40 Stocking Stuffer Ideas for $5 or Less

by Kelly Medeiros on 20 December 2013 0 comments

Christmas is expensive enough before you even get around to buying the stocking stuffers. But, no need to fear when there are plenty of options for cool stocking gifts on a budget. Here's a collection of some great stocking stuffer ideas, from the practical to the whimsical, all of which are $5 or less.

1. Cocktail Napkins

Cocktail napkins are always useful for entertaining at your next soiree. Search by design for your recipient, with ideas like sports and team napkins for those who host game day to pretty floral numbers for Sunday brunch to chic chevron designs for a cocktail party. Party stores, like Party City, usually have a big assortment of paper cocktail napkins, with many options below $5.

2. $5 Store Gift Cards

Include a $5 gift card for a big chain pharmacy, like CVS, grocery stores, gas stations, or stores like Target and Amazon, for a very useful stocking stuffer. Starbucks, Best Buy, and fast food chains also sell $5 cards, which make a nice treat. Now, if only iTunes would make gift cards in $5 denominations.

3. Fancy Sauces

Hit up the gourmet aisle in your local grocery store to find some unique treats. You can always find some good sauces and jarred items in the $5 range. My favorites are mustards, dips, hot fudge sauce, and jellies that look a lot fancier than they cost.

4. Decorative Duct Tape

Duct tape has come a long way from boring old gray. Check out craft stores or office supply stores, like Staples or Office Depot, which carry a wide variety of colored and decorative duct tape for under $5. Anyone can use the tape for decorating, crafting, or just doing repairs in style.

5. Electric Milk Frother

If you know someone who loves coffeehouse beverages, why not get them a handheld electric milk stirrer so they can make their own frothy cappuccinos and lattes at home? Many battery operated models can run upwards of $20 or more, but Ikea's handheld milk-frother is under $5.

6. Sports Stuff

When thinking about stocking stuffers for the sports enthusiast, certain small sporting goods, like golf tees, a can of tennis balls, sweat bands, and certain plastic water bottles can all be found for $5 or less. Check out big box stores and athletic retailers, like Dick's Sporting Goods, which may also have sales on other sports gear too.

7. Garden Tools

Dollar stores always seem to have garden shears and small trowels that make great stocking gifts for gardeners or those with indoor plants. Fiskars makes an extremely affordable line called FiberComp, which includes sturdy, rust-proof plastic planting tools for a dollar or two that can be found at Home Depot and other major home improvement stores.

8. Wine Glass Markers

For the entertainer, a collection of colorful wine charms or wine glass markers makes a thoughtful stocking gift. Try searching Etsy, which besides having tons of creative, handmade options, also allows you to find attractive sets for under $5.

9. Fashion Clothing Tape

For the fashion-lover, double-stick fashion tape is a handy item to prevent any type of wardrobe malfunction or to hold hems and shirt openings in place. While many clothing and drugstore retailers sell fashion tape at higher price points, you can find the same Hollywood Fashion Tape at Wal-Mart and other similar discount stores for just under $5.

10. Magazine

Roll up a magazine your recipient doesn't normally receive for a fun stocking stuffer. Ideas include an issue of Lucky for fashion-lovers, a gossip mag for someone into entertainment buzz, or specific leisure mags for hobby enthusiasts. Shop a bookstore or a well-stocked magazine kiosk to find interesting choices.

11. Good Chopsticks

For all those who love sushi or Chinese food, a nice set of chopsticks is a cool stocking stuffer. For a nice set under $5, check out CB2's clothespin chopsticks or browse around on Everythingchopsticks.com for an affordable pair.

12. Travel Containers

Mini shampoos, toothpastes, and plastic carry-on travel containers all make great little stocking gifts for the traveler in your life. Given most of these items can be found for $2 or less in drugstores and supermarkets, they make for an easy gift to give.

13. Dish Towels

A nice item to include in someone's stocking is a colorful dish or tea towel. Try the six pack of waffle-stitched dishcloths at Anthropology, which average out to $3 each. Or try Ikea, which has many selections, like the TULLIA multicolor towel, for just a few dollars.

14. Sidewalk Chalk

For a fun stocking stuffer that can easily be found for under $5 at toy stores, drugstores, big box retailers, and even office stores like Staples, think sidewalk chalk. Colorful, thick sticks of chalk make for an enjoyable gift for the kids and even those adults with message boards at home.

15. Bath Sponge or Loofah

Make a bath or shower more luxurious with a colorful round bath sponge or small loofah mit. These make great stocking stuffers for just a few bucks and can be easily found at drugstores, supermarkets, and online at drugstore.com.

16. Small Kitchen Tools

Shop a dollar store or HomeGoods to find super-affordable kitchen items, such as spatulas, measuring spoons, can openers, melon ballers, and wooden spoons. Or, try other well-known home retailers for some great, under-$5 prep tools, like these jar openers, bag clips, and peelers.

17. Lip Balms

Upgrade from the usual Chapstick by finding interesting flavors and brands that make a little lip balm look like a high ticket find. A good one to try is Burt's Bees beeswax lip balm, which retails for around $3 or less and can be found in just about any drugstore.

18. Bud Vases and Flowerpots

Craft stores and dollar stores have a great selection of tiny bud vases, usually in a variety of colors, as well as mini terra cotta flowerpots for just a couple of bucks. You can also try other retailers, such as CB2's selection of mini bud vases.

19. Candles

A pack of tealight candles, a scented votive, or a small pillar candle can all be found for under $5 at a multitude of retailers, from Pier 1 Imports to dollar stores. Or, check out Urban Outfitter's funky color drip candles or Bath & Body Works' mini scented glass container candles for a fresh take on the usual candle gift.

