Gift cards are like cash to me; I can't carry them too long or they start burning a hole in my pocket. Coffee shops, gas stations, retail stores ... it doesn't matter. If I have a gift card, I have to spend it. Stat. Amazon gift cards are in a class of their own, though. Just plug in a few alphanumeric characters and your gift card balance magically appears in your Amazon account like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat.
I don't just like giving gift cards, I love giving them. (And, yes, before you judge me, I know they're the "lazy" way out.) But, hear me out: You make a quick purchase and your recipient gets to pick out what they want. How is that not a win-win? Here, I've found 37 products for you that you can make quick work of with nothing more than a $25 gift card. Don't have a gift card? Don't sweat it. None of these finds — from cold brew carafes to potty putters — will set you back very much moolah.
At-Home Brews For Less Than The Cost Of A Couple Coffeehouse Lattes
Cold brew is my spirit animal, and I've probably spent a small fortune on it at Starbucks and the like. A couple of years ago, I decided to stop throwing money away by investing in a cold brew pitcher. You can transform coffee grounds into four servings of cold brew right at your fingertips in your own refrigerator.
Upgrade Your Organization Game With This Utensil Organizer
Make the most of every inch of kitchen storage space with this cleverly designed Utensil Organizer Tray. The secret is the stacked, angled compartments that let you put in a LOT more utensils compared to a regular, flat tray.
This Over-The-Door Rack Is A Total Shoe-In
You could say I've got a bit of a shoe problem. The clutter drives my hubby crazy, so we needed a storage solution that holds lots of shoes in a small space. This over-the-door shoe rack holds an impressive 36 pairs and fits easily on our closet door. Think you can't get this for under $25? Think again!
They See Me Rollin'
This facial roller is not only pretty but also functional. Available in jade or rose quartz, these rollers rely on an ancient Chinese healing technique that imparts circulation to your skin, making it look fresh and dewy and improving firmness. Pro tip: Stash your new roller in the refrigerator for an extra burst of cooling refreshment for tired, puffy skin.
This Portable Speaker Packs A Punch
This portable speaker may be tiny in stature, but it's big in sound delivery. Available in black or silver, it provides crystal-clear sound in a six-ounce package perfect for the beach, pool, trail, or golf cart (or any other place you can think to tote it). The built-in battery gives you six hours of playback time with easy controls (just one button!) for everything from turning it on to skipping a song.
This Outlet Shelf Is A Space-Saving Superstar
My house tends to be messy and unorganized, so whenever I find a product that helps me make the best use of my space, I get extremely excited. This ECHOGEAR Outlet Shelf is one of those products. It's a little shelf that goes over your outlet so you can plug in a device and set it right on top; no need to clutter your side tables or countertops.
Beauty In The Eyeshadow Of The Beholder
Eyeshadow palettes are all the rage, and they vary in price from cheap to crazy expensive. This one falls squarely in the middle, requiring only half your $25 gift card, and has 19,000 stellar reviews. The "Exposed" offering includes colorful rose gold and royally dark browns for shimmery natural and dramatic glamour looks. Reviewers compared it to the much more expensive Urban Decay alternative.
Use Your Card On These Adorable Candles
Have everything you need? At a loss for what to spend your gift card balance on? You can't go wrong with these soy wax candles that come in a four-pack of fragrances: Lavender, lemon, fig, and spring. I love the colorful Bohemian vibe on the candles' tin exteriors, which can be repurposed into adorable storage containers once the candles have burned out.
This Bestselling Eyeliner Comes in Gorgeous Pops of Color and Is Only $3-$6
Quality doesn't always cost more. NYX makes an affordable line of cosmetics that are also some of the most well-reviewed. Their retractable eyeliner is one of their most loved items. Reviewers say it goes on smoothly, lasts all day, is easy to work with, and doesn't irritate the eyes. Why spend that gift card all in one place when you don't have to?
Wrap Up In This Robe For Less Than $25
One of the greatest things about getting a gift card is the guilt-free feeling of indulging in a purchase for yourself that you might not normally make. Add a plush bathrobe to that category. This soft, fluffy option features a shawl collar, adjustable belt, and pockets (pockets!!) in beautiful colors like plum, taupe, and burgundy. For less than $25, you can't go wrong.
Buy Yourself A Permanent Gift Card Holder
Amazon / Michael W
It might seem counterproductive to spend your gift card on a wallet that could hold your gift card (among other things), but you'll be pleasantly surprised by this low-cost option that serves as a dupe for the more expensive Ridge brand. Made of carbon fiber, this wallet is light and slim and blocks RFID scanners that seek to steal your data. The elastic webbing keeps your card secure, and the money clip is an added exterior feature.
Turn Your Gift Card Into A Growing Garden
I loathe buying herbs at the store. Fresh is best, but they don't last long. Dried herbs last a long time but never seem to be quite as potent. Why not invest in yourself (and your dinners) with this indoor herb garden starter kit? These natural, non-GMO seed options give you easy access to herbs like basil, cilantro, sage, thyme, and parsley and the satisfaction of making healthful additions to your favorite dishes.
