30 Gifts For When You’re Broke But They Have Expensive Taste
They’ve got champagne taste, you’ve got a Bud Light budget.Posted on Dec 10, 2020, 8:00:31 PM GMT
We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.
Hey! While we’re doing our best to make sure the products we feature will arrive in time for Christmas, shipping times are especially tricky this year and can vary depending on where you live, which product you purchase, and more. Shop early and be sure to double check the retailers’ websites for shipping information to ensure that your gift will arrive in time for the 25th!
1. A set of blending sponges that has inspired over 29,000 Amazon customers to leave a 5-star review. They’ll blend their beauty while you count all the dollars you saved.
2. A set of three mini Voluspa candles – they smell just as luxurious as they look. One of them smells like a PSL, which will appeal to their love of overpriced indulgences.
3. A simple but chic ceramic vase that’s so affordable it’s almost disrespectful. Even the pickiest of home décor snobs will find a perfect place for it.
4. An elegant bamboo caddy for the fancy friend who somehow always has time to take baths instead of showers.
5. A set of popular Sephora favorites that lets them try high-end brands like Valentino and Smashbox without you having to spend Valentino and Smashbox money. It also comes with a 15% off voucher for a full-size item, so you’ll both end up saving money. Win-win!
Promising review: “Love these products. It is always nice to try new things and this was a great way to get me outside of my comfort zone.” —LyndaSchmich
Get it from Sephora for $10 (in-store pickup available).
6. A pour-over coffee maker so they can brew that sweet, sweet bean juice in an elegant vessel that looks way more expensive than $20.
Promising review: “I wanted to wait to review this product until I had the opportunity to use it for a small amount of time…and then I lapsed into the blissful ease of a perfect coffee experience every morning and it slipped my mind. If you are looking for a more durable and cheaper Chemex alternative, this is it. Not only is it suuuuper attractive on the counter, but it functions incredibly well. Five stars all around. When paired with good coffee, it really is a no-brainer.” —Amanda Dougherty
Get it from Amazon for $14.99+ (available in four sizes and five designs).
7. A whiskey set with seven pieces, including a decanter and six matching tumbler glasses that will look oh-so-classy on their bar cart.
Promising review: “My husband has always wanted a set like this but it was never really in our price range — until I found this set. It is super nice, like really FANCY. It is well-made and strong. This set alone makes us look and feel like we are rich (HAHA). It is worth every penny.” —Fulton Brewer
Get it from Amazon for $35.99.
8. A highly-rated water bottle for when you care about their hydration, but not enough to drop $50 on a fancy name brand.
Promising review: “This is, I think, the eighth one of these water bottles I have purchased. That’s not because they break or wear out — it’s because I liked mine so much that I got one for my wife, then one for my son and one for his wife, two for my daughter, etc., etc. They are very nearly leak-proof, and they work like a charm. The first one I bought is still going strong. It’s been dropped countless times, bounced off the concrete floor of the garage, and dragged everywhere for three years. Yes, it’s got some dings and dents and scrapes, but it still keeps water cold for days. It’s amazing.” —Mister
Get it from Amazon for $14.99+ (available in 13 size and style combinations, and 44 colors).
9. A silk pillowcase that is less than half the price of other popular brands but will still keep their hair flawless all night long — and that’s simply priceless.
Promising review: “I’m very happy with this silk pillow cover. I needed to get one because I have long hair and sleep with it in a loose bun on top of my head. I was noticing quite a bit of breakage of the hair on the back of my head at the nape of my neck. Since I started using a silk pillowcase the breakage has pretty much stopped. It’s very comfortable and stays cool throughout the night.” —jennifersculpts
Get it from Amazon for $23.99+ (available in six sizes and 34 colors).
10. A pair of popular but inexpensive wireless earbuds, because you should never spend over $100 on something you might accidentally throw in the washing machine. I may or may not be speaking from personal experience.
Promising review: “If you’re looking to try out ‘true wireless’ earbuds for your first time, OR if you’re looking to add a cheap set to your arsenal, you cannot go wrong with these Aukey earbuds. They sound pretty darn good (fantastic for the price), they fit well, and the microphone is great too. Bottom line, for the price, these are a must-have.” —Jarvdog
Get it from Amazon for $29.99.
11. A daily planner that’s vibrant and elegant enough to slip into their designer handbag — and a good reminder that 2020 is finally over.
