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The 2018 5 Dollar Gifts Guide

My favorite post of the year!

If you’ve been here any length of time, you know one of my favorite thing in the world is finding something good at a great price and the annual 5 dollar gifts guide is just that.

Whether you’re looking for stocking stuffers, inexpensive teacher gifts, fun things to give your girlfriends, or any one else who needs a gift that won’t break the bank and won’t be a fourth mini-bottle of hand lotion, these twenty items are all fun, unique and $5 or less.

Also, I’ve found that the key to 5 dollar gifts is presentation – tie a ribbon around them or add a card or wrap them up so that it looks thoughtful rather than something you grabbed at the Target Dollar Spot 38 seconds before you handed it over.

20 Excellent 5 Dollar Gifts 5 dollar gifts

1.Mascara Primer ($4.93) My sister Merrick gave me a tube of this a couple of years ago and it’s amazing how much BETTER your basic mascara looks with a quick coat of this underneath it. 

2. Invisible Ink Pens ($12.99 for a pack of 6) These invisible ink pens are SO fun – you write in the invisible ink and then the cap of the pen is a special light that reveals what’s written. Give each of your kids one or two (or have them give half of them to a friend) so they can swap secret notes.

3. Makeup Brush Cleaner ($4.99 for pack of 2) I wash my makeup brushes approximately once a year, so. . . clearly I should be giving these to myself. 

4. Original Slinky Jr ($4.50) This is just a classic, isn’t it? Perfect for a kid stocking or a grown-up who still feels a little like a kid. And if you want other classics, Silly putty is always a good choice and fits nicely into the 5 dollar gifts category too.

5. Cable Clips ($5.88) I inherited a hatred of visible cords from my dad and these clips keep everything nicely organized in neutral colors.

6. Priorities Notepad ($3.49) You know how you’re supposed to pick your biggest priorities of the day and then the things on your to-do list after that, and then the ones that are non-essential but nice? This notepad makes it super easy to make that happen. New Years’ productivity, here you come!

7. Squish-Amal ($5.00) These are the most hilariously random product – the cute little animals toys each come with a little treat and a puzzle. My girls would LOSE THEIR DANG MINDS.

8. Retractable Measuring Tape ($2.99) We own a million measuring tapes and can never find them, so one that clips onto your keychain? Game-changer. 

9. Rainbow Pencil Sharpener ($1.99) It’s not my crazy awesome electric pencil sharpener, but it’s darn cute and a whole lot easier to fit into a stocking. 

10. Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels ($2.50) You guys. These chocolate are life-changing. I got a little box of them as a gift a couple of years ago and every single one of them was the best thing I’d ever eaten. They come in different sizes, but the taster pack is a perfect tiny gift or you could get a second taster pack of a different candy (their gummies are crazy good) and still be at $5.

11. 3-in-1 Pen ($4.00) This copper pen is not only a writing utensil but also has a built-in level and a screwdriver.

12. Confetti Play-Doh ($4.99 for 6) Play-Doh is one of my favorite easy activities for my girls to do on a cold day. They can all play with it and when it has confetti in it? Double win. Everyone is getting one of these in their stockings come Christmas morning!

13. Mini Tabasco Sauce Trio ($3.99) For the person who never likes to be without their favorite condiment, this tiny set of three is the perfect gift.

14. Window Crayons ($5.19) This set of 5 crayons are designed to be used on windows so your kids can draw on a sliding glass door or big window at home or use them in the car on a long road trip. Brilliant!

15. Panda Mini Desktop Stapler ($3.97) My stapler is ALWAYS getting borrowed, so this cute mini panda version is the perfect solution for my girls who clearly have a strong need to staple all the things. Perfect for a grown-up who loves a little touch of whimsy too.

16. Waterproof Phone Pouch ($6.87) So this one is a little over the $5 budget, but it’s too good not to include when it’s SO close to $5. It fits most phones, the reviews are crazy good, and it means you can take underwater photos and videos at the pool or beach.  

17. Crayola Bath Dropz ($4.19) Anyone else turn to baths when their kids are getting stir-crazy in the winter? These color bath drops make it extra fun and don’t stain your tub or leave any residue. 

18. Velvet Hair Ribbons ($15 for 4) I love the hair accessories trend and these beautiful, simple velvet bows are perfect for women. At less than $4 each, these are a delightful gift for a girlfriend.

19. Box cutters ($4.94 for a pack of 6) For the person who has everything, including a million boxes showing up from Amazon, these little box cutters are cute and useful. Stick them in a stocking so you can easily open boxes on Christmas morning!

20. Stainless Steel Straws ($4.99 for 4) I love a straw, but I hate the waste, and it’s hard to beat this pack of 4 that includes a cleaning brush.

And if you need more 5 dollar gifts ideas, you can check out the previous lists here (I’ve been doing these every year since 2011)!

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11 Comments

  • Reply Allison Ruth November 26, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Yay! I look forward to this. Those color bath drops are going to be a big hit over here.

  • Reply Heather November 26, 2018 at 9:53 am

    The reusable straws are a great idea!

  • Reply Natalie November 26, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Number 5 gives me life! I have one of those cord holders on the back of my night stand, two on the back of my desk, and one of the back of my son’s dresser for his white noise machine cord (he likes to pull the cord out and play with it, and that way I don’t lose the cord behind his 1,000 pound dresser). And a slinky and those Crayola bath drops are already on my son’s stocking stuffer list (because he’s too young to care or have an opinion, so I can do whatever I want). Also, that eyelash primer is just as good as some $30 primers I’ve tried!!

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw November 26, 2018 at 2:26 pm

      Ah, I love to hear it! Thanks so much for your feedback on some of these!

  • Reply Stephanie November 26, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    Number 12 (playdough confetti) is on sale for cyber Monday! $3.49 for 6 pk. Great ideas!!!

  • Reply Kristin November 27, 2018 at 5:37 am

    Yessssss thank you so much for doing this! Other gift guides I’ve seen are all $50 and under–I can’t afford that!!

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw November 27, 2018 at 5:50 am

      Who spends that on STOCKING STUFFERS? (Or maybe I just need new neighbors ;)).

  • Reply Diana November 30, 2018 at 9:44 am

    I LOVE these posts! Already ordered the straws for myself, my husband, and our sons! Been meaning to buy some for ages but always forgot when I got on Amazon!

  • Reply Gifts for Girls: What We're Giving Our Daughters this Year - Everyday Reading December 11, 2018 at 1:33 am

    […] Ink Pens. These invisible ink pens were one of the very most popular items on my $5 gift guide this year and for good reason. You write in the invisible ink and then the cap of the pen is a special light […]

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