Listen up. We know it’s the season for giving, but what do you do when you’ve got a to-shop-for list longer than a CVS receipt? You’ll go broke trying to keep everyone happy, so here are some of our favorite low-cost gifts so you can keep on giving without giving up.
All of the things on this list have been carefully curated by the KnowTechie staff, either from prior reviews or from extensive research into what people on sites like Reddit and Twitter have been raving about. Mainly, it’s a lot of stuff we wouldn’t mind being gifted ourselves. Some are useful, some not so much, but they’re all going to turn the holiday cheer up to 11.
Here are some of the best gifts you can give for less than $50
Kingston DataTraveler Bolt 64GB ($45)
If you know someone who takes lots of pictures and complains about them always taking up space on their iPhone, you absolutely need to get them this. It’s like a flash drive for iPhones and lets users back up or transfer their camera roll on the fly. No need to spend countless hours deleting images or files to clear up space. Just plug this into an iPhone and you’re good to go.
Logitech MX Anywhere 2 Wireless Mouse ($50)
Finding a good mouse these days can prove rather difficult. Additionally, finding a mouse that can work on any surface, including glass is even harder. Thankfully, the Logitech MX Anywhere 2S mouse is here to save the day.
All the features you know and love from the original are still here, but the MX Anywhere 2S adds in Logitech’s new FLOW cross-computer control, which lets you use one mouse to control multiple computers at once, and even copy and paste content between them. Even if you never use that feature though, it’s a great mouse with 70-day battery life, a best-in-class sensor, and easy Bluetooth or USB pairing to up to three devices. Not bad for $50.
Pale Blue Rechargeable Smart Batteries ($22-$50)
Let’s face it, batteries are expensive and they’re a massive pain to find when you really need them. And that’s if you have any in your home – in most cases this isn’t’ the case. These Pale Blue Smart Batteries solves this simple solution. These are rechargeable batteries that you charge with a micro USB cable. It’s genius actually. Not to mention, it’s a whole lot better for the environment too.
If you’re someone who burns through a lot of batteries or knows someone who does, this makes for the perfect gift. Depending on which batteries you choose, price range from $22-$50. But you can get the complete package of AA and AAA batteries for $50.
Clocky Alarm Clock on Wheels ($40)
Waking up in the mornings can be tough for some folks. Some harder than others. If this sounds like someone you know, do them a favor and bless them with this. It’s an alarm clock on wheels. When the alarm goes off, this little sucker runs away from you, forcing you to get out of bed to turn it off. But be warned, it’s not so easy. It’s a neat little gag gift, but at the same time, it does what it’s advertised to do.
Amazon Fire Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote ($50)
If you know your recipient is an Amazon Prime member, you might want to consider the latest Amazon Fire Stick streaming player instead of the Roku. They’re similarly specced, with 4K content streaming and a huge content library. With the Fire Stick being linked to your Amazon account, it really is the simplest way to enjoy all the perks of Prime membership.
Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa is baked in, so you won’t have to lift a finger to find something to watch – something all-too-important in that post-holiday meal carb coma.
Tesla Coil Lighter ($17)
If there’s a smoker in your life, here’s something cool you can give them. This lighter requires no butane – you charge it like any ordinary gadget. The lighter works by creating an electric arc at the press of a button. Since the lighter doesn’t use a flame, it essentially makes it windproof. No more lighter fluid refills or throwing out those cheap plastic lighters. Not to mention, it’s a whole lot cooler than a traditional Zippo lighter.
iClever Wireless Folding Keyboard ($49)
If you know someone who’s constantly traveling for work or personal reasons, this would make a great gift. With this folding keyboard, users can turn any mobile phone or tablet into a full-fledged workstation. This is great for folks who prefer to travel light and not carry a heavy laptop bag around.
eufy Smart Scale P1 ($45)
Gifting this to someone might give them the wrong idea, so yea, this is a fair warning. But in all seriousness, if you’re close to someone who’s health-minded, this makes a great gift. It’s not your ordinary scale, this puppy is packed with a buttload of features.
You get pretty much every feature you can think of when it comes to a smart scale. This means the ability to track every insight into your body. This includes weight, body fat, BMI, bone mass, muscle mass, and more. You can even send all these insights to third-party health apps like Apple Health, Google Fit, and Fitbit. There’s a mess of other features, so we recommend checking out the product page.
Novelkeys Laser Glow Deskpads ($30)
For $30, you can put a warm glow on someone’s cheeks as well as their desk, with the Novelkeys range of glowing deskpads. This version is from the popular Laser colorway, and has EL-wire that’s powered by a microUSB port. I’ve got a couple of these and they’re fantastic for finding things late at night, or just adding that little bit of mood lighting while you work.
Echo Dot (3rd Gen – $50)
The gateway into Alexa is the Echo Dot, with the diminutive smart speaker often being way below the normal $50 price. It’s a great gift for those who already have everything and might do with an arbiter to fix arguments over statistics, or just to control the lights for that special mood.
