My Short List of Cool Gifts under $25

 The Yum Diary Short List of excellent gifts under $25, just in time for the week before Xmas!

1. A gift certificate to your local independent health food store. Healthy food (often a luxury for many) can be 'spensive!

Encourage your loved ones to eat well and support those local businesses in the meanwhile. Yum!

2. A metal water bottle. I love my Sigg brand bottles because I have put them in the dishwasher a frillion times and they're doing swell! Plus, they are pretty. Quench Steel Works has lovely designs (hand wash only) and I really like Earthlust's designs as well.

I take a full 1L bottle with me whenever I go out in the car (or the half-liter size for walking trips) so I don't dehydrate and start craving french fries. Great for hydrating during movies, yoga class, cocktail parties, game nights, etc. Those 1 liter bottles are the joint, but the half-size ones are useful for quick hikes and jaunts.

3. A flock of geese, chicks, or ducks -- or even a whole goat or cow -- to a needy family in your gift recipient's name from Heifer International. For example, a family in Africa, the Caribbean, or Asia that receives your gift of a flock of chicks can eat and sell chicken eggs, breed more chickens, and support themselves in a way that was previously impossible.

Heifer International is one of the most well-regarded global charities out there, and the idea is superb. Shutterfly partnered w/Heifer to offer really cute gift cards -- Heifer gives you a 20% discount plus free cards at Shutterfly. Gift levels range from $10 and $20 to $10,000 and beyond!

4. A Moleskine brand planner, journal, or notebook. These are the o.g. well-made notebooks. I've been using a Moleskine weekly planner since...2003? 2004? I wouldn't be without one. The elastic strap keeps it closed and doesn't wear out; the little braided placeholder ribbon keeps me straight; the rear pocket holds my postage stamps and a photo or two; and the removable address book in the back transfers to the next year's planner with ease!

This year I splurged and ordered the red twin-set weekly planner from a local stationery store (Jot in Columbia, SC -- thanks for the referral, Lady Shop Tart!), in the interest of giving my $ to a local business instead of Barnes and Noble. It comes in today or tomorrow. Can't wait!

5. The Snuggie! I got one at my Bunko group's white elephant/dirty santa party and it was the talk of the party. I look like a Smurf wearing it. Terrible quality, super-thin fleece, but to liven up a family gift-giving gathering with laughter and a Snuggie fashion show, $14.95 at Target is a nominal fee, no? (Thanks Kirkland, for the brilliant Snuggie idea!)

6. Movie tickets or a gift certificate to your local art house / independent movie/ nonprofit theater (like the Nickelodeon in Columbia, SC or the Castro, Roxie, or Red Vic in San Francisco). Support the arts, yo!

7. Envirosax or Chico reusable shopping bags. I am addicted to my ultra-lightweight Envirosax bags and their pretty designs. They also happen to be incredibly durable.

And how about Envirosax's idea to wrap all your gifts in eco-friendly shopping bags instead of wrapping paper? GENIUS.

 Loving the new Chico bag designs and shapes, including the Sling, the Messenger, and the Daypack. Cool! The little Chico bags are only $5. Hello stocking stuffers.

(Although they're a lil too small for me. The Vita and Vintage styles, $7 and $9 I think, are much roomier and more useful. Bigger armholes, etc.)

Other great gifts (under and over $25): really good cheeses, fancy salt, pro-quality chef's knives and cookware, spa or independent massage therapist gift certificates, zoo memberships, mixed CDs, MP3 players pre-loaded with lots of music, gift certificates to independent bookstores, buzzworthy cookbooks, etc.

What are your hot lil gift ideas? Comment below!


  1. Love the passes to the Nick idea, and the water bottle...both gifts I have purchased for friends this Christmas! I also love Heifer. Here's a link to a really cheap gift idea that I'm putting in my husband's stocking, (not healthy, but yummy):
    And here's a link to my blog, where I talk about some gifts I'd like this year...most are pretty darn cheap: LOVE Good magazine, discussed in this post; if you haven't heard of it/read it, you should!

  2. Excellent list. I love reusable bags. Waste reduction is very important. By equipping our community with reusable bags we can eliminate the waste that is associated with plastic shopping bags.

  3. Just as an FYI wanted to flag you to three posts that resulted from our field visits with Heifer International in Rwanda. They are doing terrific work on the ground...

    Here are the write-ups for the Worldwatch Institute's Nourishing the Planet []:

    Healing with livestock in Rwanda

    Teacher Turned Farmer…Turned Teacher

    Got Biogas?

    We are travel blogging from Africa at a site called Border Jumpers which can be viewed at
    Danielle Nierenberg and Bernard Pollack

  4. Bsmithhill, that Fred Flare bacon chocolate pancake mix looks amazing! Ha ha. Nice one.

    Thanks, Border Jumpers, for the Heifer links!

  5. Harmony School (local non-profit school in Forest Acres) has Chico Bags for sale. Buying one from them benefits the school and the!!!
    Call Harmony School at 803-787-1899.

  6. wow..!! amazing one.
    thanks for your wonderful site

  7. Thanks so much for the posts and the info, everyone! Yay!

  8. Well nice gift and idea,
    Should try this idea soon, thanks for sharing.

  9. Well i must say this is nice idea,
    thanks to share with.

  10. Yeh dear no doubt that it is a nice idea. Thanks for sharing. I like this post.


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