The Best Gifts Under $50 (That Look Way More Expensive)
Substantial, stylish, and surprisingly affordable.
Updated Nov 30, 2022 2:33 PM
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Under-$50 gifts are often synonymous with small trinkets and stocking-stuffer doodads—but finding a more affordable present that doesn’t skimp on style or substance isn’t impossible. After scouring the web for impressive ideas that won’t cost you over 50 notes, we landed on the lineup, below, that belies its budget range.
Our picks for the best gifts under $50 cover the bases of well made, functional, and fashionable. You’ll encounter the likes of a corkscrew-cheese knife combo, a fancy bottle of Diptyque dishwashing liquid, and a porcelain espresso set. Read on to shop our full roster of convincingly luxurious finds (minus the premium price tag).
Help your giftee showcase their greenery with this subtly sophisticated 6-inch handmade planter by ceramist Angela Nicole Drew. Outfitted with a glazed interior, drainage holes, and complimentary saucer, the Rancho works well as a table centerpiece or on a plant-lined sill. Its smooth exterior—available in terra and sand—features a tapered opening that flows into a gradually widening middle and a round base. Place it next to pricier planters, and this under-$50 pick is sure to hold its own.
These cheerful market totes are a top gifting pick from Jayson Home’s capsule collection—which was curated by the brand’s buyer and vice president of merchandising, Devin Kirk. Handmade in India from recycled plastic, each bag is unique and sure to crowd-please. Kirk deems them perfect for flea markets, errands, and beach trips: “I can’t think of a better present for the pro shopper on your shopping list!”
Whether you’re shopping for a global jet-setter or a first-time stamp seeker, this handy passport case makes the perfect travel companion. Measuring 3.75-by-5.5 inches, the case comes in five bold colors. For an extra $12.50, add a shadow-printed monogram for a personalized touch.
These linen-cotton hand towels, made as an exclusive for Food52 by Block Shop, are an absolute joy to look at and would sit even prettier draped over a stove handle or kitchen hook. They’re made in India, designed by all-women teams, and the absorbent material becomes softer with every wash. For the most practical cook who also has an aesthetic streak.
A formidable corkscrew is a gift that keeps on giving. This Opinel style one-ups that, coming with the addition of a foldable cheese knife. They’ll be picnic ready come warm weather.
Give them the gift of a lightly buzzed break. This chic pack of seven pre-rolls sports floral notes of camomile, vanilla, and peppercorn, and has just .3 grams of CBG White. Flower for Happy Hour is grown and processed in Northern California through organic and regenerative farming and is never treated with pesticides or chemicals. Note: It’s available for U.S. shipping only.
Collina Strada’s offbeat fashion designs don’t sacrifice statement-making flair for sustainability. We’re eyeing the brand’s rhinestone-embellished flower pin as dazzling under-$50 gift material.
Glossier’s “ultimate personal fragrance” in festive holiday candle form. The newly dropped, candy-cane red votive houses the beauty brand’s best-selling perfume. It’s an intoxicating blend of spicy pink pepper, fresh iris, woody ambrette, and warm ambrox that reviewers deem “the perfect scent.” The descriptors range from “beautifully earthy” to “subtle but oh so distinctive.” Judging by the sheer number of people who wrote in regarding the fragrance’s compliment-eliciting power (more than 4,000), we’d venture to guess your giftee will enjoy the same results lighting the candle version of it inside their space.
A cashmere sweater for under $50 is unheard of—unless you’re shopping at the factory-direct label Quince. Domino editors and Internet reviewers alike swear by the fit, feel, and overall appeal of this affordable style that’s sustainably crafted from 100% Mongolian cashmere. It boasts a 4.9-star rating, with more than 4,000 reviews touting it as a versatile and crowd-pleasing gift. “It is the perfect weight, very soft, and oh so comfy,” writes one shopper. “In my opinion, it truly is the perfect cashmere sweater!”
Coquillage is the French word for “seashell.” This darling seashell box is made of antique silver and ready to host an assortment of your giftee’s treasures—from stacking rings to shiny pennies to matchsticks.
We’re still rubbing our eyes over the under-$50 price tag on these porcelain espresso cups with logo-engraved bases. The beautiful set of four is from Dutch designer Marcel Wolterinck’s modular, simple, and convenient Heii collection, which was inspired by Japanese cuisine.
This mini tasting flight features a selection of varieties handpicked by In Good Taste’s in-house winemakers, Matt and Neely. The giftable samplings of everything from crisp whites to full-flavored reds come packaged in reusable glass bottles.
An elegant glass vase that doubles as an avocado tree grower. The borosilicate-glass design is shaped to function as a low-maintenance planting system that will take your giftee’s pit to the growth levels pictured above within 14 to 18 weeks’ time. Reviewers call it everything from a “beautiful piece” to a “crowd-pleasing gift.”
