The 16 Best Gifts We've Ever Received for Under $30

 L’Occitane / Le Creuset / Mountaineer / Amazon
L’Occitane / Le Creuset / Mountaineer / Amazon

We've all had the overwhelming sense of dread that only comes when you finish holiday shopping and realize just how much money you've spent. But buying presents doesn't always have to drain your wallet. That's why we thought back to some of the best gifts we've ever received for under $30 and compiled them here, so you can get your loved one (or yourself) a gift they'll remember, without wearing out your bank account in the process. Whether you're looking for kitchenware, cosmetics, socks, or something in between, we think you'll find something on this list that the recipient will love just as much as we did.

1. Le Creuset Mini Cocotte; $26

Le Creuset / Amazon

I love everything Le Creuset makes—even when it's not big enough to fit my dinner. This 8-ounce cocotte my mom bought me for Christmas last year has the stunning glazed enamel design of the rest of Le Creuset's stoneware line, and it's strong enough to withstand a range of temperatures. But instead of cooking casseroles, I use it to bake eggs and soufflés for one. —Michele Debczak, Senior Staff Writer

Buy it: Amazon

2. L’Occitane Almond Hand & Nail Cream; $12

L’Occitane / Amazon

I don't spend a ton of money on cosmetics, but some of my favorite gifts to receive are fancy beauty products. The design of L’Occitane's hand cream tube, which a friend gifted me in 2017, makes me want to carry them with me wherever I go—which is nonnegotiable during the winter months. Plus, the scent and silky-smooth texture of their almond moisturizer makes me feel luxurious whenever I use it. —MD

Buy it: Amazon

3. Eparé Double-Wall Glass Coffee Mugs; $25

Eparé / Amazon

I'm not keen on sipping out of a Thermos all day, so these Eparé double-wall glass mugs from my sister have been a blessing. They keep coffee much warmer than a conventional ceramic mug and look great while doing it. —Jake Rossen, Senior Staff Writer

Buy it: Amazon

4. Vbiger Winter Gloves; $4–$16

Vbiger / Amazon

Gloves are necessary to prevent your hands from falling off in the northeast winters, but bulky mittens are always a hassle. These gloves have a tight fit while protecting you from Hoth-like blasts. And their surface allows you to grip things like wallets and ice scrapers without letting them plummet into the snow. Dad made a good choice. —JR

Buy it: Amazon

5. Moonster Leather Notebook; $23

Moonster / Amazon

An all-purpose clearinghouse for anything on your mind, the Moonster has pages of unlined paper that are all wrapped in a real leather case, making even your shopping lists look like ancient and sacred texts. A gift from a friend, who read me perfectly. —JR

Buy it: Amazon

6. Kikkerland Travel-Size Laundry Bag; $7

Kikkerland / Amazon

Ever have to scrounge for a plastic bag once you get to your destination just so you have something to hold your dirty laundry? These cute-but-durable travel-size laundry bags fold up into a pouch, making them a space-saving, yet classy, option for your suitcase. —Bess Lovejoy, Staff Editor

Buy it: Amazon

7. Zero Waste Cap; $10

Novum / Amazon

It's annoying to pay money for nice personal care products only to feel like you're wasting several applications at the end of the bottle. This Zero Waste cap helps you get everything out, which also makes it easier to rinse and recycle the bottle when you're done. —BL

Buy it: Amazon

8. Moso Natural Shoe Deodorizer Bags; $10

Moso Natural / Amazon

Because stinky shoes plague just about everyone who wears them, here are chemical-free bags of activated charcoal that will miraculously remove odors from your footwear without leaving behind any residue or fragrance. —Ellen Gutoskey, Staff Writer

Buy it: Amazon

9. Magnetic Poetry Kit: Mixed-Up Movie Lines; Starting at $12

Magnetic Poetry / Amazon

This Magnetic Poetry Kit splits Hollywood’s most iconic lines into smaller words and phrases, so you can create hilarious mash-ups between Star Wars, Gone With the Wind, Airplane!, and many more of your favorite movies. —EG

Buy it: Amazon

10. Kernel Season's Popcorn Seasoning; $13

Kernal Season's / Amazon

Any popcorn addict will love an opportunity to season their favorite snack with a different flavor every night, and there’s no rule that says these can only be used on popcorn—they’re also great on eggs, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, and pretty much every other food, too. —EG

Buy it: Amazon

11. Karribi Paint-By-Numbers Kit; $26


I love to paint, but I'm not a great draftsperson, which is why I crave paint-by-numbers kits. Last summer my GF bought me the one in the middle of the above photo. The kit contains a stretched canvas, small and medium brushes, acrylic colors, and many, many tiny pots for keeping extra paints from drying out. When you're done painting, you'll have a chic new masterpiece for your walls. —Kat Long, Science Editor

