When your holiday shopping list is bigger than your bank account, it can create an incredible amount of stress. Do you splurge to see the smile on someone’s face or do you save and see disappointment? There has to be a happy medium, right? I have rounded up the best gifts under $30 because, for some reason, that dollar mark seems to be the ideal amount to spend. It doesn’t seem too extravagant, but you didn’t just hit up the Dollar Store either. Don’t wait until the last minute, shop now and relax!
I joined Windy City Live recently to share my favorite gifts under $30, check out the clip and read on for more picks!
The Cocktail or Smoothie Queen
Plastic straws have been a hot-button issue as of late- Americans use an estimated 500 million straws per day. The material traditional straws are made from does not biodegrade and is almost impossible to recycle. So…where to they go? A staggering amount is ending up in our waterways, harming wildlife. Green Straw Club has created affordable, reusable and biodegradable straws- yes, you and your friends/family need them in your life.
Green Straw Club has three styles- paper with a gorge bamboo print for parties when you have dozens of people sucking out of straws and can’t fathom supplying or washing reusable ones. Stainless steel with silicone tips for every day at home beverage consumption, plus they come with two cleaning brushes and a carrying pouch. There is also a silicone option, which is ideal for shakes, smoothies and even hot drinks. The stainless steel and silicone straws are even dishwasher safe.
Pair some straws with ingredients for a smoothie, or a cute cocktail glass and mini bottles of booze for the perfect, earth-friendly under $30 gift.
Do you have a friend that you affectionately call “The Bag Lady?” She will only use reusable totes, she is that gal who has some stashed for every grocery run (where the rest of us stew in embarrassment at the checkout because we forgot ours…again). I discovered an adorable line of totes from RuMe. All RuMe styles are the ultimate reusable organizers and carry-alls, and their totes hold up to 50lbs which is ideal for canned items or heavy liquids at the grocery store. My favorite is their Baggie-Alls, which are mini bags with zippered compartments for storing everything from wipes to makeup to snacks.
The On-The-Go Friend
Do you have that person on your list who doesn’t seem to sit down? They are always rushing from one event to the other, seemingly ten places at once? Otterbox, the creator of the #1 selling rugged smartphone case in the US, came out with a line of equally rugged tumblers for all occasions. Otterbox Elevation Tumblers are double-walled, stainless-steel drinkware with a copper lining. Elevation lids can be swapped to transform your drinkware and are available in different size and color options, including wine tumblers and growlers. Pair this with their favorite beverage and you are good to go- it is one of those ideal gifts under $30 for that friend who is running to and fro.
Have a friend with a total sweet tooth, but don’t want to grab a boring, basic box of chocolates? Simply Mithai (meaning “sweet”), a Chicago-based small business, creates gorgeous hand-painted hot chocolate ornaments. To use, you simply heat milk to a simmer and drop the entire ornament in. The milk almost shimmers as you stir, and you are left with a delicious hot chocolate including marshmallows! Ambreen, the owner of Simply Mithai, believes that to celebrate a happy occasion we must celebrate with something beautiful. This ornament definitely hits the mark!
Hostess with the Mostess
Yes, your pal who loves to entertain might seem like he enjoys mixing up hand-crafted cocktails for every single guest, but give ’em a break! Stirrings Cocktail Mixers are the perfect gift under $30 this holiday season, especially best sellers like the Margarita Mix or Dirty Martini Mix. There’s something for everyone and every drink, no matter the occasion and you can pair with a bottle of their favorite liquor to give to the hostess or host. You can even visit the Stirrings website to make your own gift set, or pick up individual ones at Binny’s (’cause lord knows that the staff even recognizes my kids at this point).
There are those guys on your list who just love the traditional “guy” stuff (even though girls love it too!). You know what I mean, all things power tools, sports, and meat. For this toughie on your list, Man Crates is a simple option. Their crates all have unique themes and specially curated items for the different guys in your life and they actually come with a crowbar to open the crate, so the experience of opening the gift is part of the gift! They do have options for a gift under $30, like this Baconology Kit, or a “Jerkey Heart.”
Coffee Addict or Health Nut
There are people I know who won’t even open their mouth unless they have had a cup of coffee (*raises hand*). It is more than just the caffeine hit for me, it is the ritualistic and symbolic start to my day. Unfortunately, there are other things I should be doing in the morning as well, like take vitamins (never missed a cup of coffee, but can only manage to remember vitamins once a week). VitaCup has a Probiotic Blend, which is a gourmet coffee pod infused with a unique combination of probiotics, prebiotics, and essential vitamins to help your body stay balanced from within. Genius. Your coffee-loving friend AND healthy nut pals will love this product- a total 2-in-1. This gift under $30 is sure a useful one the morning after all those holiday parties!
Spa and Skincare Lover
Now, I am a subscriber of allllll things beauty. Ipsy, Birchbox, Sephora, the list goes on. What I didn’t know, though, is that it takes less than one minute for chemicals from makeup or skin products to enter the bloodstream and altering your health. Freaky? Totally. Sonia Marie Core Beauty products are 100% natural and organic and actually work. The perfect set for your spa-friendly gal pal who is on her feet all day but wants to crash at night is their Blister Block + Deep Sleep Spray.
Have you tried to buy a bottle of water at the airport lately? I purchased one the other day and I think it was more than a beer. I love to bring my own water bottle, but my go-to is incredibly bulky. Hydaway is a collapsible 18oz. water bottle that can clip right on your backpack, laptop case or even belt loop. It has a wide mouth for easy cleaning and is dishwasher safe. I also love that it fits in most cupholders- nothing is more annoying than a water bottle bouncing around the car. It is available in 9 colors and two lid options- spout and traditional cap lid.
Cheers to not breaking the bank but still showing those you love just how much you care! Happy holidays my friends, let’s make it one to remember.
Disclosure: I received certain items for review purposes, but all opinions are honest and my own as always.