CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert deal-hunting staff showcases the best price drops and discounts from reputable sellers daily. If you make a purchase using our links, CNET may earn a commission.

Clever Ideas to Use Your New Gift Card On: 34 Impulse Purchases We Like

We've rounded up over 30 unique and affordable ideas that you can snag for less than $50 -- the perfect way to spend your new gift card.

Adam Oram Senior Editor
Adam Oram is a Senior Editor at CNET. He studied Media at Newcastle University and has been writing about technology since 2013. He previously worked as a Senior Writer at iMore, Deals Editor at Thrifter, and as an Apple Genius. His spare time is spent watching football (both kinds), playing Pokémon games, and eating vegan food.
Expertise Deals, Apple
Adam Oram
6 min read

The holidays are officially winding down, and there's a good chance you've been walking away from family get-togethers and gift exchanges with a big stack of gift cards. You could certainly hang onto them and use them to knock a few dollars off a bigger purchase later, but where's the fun in that? 

If you want something a little more exciting, you could treat yourself to a handy smart device or clever kitchen gadget. There are tons of affordable options out there, and to give you some ideas, we've rounded up some of our favorite picks below. Everything on this list is under $50, and most can be had for $25 or less, so you'll have no trouble making the most of that gift card.

Convert your car headrest into a convenient storage solution with these universal hooks. Each can hold 13 pounds so you can hang up coats, kids toys, umbrellas or even bags of groceries.

This wildly popular offer for a Microsoft Office lifetime license is still available for $30. The license for Mac has sold out, so this deal is only available to Windows users at the moment. 

This reusable goo gets in all the cracks and crevices of those hard-to-clean places, like computer keyboards and car consoles making it a greta buy for pretty much anybody.

We all have a bunch of tech to keep powered up these days so more charging cables is never a bad idea. Not only is this Spigen cable braided for better durability, it's also universal with Lightning, USB-C and Micro-USB connectors so it will work for pretty much everyone. Better yet, it's down to just $15 in select colors. 

Sealing up open food bags helps to keep the contents fresh, but you don't want to spend a ton on disposable, resealable bags to use every time you eat half a bag of chips. These convenient clips in various sizes make it easy to quickly reseal something for eating later. 

Have you ever reached in your pocket while up a ladder only to drop the screw you needed because it slipped out of your hand? If not, you're lucky, and if so, you need this accessory. It holds drill bits, screws, tools and more using its strong magnets, and it's adjustable to fit wrists of all sizes.

Just about anyone can appreciate this shampoo hair brush. Use it to massage shampoo into your hair and enjoy a head massage and scalp clean at the same time. Its ergonomic handle makes it easy to use on a variety of hair types.

If you don't have any smart home devices, now's your chance to start building your collection. This Echo device allows you to control other Alexa-enabled smart devices on your network, and it's on sale for just $15, matching the lowest price we've seen. 

Read our Amazon Echo Dot (third-generation) review.

This adjustable gooseneck tablet holder is useful at a desk, in the kitchen or in the bedroom -- basically anywhere that you might want to have your screen in view while being able to easily adjust the angle. It fits tablets and phones from 4.7 inches to 10.5 inches in size.

With these Velcro labels, there will be no more wondering which cable goes to which device! Available in a variety of shapes and sizes, you'll easily be able to identify your various cords and wires.

This neat gadget does double duty as a portable fan and power bank, saving space in your purse or backpack. The two-speed fan can run for up to 16 hours and the 1800mAh battery capacity can also be used to give your phone a little extra juice in a pinch. 

For frequent travellers, packing all of the necessary plug adapters can be a real pain but you can replace those with this universal adapter. It compatible with outlets in the UK, Europe, Australia, Asia and more and it's down to $15 if you have a Prime subscription.

With all the packages arriving at this time of year, a box cutter is an essential. This mini cutter has a retractable ceramic blade that is great for cutting card, tape, food packaging and more.

