50 Cheap Gifts Your Friends Will Never Know Cost Less Than $10
It’s the most wonderful time of the year and for many of us, it’s also the most expensive. Finding a thoughtful gift can be challenging and end up hurting your wallet more than you’d like. It’s enough to fill even the most savvy shopper with dread.
This year in particular promises to present some challenges. Supply chain shortages may prevent some gifts from making it under the tree in time. Inflation continues to affect the cost of everyday items, including things you might give as gifts.
Despite all this, finding fun ideas for the best gifts and stocking stuffers for your friend or family member doesn’t have to stress you out. (Although it’s a good idea to start shopping early — if you haven’t already — to make sure the gifts you want to buy are in stock.)
Here are 50 of the best cheap gifts for $10 or less that will please even the pickiest of recipients at your next gift exchange.
Note: Prices may fluctuate.
Gifts for Around the House
These great holiday gift ideas will please everyone on your Christmas gift list — not just the homebodies. And to make it even better, these are all practical gifts as well! Pretty much anyone on your gift list would be thrilled to unwrap one of these presents this year.
1. Novelty Tea Infusers: $8.99
Got a tea enthusiast on your list? This tea infuser is dishwasher-safe, super cute and will make the next cup of tea a whale of a good time.
Or try these adorable owls who look like they’re having a real hoot in your cup ($9.99).
There are several tea infuser options to choose from depending on the tea lover’s interests. This is one of the best gifts (and the most practical) for your friend who sips tea all winter long
2. Cat Coffee Cup Cozy: $7
Who doesn’t love sipping a hot cuppa while curled up on a frosty day?
For the friend whose lap cat will inevitably complete that picture, consider this cute hand-crocheted cozy. They could even use it at coffee shops and help save paper sleeves.
3. Little Bird Wine Stopper: $8.99
If your friend is more of a bird person than a cat person, these bird-shaped wine stoppers are the perfect present for keeping bottles of wine fresh between glasses.
A wine stopper makes the perfect stocking stuffer for a gift recipient who loves wine, and you can find affordable ones to match your friend’s personality.
Oh, and don’t forget …
4. Glass Markers: $8.66
Help your friends keep their paws off other people’s glasses at the next party with these adorable cat glass markers.
5. Cheese Knives: $8.95 each
If you thought the best gift for the cheese-lover in your life didn’t exist, think again!
Just one of these cheese knives takes a plate of cheese from an appetizer to a display worthy of any get-together.
Or, you know, a fancy Friday night by yourself. We don’t judge!
6. Kitty Ice Cube Molds: $9.99
In addition to using the molds for ice, you can also use them to make novelty chocolate or gummies! Talk about a two-for-one deal.
7. Glass Plant Mister: $7.78
For the plant person in your life, this old-fashioned glass mister is something you can leave on the counter without hesitation.
And if you know any gardeners in training, these elephant watering cans ($8.69) are a delightful way to encourage little green thumbs.
8. Rustic Dog Dish Towel: $6.59
Don’t throw in the towel on finding a cheap gift for dog lovers just yet. These rustic kitchen towels are on sale and there are also versions for cat people as well.
Need more dogs in the kitchen? These dog-shaped bottle openers are on standby with a different version for every breed.
9. Reusable Silicone Baking Cups: $7.99
Give the baker in your life something sweet with this set of 12 silicone baking cups in rainbow colors. They’re safe to reuse and put in the microwave, dishwasher, and oven.
10. Scarf Hanger: $9.97
If your loved one struggles with storage tactics for a plethora of scarves, here’s a gift that’ll help get them organized. They likely don’t even know they need a scarf hanger.
This hanger displays and organizes scarves (or belts! or ties!) in your closet so they’re easily accessible and wrinkle-free. Plus, it’ll make your closet look much more tidy and organized, and might even encourage you to organize the rest of it!
11. Succulent Plant Set: $9.99
Trendy succulents look like a cactus, but they’re quite a bit harder to care for. For those of us without a green thumb, enter this fake mini-succulent set with all of the same style and none of the hard work.
You can also get hanging glass planters ($8.99) and make your own succulent terrariums with a little sand and ingenuity.
