Best Gifts For Under $100
With the holidays fast approaching, you’re probably making a list and checking it twice. The holiday season is synonymous with gift giving, and hopefully receiving too! In many cultures, gift-giving is an ingrained custom during the holidays. This sweet gesture has remained up until this day, and is sure to spark the feelings of love and appreciation towards one another.
But what should you buy for gifts?
Sure, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to gift-giving, but there are also some things you need to keep in mind. How much is your budget and how close are you to the person? Are you giving items that can be used or one that can be displayed? To give gifts that the recipient would love while not breaking your budget, you need to look at the sticker price and its practicality.
If you have $100 to spend this year, these are the top gifts under $100.
The Best Gifts Your $100 Can Buy
1. Amazon Echo Dot / Google Home Mini
Last year, the Amazon Echo Dot was dubbed as the most popular gift on Amazon, and that isn’t changing this year.
Priced at $49.99, this little wonder of a gadget can do a TON of things. The Amazon Echo Dot is a voice controlled device to play music, set reminders, or do specific tasks with your smartphone. Its virtual secretary, Alexa, can do pretty much anything hands-free, from making phone calls, reading the news, and even controlling other (connected) Amazon devices like Fire TV.
You can connect the Echo Dot with other devices so they can be switched on/off or you can use it as your smart home’s “brain” to adjust your fans, lights, smoke detector, sprinklers, and thermostats. This is a wildly useful little device perfect for the tech-savvy and for those always on-the-go types.
Google Home is very similar to Amazon Echo Dot in many ways. The smaller version of Google Home, the Mini, has a lot of things on its sleeve. You can command the mini to do different tasks, such as calling someone from your phone while you’re cooking in the kitchen, ask about the weather forecast, or set the alarm. For a price of $49, that’s hard to beat. These smart speakers are devices you’d love to get your hands on so that you can go hands-free.
2. Roku / Amazon Fire Stick
If haven’t been watching TV because you’re too busy or the subscription has been hurting your budget, one of your friends or family members might be feeling the same thing. The best gift for that person is a streaming device like a Roku or Amazon Fire Stick.
Currently selling at $49, the Roku is a pocket-sized streaming stick that plugs into your TV to play your favorite shows on demand. No more missing out because you had an appointment or fell asleep on the couch.
If you’ve seen and liked how Alexa worked in the Echo Dot, then you’ll love the Amazon Fire Stick too. Like Roku, the Fire Stick is just a simple stick device that fits into your television’s HDMI slot. Using WiFi, you can stream shows and watch them whenever you want. With the fully-integrated Alexa on the stick, you can command the device to do things like searching for shows and movies.
Both Roku and the Amazon Fire Stick are the perfect gift for binge watchers and cord cutters.
3. Google Daydream
For those who don’t know virtual reality yet, it’s easy to assume anything associated with as modern and advanced as VR is expensive. But Google Daydream proves that wrong. For just $99, you can easily enjoy virtual reality with this device hooked to a Daydream-ready android phone.
The Google Daydream is the perfect introduction for anyone who wants to get into VR. Inexpensive, easy to operate, and ergonomic in design, the Daydream lets people interact with VR content seamlessly.
To operate the Google Daydream, you’ll need the Daydream VR headset and its remote control. It needs to be hooked up to a Google Android device compatible with VR, and you should be good to go. It may sound somewhat complicated, but the truth is, VR has never been as easy to avail and access with the Google Daydream around.
4. Contigo Travel Mug / Yeti Tumbler / Ozark Mountain Tumbler
The mug has become one the easiest and most desirable gifts to give during the holidays. If you’re an avid coffee drinker, chances are, you’ve had a lot of travel mugs over the years. If you’re all set about giving away a mug or tumbler this year, you have to find better, more practical, and useful options for a memorable gift.
Contigo has a variety of travel mugs ranging in capacity and price. But what these travel mugs have in common are worth noting. For one, most of these mugs are secure and adequately insulated to keep your hot coffee hot for or any cold beverage at the desired temperature for as long as 4-12 hours. They’re easy to drink from and 100% spill and leak proof, perfect for people who take their drinks on the go. And the best part is, it’s only $51 and you can easily buy two by adding just two dollars more to your $100 budget.
