Welcome to the most underrated category of gift guide season: Under $50. Except guys, like the headline here says, “budget” doesn’t have to mean boring (or unthoughtful). In fact, stretching a budget probably involves MORE thought about what makes your giftee tick. Are they into the outdoors? Do they prefer staying in on a Friday night over partying the night away? Do they have all the newest gadgets and gizmos? What does their home look like? WHO are they really? Once you’ve fully realized the intricacies that make up the subject of your gift-giving, you are ready for some creative shopping. The key is letting the person know that you really understand them and with the aid of categories to sort through your options and a little probing, we are going to find the perfect gift together. Are you ready to WOW everyone with your thoughtfulness (and thriftiness…even if they don’t have to know that)??? Me too. Let’s get started.
GoPro Performance Chest Mount, $29: Hands-free GoPro-ing is something only few among us can understand. This is for the rough terrain mountain bikers, the free solo climbers, the THRILL SEEKERS. You know who they are because they’ve told you about their recent adventure only about a dozen times.
Insulated Cart Cooler with Wheeled Trolley, $47: This isn’t a normal cooler, it’s a cool cooler…in that when you’re all done with it, it folds up (the trolley and the insulated bag) for easy transport and. storage.
OuterEQ Portable Parachute Camping Hammock, $20 and Eagles Nest Outfitters Atlas Hammock Straps, $21: Adventurous people love sleeping outdoors and will scoff at you and your cozy tent (don’t even get them started about campers and never, I repeat NEVER, mention the word glamping). They need FRESH AIR and BUGS and the FEAR of being eaten alive. Gift them this hammock set up and they will love you forever.
The Bucket List: 1,000 Adventures Big & Small, $22 and Travel Smart All In One Adapter, $20: Maybe your adventurer needs a little inspiration. Gift them this book with over 1,000 ideas plus a travel all-in-one device adapter so they’re covered no matter where that nomad ends up.
The Worse Case Scenario Survival Handbook, $14: Outdoor activities can be treacherous and the adventurer must be prepared for anything. Lest we forget the boy scout’s honor: “Always Be Prepared” (or something like that).
Thermos Stainless King 16 Ounce Food Jar with Folding Spoon, $16: The adventurer in your life goes on extensive hikes and camping trips and may be in need of a warm meal on the go more than you think. Or perhaps they may require a place to stash their “adult drink” to whip out at the end of their vigorous trek as reward. In any case, they will get a ton of use out of this Thermos that is perfectly compact, keeps hot things hot for 7 hours and cold things cold for 9, and comes with a spoon.
Leather Charger Roll Up, $49: This, my friends, is the classiest way to transport your charging devices and for those tech-savvy people in your life, you can bet they have several that need transporting. Arlyn has this in burgundy and says it’s the only way she can keep her cords in decent shape on the go.
Anker 2-Port PowerPort 24W Wall Charger, $18 and Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable, $29: The Apple Watch-wearing tech guru cannot be caught in such an uncompromising position as having two devices’ battery trickling down to 10% with only one wall port accessible. That will not do, and this will be their saving grace. (Plus, no-one likes someone who takes up multiple ports at the coffee shop).
Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard, $20: Apple can say what they want, but typing on keyboards is MUCH easier than on a touch screen. I am sure tech lovers can agree, so gift them this bad boy that hooks up to ALL their devices.
Belkin 10K Portable Power Bank, $40: As we all know, devices always need charging in the most inconvenient of times/places. Consider that problem solved with this portable power bank that has enough juice for three recharges.
Smart Wi-Fi Plug 4 Pack, $50: Yes, the techie has lots of electronics that need charging but they aren’t monsters. They, too, want to save energy when their devices are not in use. The solution? This Wi-Fi plug that can be turned off and on remotely with just a tap on your iPhone (as can whatever is plugged into it).
Balance Ritual Kit, $49: Life, as they say, is all about balance. Balance can be tough to achieve, so thankfully scientists (ha) put this kit together for us. For your friend who loves a healing stone, this is the gift for them.
Kin Euphorics, $39: I’m not saying self-care fanatics are boring…it’s probably safe to say most LOVE a party and a good time, but also probably hate a Saturday morning that is wasted due to Friday night’s debauchery. Enter Kin Euphorics, which will have them joining in on the fun without the morning after pains. A non-alcoholic drink has never been more enticing.
Gemstone Facial Roller, $24: Say hello to the holy grail of millennial skincare routines. Stone face rollers are said to move out old facial fluid (reducing puffiness) and bring in the new, which re-oxygenates the skin and keeps it healthy. Your friend who prefers a Friday night in amongst face masks and bath bombs will be adding this to their routine faster than a 25-year-old can say “student loan forgiveness.”
Kiehl’s Men’s Skincare Starter Kit, $39: If we learned anything in 2019, it is that everyone is searching for their perfect skincare routine. This starter kit is going to get the ball rolling and the skin glowing.
The Original CBD Bath Bomb Set of Two, $22: No self-care kit is complete without a bath bomb. Mix that with the relaxation power of CBD and you may never see your friend again. Now the only question is, who doesn’t need a CBD-infused bath bomb?
Sleep Mist, $32 and KITSCH Rituals Satin Pillowcase, $20: Nothing says I take my self care rituals very seriously like a lavender and chamomile infused mist that is to be sprayed on a satin pillowcase every evening (good for the hair and skin, FYI). Enough said.
