5 Thoughtful Holiday Gifts Under $30 Your Friends Will Love

Every year, I find myself wanting to go above and beyond for my friends during the holidays, but my shopping can end up being limited by budget and time constraints. Buying gifts can be a daunting task, especially when you want the best for your friends. Here are five thoughtful gifts that will mean so much and not break the bank.

For the out-of-state friend

I’m lucky that I’m so close to home in college, but that’s not always the case. I have friends who are hours away from home and don’t get to go visit their hometown as often as I do. Homesickness is a real thing, and sometimes all you need is a reminder of home no matter where you are.

These Homesick Candles are the perfect gift for those who are from somewhere far away. They feature candles that represent all 50 states, international countries and even college towns. The scents pay homage to that state’s signature scents and smells. This is a thoughtful gift that you can give to a friend who may want a little piece of home with them at college.

For the makeup-obsessed friend

We all have that one friend who watches YouTube makeup tutorials religiously and insists that her four highlighters are all different shades. They call beauty bloggers by their first names and keep you updated on their lives. Most of the time, these friends have too much makeup and not enough space to store it. This is where you come in.

You can get your makeup-obsessed bestie a Caboodles makeup case. These glorious makeup storage containers were all the rage when I was a dancer in the early 2000s. They held all my glitter eyeshadow and fake lashes. These cases come in so many fun colors and sizes so you can easily personalize it for your beauty guru bestie. You can even get them multiple ones so they can keep one at home and use the other for travel!

For the astrology friend

Do you have that friend who is constantly keeping everyone updated on what’s happening with their horoscope? They probably know more about what’s in your future or how your love life is going to pan out than you do. If they are constantly throwing out phrases like “Mercury is in retrograde” or “what’s his sign?” then you can definitely find a gift for them.

These delicate zodiac constellation necklaces are the perfect gift for your astrology bestie. They are minimal enough to go with all of her outfits but can still be a talking point for her conversations. So when people ask what’s her sign, she’ll have no problem showing off your thoughtful gift.

For the “green thumb” friend

You probably have that one friend who is always doing something to help the earth. Whether she is reminding you for the 17th time to recycle your cardboard boxes from your Amazon Prime order or making sure you have a reusable straw, she’s just helping you make better decisions. Somehow she manages to ace her classes and save the world every day.

You can encourage her green side with an amazing new Corksicle stainless steel water bottle. These keep beverages cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours! Think of how stylish she’ll look and all the plastic bottles she’ll be avoiding — all thanks to you.

For the “plugged in” friend

Last, but certainly not least, you might have a friend who is so tech-savvy and plugged in that she knows more hashtags than you can count. She’ll never lose your Snapchat streak, and she’s always the first like your Instagram picture. With all this dedication to her social media habit, her phone is bound to die first. She is probably the one asking for dibs on the charger first thing when you get in the car. You still love her though.

The perfect gift for your plugged-in friend is an adorable portable phone charger that she can keep with her at all times. It won’t get lost in the depths of her room because it’s too hard to miss. She won’t ever have to worry about missing a post with this gift!


It’s easier than ever to get gifts for your friends that will mean the most but also not make you stress over price tags. Your friends are your support system in college, so it’s nice to treat them during the holiday season!