Thrifty & Thoughtful: The Best Gifts for $25 or Less
I figured it would be tough to do a round up of gifts for $25 or less this year, but over the 12 months, I've actually posted dozens and dozens of pieces of tech and gear, tools and supplies, and trinkets and gadgets the fit the (surprisingly low and very reasonable) bill. It must be because I know my audience: cheap.
Thrifty! I mean thrifty! And thoughtful!
Here are my 2019 pick for the best gifts for $25 or less.
Note: Gift prices are listed as they were at printing. Prices are always subject to change.
Be More Lando: How to Get What You Want (and Look Good Doing It)
Lando Calrissian has some career advice for all the budding (or failing) entrepreneurs on your list this year. And as backhanded of a gift as it may seem to give someone a self-help book for the holidays, Be More Lando comes in good humor and good fun, filled with classic Lando shots and quotes accompanying its legit career advice for individuals hoping to become as enterprising as the smuggler himself.
Phone Skope PYRO Putty
Phone Skope, you're like putty in my...aaah! Aaah! My hand! Hot! Fire! Phone Skope's putty is PYRO Putty. Ultra-flammable in its neon hues, the little tin of goo looks and sounds like it could be part of a magician's or Cirque du Soleil performer's bag of tricks, but in fact, PYRO Putty is an emergency fire starter, so it may be an even better addition to your gift recipient's.
Half Ice Whiskey Glass
The Half Ice Whiskey Glass' stylized base design creates perfect little angles and perfect little flat-faced supports that allow the tumbler to sit at a 45-degree(ish) lean in the freezer. Just add a little water and, as the great Ron Popeil would say, "Set it and forget it!"
The Half Ice Whiskey Glass may be even cooler than the Whiskey Wedge, which accomplishes the same slope of ice, but requires adding a silicone ice form to the glass prior to freezing. Of course, if you prefer the square-off look of the Wedge to the more diamond shape of the Half Ice, either product should serve your whiskey well.
Paincakes Stick-On Cold Packs
Paincakes are stick-on ice packs that make fighting pain in sore, swollen, or injured parts of your body less of a pain in your ass. Eliminating the need to dink around with tape or wraps to hold your cold therapy in place, Paincakes go from freezing to easing with a simple press of pack to skin. Proprietary adhesion gel around the edges of the discs secures them tight, and allows for re-positioning and reuse up to 100 times.
Limitless Equipment Mark 1 Survival Kit
Survival kit? With a, what's that, a flowery dead guy on it? Are we back in 2011, filling our bug out bags and planning for the zombie apocalypse? Nah. Now we're in 2019, where the risk of an actual apocalypse, caused by real things happening on earth rather than an uprising of horror and sci-fi's finest, is even greater than it was a decade ago. Tomorrow we might truly need a our emergency supplies stocked and at the ready.
And on that note, Merry Christmas! Mark 1 Survival Kits for everyone!
EpochAir Wall Climbing RC Car
The EpochAir RC car is ready to take an epic spin from the living room to the kitchen...by way of the walls and ceilings between them. Piloting this remote control toy, your kids (and you know you'll want at least one go behind the joystick) will be able to race on any flat surface, including floors, walls, windows, and ceilings.
EpochAir cars have a vacuum system built in to the bottom, allowing it to "grip" surfaces sideways and upside down, and continue zooming along them. It has other tricks up its wheels too, including 360-degree rotating stunts spinning clockwise or counterclockwise.
Don't Be a C*ck Sucker Coffee Mug
Coffee mugs with inspirational messages - my favorite! Coffee mugs with inspirational messages delivered as a clever and colorful rebus - weeee! Best gift for the office ever. This one depicts a rooster with a lollipop in its mouth after the words, "Don't be a." Its inspirational rebus: don't be a cocksucker!
Hey, inspirational doesn't always mean nice. Or G-rated.
Mercer Rules Stainless Steel Culinary Ruler
Know-it-all chefs, cooks, and foodies may already know all the Mercer Rules, but this stainless steel culinary ruler could be a real prize for those of us still learning...and those of us who don't retain information so well anymore.