The Yeti Tumbler is another solid choice. Highly regarded for its ability to insulate your beverage for an extended period, the Yeti Rambler is a stainless steel cooler coated with efficient insulation to keep drinks cold for extended periods of time. But if you’d rather put coffee in it in the morning, the Tumbler will keep your coffee warm for up to 6 hours. Its flexibility and insulation make the Yeti Rambler a very thoughtful gift for people you love.
Sold at a lower price than both Yeti Tumbler and Contigo tumblers, the Ozark Trail Tumbler is an amazing gift with a teeny tiny price tag of $7 – $9. This budget-friendly tumbler is an excellent choice when you’re giving away five or more of them to your friends and colleagues who love to drink coffee in the office or bring their smoothies while working out. And don’t forget to get one for yourself too.
5. Amazon Fire
The Amazon Fire is yet another “giftable” item that will certainly be appreciated by folks who love watching TV and movies. It is an excellent and inexpensive gift that keeps on giving by getting rid of a cable bill.
They get to watch or listen to streaming videos and audios on a bigger screen. Amazon designed this product to connect to other Amazon devices & services like the Fire Stick and Amazon Prime to keep customer loyalty towards the Amazon brand. For instance, a Prime member gets to enjoy hundreds to thousands of streaming options. If you know someone who regularly shops at Amazon or is a Prime member, the Amazon Fire will be a surefire hit.
6. Amazon Kindle
Real, hardbound and paperback books are still appreciated today, but many are going with the flow of technology and are looking at buying an Amazon Kindle.
The Kindle has become one of Amazon’s most desired devices. By allowing you to download books, you don’t have to carry large books anymore. You can just take it out and read during the commute, while waiting for your order, at the airport, or to simply pass the time.
The Kindle is just the perfect present for anyone who loves to read. It can store over 1,400 books and lets you read work and school-related PDF documents. You may even perform basic internet searches using the device. It’s a very useful gadget that can do more than just read books so it’s going to be worth the purchase for someone who enjoys curling up with a good book.
7. JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
For people that like their music loud and clear, the JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker is the ideal holiday present. Featuring a state-of-the-art waterproof technology, this small and powerful speaker is a great device to bring to the pool and beach parties.
The JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker is a battery-operated speaker that you can hook up to two music sources with and be able to play from two playlists. It has a long-lasting lithium battery that can play music for up to 12 hours.
Sound quality is a primary concern for any speaker device, and the JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker excels well in that area. Delivering powerful, clear and crisp audios, this speaker is mighty powerful for its size. Plus, you can link it up to your smartphone and command it to make and answer calls through voice commands.
8. Fitbit Flex 2
For the people close to you who are crazy about their fitness goals, the perfect gift for them is a useful yet trendy little device that acts as a tracker – such as this Fitbit Flex 2. Ranging from $50 to $90, depending on where you buy it, the Fitbit Flex 2 is the excellent item to help your family and friends become more committed towards fitness.
Unlike the other Fitbit models, the Fitbit Flex 2 has the added perk of waterproofing. You can wear it to the pool with no problems. But what makes Fitbit Flex 2 a beautiful and thoughtful gift is the fact that it can record your fitness activities such as walking, aerobics, and biking. And as of today, it’s also the only Fitbit device that’s waterproof, making it perfect for swimming as well.
Smaller by 30% than its older generation, the Fitbit Flex, this version is so slim and discreet; it’s easy to mistake it as just an accessory. That works too, especially if one likes wearing his Fitbit all the time, but would still want to look trendy and fashionable. It also comes in a wide range of colors and designs so you can quickly pick one based on your recipient’s tastes.
9. Chromecast Audio
Loving music is one thing, but to be able to control the music wirelessly across the room, that’s another great thing!
For just $35, you get an audio dongle that’s almost the same size of an Oreo cookie. It connects to both your phone and speaker, connect to the internet and voila! You can now stream audio on demand. Google even claims that streaming audio through the Chromecast produces beautiful and high-quality sound.
Even better, the Chromecast audio is supported by various platforms. If you own a Google or Android phone or tablet, connecting the dongle to the device and the speaker should be easy. Additionally, you can stream audio from various sources like Google Play Music, BBC iPlayer, and Deezer among others.
A little caveat though: if you enjoy doing voice-commands and be hands-free most of the time, you can link up Chromecast with your Google Home account. And much like Amazon’s Alexa, you can control what Chromecast does just by saying it out loud.
