Feeling the pressure of the difficult economy?

Don’t want to break the bank this year?

Want to pick something up that’s small yet practical for a certain someone?

Here are my suggestions for Ten Gifts Under $10:

1. This Cookie Scoop as mentioned here and here.

This $3.99 item has done more for my baking and overall cookie results than any other item from Silpat to oven temperature to type of cookie sheet.

Bucket of Cookie Dough Scoops

Highly recommended.

2. I’ve bought two donut pans in the past few months: one regular and one mini.

Regular and Mini Donut pans

If you are only going to get one, I’d recommend the regular.  The mini is cute but is more of a PITA to deal with.

I have used my regular-sized donut pan, tons.  Far more than I ever thought I would.

Donuts are easy to make.  Even easier and faster than muffins.  And far faster and easier to make than cookies in my opinion.

Recent Donut highlights:

Baked Chocolate Peanut Butter Donuts with Vanilla Peanut Butter Glaze (for the chocolate and PB lover)

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze (like Cinnabons from the mall food court but in donut form and at home)

Baked Eggnog Vanilla Donuts with Rum Eggnog Glaze (seasonal and delicious, rum optional but encouraged)

Baked Savory Cream Cheese & Herb Donuts (donuts aren’t only sweet, for the cheese lover)

Baked Vanilla Donuts with Vanilla Glaze (Krispy Kreme donuts at home)

My donut pan is the best $8 bucks I’ve spent in all of 2011. And the cookie scoop is the best $4 bucks.

3. It’s a 10.  I posted about it here and it makes my hair products I love list.   It’s a leave-in detangler (and smoother) that is fabulous.  I think all hair types would likely benefit from it.

It's a ten leave-in spray  A couple spritzes of this and you can comb through the worst tangles, knots, and snarls, effortlessly.  It does not leave your hair gloppy or greasy, shiny, nor does it weigh fine hair down.

It just leaves it looking fabulous.

The 2 ounce size ($6.99) lasts forever.  Check your local beauty supply stores or Amazon, here.

4. Magazine Subscriptions

1 Year = $10 bucks for Rachel Ray

Magazine subscription

Magazines are gift the keeps on giving every month of the year.  Blogs, the internet, and Kindles are nice; but real books and real magazines are always appreciated.

 5. Books.

Check the Amazon used listings and you will find so many books under $10.  It’s like a party with your mouse and your online shopping cart.  Can’t go wrong for 10 bucks. 

Add to Cart.  Add to Cart. 

Add Matt Armendariz’s book, On a Stick! to you cart

On a Stick! by Matt Armendariz coverThe day I spent with Matt & Adam changed my life.  Not kidding.

6. Reusable mugs or reusable water containers

I love my reuseable travel mug from Starbucks.  It’s dishwasher safe AND microwave safe because there’s no metal.  I nuke my coffee to get it extra hot and most reusable bottles have some sort of metal but not this one.  And I adore it.  It saves me step of having to heat the coffee in something else and then pour it into the travel cup.

Starbucks reusable travel mugPlus it’s made from post-recycled materials.  An (unintentional) eco-friendly score.  Starbucks has tons of inventory that’s always rotating.  This one looks fun and functional.

7. A container of coffee (or tea) + a mug

Large container of coffee

If you buy nearly a pound from TJ’s, you’ll still have $2 or $3 bucks leftover to buy a coffee mug from a store like TJ Maxx or Marshall’s or your local dollar store.

Look for cute sampler packs of teas and coffees in the stores this time of year, also.

8. A bottle of wine or dessert liquor that the recipient may never splurge for on her own.  Local wine shops, Trader Joe’s, and liquor stores tend to have specials this time of year on booze.  Enjoy getting drunk on the cheap.  Enjoy the savings.

9. Homemade gifts of any kind from crafts to food are always welcome.

Many of us feel that DIY or homemade gifts are somehow inferior to the store-bought variety, but what recipient would look at a dozen or two dozen cookies or a container of fudge and think, “Oh, that’s a lame gift.  I wish she had given me something from the store.”

On the contrary.

If someone came bearing these

Peanut butter white chocolate cookies

Or this

White chocolate cookies cream fudge

I’d remember that gift.  Then again, desserts speak loudly to me and are etched in my memory banks

10. The gift of your time and companionship.

Simply write on a piece of paper, “This coupon is good for one walk together and a cup of tea”.


“This coupon is good for some girl time and conversation” (and make it a Girls Night In so no money needs to be spent or elaborate plans made)

It’s the time with my friends and loved ones that matters the most and I’d be touched if a friend gave me the gift of her thoughtfulness and time.  Just knowing she was thinking of me and I had the option to “cash in” my coupon for some girl talk at a future date would be a very welcome gift.


1. Do you have any $10 or less gifts?

There are so many holiday gift lists out there; no shortage of finding them from magazines to websites to blogs.

Gina has:

gift guide for the ladies

for the mamas

for the dudes

And my fabulous friend Marla just posted her 15 Amazing Gifts Under $15

2.  Does holiday shopping stress you out?, i.e. emotionally, financially, time spent doing it, etc?

It used to for me but thankfully there is no one in our extended families, i.e. adults, parents, siblings, parents, neices/newphews, cousins, etc. whom either Scott or I buy for anymore.

The adults have a pact, no gifts.  And there are no small children expecting gifts either.

I know some people feel almost trapped or “forced into” buying for their extended families or even friends because they feel it’s owed or expected of them.

The “If she buys something for me, I have to buy something for her mentality” but that seems to be the antithesis of what the spirit of giving should be about.

If it’s an “expectation” or an “obligation” and the gift doesn’t come from a pure place and I don’t want to give gifts under those circumstance and definitely do not want to receive them if the giver felt that way about what she was giving me.

3. Have you done your holiday shopping?  Who are you buying for? 

I bought for no one other than Skylar.

Scott and I don’t exchange gifts anymore for any holidays, anniversaries, or birthdays.  We save the money we would have spent on all those little things which can add up to big things$$ and we put it in our travel fund.

We’d rather travel than have gifts.

Aruba beach

P.S. Thanks for the $75 SpaFinder Giftcard Stress Relief Giveaway entries

Happy Holidays!

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