Copenhagen Salt & Pepper Mills, from $24: The luxury lover would not deign to have ordinary salt and pepper shakers living on their counters. Pish posh. They require an elevated seasoning experience, and this set will deliver just that (and yes, they are PRETTY).
Leather Pouch Clutch, $50: It’s personal, practical, and elegant. BOOM. Perfect gift. Oh, and you can get it monogrammed, because #luxury. (Arlyn has owned this for years and swears by its practicality and durability, too, so there’s that.)
Marquee Box, $47: What’s that? A small whimsical box that can house such items as antique jewelry or fresh mints? Yes, yes it is. And it also happens to be the perfect addition to your friend’s coffee table.
Paris by Design Book, $30: Paris is probably this person’s absolute DREAM vacation spot. You can’t afford a trip to the magical city (c’est la vie) but at least you can remind them how real their love is with this book that is part travel guide part dreamy inspiration.
Seasonal Mini Candle Set, $35: This person likely already has a small army of candles, and gets EXCITED whenever they add more to their collection. This seasonal set will show them how much you pay attention AND that you encourage their obsession.
The “Keep It Simple” Friend
The Original Bialetti Moka Express 3 Cup Stovetop Coffee Maker, $25: Sometimes, the simple thing is the best thing. This coffee maker is hip, practical, and will look GREAT on your minimalist friend’s kitchen counter.
Stoneware Ceramic Mugs Set of 4, $38: These stoneware mugs will get anyone’s morning off to a good start, and we anticipate it’ll soon fall into “favorite mug” category.
Tiny Locket Necklace, $35: A locket necklace is simple, elegant, and straight to the point (and somehow nostalgic?). Insert a tiny sentiment inside and you will win Secret Santa.
Women’s Dezo Slippers, $23: Yes, the minimalist (“keep it simple-er”?) loves beautiful things, but they also admire the sensible things that make life more comfortable. Enter these insanely soft and comfy slippers that would be a treat for anyone’s feet.
Carbon Offsets Gift Card, Terrapass, $50: Not to be a Debbie Downer, but according to Terrapass, the average person produces 36,000 lbs. of CO2 emissions each year, or about 3,000 lbs. each month. I am no scientist, but that feels like a lot. Give someone the gift of a guilt-free conscious by giving back to Mother Earth (they make sure your donations go to projects and organizations that are actively working to reduce harmful emissions).
HydroFlask, $45: You know what the most adult drink ever is? Water. We need it to survive yet it seems our entire childhoods are based around trying to not drink the stuff. For your on-the-go friend who needs to stay hydrated and hates single-use plastic water bottles, the Hydro Flask is going to be their new best friend (literally every person in our office has—and loves—one).
Gift Card to The Real Real, $50: This is for your fashion-obsessed friend who also happens to despise going to the mall, is on a budget, and loves vintage designer. This is also for anyone who simply loves a great deal and prefers to buy second hand. Okay, maybe this is a great gift for ANYONE because guys, we are talking 90% off retail price on lightly used designer and high-end goods. And as we all know shopping second hand is always more sustainable than purchasing brand new, so you’re doing the earth a big favor, too.
Six Seasons A New Way With Vegetables by Joshua McFadden, $20: You may be thinking to yourself, what does cooking/eating vegetables have to to do with the earth? GREAT QUESTION. Studies show that eating less meat (or becoming a vegetarian) is the simplest way you can reduce your personal impact on the earth. What a relief! That is easy enough, especially with the aid of this highly recommended vegetable recipe book.
Reusable Travel Flatware, $14 and HAY Swirl Glass Sip Straw Set, $25: No earth-conscious minded person wants to show up to the break room with plastic utensils wrapped in even more plastic, which makes this gorgeous utensil set and reusable straws the perfect gift for your friend who loves takeout.
Compost Bin, $22, Jobe’s Organics Compost Starter, $8 and Composting for a New Generation by Michelle Balz, $15: Gifting someone what is essentially a waste disposal kit is probably not what you had in mind as being “thoughtful,” but hear me out. If the recipient of said gift is environmentally conscious, they likely have thought about composting at some point, and have spent a considerable amount of time googling “how to start composting without a backyard” and “indoor compost bin that doesn’t smell.” They will be so happy you did all the work for them and will be stoked to share the news that they are a composting aficionado.
Pine Beach Reusable Storage Bags, $12: We all know one person who always has the snacks on hand. Help them nix their Ziplock bag habit with these bad boys (that happen to be a lot easier on the eyes not to mention far less wasteful). Cheez-It’s are just as delicious in a reusable container, I promise.
Wool Dryer Balls, $24: We all love our clothes coming out of the dryer lint- and wrinkle-free. It’s just a fact of life. Another fact of life is that no one likes forgetting to buy dryer sheets at the store for the third time in the row. For your semi-forgetful friend who appreciates a good life hack may we suggest: dryer balls. They’ll last for over 1,000 loads, help clothes to dry faster (i.e. less electricity being used) and are way better for our environment. Thank me later.
Need more gift ideas? We’re rolling them out this week and next, but here’s what’s live so far:
***photography by Veronica Crawford, styling by Jess Bunge and Arlyn Hernandez