Bonus points for gifting this cheeky stoneware duo to a bulldog owner. For added under-$50 charm, it’s worth noting these salt and pepper shakers are handmade in the U.K.
When the packaging is as on point as Mercado Famous’s, cured meats can (and should) be gifted. The specialty Charcuterie Newbie bundle includes sliced and vacuum-sealed packages of jamón serrania, chorizo, and lomo. The 100% organic and artisan-made meats are sourced directly from Spain.
The best gifts under $50 are ones that feel distinctive—much like this divination-themed candle. Unique packaging and an alluring fragrance paired with a tarot card covering have earned this Amazon gem a rare 100% approval rating from reviewers. It’s made of soy wax, has a cotton wick, and features a lengthy 60-hour burn time. (If you’re an experienced reader, pull a card to see which candle best suits your gift recipient.)
Why, yes, $40 is a whole lot of quiche to shell out on dish soap. But when it’s crafted by the purveyor of status candles and purchased as a gift for someone with fancy taste, why not? Diptyque lending its expensive French style to the most common of household items is a surprisingly delightful idea. One made even more so by the bright, wakes-you-up aroma of the contents in its reusable glass bottle: orange blossom, mandarin, and basil notes.
Don’t be fooled by the size of this JBL speaker; it’s portable and powerful. The aesthetically pleasing design is built to last, from tumbles to battery life, and kicks out sound quality on par with a much larger device. As one Amazon reviewer attests: “Once you turn it on, it’ll blow you away.”
Schneid Studio Taupe Unison Mug
If your giftee is more into coffee than espresso, behold: an excellent, under-$50 mug that’s handcrafted in Germany. This impressive vessel features textured detailing and a glazed interior. It’s also dishwasher safe, which makes it a strong contender for a top spot among the best coffee mugs.
When stood on its end, this whale-of-a-tale bottle opener functions as an elegant tableware accent. The charming gift is made of brass and ethically handcrafted in India.
Here’s proof that gifting Christmas decorations doesn’t have to be a snoozy situation. These vintage-inspired treasures by Cody Foster are described as “delightfully whimsical” by one of the numerous 5-star reviewers on Food52—and we’d have to agree. Select the one that best fits your giftee’s appetite for a sweet surprise that feels personalized.
An elegant pair of Japanese shears will surprise and delight the gardeners or floral enthusiasts in your life. The delicately designed steel blades are made in Japan and are as pleasant to look at as they are efficient at cutting. “I use these beautiful scissors at my gardening sink for cutting twine and plant stems,” writes one pleased purchaser. “Very sharp and aesthetically elegant.”
A limited-edition set featuring best-sellers from the popular plant-based skin-care brand OSEA. With elements of the ocean infused into each product, this sensitive-skin-friendly lineup features Undaria algae body oil and butter along with a salt “of the earth” scrub.
A showstopping decanter that looks more priceless than under-$50 score. The piece is from Matilda Goad & Co.’s exclusive collection with Anthropologie and crafted from mouth-blown soda glass. It’s striking yet sturdy and well suited for filtering, storing, and serving their favorite spirits.
Graciela Iturbide is arguably Mexico’s most esteemed photographer, and this new 250-photograph volume from Fondation Cartier Pour L’art Contemporain includes her most iconic work, which touches on themes of ancestral tradition, Catholic rites, and the connection between women’s societal roles and death. Included is also previously unpublished work, a new series of color photographs, and an interview with the photographer by French essayist Fabienne Bradu. If you know a photography lover, this is the book of the season to wrap up for them.
This timeless set of napkin rings features an intricate design and is handwoven from natural rattan. Although small in size, they will pack a meaningful punch on a host’s table.
This classic pastime saw a resurgence in popularity during the early pandemic days, proving that mentally stimulating gifts are just as essential as pretty, functional homewares. Trade in hours of mindless scrolling for assembling one of the best puzzles we’ve spotted this season: the 1,000-piece jigsaw of a wintry Amsterdam ice-skating scene, made from recycled materials and accompanied by a drawstring cloth bag and artwork postcard.
This lovely mini lemon cypress from Bloomscape comes planted in an eco-friendly pot available in five earthy shades: stone, clay, charcoal, indigo, and slate. The brand’s plant-parenting resource page offers up care instructions and real-time support for those new to indoor gardening, but if within the first 30 days your giftee hasn’t gotten the hang of it, Bloomscape will send a free replacement.
From the Serax x Anita Le Grelle collaboration comes this shockingly affordable yet visually stunning glass water jug. If you’re in the market to bust out of the range of under-$50 gifts, then pair it with the brand’s just as impressive asymmetrical glass carafe for a curated set.