19 Items Under $10 to Put in a Gift Basket


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No matter the occasion, a gift basket is a great gift idea. You can include several items in it instead of trying to choose just one.

You don’t need to buy premade gift baskets. Instead, you can make your own cheap gift baskets if you’re on a budget.

Overview: Our Top Picks

Cheap Items to Put in a Sympathy or Get Well Gift Basket

Cheap Items to Put in a Holiday Gift Basket

More Cheap Item Ideas to Put in a Gift Basket

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Keep reading if you want to give gifts without spending more than you can afford right now. This guide lists plenty of items that will make perfect additions to your inexpensive gift basket!

Cheap Items to Put in a Sympathy or Get Well Gift Basket

Do you need affordable sympathy gift ideas that will warm someone’s heart? Keep these in mind.

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1. Tea or soup

Tea and soup offer comforting pleasure when you’re sick. You could send someone a cheap get well gift basket with a variety of teas and or soup mixes for a truly thoughtful gift without breaking the bank.

2. ‘Get Well’ letters

Sometimes the most beloved gifts don’t cost you a penny. For example, a friend might deeply appreciate receiving a gift basket filled with handwritten thinking of you messages from yourself, your friend’s family, and other friends.

3. Handkerchief

A handkerchief is an affordable but meaningful item that can help you put the finishing touch on a get well gift basket. 

4. Puzzles or coloring books

Someone in need of a get-well gift basket may also be stuck at home for a while. If that’s the case, give your friend or loved one something to fill the time by sending a basket filled with small puzzles and/or coloring books

5. Stuffed animals

A small stuffed animal can be fairly affordable, depending on where you buy it. It can also bring a smile to the face of someone who’s recovering from an illness or injury.

Cheap Items to Put in a Holiday Gift Basket

You may need to purchase gifts for multiple people during the holidays. Alleviate your stress with these affordable holiday gift basket ideas.

6. Treats

Cheap gift baskets and luxury holiday gift baskets often include delicious goodies. Buy some affordable snacks to make your holiday gift basket complete.

7. Prayer card

Naturally, this won’t be an ideal gift for everyone. But because so many holidays have their roots in spiritual and religious traditions, if you know someone who’s religious, this person would probably be very happy to receive a gift basket with a small prayer card or similar item inside.

Similar to a prayer card, you might also choose to give a small religious figurine or token. You probably won’t spend much on these items.

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8. Ornament

An ornament is a lovely, inexpensive gift someone close to you will cherish for years. You could even make an ornament yourself for an extra special touch.

9. Cocoa

The holiday season is fairly chilly in many parts of the world. That’s just one reason it’s not uncommon for holiday gift baskets to include cocoa mix. They can be homemade or store-bought.

Regardless, cocoa mix makes an affordable but smart addition to a holiday gift basket. If the person to whom you’re giving this particular gift basket is more of a tea or coffee fan, you can include those drinks instead.

Cheap Items to Put in a Birthday Gift Basket

When it’s someone’s birthday, small gifts for friends or family can still be the best gifts. Consider these examples!

10. ‘Why You’re Awesome’ list

As with get-well gift baskets, birthday gift baskets are sometimes most thoughtful when the gifts are personal, even if they didn’t cost any money at all. For example, you can send your loved one a gift basket containing letters from you and others listing all the reasons you love them so much.

(Tip: You could also make a modified version of a “why you’re awesome” list. “Why we miss you” is also a great gift for a long-distance friend.)

11. Cake pops

Even if you can’t afford to send someone a full birthday cake (which wouldn’t fit in a gift basket anyway!), you can still send yummy birthday cake pops or bites.

12. Ice cream party items

Is one of your friends a child at heart? If so, he might appreciate a themed gift basket you’ve designed with few ice cream cones, hot fudge, sprinkles, and other toppings. All these items are very affordable, but they add up to a unique and cohesive gift.

(Of course, you’ll have to leave out the ice cream itself or give it as a separate gift. You don’t want it to melt!)

13. Subscriptions

Traditionally, a gift basket would feature actual physical items. However, we live in the digital age, so you shouldn’t exclude digital gifts simply to go along with tradition.

Subscriptions to online magazines, apps, streaming services, and much more often don’t cost very much and usually last all year long. You can find the perfect birthday gifts when you want to give something that the recipient will get a lot of use out of.

You can also “add” subscriptions to a gift basket by printing out the confirmation email (most services will send something along these lines) when you confirm the subscription. Include the printed email in the basket along with a few other items to complete it.

14. Rare sodas

A birthday is one of the few times of year that even if you’re health-conscious, you allow yourself to indulge in some sweets. Maybe you know someone who tries to limit soda intake most of the time but breaks this rule on special occasions.

Fill a basket of rare soda cans and bottles! From hard-to-find varieties of popular beverages to regional sodas that aren’t normally available where you live, you can include many options.

You might have to order some online or track them down at specialty beverage shops but at least you won’t have to spend much money!

More Cheap Item Ideas to Put in a Gift Basket

Some inexpensive gift basket items are perfect options regardless of the occasion. These are just a few examples.

15. Plant seeds

If you know someone who loves to garden, odds are good he’ll also love a gift basket filled with seed packets. Although seeds for more exotic plants can be a little pricey, you can buy plenty of affordable seeds for gorgeous flowers.

16. Spices

If the person to whom you’re sending a cheap gift basket is more of a cooking enthusiast, you can never go wrong by helping replenish the spice rack.

Bonus points if you include spices that aren’t as easy to find at the grocery store! Or if you’re also a talented cook, you could even create your own spice mixes to save even more money.

17. Cosmetics samples

Many cosmetics brands send small free samples of their products when customers request them. Letting customers try products before buying them is often part of their marketing strategy.

Do you know someone who’s into cosmetics? If so, contact a few companies to request samples of items you think your friend or loved one will appreciate and arrange them all in a gift basket when you have enough. 

18. Small hobby-related items

What hobbies does your friend or loved one have?

For example, maybe someone in your life is an avid guitarist. If so, you could give her some new guitar picks and strings. If she likes to draw, you can send her a gift basket with pencils, small drawing pads, and similar items.

19. Used books

Books are the perfect item to include in a gift basket for someone who loves to read. However, if you’re buying new copies, the cost can add up very quickly.

Fortunately, you can tap into many ways to give a book-themed gift basket while also staying within your budget. Many libraries regularly host book sales, selling used (still in good condition) copies of books at massive discounts. You can also easily find cheap books on eBay and other platforms.

Books may not be a traditional choice when deciding what should go in a cheap gift basket, but being traditional matters much less than simply giving a basket filled with items the recipient will genuinely appreciate.

Cheap Gift Baskets: A Budget-Friendly Gesture

“It’s the thought behind the gift that matters” is a popular saying because it’s true. You shouldn’t put yourself in a financially stressful situation when giving gifts to family or friends. As these examples illustrate, you also don’t have to.

infographic of cheap items to put in a gift basket

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