Get it from Anthropologie for $20 (in-store pickup available).
12. A perfume set with six samples of scents from brands like Prada and Marc Jacobs. If that wasn’t impressive enough, there’s also a voucher for a travel spray or rollerball of their choice. It’s truly a gift that keeps on giving.
Promising review: “Perfect choices for winter, which makes this sampler on-point for Holiday gift-giving. I picked this one because I wanted the Valentino Donna Born in Roma, but I ended up loving the Miu Miu Twist, Replica Springtime in a Park, and the Ellis Brooklyn Myth.” —angeleyes
Get it from Sephora for $25 (in-store pickup available).
13. A trial set featuring two of Tatcha’s most popular products that will make their skin feel and look like money. Seriously, the Dewy Skin Cream is basically “glass skin” in a jar.
Promising review: “A perfect little set to have in your travel bag or just to try out the items before purchasing the full-size. The cleanser is fantastic for people with dry and/or sensitive skin, it gently exfoliates without irritation and doesn’t strip your skin. The moisturizer is incredible, again for dry skin folks who need a bit extra hydration.” —hillarynreallife
Get it from Sephora for $25 (in-store pickup available).
14. A facelift in a bag, which unlike a real cosmetic procedure, will only run you about $22. They’ll get three facial treatments to target their forehead, under-eye area and smile lines.
Promising review: “Every item in this bag is so soothing and cooling. The eye gels are the best part, they bring down puffiness and really hydrate my under eye area so my makeup goes on more smoothly. Will definitely be repurchasing this!!” —Shana
Get it from Amazon for $22.
15. A set of vibrating facial massagers with gold-plated tips, which are probably the only tools they don’t yet have in their extensive skin care routine. Both are meant to stimulate circulation and firm the skin on their face and body.
Promising review: “This is an awesome product. I didn’t know what to expect, but really love it. I have been reading about the benefits of using these and thought I’d give it a try, but didn’t want to spend a lot of money. The vibration is perfect, and it really lifts your skin. My face felt relaxed and the skin smoother and a bit tighter.” —Lauren
Get it from Amazon for $18.85.
16. A dazzling soft-pink nail color that might seem expensive for nail polish, but is actually pretty cheap for Chanel.
Get it from Chanel for $28 (available in 31 shades).
17. A zebra-shaped trinket tray from Jonathan Adler that’s quirky, eye-catching and surprisingly affordable.
Order by 12/14 for holiday ground shipping.
Promising review: “Completely love it! The perfect addition to my desk.” —Patricia M.
Get it from Jonathan Adler for $24 (originally $32).
18. A rocks glass with a map of their favorite city, which feels like it’s from the heart, but won’t require much from your wallet.
Promising review: “I wanted something substantial that wasn’t fragile. This is great glass, perfect weight, perfect size. I love reading the streets on the glass!” —Ravenhawk
Get it from Uncommon Goods for $16 (available in 31 city designs).
19. A laser-engraved cutting board for a gift that looks truly expensive and thoughtful. In reality, you paid less than $30 and simply wrote their name in a form. But we won’t tell.
Promising review: “Bought this as a Christmas gift for a family member and couldn’t be happier. It is so beautiful and looks and feels very well-made. The lettering of the engraving is stunning and I’m so pleased with my purchase, in fact, I just placed another order for my boss.” —Avwduke
Get it from Amazon for $25.95+ (available in three sizes).
20. A layered bracelet that’s minimalistic enough to go with basically any outfit, yet eye-catching enough to get them tons of compliments.
Promising review: “This bracelet is so dainty, and has been holding up well over the past month.” —Jen
Get it from Amazon for $11.95.
21. A pair of classic hoop earrings made for sensitive ears, so you can save money without accidentally gifting them an allergic reaction.
Each pack comes with a pair of silver, gold and rose gold hoops.
Promising review: “My signature look is a high bun with a pair of hoop earrings. That being said, through the years, my ears have gotten really sensitive and I get headaches if the earrings I wear are too heavy. Not to mention I hate it when the backs really pinch into your ears. These are the most comfortable hoops EVER! I put these on and I don’t even realize I’m wearing them. They’re not too big, but they give me enough sass, I absolutely love them.” —Irene Melovidov
Get a pack of three from Amazon for $9.99+ (available in five sizes).
