15 Thoughtful Gifts (for $20 or Less) to Order on Amazon

updated Nov 20, 2020
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Young couple at home enjoy in weekend, they are using laptops while resting.
Credit: svetikd | Getty Images

How do you buy a thoughtful gift for someone who you’ve barely seen IRL all year? Especially if money is tight? It sounds tough, but it can be done! We took a few minutes to think about how people have been spending their time these last nine months. And then we scoured Amazon to find sweet, little gifts that are $20 or less and sure to be useful in these New Normal times. We think we have something for everyone on this list. Let’s take a look.

1 / 15
was $8.99

For the home cook who has put their knives through the wringer these last few months, this inexpensive sharpener will get things back on point. We get it, at this price, you wouldn't expect the sharpener to be all that good, but we've actaully tested it and it passed with flying colors.

2 / 15

We love this scrub brush so much, we'd consider getting a few and tying them up like a bouquet of flowers, but that'd be overkill because one is really all anyone needs. Get this for your friend who has fallen hard for her cast iron skillet during quarantine.

3 / 15
was $11.99

Just because your work wife is no longer packing her lunch for the office anymore doesn't mean she won't be able to put this reusable Stasher bag to good use. If you want to do a little extra, consider making her some trail mix or energy bites to put in the bag before you mail it.

4 / 15

Just about everyone we know has dealt with a cracked cutting board or spoon since March. It makes sense when you think about just how much we're using our wooden tools these days! Send your favorite home cook a bottle of this wood oil and help them rescue the pieces they have left.

5 / 15
was $10.99

Although chili crisp is nothing new, it's certainly been all over everyone's Instagram feeds these last few months. Lao Gan Ma Spicy Chili Crisp is the one to get: "It has this wonderful combination of textures and flavors that just can't be beat," says Studio Food Editor Jesse Szewczyk. It's spicy, tingly, and intensely savory. The crispy bits add a pop of texture, while the chilis bring a nice level of heat that is strong but not too intense for people who are sensitive to spice.” It even made our list of Kitchn Essentials, which came out earlier this year.

6 / 15

The ONLY good to thing to come out of all of this? There's been a boom in dogs getting adopted! If you know someone who got a pup during quarantine, send over this cute set of milk and cookies so that Fido doesn't have to take Santa's offering.

7 / 15

Kitchn staffers and readers alike fell very hard for these reusable dish cloths this year. Mostly because they're great, but also because they'll help cut back on the number of necessary paper towel runs.

8 / 15

Ask nearly any professional chef to name their favorite peeler and they'll pick this one. It's sturdy, lightweight, and affordable. The blade is super sharp yet still delicate enough to peel away only a thin layer. Pick this up for your veggie-loving sister-in-law.

9 / 15

Every home cook needs a good thermometer. (Even chefs use them in professional restaurants!) Our all-time favorite costs $100, but this one comes in a close second place — and it's a fraction of the price.

10 / 15

Because everyone is washing more dishes than usual! Even if you're shopping for someone who wears gloves during dishwashing sessions, we're guessing this tube will go over VERY well.

11 / 15

With the threat of another lockdown looming, we can't be sure that coffee shops will be open all winter long. Get this milk frother for anyone who's worried about their daily latte drink. It somehow works wonders with nut milks, too!

12 / 15
Maldon Salt

These mesmerizing geometric flakes are the perfect gift for your saltiest friend. They're seriously so much more special than other salts and deserve to be sprinked over blistered shishito peppers, buttered toast, cookies, brownies, and more. Upgrade tip: A bucket of this salt is even better, if you have room in the budget.

13 / 15

We've been hearing that people are drinking more at home these days, but that's more like a glass of wine each night. Not an entire bottle. And so there's this: an easy-to-use pump and stoppers that'll pull air out of once-opened bottles and keep the rest of the vino fresh until the next night. Cheers.

14 / 15

Believe it or not, this garlic tool just won in a showdown, during which we tested a bunch of popular garlic presses. It makes quick work of breaking down cloves and it's fun to use. Get one for anyone who hates having the lingering smell of garlic on their fingers.

15 / 15

The only thing that separates weekends from weekdays these days? Brunch! This adorable little waffle maker will help Saturdays and Sundays feel extra special.