Gift Baskets 101: 6 Creative, Affordable Gifts for $20 or Less

Gift Baskets 101: 6 Creative, Affordable Gifts for $20 or Less | Positively Smitten

It’s the night before So-and-so’s birthday party. You still haven’t gotten them a gift. It’s not that you didn’t want to give So-and-so a gift; So-and-so is super nice and all, but you just don’t know what to get her. So you’ve been trying to brainstorm something to give her – really, you have! In fact, you’ve spent so much time fretting over what to get them that now you’re down to the wire and you’re wondering if it’s too late to get out of the party entirely?

Ugh, I’ve been there. Giving gifts can be stressful, especially when you’re really hard on yourself about making sure it’s a great gift the other person will love. Money adds another layer to an already complicated mix. How much should you spend?

If you’ve ever waited until the last minute to go gift shopping (guilty) or you’ve been strapped for cash and needed to give a gift without breaking the bank (guilty again), then I’ve got you covered. Here are 6 gift baskets you can put together each for$20 or less!

(Note: Prices below are rough estimates based on comparisons done on,, and Some items can be purchased at the dollar store for $1 each, including cards, tissue paper, and baskets/gift bags to complete the gift.)

6 Gift Basket Ideas

For a baby shower

Gift Baskets 101: 6 Creative, Affordable Gifts for $20 or Less | Positively Smitten

Try a “bath pack” for the baby. The items included will be practical enough that if the recipient receives duplicates, it won’t matter, but the “basket” is cute enough that it feels like a real gift. Try Target or Walmart to make this bundle.


Pricier options:

  • Put everything inside of a baby tub
  • Include a pack of diapers for newborns (they’ll need the extras!)
  • Find a cute, hooded robe for when baby gets out of the tub

For a coffee addict


Who doesn’t love coffee? This is a simple gift that won’t go to waste. It makes for a great “thank you” gift, or even just a “thinking of you” present. Try your local coffee house or even a drugstore, like CVS or Walgreens, to make this gift.


Pricier options:

  • Include a larger blend of their favorite coffee
  • Give a gift card for a larger amount
  • Use a fancy mug instead of a reusable coffee cup

For a lacquerista

Gift Baskets 101: 6 Creative, Affordable Gifts for $20 or Less | Positively Smitten

I love painting my nails (although I wouldn’t call myself a lacquerista!) and I’d love to get a cute little assortment like this. If you know their favorite colors, incorporate that in with the nail polish. Try CVS or any drugstore to make this gift.


  • Nail polish – $2
  • Nail polish remover – $2
  • Nail file – $2
  • Burt’s Bees chapstick – $3 (Not technically related to doing your nails, but who doesn’t love Burt’s Bees chapstick?!)
  • TOTAL: $9

Pricier options:

  • Higher-end nail polish brands (Essie, OPI, Deborah Lippmann)
  • Nail art (glitter, stickers)
  • Additional nail polish colors

For a gardener



The gardener in your life would probably adore getting this assorted basket! You can often find flower seeds and gardening tools, including gardening gloves, at your local dollar store. I’d recommend heading to Target or your local gardening store to make this happen.


  • Flower pot – $4 (put the contents inside!)
  • Seeds – $4 (can sometimes be found at the dollar store)
  • Garden tools – $11
  • TOTAL: $19

Pricier options:

  • Strudy gardening gloves
  • Put contents inside of a watering can instead of a flower pot
  • Include additional seed packets and/or a seed packet collection

For a baker

Gift Baskets 101: 6 Creative, Affordable Gifts for $20 or Less | Positively Smitten

This gift basket would be perfect for that friend who’s always bringing you cookies! You can easily put this together on your regular grocery trip or even at the dollar store.


  • Mixing bowl – $2 (Put the contents of the gift in here!)
  • Oven mitt – $1
  • Cupcake liners – $3
  • Spatula/whisk – $4
  • Sprinkles – $4
  • TOTAL: $14

Pricier options:

  • Cupcake pan
  • Measuring cup set
  • Cookie cutters
  • Reusable cupcake liners

For the movie lover


We all have movie nights, so this is a fun, useful, and TASTY gift! It’s perfect for those who tend to do movie nights at home. Nab a popcorn bowl (you can sometimes find plastic ones that look like those red and white stripped popcorn bags at your local dollar store) and fill it with goodies! I’d suggest heading to your local dollar store FIRST to complete this one, and picking up the rest of the items at Walmart, Target, or even a local drugstore, like CVS or Walgreens.


  • Popcorn bowl – $2
  • Box of popcorn – $5 (take the packets out of box and arrange them to make it look like you’re giving more)
  • Assorted movie theater candy (Raisenets, Sno Caps, Twizzlers) – $5
  • TOTAL: $12

Pricier options:

  • DVD copy of favorite movie
  • Blu-Ray copy of favorite movie
  • Gift card to movie theaters

Most of the time, people are touched that you’ve even thought to give them a gift at all, so try not to stress out too hard! It really is the thought that counts.

Do you have any go-to gifts you like to give when you’re in a pinch?

Photo credit miszpinay/Flickr.


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