20. Rubber Stamps

Search around on Etsy, eBay, and in the clearance section of paper stores and craft stores for some rubber stamps under $5. Cute designs or monograms make a nice, unexpected gift for anyone to use when wrapping presents, writing notes, or making crafts.

21. Old Navy $5 and Below Deals

For a great stocking stuffer, check out Old Navy's site for their many great $5 and below offers, which change frequently. In the Steals and Deals and Sales sections, steep discounts can easily land you a T-shirt or tank for under $5, while things like gloves, flip flops, and off-season items can also be found for cheap.

22. Lottery Tickets

Add a few scratch-off lotto tickets to anyone's stocking for a fun, unexpected gift. And, that $2 ticket may just lead to some nice extra cash if someone is lucky.

23. Luggage Tags

Make a fashion statement or just help someone better identify their bag while traveling with a unique luggage tag as a stocking stuffer. There are many interesting, $5 and below options, including Forever 21's flag tag; many fun styles on Amazon, like Hello Kitty tags; and monogrammed options on Etsy.

24. Nuts and Dried Fruits

A favorite by many and a nice alternative to candy, a small bag of pistachios, cashews, dried banana chips, or dried apricots makes a nice stocking treat. Just be sure your recipient does not have a nut allergy.

25. Fancy Soap

For a nice stocking stuffer, try adding a fancy bar of soap for someone special. You can divide up bar sets or find some fancy pump soaps at discount stores like HomeGoods. Or, go for Bath & Body Works' PocketBac sanitizing hand gels, which come in an array of scents and retail five for $5.

26. Mini Frames

Whether it be for a desk or bedside table, an inexpensive mini frame fits the bill for a good under $5 stocking stuffer. Tiny frames can be found at big box stores, craft stores, discount stores, and pharmacies, or check out CB2's cool stainless steel magnetic mini frames that would look great on the fridge door.

27. Champagne Splits and Mini Wines

For those that would enjoy a bit of a bubbly, an affordable champagne split (usually a half bottle size or less) is a great option, which fits nicely in a stocking. Often, you can find splits of wine or champagne sold in 4-packs, with bottles averaging below $5 for many delicious, yet affordable brands. Or, try sparkling cider, found in gourmet grocery stores, for a non-alcoholic option.

28. Command Hooks

Command brand adhesive hooks are an extremely practical stocking gift. For under $5, they have products ranging from small utensil hanging hooks to cord organizers to colorful multi-colored hooks, all of which could be useful in the house, dorm, or elsewhere.

29. Stickers

For kids or adults, cool stickers are a fun item to find in a stocking. Try Oriental Trading to find all kinds of holiday and novelty sticker rolls for kids and crafters for just a few dollars. Or try places like Zazzle for some monogram stickers for adults to use on envelopes.

30. Mini Sewing Kit

Long gone are the days where most hotels also give out free miniature sewing kits in addition to the free soap and shampoo. A handy little emergency sewing kit, which you can buy at a dollar store or drug store for under $5, makes for a very useful gift.

31. Dollar Store Toys

There are some fun picks at most dollar stores for the kids or to serve as clever adult stocking stuffers too. Think of paddleball games, rubber duckies, puzzles, and word games that can all be found at such venues.

32. Hair Accessories

Hair elastics, headbands, and clips are great stocking stuffers for the ladies in your life. For an interesting twist, try Goody's doublewear hairbands, which double as cool ponytail holders and bracelets, and can be found at major drugstores and big box retailers, like Target, for under $5.

33. Teas and Coffees

A nice box of specialty teas or a small pack of flavored coffee makes a nice gift for most people's stockings. Check out offerings at your local grocery store or certain coffee shops to find some economical choices under $5. Fancy hot chocolate is another affordable option that can also be found with a little searching.

34. Jewelry

There's a lot of fun jewelry for under $5 if you shop places like Forever 21 and H&M. A pair of studs, a fun bracelet, or a charm can easily be scored. Other popular mall jewelry stores, like Claire's, are also good options for super cheap costume jewelry.

35. Fun Straws

Crazy straws and other fun straw designs are great stocking stuffers for kids and adults alike. Try searching the official Krazy Straw site for great ideas, including costume straws for under $5, or head to your local party store to find multi-colored packs of twisty straws that are sure to give anyone a smile.

36. Fancy Candy

Step it up a notch from the usual checkout counter candy bar (although I wouldn't complain if anyone gave me one), and buy a little bag of fancy sea salt caramels or chocolate buttercreams at a candy store. Or, go for gummy bears or even fun Christmas candies that are sure to please any sweet tooth.

37. Keychain

A decorative or themed keychain is a nice stocking gift for anyone to use. Zazzle carries thousands of options under $5, such as monograms, sports themes, movie themes, humorous sayings, customizable options, and more.

38. Cupcake Liners

For those that like to bake, unique and decorative cupcake liners are a fun stocking gift, which may just benefit the giver in the future too. Williams-Sonoma has some chic packaged options for under $5, as do many discount and home stores.

39. Drink Koozies

Whether it's for the tailgater, beach-goer, boater, or beer lover, drink insulators (otherwise known as koozies) make a fun stocking stuffer. Check out affordable designs, from sports teams to customizable options, which could always keep someone's beverage cold and in style.

40. Socks

Socks are a practical gift indeed, but besides the basic white tennis socks or black dress socks, which you can easily score for under $5 a pair at major discount stores, like T.J. Maxx and Wal-Mart, try searching out other options. Socks with cute designs for the kids or mom, or the more luxurious plush socks, which can be worn as slippers, all make nice stocking gifts.

What are some of your favorite stocking stuffers for under $5?

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