The Low-Cost, High-Joy Gift Guide: 76 Under-$40 Gifts That Leave Everyone Happy


There's a commonly used "law" of business that promises the following: Nothing can be fast, good, and cheap all at the same time. It can be fast and cheap but not good; good and cheap but not fast; fast and good but not cheap. No matter what, there's something you have to sacrifice. But after Who What Wear's team of experts put their heads together ahead of the holiday season, one thing became clear. Whoever came up with this theory hadn't met us or, better yet, shopped for the gifts we spend the majority of November sourcing. If they had, they'd see quite clearly that this particular law of business isn't without exceptions. The 76 gifts below are proof enough of that. 

Fast, good, and cheap (like under-$40 cheap) are three words that describe to a T every one of the gift ideas featured ahead. From premeasured Sicilian sea salt that your foodiest friend will delight over to a table-top loom that'll get the creative juices flowing for your right-brained family member, the presents you're about to see and shop are destined to spark joy in whoever unwraps them. Scroll on for Low Cost, High Joy with Who What Wear, our under-$40 guide to making everyone on your holiday gifting list happy.


True gourmands can be some of the hardest people to shop for. Their taste levels are hundreds of steps beyond even a regular-old food lover, and they spend large chunks of time learning about the latest nosh-related fads around the world. Because of that, it's essential that you take a step into their shoes and do some serious research. Luckily, our team houses quite a few connoisseurs in this particular area of interest, all of whom were all too eager to share their wisdom. From sell-out duck-fat tortillas to Portuguese canned sardines, if the person you're shopping for loves food, the gifts below are sure to impress. 

1: Duck-Fat Tortillas

2: Truffles

3: A Pink Pineapple

4: Japanese Fruit Knife

5: Canned Sardines

6: Butter Knife

7: French Chili Butter

8: East Asian Omsom Sampler

9: Dishoom Cookbook

10: Oyster Grow Kit

11: Italian Linguine

12: Premeasured Sea Salt

13: Family-Recipe Cookbook


What do you get for the hostess with the mostest? How about a bevy of under-$40 gifts that even she doesn't already have? We're talking about handmade French candlesticks (and yes, they're customizable), a bobbin-lace apron for her chicest bottle of red, and a card game designed by a relationship expert that is bound to make even the most awkward of parties wildly intimate. And those are just the highlights. 

14: French Candlesticks

15: Paper Lanterns

16: Red Wine Glass

17: Party Game

18: Hand-Painted Place Cards

19: Vintage Party Book

20: YSL Lighter

21: Bottle Apron

22: Ceramic Candleholders

23: Truth or Dare Card Game


If you've spent the last five years gifting the green thumb in your family and/or friend group the same 12-month subscription to Better Homes and Gardens, it's time to switch things up. That's where the 10 gifts ahead come in. From jazzed-up camping equipment to gardening doodads that feel fun instead of expected, prepare for an elated look on whomever's face that unwraps one of the below options this holiday season. 

24: Gardening Cap

25: Radish Seeds

26: Moon Calendar

27: Kenzan Set

28: Thermos

29: Solar Lamp

30: Meditation Deck

31: Mushroom People Magazine

32: Plant Food

33: Gardening Clogs


Whether you're looking to buy a (much-deserved) gift for yourself or eyeing a present for that person in your life who desperately needs some relaxation time, you've come to the right place. Ranging from bath and nighttime essentials to a five-minute journal that can solve a lot more problems than you'd probably think, they're each designed to help whoever receives them lay low and unwind. 

34: Milk Cleanser

35: Five-Minute Journal

36: Bookmark

37: Faux-Shearling Slippers

38: Hair Oil

39: Moisturizer Stone

40: Smoothing Brush

41: Linen Boxers

42: Japanese Wax Candles


Boring, impersonal gifts are so, well, never. No one wants to unwrap a pair of unbranded tube socks during the holidays. We'd rather open nothing instead of something that was clearly conjured up at the 11th hour. Instead, think about ordering something specific to the eventual owner, be it a personalized French lip balm, an engraved pet tag, or a perfume that involves the recipient taking a quiz to find a scent that fits them to a T, all of which are included below.

43: Personalized Perfume

44: Scallop-Trim Stationery

45: Zodiac Puzzle

46: Flower Paint Kit

47: Custom Stamp

48: Pet Tag

49: Luggage Tags

50: French Lip Balm

51: Custom L.L. Bean Tote


There are two types of people in the world: those who think of their house/apartment as a place to sleep at night and those who make it a home. If the next name on your gifting checklist falls into the latter category, stop what you're doing and peruse the eight gifts ahead, which were hand-selected with the purpose of sparking joy in your homebody friend. Trust us—all it takes is a vintage design magazine or a really pretty candle.

52: Wick Trimmer

53: Mid-Century Modern Interior Design Magazine

54: Tusk Candle

55: Anthurium Plant

56: Colorful Storage Crates

57: Handmade Broom

58: Scented Starter Box

59: Ceramic Egg Tray


If your left brain does 99% of the work, it's understandable if a gift you have to make yourself sounds more like a nightmare than a cause for celebration. But for those out there whose creative side runs the ship, a DIY gift is the best possible kind. Left-brainers, step aside. This section is for your complete and utter opposite. 

60: Natural Dye Kit

61: Grandparent and Grandchild Pen-Pal Kit

62: Candle-Making Kit

63: Hand-Dyed Silk Ribbon