10. CB3 Fit Sport Bluetooth Earbuds
Now, for those people in your life who are fitness buffs and can’t live without music while working out, here comes the ideal present: the CB3 Fit Sport Bluetooth Earbuds. This is one of the cheapest Bluetooth earbuds today, offered at a budget-friendly price of $39. It has all the exciting features of leading and expensive Bluetooth earbuds, but the CB3 proves to be a cost-effective alternative.
For one, the CB3 Fit Sport fits snugly, so it stays in place whether you’re running on the treadmill or lifting weights. Any gym-goer knows how frustrating it is to focus on the workout while trying to enjoy the music, so the CB3 fits this bill perfectly. Additionally, these earbuds have been designed to repel sweat and has an IPX4 certification. This means the earbuds will still work properly even when you’re all sweating out or when it rains when you jog.
If you tend to work out for extended periods, the CB3 Fit is a great companion. Packed with powerful lithium batteries, these earbuds can go for as long as 7 hours of continuous listening. Indeed, it’s a powerful piece of device that delivers quality music at a very affordable price. It’s probably something you’d want to get yourself too.
11. Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit
Are your kids or friends quite the computer fanatic? This may sound more technical to you, but trust us; the Raspberry Pi3 Starter Kit is one sweet surprise they’d love to have this Christmas.
Simply put, the Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit is a tiny and affordable computer which can act as a microcontroller and media center. For those who are tech-savvy’s putting together the Pi3 is a challenge, but once done, can feel quite rewarding. You can even hook up the entire system to your TV’s HDMI port which will serve as its large-screen display.
For a price of $90, you can already choose between the different variants of the Pi3 starter kits. It’s an exciting and thoughtful gift to those who like to build their own programs and systems, and one that’ll probably make you a more memorable giver.
12. 1 Year of Amazon Prime
If you know someone close to you who is quite invested in the Amazon streaming products, the ultimate gift for that person would be a one-year subscription to Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime is simply a subset to Amazon’s huge offering, focusing primarily on streaming audios and videos, e-books and free shipping.
The year-round subscription to Amazon Prime costs only $99, but you also get a 30-day free trial. Additionally, you also get a 2-day free shipping. The subscription also promises huge savings potential, especially if you shop at Amazon on a regular basis. As a member, you get exclusive deals and discounts, early access to Kindle First and FreeTime Unlimited for kid-friendly content at a small charge.
But perhaps the very core of the Amazon Prime’s offering is access to streamed content in the form of Thursday Night NFL Games, Prime Video, Music and Photos. Now imagine gifting all these wonderful perks to someone who’s a consummate streamed media fanatic? Surely, this gift will make his holidays merrier.
13. Money & Giftcards
In some instances, giving money and gift cards is more appropriate than looking far and low for the perfect gift for someone. Giving cash is even more appreciated for recipients who are embarking a new phase in their lives and those who are saving up for a project. For instance, some couples encourage cash gifts to their kids. The money could go to a worthy cause like a college fund or medical expenses. We could say the same to gifting newlyweds with cash to contribute to the purchase of their first home or honeymoon.
The thing about giving cash is to know the recipient at a more personal level. If you have a godchild who’s off to college in a few months, the money would certainly help him/her gain better footing to independent living. It’s also a wise idea to give cash to a family or friend who you know is financially struggling with some bills.
On the other hand, giving gift cards can be a better idea if you know the recipient at a personal level and give him/her the freedom to shop at his/her favorite store. For instance, if you feel like your daughter’s fashion taste is transitioning, and you want to be sure she’ll love the apparel, give her the gift card and let her choose what fits her style.
The gift card is also an appropriate gift if you want to help someone complete his/her collection or contribute to someone’s big-ticket purchase. For example, if your child is off to living independently in his own place and wants to buy a new refrigerator, the gift card could help offset the total cost of the appliance. Gift cards are perfect for people you want to experience some pampering, such as gift cards to a salon, spa or restaurant.
Gift-giving certainly takes some time, consideration and a portion of your holiday budget. Receiving gifts is just as joyful as giving them, so you want to make sure that your recipients will find your gifts practical, thoughtful and well-thought of.
However, that also doesn’t mean that you need to give a lavish gift to everyone on your list, or else, run the risk of going broke before the New Year even starts rolling in. The key is to designate a budget, find the best item and give the gift heartily.