Buy it: Amazon

12. Uniqlo Heattech Knee Socks; $13


Out: needlessly cold shins. In: These knee socks from Uniqlo, with cozy Heattech technology to keep legs toasty in frosty weather. (My GF got them for me after hearing me complain about chilly legs too many times.) I layer them under jeans and pants to keep out the chill, and they stay up without squeezing my calves too tight.—KL

Buy it: Uniqlo

13. Soxnet Eco Friendly Heavy Weight Recyled Cotton Thermals Boot Socks; $12–$14

Soxnet/ Amazon

One of my biggest sources of pride in life is my sock collection. Depending on the day (and my mood), I can be seen in socks with pictures of Pikachu, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, or Bill Clinton on them. I even have two pairs decorated with the face of my cat, Freddie. But in terms of pure foot bliss, I reach for these simple socks from Soxnet made of recycled cotton that I got from my mom a few Christmases back. They’re tough and durable, but have somehow stayed perfectly soft for three years. And in the winter, they’re ideal for going in a pair of boots. My favorite thing about them, though, is that they can also double as quasi-slippers to just lounge around the house in. I always say that they would be on my list of possessions to save from an apartment fire. People laugh—but if you know me, you know I don’t joke about socks. —Jay Serafino, Special Projects Editor

Buy it: Amazon

14. Mountaineer Brand Beard Wash (Citrus & Spice Scent); $14

Mountaineer Brand / Amazon

What I lack in a traditional head of hair I more than make up for with a suitably dense winter beard. Because of that, I get a lot—and I mean a lot—of beard accessories as gifts every year. And working in media, I get even more sent to me by companies from all over. But when my brother got me this beard wash by Mountaineer Brand a few years ago, I finally found the one brand I always need to have in my apartment. It leaves my beard noticeably softer and a bit more full of life, and it even helps fight the good fight against drying out in the unforgiving cold. An 8-ounce bottle will only set you back around $13, and because you don’t really need a whole lot when you use it, it’ll last you a while. —JS

Buy it: Amazon

15. Seville Adjustable Bamboo Spice Rack; $16

Seville / Amazon

I love to cook, and over time, I’ve built up a pretty decent-size spice collection. But sometimes I forget to measure out spices ahead of time, which means fumbling around in the cabinet trying to find the right jar. But last Christmas, my boyfriend got me this spice rack. The Seville makes it so the jars are organized and easy to spot if I need to quickly grab one. And if you’re like me and never measure things ahead of time (even though you probably should), it's adjustable so it can fit in a variety of cabinet sizes. —Kristen Richard, Associate Editor

Buy it: Amazon

16. Running Belt; $20

SPIbelt / Amazon

If you run, you know holding your keys, phone, and anything else you may need can be a major pain. But three years ago on my birthday, my mom got me one of these belts. It's like a smaller take on a fanny pack, but it holds everything I need and fits neatly under my shirt so it's not even visible. I've also used it as a secure place to lock up my passport while traveling. —KR

Buy it: Amazon

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8 Great Gifts for People Who Work From Home

World Market/Amazon
World Market/Amazon

A growing share of Americans work from home, and while that might seem blissful to some, it's not always easy to live, eat, and work in the same space. So, if you have co-workers and friends who are living the WFH lifestyle, here are some products that will make their life away from their cubicle a little easier.

1. Folding Book Stand; $7

Hatisan / Amazon

Useful for anyone who works with books or documents, this thick wire frame is strong enough for heavier textbooks or tablets. Best of all, it folds down flat, so they can slip it into their backpack or laptop case and take it out at the library or wherever they need it. The stand does double-duty in the kitchen as a cookbook holder, too.

Buy It: Amazon

2. Duraflame Electric Fireplace; $179

Duraflame / Amazon

Nothing says cozy like a fireplace, but not everyone is so blessed—or has the energy to keep a fire going during the work day. This Duraflame electric fireplace can help keep a workspace warm by providing up to 1000 square feet of comfortable heat, and has adjustable brightness and speed settings. They can even operate it without heat if they just crave the ambiance of an old-school gentleman's study (leather-top desk and shelves full of arcane books cost extra).

