Great Hostess Gifts under $30

I used to live in Europe where gift giving ABOUNDS. Any time I’d pick up my kids from playdates, I needed to be armed with a candle or flowers, then there were sleepovers, birthday parties and dinner parties.  Each time I needed a gift, I’d kick myself…wishing I were one of those organized women who stockpiled gifts away in a closet for a rainy day. But…nope…there I was running into the florist before each playdate. Thank goodness Americans don’t expect anything but a thank you when you pick up your kids from their houses!  I do have to say, I sort of miss all the gifts I used to get. My French friends gave THE best gifts, linen tea towels, candles from Paris, chocolates in gorgeous packaging.

I was reading my recent Lucky magazine and there was an article on perfect Hostess gifts and one person bought fancy paper napkins to give as a hostess gift because if you saw $15 napkins in a store you’d never buy them but if someone gave them to you, then you’d love them and definitely use them. I LOVE that idea! I’m all for utilitarian gifts but I’m also currently trying to survive paying rent in New York…and I’m on a strict budget. Here are some great gift ideas all under $30!



Mariage Frères Tea

I was introduced to this AMAZING French tea in Austria.  I love EVERYTHING about it. The tins, the smell, the sachets, and most of all…the flavor!  It’s not exactly the cheapest tea in the world but I LOVE giving it as gifts. Even if your gift recipient isn’t into tea, they’ll have it on hand for guests.









Weleda Skin Food

This is one of THE most highly reviewed moisturizers on the market. It seems like just about every celebrity has a tube of this in their purse. So why shouldn’t your friends?!








Yup…KITCHEN utensils. My sister bought me a Kuhn-Rikon can opener and I laughed when I opened the box…but ya know what…I LOVE that can opener. It’s Swiss engineering at it’s best and I highly recommend it as a gift. I just received the Microplane grater-zester as a gift from a friend who had received one as a gift and LOVES it. It grates parmesan, nuts, and zests fruit.  Who doesn’t need one of those?!













Remember it’s all about splurging. You probably wouldn’t normally buy a bottle of infused high quality Olio Santo olive oil but who wouldn’t want one as a gift…same as Williams Sonoma’s deluxe salted caramel sauce or Fini balsamic vinegar.










Since I’m utilitarian when giving gifts. I think fancy soap and coasters are perfect as well. Lafco liquid soap – Banho is a luxury soap that smells amazing, and these  Agate multi colored coasters are…GORGEOUS!











I’m a huge fan of the Built brand. Their colorful, HIP items are made of neoprene which makes them sturdy and easy to clean.  Everyone needs a tote bag, and then of course the double bottle tote, great for water bottles or wine. And lastly…a heavy duty VERY cute oven mitt!





I also really love the idea of giving plants…especially herbs.  Even if you live in an apartment you can put a Rosemary or Basil plant in the window. My friend Anne gifts nice baking dishes with one of her favorite recipes enclosed. And…when in doubt, remember there’s always alcohol, flowers, and candles!

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