12. Scented Candles: $7.19
A beautiful soy wax scented candle can brighten any space. You can find them in a variety of scents with essential oils to fit any mood or preference.
If you’re shopping for several people, you could even check out listings for wedding favors and get a really nice gift quite cheaply (like a bit over $2 a piece).
13. Moon-Shaped Ceramic Dish: $7.75
Whether it’s to wrangle stray jewelry or set down a spent tea bag, these little moon-shaped dishes come in a variety of colors and work for anyone on your list. As an added bonus, they won’t cost you much at all.
14. Personal Photos: 12 Cents+ Each
There’s just something about a tangible personal photo that the digital file lacks. You can get prints of your best memories online at vendors like Mpix for cents on the dollar or you can check out what Target and Walmart have to offer.
You don’t even have to buy a frame. You could string up your photos with wooden clothespins for a cheap, but romantic, option. Many vendors also sell canvas prints or other configurations of your photos at good prices.
If you do go shopping for frames, though, you can find cheap ones in a variety of sizes. They make the best gifts for the friend who loves to display photos around the house.
15. Just Crunch Anti-Soggy Cereal Bowl: $7.99
Nothing ruins your Raisin Bran like a slightly too-long milk bath. Get the breakfast lover in your life the Just Crunch Anti-Soggy cereal bowl to keep them crunching all the way through the Saturday morning news — or cartoons.
On a similar note …
16. French Fry Dipping Cone: $5.99
Dishwasher safe and not just for fries, the french fry dipping cone is a convenient and attractive way to serve finger foods and dip. Your lucky recipient can make burger and fry night at home feel like a night out at the local diner!
Less mess on the cheap! What’s not to love?
17. Spoon Rests: $7.99
On-the-pot spoon rests are a great gift for your aspiring-chef friend who’s still a little messy in the kitchen. Help them get organized and stop splattering chili on their countertops with this convenient gadget.
You might even want to add an extra one to your cart if your cooking style tends to leave stirring spoons behind.
Health & Beauty Gifts
Everyone deserves a little pampering, so why not wrap some up for your favorite people this year. These luxurious products all promise the gift of self-care at a price that won’t break your budget.
18. Handmade Soaps or Bath Bombs: $3.67+
There are tons of options for sensitive skin on Etsy, but higher-traffic brick-and-mortar stores offer quality products at only slightly higher prices. You may even be lucky enough to find cruelty-free handmade beauty items at your local grocery store.
19. Lip Balm Set: $9.49
Lip balm is a great gift because it’s practical, but you can also get lip gloss with fancy scents and packaging to make it feel more special.
This organic lip balm six pack is a steal at $9.49. You can also check out this one, which is around $10. Alternatively, check out the beauty aisle next time you go grocery shopping for even more options. You can even grab a pack of hair ties for a couple of bucks to make a super practical beauty gift.
20. Hand Sanitizer Holder: $8.50
Carrying hand sanitizer around is just a thing we do now. Make it classy with a coordinated holder in a fashionable fabric like this floral keychain version.
If flowers feel a little fancy, you can opt for this low-key black leather squeeze ($5.95) that also includes a no-touch door opener attachment.
21. Face Masks: $8
Indulge in a little luxury tied up in a tres chic package with this mini-house of masks kit. This set has five hyaluronic sheet masks that are said to boost elasticity and smooth wrinkles.
Looking for something trendy? These FaceTory sheet masks ($9.95) are the talk of the town and come in a variety pack that includes intriguing names like “Moon Velvet” and “Glow Baby, Glow.”
The way to pretty much anyone’s heart is through the stomach. Even if you’re no gourmand, you can give awesome edible gifts this holiday season! These are sure to be the favorite gifts for the foodies in your life.
22. Beer Marshmallows: $8.75
While you’re at it, grab a few sets for yourself to roast over an open fire this holiday season!
23. Good Chocolate: $3.60 to $10
This listing on Amazon for Ghirardelli chocolate with sea salt is $43.15 for 12 extra dark chocolate bars, which means you’d spend about $3.60 on each lucky recipient — and maybe even keep a bar for yourself. But you can head to your local grocery store and stalk the candy aisle for lots of options for less than $5.
