Some people possess an innate talent for thoughtful gift-giving. No matter the occasion or recipient, they somehow nail their gift selections year after year, cementing their status as favorite aunt/coworker/second-cousin-twice-removed.
On the other end of the spectrum, we all know that one misguided friend or family member who gifts the same scented lotion for every special occasion. Their go-to presents are boring at best, cringe-worthy at worst, and almost always end up relegated to the re-gift pile.
For those who aren’t naturally gifted at the art of giving, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. Below are 50 options guaranteed to help you rise through the ranks of gift-giver hierarchy — all for under $50.
Dash mini waffle maker
This fun-sized waffle maker is ideal for anyone who takes breakfast seriously — or really, for anyone who likes to get creative in the kitchen. A recipe book that outlines how to make everything from fluffy Belgian waffles to grilled sandwiches to flavorful fajitas is included with purchase, and a non-stick surface makes cooking easy and cleanup painless.
Breakfast sandwich maker
Forget about braving mind-boggling brunch lines for a savory breakfast. This ingenious device lets you whip up pro-level brekkie sandwiches — complete with eggs, cheese, veggies, or whatever inventive ingredients you care to include — in five minutes flat.
Prepara herb savor
Regardless of which side of the cilantro debate you’re on, we can all agree that stale herbs are the pits. The Herb Savor can help you prolong the life of an array of kitchen herbs by up to three weeks, and it’s specially designed to fit in a fridge door for easy storage.
KitchenAid Mini Food Processor
Slice, dice, and chop your way to Iron Chef status with this kitchen gadget that packs big punch in a bite-sized package. Whip up pico de gallo, mince garlic with the press of a button, or chop onions tears-free with this handy machine.
Dinosaur taco holder
Take your fiestas up a notch with this adorable taco holder that’s shaped like a Tyrannosaurus (also available in other dino-species). Perfect for kids or fun-loving adults, this unique utensil is the kitchen accessory you never knew you were missing in your life.
Gift this NutriChef Electric Crepe Maker & Griddle to your friends with creative culinary inclinations. From crepes and blintzes to home-style pancakes, this gadget will be a welcome addition to any brunch-lover’s kitchen collection.
Hot dog toaster
Nostalgia Electronics’ retro-style hot dog toaster will revolutionize your indoor BBQ game. The machine makes two hot dogs at a time while simultaneously toasting the buns — and it’s sure to be a hit with the whole family.
Self-stirring camera lens mug
There are casual coffee drinkers, and then there are those who can’t see colors in the morning before they’ve had their cup of joe. For the latter, this self-stirring mug will be a much-appreciated gift they’ll get use out of daily.
From the brand behind one of the hottest blenders on the market, this Ninja coffee bean grinder is a pro-grade accessory that’s perfect for any coffee connoisseur. It’s simple to use and grinds up to 60 grams of coffee at once.
HyperChiller iced coffee maker
The HyperChiller is the perfect present for the iced coffee aficionado in your life. It chills hot coffee in under a minute without diluting flavor, and is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
MiniPresso Portable Espresso Maker
This on-the-go espresso maker is downright adorable, as well as intuitive to use. Make espresso anywhere — camping, in the car, or on the morning commute — with the press of a button.
Cold Brew Maker
Go ahead and hit that snooze button — this cold brew iced coffee maker lets you create cold brew at home, so you can skip the morning shuffle through that outrageous line at the corner café.
Need a time out? There’s something truly mesmerizing about this futuristic-looking hourglass. Its wooden stand includes a strong magnet that molds magnetic sand into intriguing patterns at the base. A great gift idea for that friend who is known office-wide for their quirky desk tchotchkes.
It’s hard to keep track of little things like keys (and phones and wallets…) which is why the Tile Mate makes a great gift. Loop the Tile Mate through any keychain or attach it to anything you don’t want to lose. Then, when something’s nearby but out of sight, you can make the Tile ring to find it. Can’t find your phone? The Tile can make it ring — even if it’s on silent.
A rechargeable wireless mouse
Constantly-working people need a mouse that works just as hard as they do — we’re thinking a mouse that only needs to be charged once a month could do the trick. The tiny ergonomic shape optimizes comfort even for long periods of computer time and can be stored in a pocket for travel. The nearly 5,000 5-star reviews on Amazon mention that clicks are quiet and satisfying, likely adding some fun to a boring workday.