Buy It: Amazon

3. World Explorer Coffee Sampler; $32


Making sure they've got enough coffee to match their workload is a must, and if they're willing to experiment with their java a bit, the World Explorer’s Coffee Sampler allows them to make up to 32 cups using beans from all over the world. Inside the box are four bags with four different flavor profiles, like balanced, a light-medium roast with fruity notes; bold, a medium-dark roast with notes of cocoa; classic, which has notes of nuts; and fruity, coming in with notes of floral.

Buy it: UncommonGoods

4. Lavender and Lemon Beeswax Candle; $20


People who work at home all day, especially in a smaller space, often struggle to "turn off" at the end of the day. One way to unwind and signal that work is done is to light a candle. Burning beeswax candles helps clean the air, and essential oils are a better health bet than artificial fragrances. Lavender is especially relaxing. (Just use caution around essential-oil-scented products and pets.)

Buy It: Amazon

5. HÄNS Swipe-Clean; $15

HÄNS / Amazon

If they're carting their laptop and phone from the coffee shop to meetings to the co-working space, the gadgets are going to get gross—fast. HÄNS Swipe is a dual-sided device that cleans on one side and polishes on the other, and it's a great solution for keeping germs at bay. It's also nicely portable, since there's nothing to spill. Plus, it's refillable, and the polishing cloth is washable and re-wrappable, making it a much more sustainable solution than individually wrapped wipes.

Buy It: Amazon

6. Laptop Side Table; $100

World Market

Sometimes they don't want to be stuck at a desk all day long. This industrial-chic side table can act as a laptop table, too, with room for a computer, coffee, notes, and more. It also works as a TV table—not that they would ever watch TV during work hours.

Buy It: World Market

7. Moleskine Classic Notebook; $17

Moleskin / Amazon

Plenty of people who work from home (well, plenty of people in general) find paper journals and planners essential, whether they're used for bullet journaling, time-blocking, or just writing good old-fashioned to-do lists. However they organize their lives, there's a journal out there that's perfect, but for starters it's hard to top a good Moleskin. These are available dotted (the bullet journal fave), plain, ruled, or squared, and in a variety of colors. (They can find other supply ideas for bullet journaling here.)

Buy It: Amazon

8. Nexstand Laptop Stand; $39

Nexstand / Amazon

For the person who works from home and is on the taller side, this portable laptop stand is a back-saver. It folds down flat so it can be tossed into the bag and taken to the coffee shop or co-working spot, where it often generates an admiring comment or three. It works best alongside a portable external keyboard and mouse.

Buy It: Amazon

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Get Playstation Plus and 12 Other Subscriptions for 80 Percent Off With This Entertainment Bundle

Photo by EVG Culture from Pexels
Photo by EVG Culture from Pexels

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If you're looking to buy a gift for yourself or a loved one who has a wide variety of interests, this All-In-One Entertainment Bundle has all the streaming, language learning, exercise, and even group activity apps a person needs to get them through those cold winter months. Right now, the entire bundle is priced at just $200, which is 80 percent off the typical total. Here's a rundown of just five of the services you'll receive.

1. PlayStation Plus // One-Year Subscription

With a Playstation Plus subscription, you'll have access to an enormous online community of gamers to play against in classics like Star Wars: Battlefront II and the Call of Duty series on the PlayStation 4 (and PlayStation 5 when it launches). Subscribers are also given two free games per month and can participate in exclusive sales and other discounts on the PlayStation Store.

2. History Hit // One-Year Subscription

If you’ve found yourself marveling at the History Channel and its hours of historical content, you’ve only reached the tip of the iceberg. This one-year subscription to History Hit TV will take you back in time through Ancient Greece and Egypt, the Middle Ages, and into the modern day. These stories are told through hundreds of history documentaries, interviews, and films, and with a subscription, you’ll even score an entire library of podcasts.

3. Yogadownload Unlimited Plan // One-Year Subscription

Bring some much-needed change to your fitness routine with this 4.9-star-rated yoga app. It comes with access to a library of over 1700 top-rated yoga and fitness classes that you can complete anytime from home.

4. Memrise Language Learning // Lifetime Subscription

This lifetime subscription to Memrise, CNET's pick for one of the best language apps of 2020, offers tutorials in 22 languages, featuring short video clips from 30,000 native speakers. Memrise distinguishes itself from other language learning apps with a unique approach that mimics the way you’d learn a language from another human, so it still has the personal feel of an in-person class.

5. Kast TV Premium // One-Year Subscription

Kast might be your only ticket to connecting with your group of buddies from college or an annual Friendsgiving this year. The video-sharing app allows you to watch TV or play games together with others, all from your very own living rooms through simultaneous desktop and webcam streaming. Hold a movie night, game night, or virtual house party to make the holidays feel special during this unique year.

Prices subject to change.