We have a Framily Christmas with a group of our friends, and we used to all give each other gifts every year. The gift pile was enormous, and we got pretty good at scoring a lot of gifts on a budget. Last year, we switched to a Secret Santa model with a spending limit, so we could focus on getting just one person stellar gifts with our $125. That meant if you wanted to get someone more than one item, you had to be smart with your money.
Summer / Kat is really good at getting meaningful gifts, and I’m really good at hunting for deals so when you put us together you have the ultimate gift-giving duo. Whether you need a stocking stuffer, you’re buying gifts for your kid’s teachers, or you just have to bring something to the office gift exchange, we’ve all been stuck trying to find a gift that the recipient will appreciate but that won’t break the bank. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite things under $30 to help keep your friends happy and your bank account happier.
1. Zojirushi Travel Mug / $22-26
Summer / This mug come in two sizes and several colors—I personally have the 16 oz Smoky Blue version and before that I had Champagne Gold. I use this thing every day, even if I’m not going anywhere. If I’m headed to work, I just slide the lock and toss it in my bag, it never leaks. It keeps my coffee (or anything else I put it in) warm FOREVER. I once made tea in it and it was still burn-your-tongue hot by lunch. I will recommend this thing to anyone who will listen, I even convinced Kathryn to buy her uncle one last Christmas. If you need further proof, see my favorite review of this mug ever:
2. Target Faux Fur Lined Mules / $25
Kathryn / EVERYONE is wearing these, including us. Last year, I gave a pair of these to both my mom and my aunt. They were a HIT. I wanted to get myself a pair, but put it off until they were no longer in stock. I coveted them for almost an entire year and thank goodness they’re back! If your intended recipient has wide feet, it’s best to size up.
3. Blue Light Glasses / $17
Summer / Do you have anyone in your life that stares at a screen for a living and refuses to protect their eyes from the blue light? I do, her name is Kathryn. These glasses come in a ton of colors and make the perfect addition to your stubborn loved one’s work wardrobe.
4. Letterboard / $20
Kathryn / What instagram dreams are made of. These letter boards are cute, functional, and picture perfect. They make a great gift for anyone, especially a friend or loved one who might have big life events coming up (graduation, weddings, baby, moving). As a bonus, give it to the recipient with a message already on it so you can take a picture together!
5. Snake Plant / $14
Summer / Plants make people happy! It’s a proven fact, look it up. If you know someone that could use a little greenery in their life but doesn’t have a green thumb, this snake plant is the perfect solution. I have one of these in my office that I haven’t watered for over a month and it still looks green as the day I brought it to work. Bonus, this company will deliver the plant for you so no struggling to transport a pot of dirt in your car.
6. Electric Corkscrew / $20
Kathryn / I went to a white elephant party last year where an electric corkscrew was ALL the rage. We fought over it like crazy, and sadly the corkscrew did not make it home with me. I did, however, put one on our wedding registry! I love it because it makes opening a bottle of wine a breeze, and is the perfect thing to gift to a party hostess, white elephant party, or to the wine lover in your life.
7. Huggie Small Hoop Earrings / $13
Kathryn / Gift giving/receiving is my love language, and these earrings are a special pair that both Summer and I own. Back in July, I was leaving a company that I loved to start a new job without regular travel. I had a week in between jobs, and my husband and I spent it with Summer and her boyfriend in Oxford. One day, we came home from running errands and Summer asked me to grab the mail. I handed her an amazon package, which she handed right back to me—”it’s for you.” Confused, I opened the package to find a cute, simple pair of earrings and a note that made me tear up. I should mention that I was at a point in my life where I was wearing the same pair of semi-loud earrings every single day, because they were comfy enough to sleep in and keep in all the time—I’m bad about going long periods of time without wearing earrings so my holes close up. The earrings in question clashed with just about any other jewelry I owned. Summer knew I needed a simple pair that was comfy enough to sleep in, so she bought them for herself a week earlier to test drive them for me.
8. Wacky Inflatable Desk Tube / $9
Kathryn / I have a thing about taking a video with a wacky inflatable balloon tube every time I see one at a bar. It’s the #1 thing I can do to make my husband giggle every time. I found a desk size version on amazon and it’s my new favorite office friend. It entertained my husband and every one of my work teammates. This is a fun gift for a white elephant, a coworker, a kid, or even a cat! Mine loved it and thought it was her new favorite toy… until I took it away.
We hope you found the perfect gift you were looking for under $30. Stay tuned for more holiday gift guides from us!
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