Mercer Rules is a 2-sided ruler decorated like a Great British Baking Show showstopper in useful culinary conversions, measurements, and ingredient / tool descriptions. Using words, diagrams, and physical cutouts in the 12" stainless steel kitchen companion, the Mercer Rules ruler serves as a guide to dozens of cooking and prep knowledge nuggets.
Ballistic Dart Launcher
I mean, for $25 I wouldn't expect amazeballs things out of a ballistic dart launcher, but at least for Christmas morning it should deliver some jollies and elicit some Ho, ho, ho!s.
Or, depending on your aim, some Oh, oh, oh!s.
The dart launcher holds 3 reusable darts per round, and comes with 6 total. GlobalEDC says it fires with accuracy at 16', but its darts can reach total distances of up to 30'.
Bottled Frustration Brainteaser Puzzle
The gift that keeps on giving. ... Or the gift that breaks within an hour of opening it. ... Or the gift your recipient asks if s/he can return, and then shoves up your....
Cuisinart Sauce Pot & Basting Brush Set
This Cuisinart issue might seem too bastic to give as a gift, but think of it this way: your recipient can always fill the sauce pot with chocolate or gravy and use it to flourish the cookies or drizzle the mashers.
Or, better, baste the behind of a busty brunette during a bountiful bedroom bonanza.
Pull Start Fire - Pull String Firestarter
The Pull Start Fire is a super simple means of lighting a campfire, bonfire, or emergency flames for smoke signals that requires no matches or lighter. Or for that matter, skills with a ferro rod or fire piston. According to its makers, this pull string firestarter also burns 2 times hotter than the competition, and for 30 to 40 minutes on its own so logs have ample time to catch without kindling.
Mechanical Spider Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Spiders aren't normally known for their sound, but this particular spider can wail like Aretha, croon like Frank, and scream like Axl. Inspired by Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon the Mechanical Spider Portable Bluetooth Speaker is all metal and screws, amplifiers and coils. He may not be able to spin a web, but he can spin your favorite tunes, and give your desktop that post-apocalyptic / steampunk accent your Sonos or Bose could never quite capture.
Arcade Light Switch Plate Cover
If you're used to showing off your fast fingers at the arcade...get ready for a flashing light show. This Arcade Light Switch Plate fits over any rocker-style light switch in the house - or perhaps all the rocker-style light switches in the house - to integrate the gamer's best friend into the gamer's home decor.
Personal Library Kit
Knock Knock's Personal Library Kit brings back to bibliophiles a glorious old library circulation technique: cards secured in sleeves inside books' front covers with date stamps indicating when borrowers will start ignoring the late fees they're accruing for not returning The Complete Book of Woodworking.
This home-use Library kit includes all the fixin's to set up your own better-give-it-back! system: 20 self-adhesive pockets; 20 checkout cards; one date stamp; one black inkpad; and one pencil.
Coffee Pot Mug
Hey, this mini coffee pot mug looks like what I want to do with the full-size coffee pot every morning! Called the Cupa Joe, Barbuzzo's shrunken version of the classic brewer's vessel is a spot-on replica, with the exception of the mug's rim and lid. Instead of a pour spout and plastic lid contoured out at its opening, the Cupa Joe has two openings on its sides so both righties and lefties can hold the mug and take a sip.
The Thinking Egg Mindfulness Tool
The Thinking Egg is an ergonomically-designed mindfulness tool that steps in when your ergonomic meditation seat - and your Tenga Easy Beat Egg - aren't accessible / appropriate for the current environment. Slip a Thinking Egg in your pocket or bag and have an instant calm-down cohort at your disposal anywhere you go.
Thinking Eggs come in 4 thought-provoking materials: Brass; Howlite Stone; Lava Stone; and Pine Wood.
The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America
Author Matt Kracht, well, takes a solid Kracht at convincing you to gift a book about a topic your recipient might be only mildly interested in. In The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America he throws in snark, he throws in profanity, and best of all, he throws in - rightfully! - that the Canada Goose should really be called the Goddamned Canada Goose. Kracht also opines that a bird called the White-Breasted Nuthatch, which I've never heard of, would be better received as the White-Breasted Butt Nugget. Ha! Haha! Calling a bird a butt nugget! Now that is some aviary humor I think anyone would like wrapped up with a red bow.