Sunrise Alarm Clock
If the sound of your smartphone’s default alarm prompts a Pavlovian reaction of undiluted rage, it’s time to reevaluate how you wake up in the morning. This alarm clock gradually increases or decreases brightness to mimic the rising or setting of the sun, and includes six adjustable, natural sounds for a much more Zen experience.
Himalayan Salt Lamp
These cool-looking lamps are more than just soothing to look at. It is believed that Himalayan salt lamps have a purifying effect on the air and emit calming vibes via ionization. Each of these lamps is uniquely crafted by hand and comes with a hand-carved wooden base. (Comes with two lamps!)
Mini Zen garden
For your friend or family member who has been trying to “get into” meditation for the past three years, this miniature Zen garden is a solid first step. The 9-inch by 9-inch rosewood frame makes a handsome addition to any desk, coffee table, or bookshelf.
Essential Oil Diffuser
This aromatherapy oil diffuser is great for anyone who can use a calming presence in their life. The diffuser features seven color settings and a lovely wood-grain look that will subtly complement any home’s aesthetic.
Bath Bomb Gift Set
Get mom up to speed on the bath bomb trend with this set by ArtNaturals. The kit includes 12 essential oil bath bombs with scents like coconut, lavender, aloe vera, seagrass, and green tea — and it’s perfect for a DIY spa day.
Wi-Fi Smart Plugs
For those interested in dabbling in the world of smart home accessories, a great place to start is with these easy-to-install smart outlets. Use these Wi-Fi outlets for tasks like brewing morning coffee from bed, putting nightlights on a timer, and monitoring household data.
Looking for a gift for that friend who can’t even keep succulents alive? Try opting for something a little more mechanical. These robotic dogs respond to commands to sit, walk, beg, sing, and even jump — no puppy potty pads required.
Makey Makey Invention Kit
This kit lets kids virtually connect with the world around them by turning everyday objects into connected keyboards. There are thousands of possibilities for the future engineer, inventor, or programmer to fiddle with — and it’s also a fun twist on family game night.
Bamboo Wireless Keyboard
This beautiful keyboard lends an island aesthetic to any home office. Both the keyboard and accompanying mouse wirelessly connect to your computer or gaming system, so you can keep your work station clear from cords and clutter.
Eufy Genie Smart Speaker
This speaker integrates with home voice-assistant technologies to bring you a fusion of smart-home seamlessness and high-tech tunes. It makes the perfect gift for your buddies on a first-name basis with Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and the whole AI gang.
Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
This waterproof portable speaker can withstand sun, sand, and surf. It’s sure to be appreciated by any frequent traveler, beach-junkie, camping buddy, or that friend who treats the shower like their personal concert hall.
Portable record player
Stuck on what to get your cousin who’s going through a serious hipster phase? Made by heritage brand Victrola, the portable record player comes in an attractive suitcase-style case and includes a turntable, speakers, and built-in Bluetooth technology.
The Echo Dot
A smart home isn’t complete without an Echo — and the newest Dot makes it easier than ever to add the convenience of Alexa to any room. The third generation Dot is the cutest yet, complete with better sound and microphones than earlier ones. They can control smart devices like lights or blinds, become a household intercom, order pizza or an Uber, and more. You’re basically gifting an easier (lazier) life, and who wouldn’t want that?
Scratch-off world map
Scratching new countries off this map will prove deeply satisfying for the world traveler in your life. These maps make the ultimate tagalong companion for any journey, and they’re a beautiful piece of wall art when you return home from your travels.
A truly utilitarian travel accessory, this all-in-one adapter brick is a must-pack item. This handy gadget lets you charge up to three devices at once and includes two USB charging ports.
Frequent travelers know that less is more when it comes to packing sensibly. Gift this packable backpack to your friend who swears by the carry-on-only approach to globetrotting.
French press travel mug
You can’t book a Parisian vacay for under $50, but you can gift this wonderful device that lets you take your French press coffee on the go. This durable mug holds 15 ounces of caffeinated goodness, is safe for dishwasher use, and comes with a spill-resistant lid.
Ostrich Pillow travel pillow
Okay, so it looks a little silly — but who wouldn’t love this? Made from high quality eiderdown cotton, the Ostrich Pillow works wonders as a neck pillow or eye mask for folks who are always on the go. The pillow is filled with coated microbeads and is perfectly adjustable. In addition, the travel pillow’s materials are breathable, so it’s never too hot when you’re wearing it around your neck or on your eyes.
