Cheap cheer: holiday gifts you can actually afford


Holiday spending can be tricky – maybe you picked up a part-time gig so you can afford better presents for friends and loved ones this year. Maybe you’ve been saving money for the last six months in preparation for the season.

No matter what your game plan may be, it’s not hard to find cool, unique gifts that won’t totally break the bank. Don’t worry, we did the work for you – here’s a list of gadgets and trinkets that are both cheap and trendy.

Rollup keyboard -$15 (Amazon)

Everybody uses their laptops around school, but this rollup keyboard could be perfect for anyone who uses their tablets regularly. It’s convenient, portable and of course, a little squishy and fun to play with.

They’re also a perfect gift for anyone at home that regularly uses a desktop and is sick of the click-clack of the hard keyboard. The gift is cheap but also a nice piece of technology that can improve the computer experience.

L5 Universal Remote Control for iOS - $70 (Amazon)

Universal remotes were the coolest piece of technology circa 10 years ago, and it’s time to bring that back. Let’s just admit it what we know to be true – it’s always ideal to find the easiest way to do things. We’re in college, we’re lazy and the best option is the easiest option.

This remote would make your access to television, your computer and any other piece of technology easy to access at the palm of your hand. Though it’s the most expensive item on this list, it’s worth the money to save the time.

Printstagram – $25 (Social Print Studio)

For all of those who are insta-famous, or aspire to be, this is the perfect gift to a friend or anyone else who loves that form of social media.

It’s a simple project – you go onto their website, submit 100 photos of your choice and then they make it into a cute little book. It’s a personal gift too, which makes it that much more meaningful.

Yankee Candle - $27 (Yankee Candle)

People like candles for various reasons – whether it’s for the scent or just the appearance, a candle is a great gift.

Yankee Candle in particular is a good buy because they constantly have sales and coupons. For this holiday season, Yankee Candle is offering a buy-one-get-one half off sale on its products. This means that you can buy either multiple candles for a few people or even better, treat yourself to your favorite scent. Yankee Candle also has such variety in scents so it’s easy to find the right one for any friends.

Chromecast - $35 (Google)

For those who don’t know what this is, it’s just one of the latest pieces of technology that is replacing cable boxes everywhere.

The chromecast is basically a USB that plugs into your television that you can add subscriptions, such as Netflix, to. You can upload a variety of subscriptions to this chromecast, or connect your computer to it. It’s a cheap investment into the new age, and a perfect gift to ask for when your parents ask you what you want.

Shatterproof Wine Glasses – $29

This is the best deal and easily most efficient gift on this list. Four glasses – one for each bestie, roommate or family member – that are shatterproof, no matter how much you drink. To take the extra step, you can paint them, since paint isn’t too expensive either, and customize them for whomever your gift will be going to.

If you’re not looking to go that extra step, the glasses themselves are a perfect giveaway for a Secret Santa or any other holiday exchange.

Tori Roseman is the senior features editor and can be reached at