Let’s face it, everyone’s more careful with money these days.
After several years of dealing with thrifty consumers, retailers have gotten the message and even high-end department stores such as Nordstrom, and specialty stores like Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel, are offering a wide range of gifts that cost less than $25.
This is good news if you are hunting for small gifts for stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, or items to say thank you to a teacher or co-worker.
Click ahead to see some great gift ideas that cost less than $25.
By Christina Cheddar-Berk
Posted 14 November 2011
Washi Tea Tins
Price: $10.95 per tin, plus the price of tea
Nothing is as comforting on a cold winter’s night as a mug of warm tea. Retailer Teavanahas a wide assortment of teas and tea tins to choose from to customize your gift.
The air-tight tins are decorated with washi paper, which is made by hand, typically from mulberry paper. There are a number of designs, and each is accented with gold and features traditional Japanese symbols and scenes. Each holds five ounces of tea, and promises to keep the tea fresh for up to a year.
20Q Artificial Intelligence Game
Do you remember playing the game 20 questions when you were a kid? Now you can play it by yourself. This little gadget from Mattel’s Radica will ask you 20 questions to narrow down what you’re thinking. If its first guess is wrong, it will ask you five more questions and take a final stab at it. You can answer yes, no, sometimes, or unknown. The fun here is that its success rate is pretty impressive.
Price $8 to $10
This holiday season we’ll be seeing quite a number of products based on popular smartphone apps, such as “Angry Birds,” as well as some based on Internet sensations like the “Annoying Orange” web series.
Created by Dane Boedigheimer, the “Annoying Orange” is a comedy series that features a variety of talking fruits and vegetables, and boasts more than 800 million views on You Tube.
Plush toys, clip-ons, and collectible figures in the product line are being created by toymaker The Bridge Direct, which had a huge hit last year with its exclusive Justin Bieber dolls.
If you’re not familiar with the “Annoying Orange” series, you owe it yourself to check this out: “The Annoying Orange Meets Santa.”
Carole Feather & Chain Cascade Earrings
Here’s a fashion trend that won’t bleed your bank account dry. Celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Selena Gomez, Ashanti, and Heidi Klum have all been spotted wearing everything from peacock to neon feathers in their ears. To hop on the trend, check out Nordstrom, which is selling a number of feather earrings and necklaces, all priced under $25.
Never be without a bottle opener again. The back of this iPhone case doubles as a bottle opener, and comes in sizes to fit an iPhone 3G, 3GS, and iPhone 4. Sure, you can have a bottle opener on your keychain, but let’s face it, you probably forget your keys more often than you forget your phone.
Organization Pads & Checklists
The website Knock Knock carries a wide range of stationary and other gifts that are great for co-workers and friends with a good sense of humor. The items are priced as low as $3.75. They include sticky notes that are sure to get a chuckle, as well as useful notepads that can help you be more organized. For example, the “Pack This! Pad” helps you remember what items to bring along on trips, and the “All Out Of” grocery checklist will make it more likely that you’ll remember to bring home the milk. The “What to Eat” pad may be helpful when you try to lose those holiday pounds as part of your New Year’s resolution.
You want to stay connected, but you want to stay warm, too. Last year, many people were touting gloves without fingertips that allowed you to operate your smartphones and MP3 players, but why expose your fingers to the elements if you don’t have to?
Digits are mini conductive pins that attach to the gloves you already have so that you can keep your hands toasty and use electronic touch-screen devices, even when it’s below zero.
The Brigitte Babydoll
Who says you can’t be romantic on a budget. Frederick’s of Hollywood has a wide selection of lingerie items priced under $25. The Brigitte babydoll is one example. It’s a top-seller, and in red, with its shining satin bow, it is very festive for the holidays.
You can also buy perfume for less than $25. One great pick is the Ultimate Eau de Parfum Gift Set from Victoria’s Secret, which sells for $25 and includes samples of 12 of the company’s scents.
Monogrammed Beer Pitcher
Price $15, plus monogramming fee
Put a personal touch on your gift and still stay on budget. The beer pitcher from Pottery Barn is a great addition to a home bar. It’s holds 60 fluid ounces, and is designed to look like pitchers found it pubs around the world. Even with the monogramming fee, the cost of this pitcher is less than $25.
If you want to splurge a bit more, there are matching beer mugs that cost $9 apiece. They can be monogrammed for an additional charge, as well.
Adding a monogram is a great way to show that you put a little extra thought and time into your gift.
Electronic Book or Magazine
For those who love their Kindles and Nooks, why not buy a digital book or magazine subscription. Check out Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble’s for suggestions.
There are many choices for food gifts that will delight without running up debt. These Jalapeno Meltawaysare an offbeat choice. They feature a creamy milk chocolate center, with a kick of jalapeno covered in dark chocolate and sprinkled with black sea salt. Packed in a green tin, they are not your usual chocolates.