Audible – 3-Month Subscription ($45)
Audible is arguably the leader in the audiobook market. A three-month subscription to it is a great gift for the bookworm who is always on the go and doesn’t want to grab a book before they walk out the door. It’s also nice hearing narration of certain autobiographies. Like Henry Rollins.
13W Universal Foldable Solar Charger ($40)
Alright, let’s face it, having to charge your smartphone or any other type of gadget while you’re away from a reliable power source is extremely stress-inducing.
If you know someone that is always scrounging around for a charger and likes to spend time outdoors, this could be a great gift. For $39.99 you get a charger that can put out 13W so you can charge smartphones or tablets while out in the wilderness.
Trade Coffee Subscription ($12-$22)
If you have a coffee-drinking fiend in your life, gifting them a coffee-subscription is the way to go. And Trade Coffee is one of our favorites in this space.
With this coffee subscription from Trade, you’ll get a selection of over 400 varieties of coffees from independent coffee roasters from all over the country, algorithmically selected based on your input. Gift Subscriptions start at $40.
Nebula Explore ($30)
Nebula provides a private and secure way to learn what your genes say about your traits and ancestry. Along with receiving deeper insights into their health, Nebula lets users share their results with genetic researchers. And, to sweeten the deal for those interested, those who do end up sharing will be paid.
Another differentiator is the core technology behind Nebula, the oft-reported blockchain, that adds an extra layer of privacy for those who may feel initially uncomfortable to share. Which, all things considered, that’s a valid concern. Nebula offers a couple of options when it comes to pricing, but to get someone started, it will just set you back $30.
Google Nest Mini ($50)
If you know your friends are Google fans, get the new Nest Mini, the first device from the meshing of Nest and Google Home. It’s got Google Assistant, better bass, and an inbuilt mount so you can stick it on your wall without additional hardware. Forget Elf on a Shelf this holiday, get an Assistant nailed to a Wall.
Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball Mouse ($50)
Anyone who works in design or games a lot on their PC needs a good computer mouse. Logitech’s M570 mouse is not only designed for comfort but for longevity. Just one AA battery can last up to 18 months. Which is great for those same design workers who may travel a lot.
Anker PowerCore 13000 Charger ($32)
You can never go wrong with giving someone a power bank as a gift. And Anker is among one of the leaders in the market.
The 13000 PowerCore contains enough, well, power to charge nearly all of the major smartphones. And there are two USB ports to charge more than one device, which is great.
Roku Streaming Stick+ ($50)
Give the gift of 4K this holiday, with the Roku Streaming Stick+. It’s got HDR, better WiFi than the last-gen, and it’ll hide behind the TV so you don’t need shelf space. Perfect for watching Die Hard again, after all, it’s the Christmas movie to end all Christmas movies. Yippee Kai Ayy!
WowWee Pinkfong Baby Shark Official Dancing Doll ($30)
I promise this isn’t on the list just so I can make some Baby Shark jokes. Yes, you know the song by now. If you don’t, consider yourself lucky, then buy this for your nephews and nieces so you can be the cool relative this holiday season.
This officially-licensed plush Baby Shark sings and dances to the English version of the hit song, and there are some surprise reactions if you call his name, “baby shark.” Guaranteed to get the earworm of a song stuck in anyone’s head over the turkey.
OFUSHO Bluetooth 5.0 152H Ear Buds ($40)
There are a lot of great wireless earbuds, but the OFUSHO 152H Ear Buds come with a stylish charging case that helps make carrying them on the go easier. The earbuds also look nice and are water-resistant.
Jacriah Soundbar ($36 – 49)
A lot of soundbars can be extra pricey, but Jacriah’s soundbars have quality sound and everything you could need to appreciate a big action flick (Die Hard, obviously) or the Super Bowl…’s commercials. Also, this soundbar comes in different colors and in different sizes. All for a good price.
Anker PowerCore 1000mAh portable battery pack ($25)
If there’s one thing on this list someone will surely appreciate getting, it’s without a doubt this $25 portable battery pack from Anker. I mean, who doesn’t need one of these? These things can come in an insanely clutch when you really need them.
Whether you need to charge your smartphone, camera, or a Nintendo Switch – this puppy can handle all of it with battery to spare. And at just $25, this makes the perfect stocking stuffer.
Fire 7 Tablet ($50)
We could give you a handful of reasons to buy Amazon’s Fire 7 Tablet, but the best one we can think of is that it’s just $50. Yup, $50 for a stinking tablet. The Fire 7 Tablet offers a bunch of features, but our favorite is that if you break it – you can just buy another one for $50. Seriously, this is a device for kids and folks who have a proven track record of breaking expensive electronics.
