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13 Fancy Host Gifts To Keep On Hand That Cost $10 Or Less

Graphic: Shep McAllister

As an adult, you may feel called on to give small thank-you gifts to hosts, coworkers, yoga instructors, and more. Short of giving up and giving everyone a Starbucks gift card (which is also a perfectly acceptable option), it can be hard to not fall into the same gifts over and over again: wine charms, cheese boards, or cocktail napkins. And while nothing is wrong with these things on their own, no one needs an abundance of them, either. It can also be, at least in my experience, very easy to go into a stationery store for a small gift and pop out twenty minutes later, shocked to find out that you spent $40 on small hand cream and a candle.

In the spirit of gifts that show gratitude but don’t call for exorbitant spending, here are 13 thoughtful host gifts that are $10 or less, and will look great with a bottle of wine, loaf of bread, or heartfelt card.

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Moleskin Pocket Journal, Set of 3

Moleskin Pocket Journal, Set of 3
Graphic: Shep McAllister

Moleskin notebooks have such a classic charm — you can get away with gifting these to your teenage intern or favorite great-aunt. Both will have the occasional need to write down grocery lists or jot down thoughts on the go.

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Coffee Scoop

Coffee Scoop
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Clipped to a bag of oats, tea, or coffee, this serves an attractive two-in-one purpose. It’s also a great way to jazz up a gift of coffee beans.

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Cast Iron Scrubber

Cast Iron Scrubber
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Perfect for your friend who loves to cook, you’ll solve some of the most annoying problems with caring for cast iron with a $10 square of chainmail.

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Jade Roller

Jade Roller
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Whether or not jade rollers actually make a huge difference is up for debate. But they are fun to use for the occasional facial massage and also look good sitting on your bureau or by your bathroom mirror. Plus, at $10, it doesn’t need to actually get rid of every wrinkle on your face to be worth it. If you want to spend a little more, I’d also get a value set of basic sheet masks, like this one from TONYMOLY, and throw a sheet mask in with every jade roller you gift.

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Misto Oil Sprayer

Misto Oil Sprayer
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This little $9 sprayer totally eliminates the need to ever by a Pam-type spray ever again. (Does anyone else find those aerosol oil sprayers often leave a weird residue on pans?) It also works well with multiple types of oil, and even vinegars, lending itself to plenty of uses.

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Cotton Mesh Shopping Bags

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This is technically over $10, but you get a set of five, making them just over $2.50 each. Given that it’s possible to find this O.G. reusable grocery bag elsewhere for $20 with words like “French” and “market” attached to it, it’s going to seem like a lot pricier of a gift than it really is. Wrap two up with twine, or gift one with a nice loaf of bread or Trader Joe’s flowers, and you’ll still be under $10 total.

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Dish Towels

Dish Towels
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What’s the difference between dish towels that come two to a pack wrapped in twine, and the ones that come in a huge pack of 12 for about the same price? While there are certainly gorgeous artisanal craft brands out there, it often comes down to packaging. It’s easy to find tea towels with seasonal themes that feel like they’re for display, not use. But these are nice to hang on your oven door and use for your daily, often dirty, life in the kitchen. At around $2.16 a towel, you can wrap up two in twine and still not break $5 for your gift. Go with matching colors or gift one of each for a set of three.

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Fish Scrubbers

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OK, this is the second scrubber on this list, and also towel-adjacent, but they’re adorable and come in a set, ready to gift. They’re tempting to just keep hanging up near the sink, but if you do use them, they’re 100% cotton and easy to wash. They also would make a great bathtime gift for families of toddlers.

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Candle Trimmer

PILPOC Candle Wick Trimmer
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What do you get your friend who already looks like they’re holding a seance every time you come over? More candles are probably welcome, but finding scents that aren’t too sickly sweet and under $10 can be hard. Plus, even the die-hard candle fanatic might lack a wick trimmer. Something that, like a jade roller, looks good just sitting around, this has a real purpose: trimming wicks reduces soot and smoking, keeping candle jars (as well as walls and ceilings) cleaner.

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Spoon Rest

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Functional but still pretty looking, it can also be repurposed as a dish for rings in the kitchen as well.

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Pinch Bowls

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Here’s another cheat: You’ll have to split this set of pinch bowls to make it a $10 gift. I actually think it’s well worth keeping half for yourself, but you can also have two host gifts ready to go if you’d prefer. Unlike many other food-focused host gifts, these can be put into use in other areas of the house as well: Stick them in the bathroom for hair ties and cotton swabs, or at a desk for push pins and rubber bands.

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Japanese Butter Knife

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If your friend is a regular host, you can bet someone, at some point, has given them a decent set of cheese knives. What they probably don’t have? A butter knife designed to make even cold butter easy to spread.

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Maldon Sea Salts

Maldon Sea Salts
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Best for finishing off foods like meats, roast vegetables, and salads, Maldon Sea Salts are one of those rare instances where 99¢ table salt gets upstaged. It’s also a gift for serious cooks that they’ll use up so you don’t need to worry if your gift will be a duplicate.

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About the author

Marshall Bright

Marshall Bright is a freelance writer in Nashville, TN.