22. A layered 18-karat gold-plated necklace that will glimmer in the summer sun or brighten up a cold fall day.
Promising review: “I needed something last minute that would help spice up my outfit, and stumbled across this piece. The necklace came nicely packaged in a little blue box. Upon opening, the necklace was surprisingly very shiny and it looks even prettier on!” —Stefan To
Get it from Amazon for $12.95 (available in 13 styles).
23. A trendy monogram mug with an elegant tiled design that adds a personal touch to the best part of waking up.
Promising review: “The pictures don’t do it justice. This mug is stunning. The gold-and-black tile effect make this mug look expensive and classic with an art-deco vibe. It would be a great gift or treat for yourself.” —ashleyb821
Get it from Anthropologie for $12 (available in 25 letters; in-store pickup available).
24. A pair of huggie earrings that that they’ll think you spent 5x the price on.
Promising review: “I have very sensitive ears. Very sensitive. These don’t bother me. I can wear them all day and night. I started with one pair and loved them so much I had to get another pair.” —Heather
Get it from Amazon for $13.95 (available in three colors).
25. Or a scarf that’s extra long and wide so they can dramatically drape it over their shoulders like a shawl.
Promising review: “Just as described, soft and pretty. Best thing is that it does not wrinkle. It’s big enough to wrap as a shawl and the fabric is thin enough to double over as a long scarf without looking too bulky.” —Mandy Evans
Get it from Amazon for $10.19+ (available in 18 colors).
26. A pair of bestselling sunglasses that look designer at first glance, but are so inexpensive they won’t have to feel guilty about inevitably losing them.
Promising review: “I’m the person who buys a lot of sunglasses because I am never satisfied with them. These may have changed all that!
The keyhole nose cutout is amazingly comfortable. I never want to go back to those annoying little nose pad things that just break or get stuck in my hair! It also allows the sunglasses to sit comfortably slightly down on the bridge of my nose without sliding, which I prefer.” —Sara buys all the things
Get it from Amazon for $14.99+ (available in 20 colors).
27. A sparkling tennis bracelet that will only cost you about $15, but will make them feel like a million bucks.
Promising review: “One of the best inexpensive jewelry purchases I’ve ever made. I put this on a few weeks ago the moment it arrived and haven’t taken it off since. It’s comfortable, shiny, and durable. I’ve slept in it, many showers, baking, even hot-tubbing! Not a sign of wear to the plating or prongs. Product was stiff out of the box, but after a little coaxing, all joints moved just fine.” —AshleyEmCee
Get it from Amazon for $14.95 (available in three colors and three sizes).
28. A ring featuring their zodiac sign constellation, which is more meaningful than any designer label.
Promising review: “This ring is absolutely beautiful! It’s SO dainty and the quality is top notch. Really a true steal for the price.” —Taylor Kroll
29. A pair of slippers with a fuzzy sandal-like design so they can walk around on a layer of cloud-like memory foam.
Promising review: “Have you ever wondered what walking on clouds feels like? Well, you should get these sandals! They are gorgeous and so fluffy! I got them just for fun, and love walking around at home with them because they make me feel so fancy as I go make my coffee in my pajamas! They come in this really nice package that also makes them an excellent option for gifting. I highly recommend them if you want a nicer looking sandal to walk around at home.” —Zumbatini
Get it from Amazon for $25.99 (available in sizes S-XL and eight colors).
30. And a surprisingly affordable smart watch so they can view their text messages, e-mails, fitness goals and other notifications at the flick of the wrist. Oh, and it also tells time.
Promising review: “I’m continually amazed at what this watch can do for me. My sleep has improved over an hour a night simply by the sleep monitoring app in this watch! I don’t have to carry my cellphone and try to keep an exercise app running while I’m walking, since this watch continually monitors my steps through the day! My exercise level has almost doubled just from the awareness this watch gives me. The heart rate monitor on this watch has allowed me to lower the spikes through the day and night, simply from the awareness of what my heart is doing. Now, I rarely have a spike above 100 bpm and my average heart rate is down below 60 bpm.” —Jim B
Get it from Amazon for $35.99 (available in seven colors).
Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!
Some reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.
Find the perfect gift for any occasion, from white elephant gift exchanges to gifts for teachers, housewarming gifts to birthday gifts, and even the perfect gift basket if you’re truly stumped. Plus, check out the BuzzFeed gift guide for even more incredible gifting ideas.
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