For your outdoorsy friends or family members who want to stay connected while they commune with Mother Nature, this solar-powered charging bank is the perfect present. It features a durable design, high-capacity, and an LED flashlight to boot.
These agate accessories add a pop of color to any room, and make the ideal gift for your roommate who has been using the same stack of magazines as coasters for the past six months. At under $40, this set of four is a steal.
Carry On Cocktail Kit
Sometimes a little liquid courage is necessary to make the whole hurtling-through-the-air-in-an-oversized-sardine-can thing a little more tolerable. The Carry On Cocktail Kit is a classy addition to any traveler’s arsenal, and easily fits into a dopp kit.
Self-Chilling Wine Glasses
Rosé that’s been chilled to the perfect temperature is surely among life’s most satisfying little pleasures. These beautiful glasses come with freezable inserts to keep beverages cold for half an hour.
Glass wine carafe
Up your bar cart accessory game with this Sagaform wine carafe. The hand-blown glass container holds 67 ounces, is dishwasher safe, and looks simply lovely as a centerpiece. This classic glassware may look expensive, but won’t break the bank.
Death Star Ice Mold
Whisky stones are so last year. This ice mold is perfect for the whisky or Scotch enthusiast who frequently brings up The Force in casual conversation. In addition to ice, this silicone mold lets you get creative with homemade chocolates or other Death-Star-shaped delicacies.
Everyone has that one friend who talks about their pet as if it were a human child. These backpack cases make an incredible gift for such loved ones. With a hard-sided, semi-sphere outer shell, these carrier cases are a fun way to blast off about town with your furry companions.
A selfie stick for dogs
For girls who like dogs more than they like people, Pooch Selfie is the selfie stick alternative made specifically for taking pictures with doggos. Clip it to your phone and show Fido the tennis ball on top. Pooch Selfie gets him or her to do the impossible: Actually look at the camera, basically guaranteeing money shot after money shot. (There’s also one with a little bell for cats.)
Gummi Bear Skeleton Model
Perfect for your cousin getting a PhD in high-fructose-corn-syrup studies, this gift is guaranteed to make an intriguing conversation piece, if nothing else. This skeletal model of one of the world’s most beloved gelatinous candies comes with instructions for easy assembly.
If the zombie apocalypse or The Walking Dead is a hot topic of conversation at your family’s dinner table or if your friend group schedules an annual Dawn of the Dead viewing party, these slippers are sure to be a hit. One size fits most.
For your cosplaying, tech-loving, utterly un-self-conscious friends, these elf earbuds are sure to get a laugh. They’re ergonomically designed and made of silicone, so they make a surprisingly comfortable accessory for Comic-Con or otherwise.
Onesies have made a serious comeback in the past few years. This unicorn one is a versatile addition to any pajama wardrobe, whether you’re looking for the perfect themed-party outfit or just want an adorable way to get cozy during cuffing season.
This retro gumball machine is a dose of childhood nostalgia, and makes a great gift for that coworker with a sense of humor and a sweet tooth. The mini machine really works — it accepts coins and holds up to 50 gumballs.
What Do You Meme?
Bring your favorite memes from the internet into the living room with this trendy game. It makes the ideal gift for your friend who incessantly tags you in memes on every imaginable form of social media.
Cutthroat competition meets strategic reasoning in this popular game, illustrated by the cartoonist behind webcomic site The Oatmeal. This family-friendly version of the game comes complete with an illustrated set of cards, instructions, and hours of entertainment.
Mini flip cup
If the person you’re buying for loves playing flip cup but wants more of a challenge, this game from SCIENZ miniaturizes the experience with tiny red cups on a wooden plank. Instead of using their hands to flip the cups, they’ll have to use their fingers and the plank’s flippers. This is a fun game for anyone who is a beer lover or anyone who wants to relive college on a smaller scale.
An anti-soggy cereal bowl
We’ll state the obvious: Soggy cereal is nasty, bro. If the person you’re gifting to is a cereal-every-morning person (or just doesn’t like their food to touch), this compartment bowl is a simple life hack. The spiral slide design is good to keep milk separate from cereal to keep it crunchy, and makes snacks like chips and salsa way easier.