12 Stocking Stuffers They'll Actually Use


View as:

Photo credit: Lisa F. Young/shutterstock


On top of holiday shopping this year? Prepared shoppers likely have a long list of what to buy, but stocking stuffers are often forgotten until the last minute, when useless items -- often marked-up for just this reason -- are grabbed in the checkout line out of desperation. Don't make that money-wasting mistake this year. Here's a list of stocking stuffer ideas that may not be as fun as a Sky Viper drone but won't trash the budget or end up in the trash.

Related: 50 Unique Holiday Gift Ideas for Everyone Priced Under $50
Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com


Everyone needs a toothbrush, and electric versions that bring oral hygiene to the next level can be found for a range of prices. Some cost $10 or less on Amazon. Even kids might get excited about a toothbrush if it has cartoon characters on it, like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles version from Colgate ($5.50 for Amazon Prime members). For someone who already has an electric toothbrush, consider stuffing a stocking with the correct model of replacement heads.
Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com


Connect all kinds of gadgets crying out for a charge to a computer with a USB hub. These handy accessories come in many sizes and prices. A hub from Sabrent ($6.50 on Amazon) makes one USB 2.0 port into four, each with its own power switch.
Photo credit: Courtesy of cvs.com


It may not be an obvious item to add to a shopping list, but this gift is so practical that it's bound to inspire gratitude. A travel sewing kit, small enough to slip into a purse or pocket to save the day when a button comes loose or a seam pops, is about $4 at pharmacies such as CVS or online at the Organization Store and other retailers.
Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com


Most everyone has some sort of protection on their mobile devices already, but swapping cases can be like switching eyeglasses or nail colors -- a fun way to accessorize. One of Cheapism's top picks among cheap iPhone cases is the Incipio NGP, starting at $9 on Amazon in six color options for the new iPhone 7. Cases for older models are available too.
Photo credit: Courtesy of target.com


There are many occasions to send thank you notes, get well cards, or birthday greetings throughout the year, so it's smart to have some ready. Pick up a box or package of blank cards at the dollar store or snag a 10-pack of pretty cards at Target starting at $4.
Photo credit: Courtesy of costco.com


In a survey by the National Retail Federation, gift cards have been the No. 1 item on holiday wish lists for 10 years running. Gift cards fit easily in a stocking and usually can be bought in small denominations. For multiple stockings, consider buying in bulk. Costco offers members below-face-value prices on gift cards, such as a $25 iTunes gift card for $21.50.
Photo credit: Courtesy of bjs.com


A movie pass to a nearby theater chain is another good gift to buy in bulk from a warehouse club such as BJ's Wholesale Club, where members can get a two-pack of AMC "black" movie tickets (they're good anytime and never expire) plus a $10 concessions gift card for $31. Buying directly from AMC costs $28, but that doesn't include the $10 to blow at the concessions stand. The ticketing site Fandango charges a $2 fee to send a physical gift card (and some "convenience" fees may follow), but a printout of the fee-free email version also fits nicely in a stocking.
Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com


For jotting down notes or making a quick to-do list, a stylish notepad makes a good alternative to a phone or tablet. Give recipients the satisfaction of physically crossing off each item as they go. Look for cover designs that reflect their interests and style -- perhaps a Van Gogh notebook ($2 on Amazon).
Photo credit: Courtesy of target.com


Small items such as an Oxo bottle opener ($7 at Target) or an Essential Home silicone spatula ($3.50 in-store at Kmart) will be at home in even the simplest kitchen.
Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com


Most people probably have a set of earbuds, but they tend to get lost or broken, so a backup pair is always good to have. For anyone who hasn't entered the wireless iPhone 7 era, one of Cheapism's top picks among cheap headphones is the JVC Gumy Plus in-ear headphones (starting at less than $6 on Amazon). Prices vary by color.
Photo credit: Courtesy of basspro.com


In many parts of the country, winter arrives in force in December. Gloves, hats, and ear warmers are much appreciated in freezing temperatures. Grab a three-pack of toddler gloves ($5 at Target) so little kids have spares, just in case. Thin, air-activated hand-warming packs (there are foot-warmers, too) are cheap to buy in bulk and divide into individual stockings. A 24-pack is $10 at Bass Pro Shops.
Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com


Don't let loved ones get caught in the dark if the power goes out in a snowstorm. There are lots of mini-flashlight options out there for $15 or less, including REI's keychain Nite Ize BugLit model for $13, which comes with legs that can prop up the LED light or attach it almost anywhere. A four-pack of highly rated BYB mini LED flashlights (batteries not included) is available for $10 on Amazon.