of course, but I do think a rechargeable toothbrush is a great way to save more money on dental costs. It costs me $100 to get one cavity filled. If the nicer toothbrush prevents one cavity, it’s paid for itself.

I like this Oral-B toothbrush (Amazon link here). I really like that the toothbrush has Bluetooth and can tell you about your brushing habits through your phone.

13. Sunrise simulation alarm clock

Did you know that the most popular time for heart attacks is at 6 am? In my highly scientific musings, I like to think that’s because many Americans wake up at 6 am to go to work. You’re already stressed about the workday, and coupled with the sudden, shrill scream of an alarm, it’s no surprise to me that people have heart attacks at 6 am.

There’s a gentler way to wake up every morning that’s more in tune with your body’s rhythm. A sunrise alarm clock uses a gradual and gentle increase in light to wake you in the morning instead of sound. I like this Philips wake up clock (Amazon link here), although I admit I’m a little chicken to try it!

If you know someone who HATES their alarm clock and has difficulty waking in the morning, this could be a fun alternative approach.

The Bottom Line

I hope you’ve enjoyed this very thorough holiday gift guide for any budget.

At the end of the day, though, the holidays are about spending time with the ones you love. I know we like to focus on gift-giving, which is an important part of being generous during this season, but family and friends are the true reason for celebration.

Show your loved ones you care every day of the year. If that takes the form of gift-giving during the holidays, I hope this guide gave you a little inspiration. But don’t forget to make time to chat with the ones you love, whether it’s in person, over the phone, or even Skype.

We want to know: How do you show love during the holidays?


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