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The holidays are around the corner and last-minute gifts are top of mind. The list of friends, family, co-workers and loved ones you’ll be gifting to this year can get pretty extensive, but a thoughtful gift doesn’t have to also cost a lot, though prices are increasingly volatile as inflation causes prices to spike across retailers.
Fortunately, there are plenty of gifting options across tech, apparel, home and kitchen and more that can still fall within any budget. To help you find the best gifts under $50, we combed through our past coverage with a focus on Select reader favorites and selected highly rated products worth considering right now.
15 best gifts to shop under $50
To strike up some inspiration through your holiday gift shopping and determine the best gifts under $50, we rounded up some affordable gift ideas based on our previous coverage, reader interest and Select writer picks.
The Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook is a great eco-friendly and reusable smart notebook — you write with the provided stylus and scan it with your smartphone. Once you’re done, you can use water to clear the page and use it again. It’s also compatible with a variety of different cloud storage devices, including Google Drive and Dropbox.
This silk eye mask from Select reader favorite Brooklinen is breathable, machine-washable and lightweight. The mask is cool to the touch and won’t leave lines, and the smooth finish protects your skin from friction damage, according to Brooklinen. It also uses an elastic band wrapped in the same mulberry silk fabric and comes in several colors, including Ivory, Emerald and Celestial.
Included in our guide to waffle makers, this is a simple and affordable gift option for a friend or family member. It features an 8-inch nonstick plate and adjustable temperature control using a dial at the top of the device — the indicator light beneath the dial lets you know if it’s on and when you can start pouring in your batter.
Voluspa candles not only smell amazing, they’re also pleasing to look at: Once the candle is gone, the glass container becomes an appealing jar. This option includes notes of Goji Berry, Ripe Mango and Tarocco Orange. Select editor Morgan Greenwald called the tropical fruity scent “sweet but not overwhelming” and noted the 18-ounce candle “can last for months.” If you’re willing to spend a little more, Voluspa also released a mini candle Advent Calendar.
One of our picks for the best smart plugs, the highly rated Amazon Smart Plug is compact enough that it won’t block a second wall outlet, according to Amazon. You can toggle on your home appliances, from fans to coffee makers, or schedule lighting fixtures to turn on and off when you need. Since the smart plug is also compatible with Amazon Alexa, you can set a routine for lights, fans and other appliances.
The Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker is great for if you “need enough cold brew to last you a few days,” Graham Peeples, director of beverage at Methodical Coffee, told us in our guide to cold brew coffee makers. The 2-quart carafe features a fine mesh filter and can brew up to four servings of coffee, according to the brand. You can also purchase this coffee maker in a 1-quart size.
One of the most popular board games for adults and a great gift for board game enthusiasts, Catan lets players build settlements and expand roads, upgrade cities and earn development cards. The game does require critical thinking from the moment you place your first settlement, so it’s on the more involved and strategic side of classic board games.
For the wine lovers in your life, experts recommended this aerator from Vinturi in our guide to wine decanters and aerators. This device aerates the wine — which enhances the taste — in seconds, according to the brand. You simply hold the aerator over a glass and pour the wine through. It’s equipped with a filter screen to catch sediment and cork, and comes with a no-drip stand for easy storage.
We previously pointed out this portable speaker by Tribit as a budget Bluetooth speaker that can be used continuously for up to 24 hours of playtime, according to the brand. The compact XSound Go, available in either Black or Blue, also has a water-resistance rating of IPX7 and can connect to any Bluetooth-enabled device up to 100 feet away.
One of our favorite all-in-one trimmers, this multipurpose tool from Philips comes with 23 pieces, including a foil shaver and a nose and ear trimmer, to cover multiple trimming needs. It also features a five-hour rechargeable battery, reinforced trimming guards and self-sharpening blades that can last up to five years, according to the brand.
These popular ankle weights are available in 1 and 2 pounds, making them a great gift for those hoping to enhance their Pilates workouts. “They are an ideal tool to use when looking to add smaller increments of resistance and strengthen muscle groups,” Kristina Jennings, a certified strength and conditioning specialist with fitness training app Masters, told us in our guide to buying ankle and wrist weights. They also come in a variety of colors, including Blush Pink, Deep Blue and Charcoal.
This bottle from W&P features an insulated stainless steel core and ceramic coating to ensure liquids don’t touch metal. Greenwald noted she was “pleasantly surprised” by how well this bottle retained the temperature of her drinks — it can keep drinks hot for 12 hours and cold for 24 hours, according to the brand. “I've primarily used it for my ice water so far, and when I leave it on my nightstand overnight, I wake up to intact ice cubes,” she said, adding that the bottle's silicone coating is also “sleek and smooth to the touch.”
For the sweets lover in your life, this assorted gift box from Cheryl’s Cookies comes with your choice of 12 to 200 holiday-themed buttercream cookies and can be delivered to your giftee. Some notable cookie flavors included in the gift box are frosted gingerbread, s’mores, mint chocolate and mocha latte.
Stasher bags are great for saving space in a small kitchen while serving as a sustainable alternative to disposable plastic baggies. Select writer Zoe Malin previously called Stasher “the best eco-friendly bags for your kitchen” because they’re multipurpose: You can store food on the go, in the fridge and in the freezer. They’re also safe to put in the dishwasher, microwave and oven up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the brand.
A bathtub caddy can be a good way to relax and unwind by letting you set up a station with your phone or tablet, a good book, your favorite drink and more. This durable bamboo option has a protective waterproof coating so you can use it worry-free in the bath, according to the seller. The handles can extend from about 28 inches when closed to approximately 41 inches, and the nonslip silicone grips also keep the tray from sliding.