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little (Gift) Card
Been neglecting your outdoor (or indoor) spaces? This curtain of twinkle lights will add a nice vibe. Available in warm white or a colorful variation, these lights glow in one of eight different settings — indoors or out — to add just the right amount of ambiance. One reviewer said: "Adds real character to a cozy space." Sold! I'll take two.
Add Aromatherapy To Your Life WIth This Diffuser
Essential oils are my jam. I know, I know, your sister's friend's cousin tried to rope you into an essential oils MLM and you're forever scarred. Not so fast! You can enjoy all that essential oils have to offer without any high-pressure sales tactics with — you guessed it — Amazon. This diffuser offers both color-changing lights and aromatherapy and the convenience of a remote control.
Motivate To Hydrate With This Large-Capacity Jug
"You've got it!" "Remember your goal!" "Keep Drinking!" That's water, friend, not wine. If you struggle to consume your recommended daily water intake (half your body weight, right?), this is the water jug for you. Equipped with markings to remind you to drink from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., you'll knock back a gallon with minimal effort. It comes in a variety of colors and features a nylon strap for carrying on the go.
Grab All Of The Lights For Less Than 20 Bucks
Amazon / Chloe
White lights are so yesterday. These color-changing light bulbs show an array of 12 colors, from red to green to purple and back again. Equipped with a remote control, this four-pack of color-changing bulbs creates a captivating visual experience indoors or out. Change the brightness or light effects with the push of a button. One reviewer said, "Party at my house!" Hey, where's my invite?
Climb Aboard The Charcuterie Bandwagon
I feel like Joey from "Friends" when I think about charcuterie: "Meat? Good! Cheese? Good! Nuts and dried fruit? Good!" Charcuterie solidly has my heart and will yours, too, once you bring home your own charcuterie board. For less than $20, you'll have a kitchen accessory that can be used countless times - for yourself and for entertaining. Made of natural bamboo, this board has cutout grooves for crackers or nuts, too.
Dress Up Your AirPods With A Leather Case
I love keeping my AirPods on my keyring so I A. Always know where they are and B. Always have them close by. This genuine leather case, available in brown or khaki, is perfectly suited for your Series 1 or 2 AirPods. It allows for seamless wireless charging, protects your case (and earbuds) from scratches and includes a keychain attachment for your keyring, backpack and more.
Keep Charged Up On The Go With This Slim Power Bank
A power bank is a good investment, but they're so dang heavy and clunky. This one is ultra slim and charges a device four times faster than traditional wall chargers. Available in white, black or pink, this power bank is roughly the same width as your existing smartphone, with a high-capacity dual output. I use one of these in my house and keep one in a travel bag and another in my car.
Invest In A Book Light That Won't Disturb Others
Night owl? I get it. I do a lot of reading at night, mostly because it helps wind me down at the end of the day (or rile me up, depending on how good the book is!). This neck reading light, available in three colors, is unobtrusive and provides enough light so you can focus on your book, a knitting project, or a repair without disrupting anyone else around you. Unless they're snoring, then they deserve what they get.
Get Smart With This Plug
I finally broke down and bought a couple of these smart plugs, and I don't know why I waited. You can literally control outlets — turning on lights, appliances, and more — with just the sound of your voice. What a time to be alive. I installed one in my living room for my lamp and another in my bedroom for the same purpose. If you already have Alexa as a resident of your home, you need this upgraded accessory.
Write Your Thoughts Down In This Rocketbook
Why use a regular notebook when you can use one with a snazzy name — the Rocketbook? This one has so many cool features, too. This has 36 dotted grid pages that can be written on, wiped clean, and written on again. Even better, you can upload your notes from your Rocketbook to your cloud provider of choice, like Dropbox, Evernote, or Slack. It even comes with the required pen — a Pilot Frixion — and a microfiber cloth.
A Do-It-All Streaming Media Player
Amazon / Sam
If you haven't found at least one new streaming favorite in the past year, have you even been quarantining? The Roku is my favorite of streaming media players for its easy-to-use interface and wealth of app and service offerings. I even bought one for my tech-challenged parents for Christmas and they are whipping around it like experts just a few short weeks later. For less than $25, you can add this to your TV and experience a world of unlimited binge-watching.
Froth Up A Delicious Beverage
In my attempt to stop giving Starbucks so much of my paycheck, I invested in an at-home milk frother and my lattes have never been so good. This little guy will transform your cappuccinos, frappes, matches, and hot chocolates with very little extra effort. I promise you won't miss your $5-a-day habit with this $20 frother that will more than pay for itself in a matter of days.
Protect Your Work Surface With This Desk Pad
I've worked hard over the past year to transform my home workspace into something that is equal parts functional and fab. This office desk pad would be a perfect addition to any desk — at home or in the office. The extra-wide surface has plenty of room for your computer, mouse, and keyboard, and the dual-sided surfaces (one cork, one PU leather) can be used interchangeably and easily wiped clean.
