Welcome to Chow with Me, where sister site Chowhound's executive editor Hana Asbrink shares all of the irresistible things she's cooking, eating, reading, buying and more. Today: An under-$15 gift guide with presents that would make for the perfect stocking stuffer, as well all enviable picks for a Secret Santa and White Elephant gift exchange.
We're in the homestretch, folks. The holiday countdown to Christmas is now. If you find yourself trying to clone yourself in order to tackle that mile-long to-do list, and make all of the festive parties and gatherings this time of year, you're not alone. Here's a handy guide for fun, tasty and functional presents that won't break the bank. Each of these gift ideas clocks in at $15 or less, leaving you with enough money to start your new year off on the right foot.
These cheap and cheerful -- not to mention easy -- presents are all I would personally give (and love to receive, if we're being honest) to all of the food lovers in my life. They're affordable enough to buy a bunch to cover you for those last-minute get-togethers during the holidays and beyond.
Read more: Chowhound gift guide for 2019
Give great gift with our under-$15 gift guide below:
Apéritif: Cocktail Hour the French Way': $14
Helpfully arranged by season with recipes, Rebekah Peppler's Apéritif is the informative guide I'm constantly turning to for authentic, lighter (in ABV) drinks and bites. This book is part Parisian eye candy, part delightful BFF who comes over before the party starts to hang (and stays late to help clean up).
Luminarc barcraft coupe cocktail set of 4: $15
You're going to want a versatile coupe for all of those drinks. This set of four is affordable and stylish -- and no one has to feel too precious about using them.
Ceramic taper candle stick: $7 to $13 each
Add instant ambience with this ceramic candle stick set (from $7 to $13 each) that would play well on any holiday spread, makeshift help-yourself cocktail bar or last-minute pizza and wine gathering.
World's smallest vacuum, $15
The World's Smallest Vacuum is exactly what you didn't realize you needed for discreet crumb-catching during your holiday get-togethers. So cute, so silly (but also, so well-reviewed).
Olive wood spreader: $8
There is no greater joy than finding the perfect little utensil to spread just-right room temperature butter. I'd file this handmade olive wood spreader under "Spark Joy."
Copper gram measuring cups & spoons: $13
If you can't gift a piece of vintage copper cookware, this highly-rated measuring cup and spoon set is the next best option -- and still just as useful!
Bentgo original all-in-one lunch box: $15
Is there anything more satisfying than neat, Instagram-worthy lunches? Your giftee will be ready to hit their New Year's resolutions with Bentgo's minimalist lunch box set, complete with a set of utensils.
Tenugui Japanese traditional cotton cloth: $9
Japanese tenugui are beautiful, do-everything cloths that can perform hand towel, napkin, bandana, burp cloth, placemat and bento box-wrapping duties. The ends are often not sewn, giving them more character with prolonged use.
Baggu reusable shopping bag: $12
Can one have too many reusable totes? Totes not.
Rite in the Rain weatherproof side spiral notebook: $10
A nifty water-resistant notebook is the ultimate thoughtful gift for jotting down all those great recipes in development. Wicks off errant tomato sauce and pasta water like no other.
Dash mini waffle maker: $10
This little guy will come in handy when that sudden late-night craving for a hot waffle with vanilla ice cream hits.
Saltverk Arctic thyme sea salt: $13
Meet my new favorite salt. Saltverk's high quality Icelandic finishing salt comes in a variety of flavors (including plain flaky salt) and would make the perfect gift for any food lover in your life. This Arctic Thyme Salt levels up roast chicken or turkey skin like no other. Saltverk's Seaweed Salt would be an excellent finish to homemade onigiri rice balls.
Guittard grand cacao drinking chocolate powder: $7
Guittard's grand cacao drinking chocolate includes actual finely ground chocolate, along with cocoa powder, to ensure a rich, dark chocolate taste each time. Super for any fan of a warm chocolat chaud during cold winter months.
Rancho Gordo – royal corona beans: $8
It's still impossible to get into the Rancho Gordo Bean Club, but you can still purchase bags a la carte. These dreamy beans are large and creamy; enjoy them in winter soups, hearty salads and solo with a drizzle of good quality olive oil with a hit of lemon juice.
Fly by Jing Sichuan chili crisp: $15
I'm still obsessed with this perfect product. (Also makes a great topping for a warm bowl of aforementioned beans.)
Smoko UO exclusive dumpling light: $16
A bonus for you: Yes, it's $1 more than our limit, but look how stinkin' cute this steamed dumpling light is! If this doesn't bring a smile to the bao lover in your life, I'm not sure what will.