Refinery 29's Guide to Cheap Gifts that Look Anything But

Refinery 29's Guide to Cheap Gifts that Look Anything But, a gray gift box tied with a white ribbon covered with red, green, and black top hats and a small evergreen tree branch.

Whether you're an occasional bargain hunter or a serial skinflint, Refinery 29 has zeroed in on terrific gifts that won’t break the bank this Christmas. What’s even better? No one, not even you, will be able to tell they cost less than $15. Boy, is your bank account going to be grateful!


It doesn’t matter if the recipient lives in a shoebox-size apartment or a mega-mansion, plants are the perfect way to bring a room to life.

Not sure if they have a green thumb? No problem! Species like the Pothos, or devil's ivy, are nearly impossible to kill. Speaking of which, at under ten dollars each, you’ll be killing it when it comes to shopping on a budget!


Super practical and beautifully affordable, a notebook or journal can be used for so many purposes, including a diary, sketchbook, shopping list, and more.

There are so many design options, too, and some retailers will even let you personalize them with a name or monogram.

Personalized Picture Frames

Nothing says “thoughtful” like a gift that’s made especially for them. Capturing a moment in time from their recent or distant past is sure to bring a smile to their face.

Putting that moment in a frame especially for them makes it even more special. If you're crafty, you can try to make your own wooden frame. If not, there are plenty of retailers that will put picture onto personalized frames for you.

Organic Sage  

Herbs have been used for centuries for their healing properties. Sage can be used to perform smudging rituals that are said to cleanse the mind, body, spirit, and home of negative energies.

Giving this herb as a holiday gift can be an invitation for your friends or loved ones to clear out their old energy just in time for the new year. Be sure to include smudging instructions as well.


Who wouldn’t enjoy a vessel from which to sip one’s coffee, tea, hot cocoa, or even hot toddy, especially at this time of year? A mug is a utilitarian gift that can also be very beautiful.

Another easily personalized gift, a mug will double as thoughtful and useful. Plus, for us, there’s just something so cozy about holding a warm mug in our hands.


Okay, this one’s a no-brainer! Candles set the mood—and can even lift it, if aromatherapy's involved.

Although you can find them almost anywhere, it’s a nice change to buy the homemade, naturally scented kind from a true artisan. It’s a huge bonus when they’re wildly affordable.


Plants make for easy and attractive decor. The best way to turn them into instant conversation pieces is with interesting planters.

Unique planters can be found inexpensively online and make great additions to any home or apartment.

You can add any of these items to your wedding registry. Don’t have one? It’s amazing — you can add any gift from any store! Create your registry here.

Find Something You Like?

You can add any of these items to your Wedding Registry. Don’t have one yet? It’s easy! Create a Universal Wedding Registry today, then add wedding gifts from all your favorite stores.

Looking for More Wedding Registry Ideas?

See more on our Wedding Registry Inspiration Boards

We are a Universal Gift Registry website where people can create a registry and add gifts from any store in the world. If you buy any of the products listed here, we may be compensated. Thanks for reading—we love you!

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