CONSUMER WISE: Getting more gift for your $20

By Angie Moreschi, Consumer Wise Host
Last Updated: Tuesday, November 29, 2016, 5:54 AM EST

Finding that perfect gift for a friend or loved one can sometimes become a dizzying frenzy, especially when you’re trying to stay on a budget.

“Six people to buy for, plus nieces, so yes, sometimes I go over,” said Chris Bingham who was shopping at Westshore Mall in Tampa.

Finding unique, affordable gifts takes a little time and effort, but it can be done. Here are some fun ideas we found.

Healthy Gifts

For the health conscious friend, a fruit infused water bottle might be just the thing. It’s trendy, and it hits the mark. It keeps them hydrated, adds flavor to the water, and vitamins.

Expect to pay about 15-to-20 dollars for a good one. For example, the Infusion Pro on Amazon costs $18.

Tech Gifts

For the techy person in your life, a portable, wireless speaker can give a nice boost to the music on their phone, when they’re not wearing earbuds.  The Phillips SoundShooter gets pretty good reviews for projecting clean, crisp sound, and costs about $15 depending on the color.

Travelers

For people who like to travel, luggage tags can be a simple, affordable gift.   With lots of designs to choose from online, you can find just the right one to fit their personality.

You can go for colorful geometric designed or themed tags for cat lovers or fisherman, for example.  Expect to pay about $10 for a package of a few tags.

Stocking stuffers

At Brookstone, we found plenty of gifts for $20 and under that would be great stocking stuffers.

The FOM phone stand is a nifty little device.  It’s a foam ball with a suction cup on the bottom that allows you to prop your smartphone up against it, so it’s easier to see while you’re working at a desk.  It costs just $9.99.

An Auto-Emergency Tool and Flashlight for the car costs usually costs about $20, but has been marked down to $9.99.  It has small scissors, a knife, and a hammer punch — to break the window — if you’re car becomes submerged in water.

Holiday Kiosks

Special holiday kiosks at the mall that set up shop at this time of year are another good place to look for fun, affordable gifts-- everything from calendars to personalized ornaments.

Buying on a Budget

Buying on a budget might take a little extra time, but the hunt isn’t so bad.  Westshore Mall shopper Roselyn Martinez thinks it’s actually kind of fun.

“Everyone loves Christmas shopping!” she said laughing.

Whether you’re shopping in the mall or online, to stay on budget it’s a good idea to make a list of who you’re buying for and how much you want to spend.  Do your best to stick to it. Marketers are working hard to grab your attention this time of year. So be aware and try to avoid that urge to buy lots of things you don’t really need.