If you want to get really fancy, some single-origin, small-batch chocolate bars can cost up to $10 or even more — but are well worth the price to the true chocolate snob on your list.
24. Good Tea: $10
Shop around; there are tons of flavors available for good teas. You can find a large selection of flavored tea bags online or even at the store while you’re grabbing your weekly food haul.
Plus, lots of tea bags come in pretty, reusable tins that serve as decorative organization — all for around $15.
25. Cookie or Brownie Mix in a Jar: $3
You don’t have to be super-crafty to DIY a great gift like cookie or brownie mix in jars. Mason jars usually come in packages of 12 for a couple of bucks apiece — or check out your local thrift store to find ’em for as low as a quarter.
Then, scour the web for tons of creative recipe ideas. In most cases, the ingredients for a single jar shouldn’t cost you more than a dollar, especially if you’re planning to make quite a few and buy your sugar and flour in bulk.
Write an instruction card for your recipient and decorate the jar with ribbon. You just gave someone a cheap, useful and beautiful gift!
26. Movie Theater Popcorn Seasoning: $9.25
Make movie night feel like the big screen with this theater popcorn seasoning foodies swear by. Or dip your toes into a little flavor experience with this set of artisan popcorn and seasonings ($7.34).
And what would movie night be without the old school popcorn carton. You can get a reusable, plastic set of 4 popcorn containers for ($8.99).
27. Really (Really) Good Honey: $7.50
Stubbees specializes in raw, creamed, flavored honeys. Pioneered by a 21-year-old beekeeper in the Jacksonville, Florida, area, this honey isn’t just delicious; it also supports a cool small business co-founded by a young entrepreneur.
The cinnamon flavor is a popular one, but there are tons of flavors to choose from, including seasonal flavors like pumpkin spice and vanilla bean.
If you’d rather shop for local honey, check out this website to help you find honey farmers in your area. Local honey is said to be good for seasonal allergies, so this can be a wonderful gift if your friend or relative suffers from allergies.
28. Hot Sauce Set: $10
Know someone who likes the hot stuff? Give a little sample with this hot sauce set that runs the gamut from spicy sweet to super hot.
29. Gourmet Barbecue Sauces: $8.95+
There’s nothing like a good barbecue sauce to put the finishing touch on a backyard grilling session.
For Friends at Work or Secret Santa
You might not know some folks on your list that well. Maybe you only see them around the office. Here are some non-Starbucks-gift-card gift options.
30. Picture Message Desktop Flipbook: $9.97
Looking for the perfect gift for your office worker friend? Look no further than this desktop picture flipbook.
This flipbook is a cute cubicle addition with 29 messages to choose from, from “Out of Office” to “Longest Day Ever!”
31. The Seven-Year Pen: $8.95
Work with someone who takes a ton of notes? This unassuming, eco-friendly seven-year pen can write 6.5 feet per day for seven years — and it’s refillable. That’s a lot of on-hold scribbling for a bit over a buck a year.
32. Desktop Boxing: $9.95
Know a coworker who could use a moment to vent? Tell them to knock themselves out with this desktop boxing set complete with a mini punching bag.
33. Cute Food-Themed Erasers: $6.99
Come on, these food-themed erasers are pretty adorable, right? A quick, cheap, safe bet for any secret Santa recipient — even if you only ever exchange niceties around the Keurig.
Wearables and Accessories
Buying for a fashionista this year? Here are some independently selected options that make the best gifts.
34. Scarves: $10 or less
You can never go wrong with scarves. They’re fashionable, versatile and come in enough fun colors to get your loved ones a couple.
Plus, your recipient will have a use for the scarf hanger listed above!
35. Magnetic Wristband: $7.05
Put what you wear to work for you with this magnetic wristband. Perfect for holding screws and nails, this little piece of velcro can save a lot of hassle during the next IKEA project.
And if that’s not the right tool for the job, you can also get this magnetic wristband ($9.91) for hair stylists designed to hold bobby pins, scissors, and more.
36. Heart Earrings: $10
Tiny heart earrings are unassuming and adorable, plus they’d go with anything.