Anker Souncore 2 Portable Waterproof Bluetooth speaker ($40)
Everyone appreciates a good Bluetooth speaker these days, especially if they’re water-resistant. This speaker is great for beach days, barbeques, or even just laying around the house. Not to mention, it’s great in the shower too. For the price, this speaker offers some amazing sound along with some decent battery life. It has every you need in a good Bluetooth speaker.
Anker PowerLine II Lightning and USB-C cables for $12.99 (and up)
Seriously, who doesn’t need more of these in their life? Imagine getting a set of these as a gift, you’d be extremely thankful, right? How many times have you loaned your cables out only to find yourself buying more because people never return them? Well, pay it back. These make great holiday gifts.
Final Audio Design High-Resolution Headphones
Final Audio’s headphones not only sound good but also look good. The black aluminum finish on this pair of headphones is sharp. Wireless headphones are super popular, but that doesn’t mean wired headphones are completely phased out.
Anker Wireless Charger – PowerWave Stand ($16)
There’s a lot of stuff from Anker on this list, huh? But, there’s nothing wrong with that since they make quality products.
The PowerWave Stand is perfect for smartphones that are enabled for wireless charging. And unlike most wireless chargers, the PowerWave can power-up phones through protective cases.
Wyze Cam ($26 – $48)
Home security is a big deal for a lot of homeowners. A good camera like the Wyze Indoor Camera would not only be a good gift but something beneficial.
This wallet-friendly device can record clear, 1080p video and detect motion. It also can save the video to an SD card or through a user-made account on Wyze’s cloud storage. There are additional packages that include SD cards, but for a larger price.
Tile Pro ($40)
Everyone loses their phone. Everyone loses their wireless headphones. Heck, if it’s a small device that fits in your pocket you will lose it.
The Tile Pro is a Bluetooth tracker that, with the push of a button, you can find your devices within 400 ft. Let’s just hope you don’t lose the Tile.
8Bitdo Sn30 Pro+ Bluetooth Controller ($50)
Have a friend that needs a second controller for their Nintendo Switch? Do they like cool, retro-themed, aesthetically-pleasing controller? 8Bitdo Sn30 Pro+ looks like an SNES controller combined with a PS4 one, and it just looks cool. Also, and this is key, according to reviews it works exceptionally well.
broadlink RM Mini3 Black Bean Universal Remote ($24 – $40)
This one is definitely a niche product. The broadlink RM Mini3 is designed to not only work with your smart home devices but any device that has an IR sensor. Through an, apparently, easy setup, the broadlink can control your A/C, TV, and home security. Users can also have those devices scheduled to go on at certain times as well.
YoFeW Charging Stand ($28)
If you know someone with an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods, they may struggle to keep everything charged appropriately.
Since Apple scrapped its AirPower charger, other companies are coming to the rescue, and the YoFeW Charging Stand is a solid offering. Do note you must provide your own Apple Watch magnetic charging base.
Senic Muse Blocks ($15 – $24)
With the industry moving to streaming audio, wouldn’t it be nice to have a physical representation of your media? Enter the Muse Blocks from Senic, which have NFC tags you can link to your favorite playlists.
It feels like the modern version of a mixtape to me, so maybe whip up some playlists and give the Blocks to your crush?
Amazon Smart Plug ($25)
If you’re an Alexa household and like the idea of making as many things as “smart” as possible, you can’t go wrong with some smart plugs.
If that sounds good, then why not snag one of Amazon’s own smart plugs for under $30. If you prefer an alternative to Amazon’s offering, Wyze makes a great one too.
Travel Laptop Backpack with USB charging port ($35)
If you know someone that spends a lot of time on the move or is possibly a student, this backpack could win you some serious brownie points this holiday season.
Currently on sale for under $50, it features plenty of pockets and a lock to keep everything inside safe.
GeoZilla GPS Tracker ($50)
Give the gift of safety this Christmas with this handy GPS tracker from GeoZilla. It’s cheap, has decent battery life, and above all – is pretty accurate. This $50 little device uses GPS and Cell ID tech to triangulate its position, and report back to the GeoZilla app. Nifty.
Know where your kids are at all times, if the dog is doing his business on the neighbor’s lawn (again), or even if Bob from down the street never returned your lawnmower last month.
Keyport Pivot ($39)
It’s a fair bet that everyone hates their keyring, so why not do something about it for one special person in your life? The Keyport Pivot will declutter their pockets, and better yet – you’ll get change from $40 for buying it.
The Essential Bundle doesn’t come with the pocketknife insert that we reviewed recently, but then again, giving knives as gifts is a little bit weird, right?
Novelkeys Big Switch ($18)
Got a keyboard fan on your holiday shopping list but don’t know what to get them? NovelKeys_ has the answer, with the Big Switch series. Perfect for a desk ornament, the Big Switches are made by Kailh, just like many other mechanical keyswitches, and they come in linear, clicky and tactile.
Oh, and they’re only $18 each so maybe get a couple?