For about ten bucks, you can get a 8GB jump drive from say, Staples, and pack it full of your favorite MP3s, images, and if you’re a sneaky little pirate, some of your favorite pirated movies and TV shows. Any fellow friend who is low on cash will love the abundance of free media and the reusable jump drive it comes on.
Novelty Air Freshener
Have a friend who spends a lot of time in their car? Get them a cute and friendly looking car air freshener. Not only is it practical, but there’s nothing quite like a friendly Hello Kitty who just so happens to smell delicious looking back at you as you sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic. If you’ve got a girlfriend who’s always complaining about her commute, this is the perfect thing to make her whip a happier place and it’ll only run you about seven bones.
If you’ve got a semi-crafty bone in your body, you can pretty quickly learn how to knit in a straight line. Zooey can do it, I can do it, and I’m pretty sure you can do it, too. Check out knitting tutorials on YouTube if you’re a total noob and don’t have anyone to teach you. Then, head to Michael’s or another craft store and buy a few balls of yarn and some needles (the newer you are to this, the thicker the needle and yarn you’ll want to start with). These supplies can be pricey, but remember that chain craft stores are always less expensive and you can usually find all of these things on sale. Depending on how long you make your scarves, you can get at least one scarf out of a ball of yarn. If you’re feeling fancy, spring for some cute buttons or charms to sew on once your done. This can be a time consuming task if you’re new to the knitting game, so start as soon as possible! Estimated cost: $5-$20 bucks a per scarf.
Freshly Baked Cookies
No one in their right mind can resist a delicious baked good during the holiday season and my favorite treats to make (and eat) are oatmeal cookies. Allrecipes.com has a crazy yumcious recipe that’ll teach you how to make ’em if you don’t know how. Remember, if you’re feeling particularly festive, you can always throw red and green M&Ms, chocolate chips or raisins into the mix, too. Tins and disposable Tupperware can be a bit pricey, so I recommend picking up a pack of brown paper lunch sacks and decorating them with the recipients name, stickers, bows, et c. The best part about this particular type of cookie is that the ingredients are low-cost and you’ll probably wind up using anything you have leftover anyway, and your grocery bill won’t come out to more than twenty or so dollars for at least forty cookies worth of supplies.
Blast-From-The-Past Beauty Products
When I was a kid, it didn’t matter how many Barbies and coloring books I found under the Christmas tree, the gift that always won my Most Likely to Be Obsessed With award was a fruity lip gloss. I’d sleep with it, apply it absent-mindedly while I watched A Christmas Story, put it in the little watermelon-shaped purse I carried around despite it’s general pointlessness and more or less worshiped it. Thankfully, not much has changed. For about five smackers, you can get an eight pack of Lip Smackers. That’s a different flavor for all eight days a week, and even a grown-ass adult can’t help but freak out over that.
Gift Certificate for a Manicure
Pretty much every city has a nail shop with a cheap manicure, and if there’s anything that just about everyone would want and deserve, it’s a little bit of special treatment. Since manis can cost anywhere from twelve to twenty dollars depending on where you live, you may want to consider giving these out to only your most worthy pal(s), but that little bit of extra cash spent will be much appreciated when put into the right hands (pun intended, duh).