Best cheap Christmas gift ideas for £30 and under

·5-min read

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Shops have got the tinsel ready and supermarkets across the UK are poised to drop their festive sandwiches.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. But it can also be jolly expensive. Between gift-buying for your family and friends, the Christmas drinks and Secret Santa gatherings on what seems to be every weekend from mid-November onwards, we all feel the pinch on our purse-strings by January.

But sourcing the perfect gift that someone will love needn’t be expensive, and bigger certainly doesn’t mean better. Shop tactically for understated presents that are packed with meaning, and you’re sure to have everyone smiling from your third cousin twice removed to your office secret Santa.

Whatever your budget, we’ve done the hard work for you. Our edit of brilliant gifts are all £30 or under. From gadgets and games to keep the kids busy for hours, to timeless and contemporary homeware that will look good on the mantlepiece long into 2022. There’s something here for everyone, and with each item costing less a weekly travel card, you might even have enough left over to treat yourself too.

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Tassimo by Bosch Coffee Machine

Want to impress someone this year but can’t afford a very expensive present? Then look no further than this coffee machine by Bosch. It looks much pricier than it is and will definitely put you in their good books.

We all know at least one coffee addict that will appreciate this nifty little machine. Available coffee-making functions are espresso, cappuccino, latte and latte macchiato. It’s easy to use with a one touch automatic system ensures a speedy and delicious cup of the good stuff. Tassimo T disk pods are fully recyclable and are conveniently available from most major supermarkets.

Buy now £29.99, Argos

Make Your Own Neon Light

The crafty someone in your life will adore making their own personalised wall art with this neon light. The Make Your Own Neon Sign set includes three metres of battery-powered flexi-wire that you can bend into any shape you want. It also comes complete with shaping wire.

The best thing about buying gifts that people can customise themselves is they’re guaranteed to actually like the finished result. A difficult thing to achieve when buying someone a gift. It’s a personal and thoughtful option that’s suitable for teens to adults. And at under twenty quid, it won’t break the bank.

Buy now £15.00, Oliver Bonas

Provide x Osman Yousefzada Print Woven Scarf

We love this geometric print scarf from Provide, in collaboration with artist Osman Yousefzada. Bright, colourful and misleadingly expensive looking, the fashionista with high-end taste will not be disappointed.

Available exclusively from Selfridges, it’s made in England by a family owned factory with over 30 years knitting experience.

Buy now £28.00, Selfridges

Spy X Lazor Trap Alarm

Stealthy kids (and perhaps a few adults) are bound to enjoy this tech-y booby trap. In true spy movie (or Britney Spears in Toxic) fashion, this Spy X Lazer Trap Alarm uses invisible lasers to set up a barrier that will sound a loud, flashing alarm if breached.

Whether it’s a secret den or a stash of stocking filler chocolate, this trap will keep those valuables safe and sound from thieves and intruders!

Batteries required: Six AAA (not included)

Buy now £18.00, Argos

Kaye Swirl pink and blue dinner candle set

Elevate someone's dinner table, mantlepiece or dresser with this candle set. Available in sets of baby pink and blue or yellow and blue. The contemporary swirl design upgrades the traditionally dull dinner candle and makes an on-trend gift that will appeal to many.

Shop more taper candles here

Buy now £20.00, Oliver Bonas

Versace Porcelain Plate

It’s kitsch, it’s out there, it’s.. Versace. Ok £30 for a saucer could be viewed by some as not the right sort of thing to put on a budget Christmas gift list, but we all know a designer fiend who covets the high-end and luxury. It’s also a perfectly niche present to put a smile on the person-who-has-everything’s face.

This could also work beautifully placed on a bedside table to display trinkets in true Donatella fashion.

Buy now £30.00, Matches Fashion

One Line a Day Canvas Five Year Memory Book

A small but meaningful gift for the nostalgic and sentimental. This canvas covered diary is a five year memory book, the idea is to write one line a day. Keeping things brief will make what you choose to write or say more meaningful, and it’s easy enough to remember to do. It will end up being the perfect time capsule to look back on.

Buy now £14.99, Oliver Bonas

Sparkle Science Chemistry Set

For kids going through a glitter faze. This sparkly chemistry set from John Adams is equal parts educational and fun. Kids can measure and mix their way through 10 different chemistry experiments to make their own bath jellies, crystals, a sparkly lava lamp and mystic ball.

Each set comes with clear instructions that highlight the method and science behind the experiments. A great way to spend one of those afternoons between Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve.

All ingredients in the set are safe and non-toxic.

Buy now £21.00, Argos

Blue Lustre Gin Goblets

Christmas calls for a goblet filled with ice and gin. This pair from Oliver Bonas will look good in any kitchen or drinks trolley, and are guaranteed to be filled again, and again. We love how the blue stem and gold design elements elevate these goblets, making it a great cheap gift that feels a little bit special.

Buy now £22.50, Oliver Bonas

Nars Eyeshadow Palette

This festive palette from high-end make up brand Nars, is exclusive to Space NK. The set of mini eyeshadows includes six pigmented shades and finishes to create a make-up look to fit all occasions. The shades are blendable and versatile enough to flatter all tastes, styles and skin-tones. The compact packaging, as well as being gloriously festive with its limited edition design, will fit in the tiniest of handbags to take you effortlessly from day to night.

Buy now £26.00, Space NK

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