Style Your Breakfast To Your Liking With A Mini-Waffle Maker
Amazon / RuthM
Why do heart-shaped waffles just taste better? It's got to be science. For less than $20, you can craft your waffles to look like hearts, bunnies, skulls, or traditional roundies in the cutest mini 4-inch size. The fun doesn't stop with waffles, though. You can also use this mini machine to grill up hashbrowns, paninis, mini-omelets, and even the super-popular chaffles.
Meat Your New Thermometer BFF
Amazon / Steffanie Smith
Confession time: I always thought meat thermometers were kind of a racket. But, my meat-cooking abilities have improved dramatically since I bought a meat thermometer and learned how to use it properly. This instant-read thermometer does double duty for both meat and candy making, which comes in helpful around the holidays. I especially like the large, easy-to-read LCD screen.
The OG Of Shaker Bottles
I've tried a zillion shaker bottles on the market, and let me tell you: The Blender Bottle is worth the extra bucks. This 28-ounce option is available in a rainbow of colors and will only set you back $9, so you can use that $25 gift card to buy one for yourself and one for someone else. Or, buy yourself two, I won't tell. The BlenderBall mixes contents smoothly, and the wide mouth makes it simple to add nutritional supplements.
This Kitchen Gadget Does It All
If you're going to add one accessory to your kitchen cabinets this year, make it this do-it-all slicer/dicer/cutter/chopper/spiralizer. No kidding, it does all of those things and does them well. For less than $25, you can grab this tool with four interchangeable blades and a collection tray that eliminates the need for a knife and cutting board. When you're finished dicing onions and potatoes and spiralizing zucchini, throw the whole thing in the dishwasher.
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Grab This Egg-cellent Egg Cooker
I like eggs — eating them, not peeling them. I've never quite mastered the art of the perfectly-peeled hardboiled egg, despite reading all the tips and tricks and getting the lowdown from my mother. This egg cooker makes the whole process simpler, cooking up to seven eggs in soft, medium, or hard-boiled firmness. Simply add water, your eggs, and a few minutes later — voila! — perfectly perfect eggs.
Hold Me Closer, Tiny Smartphone
How many times have you been lying in bed watching a movie on your smartphone and thought, "If only I didn't have to hold this weighty contraption?" A million, I know. This lazy phone holder (Hey, it's in the product description!) is your ideal solution. With 360-degree rotation, clip-on holder, and flexible gooseneck arm, you can freely adjust it to your best viewing angle wherever you are.
Lantern Lights To Dress Up Your Outdoor Spaces
I don't know what I love more about this find: The design itself or the pattern created when it's all lit up. Regardless, these lantern lights are a great addition to any outdoor space, from a patio to a balcony to a garden. These lights operate on solar power, too, which is not only convenient but saves on your energy costs. Waterproof and corrosion-resistant, the lights come on at night and operate for up to eight hours.
Knock The Chill Off With This Wearable Throw
I'm cold, and I don't mean just when the temperature drops; I mean all the time. Probably even right now as you're reading this. This premium fleece blanket with sleeves, or as I like to call it, a "wearable throw," is both functional and cozy. Snag it in a solid or try a cheetah or plaid. You'll still be able to check email on your laptop, read your favorite book, or indulge in a warm beverage without (ever) taking it off.
Don't Waist Time Looking For Another Running Belt
I don't run, OK? And, if you ever see me running, you should probably join me because something bad is happening. I do enjoy going for walks, however. But, finding the right solution for your house keys, smartphone, earbuds, and more is a challenge. This waist belt features a ton of zippered compartments and other nooks and crannies designed to hold your phone, money, ID, keys, and more.
You Can Do These Flameless Candles For Cheap
Nine candles for 18 bucks? Where do I sign up? These flameless candles are packed with features, too, including longer battery life and a 10-button remote. I have family members who pull these out for the holidays, specifically, but there's no reason you couldn't keep the proverbial fire burning year-round. Made of real wax, you'll get two each of the 4-inch, 5-inch, and 6-inch varieties and seven-, eight- and nine-inch options to complete the set.
Stock Your Kitchen With This 24-Piece Utensil Set
Here's a one-stop-shop for anyone looking to quickly stock a kitchen for not a lot of dough. For right at $25, you can grab this 24-piece set of kitchen utensils, which includes everything from a soup ladle to tongs to measuring spoons. Made of nylon and stainless steel, these pieces will keep you whisking, peeling, cutting, stirring, mixing, basting, baking, grilling, frying, and serving up your favorite dishes.
Organize Your Next Outing With These Packing Cubes
Amazon / Caitlin Unser
With 2020 in our rearview, it opens the door to possible increased travel in 2021 and beyond. You can organize your packing efforts better with this six-piece set of packing cubes. Waterproof and featuring fabric that's thicker than traditional packing cube sets, this bundle includes small, medium, large and extra-large options that make traveling a breeze and give you more space for souvenirs.