micro sales

31 Things on Sale Under $50 (That Would Actually Make Good Gifts)

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

The holidays can be stressful and expensive, but they don’t have to be. As the Strategist’s deals editor, it’s my job to dive into the internet’s clearance bins and find the best discounts on products that are actually worth buying — and today, I come to you bearing gifts. Below, you’ll find a cache of presents for everyone on your list that won’t look like you bought them on the cheap. There’s something for everyone on your list, from the eco-conscious college friend to the always chilly mother-in-law. And everything I found costs less than $50, though you’ll find many things for much lower. Don’t dillydally, though: Certain sizes and colors are sure to sell out, and we’re getting down to the wire for orders that will still arrive in time for Christmas.

A toy instrument that actually looks good on your living-room floor when not in use.

This cuddly cat plushie will be loved well beyond the nursery years.

Teeny hoops they’ll never take off, available in both sterling silver and a 14-karat gold plate.

For combating hair grease and holding hairstyles in place, this set includes Rio Viera-Newton’s No. 1 dry shampoo from Living Proof. It quickly mattes and removes shine from the roots, and makes hair feel “just as it would if I had showered that morning,” she explains.

If you’re stumped on what to get your mother-in-law, a fluffy pair of slippers is always a good bet.

Fuzzy socks are always a thoughtful stocking stuffer …

From $25

… as are a fun pair of boxers. These are a Strategist favorite and are available in dozens of patterns.

This was a recent gift at the Strategist’s Secret Santa exchange, where it caused squeals of delight across the Google Meet call.

Here’s a North Face backpack that doesn’t look too much like a North Face backpack.

$40 for 2

Gift the Baggu girls in your life what they really want: even more Baggu.

If your mom loves family game night, gift her this beautiful 1,000-piece puzzle.

This would be perfect for the sister whose dog is their baby.

Elegant touchscreen gloves to solve one of winter’s greatest problems: texting and keeping your digits from freezing.

They’ll never lose their keys with a plushie keychain this cute.

A great gift for tweens and teens is a Popin’ Cookin’ kit, where you craft teeny meals like ramen, onigiri, and sushi out of candy. I’ve given several of these to my sister over the years, since it’s a fun activity to do together.

REI’s holiday sale has a lot of great options for outdoorsy types. This flannel-fleece blanket can be used now for chilly evenings by the fire and as a picnic blanket come spring.

Watch how long it takes post-unwrapping for them to have their shoes on and be halfway up the nearest snowy hill.

Beeswax food wraps are the perfect stocking stuffer for your mom who’s trying to cut down on plastic-baggie use. These have a very sweet pattern that she’ll want to use.

Here’s an unusually shaped tote from Everlane that’s made from recycled cotton canvas.

Candle lovers — and even Powerpuff Girls fans — will appreciate this trio of votive candles from Nest Fragrance.

This 100 percent wool beanie is on sale in both gray and red, if you’re looking for something to gift to a Wes Anderson fan.

I purchased this magnetic kit for my rock-climbing-obsessed boyfriend before finding it on sale at Huckberry. I’m still excited to see what miniature routes he creates on our fridge door.

If I had bigger feet, I’d be buying these sherpa-fleece-topped slides from Greys. Surprisingly, they’re still in stock in men’s sizes 8 through 13. (If you’d prefer your fleece in black, that’s on sale too — but it’ll cost you $10 more.)

This cotton-cashmere-blend crewneck is just like your favorite sweatshirt, but actually holiday-party appropriate.

If they’ve already got an Instax, they’ll love getting film refills.

Arguably the most famous red lipstick of all time, M.A.C’s Ruby Woo, is on sale at SSENSE. Maria Sanchez, makeup artist and founder of Beauty Door Pro, says its bright and bold color palette “works beautifully on all complexions” and complements all lip shapes and sizes. (And the shade is also on sale in lip-liner form.)

Gift this to your bestie who’s trying to green up their beauty routine.

Get in on the squiggly décor trend with these brightly colored coasters (that are also on sale in lime green and a black-and-white combo).

Or you could give this Baina hand towel to a friend who just moved into a new spot.

For new parents — or little ones who just arrived Earthside — a onesie in a fun pattern is a classic.

A great gift for the home mixologist or iced-matcha lover.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

31 Things on Sale Under $50 (That Would Make Good Gifts)