While the general public has embraced Bluetooth headphones, airlines are certainly lagging behind meaning you'll need wired earbuds for the in-flight entertainment. But not with AirFly -- it plugs into the seatback headphone jack and allows you to pair your wireless earbuds with ease. 

I have one of these things packed and ready to go with all the cables and plugs I need so that whenever I go away I don't need to worry about fumbling around for chargers. A highly recommended buy for anyone with a bunch of travel tech to keep charged. 

Once you assemble this QR code puzzle you can scan it to see how much you've won (prizes up to $1 million). Odds are you're going to win $1, but not knowing until it's done and you scan it is half the fun.

This AirTag is a must-have for any forgetful Apple user. It can be attached up to keys, thrown in a backpack or mounted to a bike with the right accessory and helps to keep tabs on where stuff is. 

This compact multitool combines a bottle opener, flathead screwdriver and mini pry bar into one keychain-sized doodad that you can take anywhere. Useful on camping trips or for emergencies, it's a solid and affordable option. 

In this hyperconnected world, you can never have enough smart plugs. Get one for each kitchen appliance and you can set up your own automated breakfast routine, just like how you always envisioned the future would be. Just be sure to activate the instant coupon on the product page so you don't miss out on the discount. 

Slinging around a Nerf football is undeniably fun for all ages, and you can snag this Vortex model for just $15. 

If your phone's charging cable falls behind your nightstand every time you unplug it or if you just want to tidy up your desk, these adhesive cable clips are a great shout. The 16-pack includes clips for one, two, three and five cables. 

It slices, it dices... Just about the only thing this versatile veggie-prepping kitchen gadget won't do is dam the tears that spring to your eyes when it gets to work on the onions, though it will reduce the time it takes to chop one up.

Gone are the days of fumbling around with AA batteries to get your flashlight to work when an emergency strikes. This rechargeable LED flashlight offers 2,000 lumens of brightness and can be powered back up by Micro-USB between uses.

Believe it or not, this 1-inch cube device works as a charger, stand, USB and more. There's even a built-in LED flashlight. It's down to just $40 right now. 

Take this little phone stand with you on the go so you can always prop your phone up at the right height, angle and orientation for any task. It comes in a bunch of nice colors, too. 

A classic toy available at a bargain price right is the original Slinky. Down to under $4, this retro toy is a great bargain and good for hours of fun. 

Sick of stains on your countertops or losing your spoon in the saucepan? This neat device holds your spoon for you in between stirs and can also be used to prop open a lid to release steam. A few funky designs are available from the same brand.

It's full-on sweater season, and if you want to keep those sweaters looking spiffy, you'll want to pick up this amazing little shaver. It has three settings, so you can adjust it depending on the fabric type. It's addictive too: Once you start shaving off those bits of fuzz and lint, it's hard to stop.

Right now, new members can get 50% off their first year of Sam's Club membership. With this, you'll pay $25 for access to Sam's Club warehouse locations, discounted gas and all of its other great benefits.

Amazon's Fire TV sticks are some of the most straightforward smart TV devices to use and allow easy access to a plethora of streaming content. The 4K model is just a couple of bucks more than its all-time low price making now a great time to pick one up. 

Struggling to put your shoes on is a problem that can be solved very inexpensively, so why waste time? This travel-size shoehorn only costs a few bucks but will save you the stress and hassle of squeezing your feet into a tight spot.

Right now at StackSocial, you can snag a $50 Restaurant.com gift card for 86% off the usual price. Restaurant.com has partnerships with over 62,000 restaurants nationwide including popular favorites like IHOP, Subway and House of Blues, so you can always find something tasty and, since it's a digital credit, there's no wait on shipping.

Unscrew any bolt -- even worn or damaged ones -- with this adjustable socket wrench adapter instead of digging around in your toolbox for the right part. A drill adapter is also included. 

If you're a chicken nugget fiend, you can't go wrong with this keychain -- just don't try to take a bite of it.