11 Gifts Under $25 to Make the Holidays More Affordable

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Family members exchanging Christmas gifts
Yuganov Konstantin / Shutterstock.com

Who doesn’t want to save on holiday gifts? It’s hard to shell out hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars in a single month. And it’s not just the gifts. Consider what you spend on decorations, travel expenses, food, drinks and maybe even a new Christmas outfit.

The National Retail Federation says the average American plans to spend $998 on gifts, decorations and other holiday items in 2020. Gifts account for more than $650 of that.

You can easily reuse decorations and cut back on the big meal — especially with this year’s smaller gatherings. Saving on those presents, however, requires a little more time and diligence.

On the bright side, there’s a lot you can do to cut costs, from cashing in on rebate services like Rakuten to watching out for holiday gifts to go on sale at Amazon. But before you do any of that, check out all the popular products you can get for $25 or less.

You’ll likely be pleasantly surprised by what your money can buy. But grab these gifts before it’s too late. The prices might hit the mark, but shipping times can be unpredictable during the holidays.

Bestselling memoir

Woman reading a book
Andrii Kobryn / Shutterstock.com

Memoirs are rich with anecdotes that provide insight and inspiration. The only problem is trying to choose the best book.

Memoirs that have made The New York Times’ Best Sellers lists recently include Barack Obama’s “A Promised Land.” For someone who needs a message of hope and resilience, there’s Michael J. Fox’s memoir or Matthew McConaughey’s unconventional wisdom in “Greenlights.”

Other autobiographical books that have reached top-seller status on Amazon this year include Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” and “My Own Words” by Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Adult coloring book with coloring pencils

Man using an adult coloring book
Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com

Adult coloring books not only help pass the time, but they’re an effective way to relax the mind and de-stress. After so many months shuttered inside, these books have become a coronavirus pandemic must-have. In fact, there’s a humorous, swear-word-filled adult coloring book specifically designed to help people release all that pent-up frustration.

Of course, there are plenty of milder coloring book themes, from flower designs to animal designs with intricate details.

If you really want to make someone’s day, throw in a set of colored pencils. Coloring books tend to be on the cheaper side, leaving you plenty of money for the add-on.

Hand warmer

Zippo refillable hand warmer
Zippo / Amazon

The cold bites. Help someone bite back with handy-dandy hand warmers. The ever-reliable Zippo brand makes hand warmers that last for hours. Its Ultimate Hand Warmer Gift Set promises a six-hour run time before it needs refilling.


LifeStraw personal water filter
LifeStraw / Amazon

The LifeStraw seems to be a perennial bestseller on Amazon. In fact, it was a hot-ticket item during the most recent Prime Day. And it might prove to be the most useful gift in an apocalyptic year like 2020.

What’s so great about LifeStraw? This award-winning personal water filter is designed to clean up to 1,000 gallons of contaminated water without any batteries or moving parts, removing 99.9% of waterborne bacteria and parasites. Weighing a mere two ounces, it’s extremely portable.

Pocket-size multi-tool

Gentleman's Hardware pocket-size multi-tool
Gentleman’s Hardware / Amazon

For the adventure-seeker, handyman or person who already has everything, a compact multi-tool might be the answer.

The Gentlemen’s Hardware brand makes a few credit card-sized options, including a stainless steel 10-in-1 tool with a can opener and screwdriver, as well as a 5-in-1 keychain multi-tool that features a straight-edge knife and LED flashlight.

Gourmet tea sampler

Woman relaxing holding a coffee
Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock.com

Gourmet tea samplers come in a variety of flavors and sensations that are sure to please any palate.

This Pukka Herbs gift box features 45 sachets of herbal teas. The selection includes blends like Elderberry & Echinacea, Three Ginger and Turmeric Gold. Self-proclaimed tea connoisseurs, however, might prefer a loose-leaf collection like Tea Forte’s World of Teas sampler.

Self-care gift set

The Body Shop gift set
The Body Shop / Amazon

You could spend several hours and far too much money searching for luxury skincare products that work together. Or, you could buy a self-care gift set and call it a day. This time of year, many beauty brands wrap up samplings of their best products. Oftentimes, the packaging itself is so festive and elegant, you can hand over the set exactly as it comes.

L’Occitane en Provence, for one, has created ornament tins filled with shower soap, body lotion and hand cream, among other types of sets. The Body Shop is also known for its ready-to-go packaging. If you’re looking for top-sellers, Burt’s Bees has quite the selection.

Portable Bluetooth speaker

Portable Bluetooth speaker by Bitty Boomers
Bitty Boomers / Amazon

Portable Bluetooth speakers are both small and wireless, allowing you to stream music from your phone but listen with the powerful sound of a speaker. They make great gifts for tech-savvy friends, as well as people who are always on the move.

Portable Bluetooth speakers come in all shapes and sizes, from speakers with a built-in microphone for taking phone calls to speakers shaped like Star Wars characters.

Mini waffle maker

Dash mini waffle maker
Dash / Amazon

For a fraction of the cost of a full-sized waffle maker, you can get a 4-inch Dash waffle iron. It cooks all the same favorites – waffles, hash browns, paninis and more – just in single-serving portions. This iron has a nonstick surface that heats up in a matter of minutes. And, Dash makes it in several colors and designs. They have a leopard print and a galaxy design and even a heart-shaped-waffle maker.

Mini power bank

Anker PowerCore Mini power bank
Anker / Amazon

A working smartphone is also important in an emergency situation. Enter portable power banks like the Anker PowerCore+ Mini. It’s the size of a lipstick tube and can take an iPhone X from empty to 80% of its battery capacity.

Tile Mate

Tile Mate
Tile Mate / Amazon

Know someone who is always losing their stuff or leaving it behind? An item finder like the Tile Mate could be their new best friend and personal assistant. This Bluetooth tracker helps locate keys, briefcases, lunch boxes and other small items. It can even track down a smartphone on silent.

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