37. Wildflower Crown Knitting Pattern: $4
If you’re crafty, you could make a friend this everlasting flower crown for $4 plus the cost of yarn. If you know a crafty person, you could give her the pattern itself as a gift!
38. T-Shirts: $6.50
Since there are so many options for novelty T-shirts, you’re sure to find something for anyone on your list. Even those hard-to-buy-for folks who seem to have everything need T-shirts!
Etsy has lots of funky designs and sellers often take their tees to less than $10 to clear out overstocked shops
Tech Gifts Under $10
You might assume that tech gifts are expensive, but there are plenty of cute (and useful) accessories and gear that run on the cheap side.
39. Cell Phone Stand: $9.99
Is your techy friend getting carpal tunnel from holding her phone so much? Enter the hands-free cell phone stand, which is great at a desk or for following a recipe in the kitchen.
40. Cable Management System: $8.99
Wires, wires everywhere. How many of us suffer from this problem?
This cable management system is sleek and would help streamline anyone’s workspace.
41. Novelty USB Flash Drive: $9.99
Everyone needs portable storage these days, so why not pick a cute flash drive?
Even better: Fill it with fun personal stuff, like date photos or favorite songs. It’s the 21st-century mix tape!
42. AirPods Case: $8.99
Adorable doesn’t seem to quite cover this avocado AirPods case, which comes with its own case and keychain.
43. Blue Light Blocking Glasses: $6.99
For screen addicts, blue light pollution can be a real thing. Enter blue light blocking glasses like these trendy, clear-framed ones. They come in multiple colors and promise to filter out up to 35% of blue light.
And for the older crowd, you can get this set of blue light blocking glasses ($9.99) that also double as readers.
44. Winter Touchscreen Gloves: $8.99
One of the most obnoxious problems of the modern world is using touchscreens when you’re wearing gloves. Enter touchscreen-friendly gloves in several colors that keep your digits warm and your digital world connected.
If the silicon gel gloves aren’t stylish enough, rock a pair of fingerless gloves ($6.99) over on Etsy instead.
From an on-the-go light to blank pages to carry in your pocket, these gifts will make anyone on your list grin.
45. Pocket Light: $10
Ever get home late at night and can’t get your key in the door? Or maybe you’re out at a bar and someone loses an earring?
No more scrambling to keep your cell phone screen active with a credit card pocket light that’s the side of a credit card. Flip open your wallet and save the day!
46. Harry Potter Platform 9 3/4 Keychain: $4.99
For the die-hard Harry Potter fan on your list, you can’t go wrong with a Platform 9¾ keychain that costs $5.
47. Notebooks: $4.97 for six
You can never go wrong with a cute notebook, even in our deeply digital days. There are still plenty of people out there who like to use notebooks for journaling or writing lists. A notebook might even be the place where your bestie starts the great American novel or your honey scribbles a poem for you.
Moleskines are quality, beautiful and come in lots of different colors, and you get three for less than $10!
48. Crossword Puzzle Book: $9.39
If you don’t have a clue what to get a crossword puzzle guru, this New York Times Greatest Hits Crossword Puzzle book would like a word.
There’s a version for every day of the week — yes, even Monday ($8.99). And if crosswords don’t fill the right spaces, you can always lean into freeform word formation with a magnetic poetry set ($8.95).
49. Travel Utensils Set: $9.99
The luxury of having your own washable utensils is really quite affordable with utensil sets like these that include reusable straws, a cleaning brush to wash them and even chopsticks. They even come in fun colors.
And if you want to add a personal touch, there are a slew of options on Etsy for customizing silverware like this engraved spoon ($9.99).
50. Gift Cards: $10 or less
A $10 gift card to Starbucks or Panera can actually get you a decent amount of stuff (hello, iced coffee or cold brew). You could even buy a discounted gift card for less than face value and save even more money.
With a little creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, you can find the perfect holiday gift without breaking the bank. Sometimes, the best gifts don’t necessarily cost you an arm and a leg.
Good luck, and happy shopping.
Kaz Weida is a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder. Freelance writer Catherine Hiles contributed.