The most expensive time of the year is upon us, and to save you time and money, we're taking on the role of Santa's little helper to guide you through the season. Our strategy: Go for useful, smaller-ticket items like stocking stuffers and travel-size products from your favorite brands. A thoughtful, beautifully wrapped present that comes with a personal note is what good gifts are made of.
While Free People's gift shop has plenty of cold-weather accessories for under $50, and Lululemon and Anthropologie have everything from headbands to festive mugs for less than $20, we combed through our favorite retailers to bring you this list of buzzy, affordable options. It has something for everyone — even dear ol' Grandma — and nothing is over $50. These well-designed presents are sure to not only spark joy but also earn you the title of Gift-Giver of the Year.
Ahead, browse our 16 best cheap gifts. We're starting off with our most affordable gift yet at just $3. (Yes, $3.)
Gifts Under $10
When your budget is under $10, practicality is your love language. Hair ties for the gym are tiny miracles, and a headband offers an easy out on a bad hair day. For your holiday-obsessed friend who started putting up Christmas decor on November 1, we have a couple more jolly essentials to gift them with Target's holiday steals. You can present each item individually, or if your budget allows, put together themed sets to suit the recipient.
Gifts Under $20
On a $20 budget, you can definitely peruse the beauty, accessories, and fashion sections. Your bestie who always complains of chapped lips will swoon over Laneige's new peppermint lip balm. And your sister who has amassed dark circles binge-watching Christmas movies will be thankful for 24K-gold snail mucin eye patches. If you have room in your budget, package all your little stocking stuffers into the Uniqlo shoulder bag— something I did for a best friend's birthday — and skip the gift wrap.
Gifts Under $30
Whether you want to surprise your camping-loving S.O. with an indoor s'mores maker or gift Grandma a festive monogram mug, you'll find it in our under-$30 gifts. Plus, these items work together for a stylish, cozy day in — if you want to build out a themed present for someone in need of R&R.
Gifts Under $50
These under-$50 gifts feel a bit more lux. If you're searching for a trendy beauty set from a trustworthy brand, we recommend Summer Friday's Lip Butter Balm (an editors' favorite). For winter sports enthusiasts, try a balaclava that'll keep them warm on top of the mountain and stylish around the bonfire.
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