Photo-Illustration: Courtesy of the retailers
There are lots of ways to show someone you care about them without buying a present — like sending them a note or calling to say hi. But if your partner’s love language is receiving gifts, or you just want to surprise a friend with a little something, there are many personal (and affordable) Valentine’s Day gift ideas on Amazon for under $25. Below, we sought out the best cheap gifts for a range of valentines — from the tea obsessive to the dog parent, and of course the valentine who’d just like a (beautiful and ethically manufactured) chocolate bar.
This vanilla extract comes recommended by pastry chefs like Natasha Pickowicz.
These fish-patterned cloth tea towels would pair well with a bright, sustainably sourced tin of Fishwife.
A book of love poems from Rachel Rabbit White.
As former Strategist writer David Notis noted: “Made in Germany. Pear-wood handle. Soft boar’s hair. What more could you want?”
The lube we dubbed the best of the best, which comes in a stylish glass bottle you won’t be embarrassed to leave out.
Since purchasing this little shower speaker, Strategist contributor Rio Viera-Newton says her “shower time has become not just tolerable but genuinely fun and entertaining.”
Some fancy, syrup-soaked cherries that also work well in old-fashioneds and Manhattans.
While perfume is typically quite expensive, this Nemat roll-on oil is super-affordable and has a bit of a cult following, according to Strategist contributor Natalie Toren. Scent educator Tracy Wan (who tipped Toren off to it) describes it as “pure sorcery.”
Monikers is a an easy-to-learn, fast-paced board game similar to charades that’s way more fun than the usual game-night classics.
We recommend this set of rainbow playing cards from Fredericks & Mae.
A Baggu wallet in a print that pops.
This fanny pack has enough room for their phone, wallet, keys, hand sanitizer, and mask.
From our favorite mushroom nightlight brand comes another pair of color-changing, mushroom nightlights that look more like enokis than porcinis.
This honey dipper from Le Creuset, in a Valentine’s Day–appropriate shade of red, will make their morning cup of tea with honey considerably more charming.
Evan Kennedy, the co-founder of cannabis and CBD brand Alive & Kicking, told us about this bath bomb from CBD skin-care brand Prima. “It has a wonderful fragrance and a very calming mix” of CBD, Epsom salt, and meadowfoam-seed oil, he says. “Many bath products can get overly perfumy, but this one is a great balance.”
A sweater your best friend can wear from February 14 till the spring thaw.
If they place the box near a window with indirect light and mist twice a day, within ten days they’ll have their first (of several) oyster mushroom crops.
This Milton Glaser print — which represents “a nude so large it couldn’t fit on the page” — will zhuzh up any dull space.
Latria Graham, nature writer and gear reviewer, told us that instead of hiking with a cumbersome stainless-steel container, she’d rather use one of HydraPak’s 1.5-liter collapsible bottles, which “crush down to the size of an eyeglasses case that I can just shove in my pocket.”
A black-and-white disposable camera they can take along on your next adventure.
Shake up their sauce shelf with some of Shaquanda’s Hot Pepper Sauce. This mild green blend is made from serranos, jalapeños, citrus, and banana.
Some fancy expert-recommended finishing salt that’s sure to impress the person who is picky about seasoning.
Instead of getting your valentine gummy worms, gift them this Danish-made licorice.
The graphic packaging alone makes these milk-chocolate bars worth buying, but they also happen to be delicious (and their manufacturing practice supports slave-free chocolate production).
A Diptyque is always nice, but this one’s much more fun: It starts off white and then drips in a rainbow of colors.
You can’t go wrong with some tasteful, faintly woodsy Japanese incense sticks.
A twofer: Frank Lloyd Wright’s aerial blueprint of Fallingwater on one side and the home’s iconic exterior on the other.
An insulated mug recommended by two coffee experts, including Caleb Chauncey, a barista at East Pole Coffee Co. in Atlanta, who says it keeps drinks warm or cold for long periods of time (without sweating or burning your hand).
A classic collection of essays chronicling life in old New York (we recommend pairing this with takeout pints from McSorley’s).
Writer Molly McGhee recommends this old-school book light for any night-owl bookworms who are looking to keep “the blue-light blues at bay.”
A couples toy that can also be used solo.
According to André Aciman, it’s “the Volkswagen of pens, with a Jaguar engine.”
In the form of a gridded-and-guided notebook that Molly Young calls the “fine wine” of notebooks.
The classic Casio watch doubles as an on-the-go calculator for that cool-nerd look.
This trio tea timer has color-coded sand timers to indicate how long to brew white, green, and black tea.
With additional reporting by Kayla Levy.
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