Best yankee gift swap ideas under $30: Gifts people will literally fight over

yankee swap gift ideas

Last time I got fun and funky for the White Elephant gift guide. But what if you’re trying to please a larger crowd? This year I had to buy gifts for my very first Yankee Gift Swap. Unlike White Elephant gift exchanges, these gifts should actually be good and useful, you know… things people really want, things people will fight over!

I used a couple of the ideas in this post, but here are things that are sure to become the most popular item at your Yankee Swap or family gift exchange…

mermaid-tail-blanket
Have you seen the wonderful world of mermaid tail blankets!? They come in a variety of colors and sizes, and errrrybody wants one.

girl-scouts-cookie-cereal1-640x534
Did you know that there are such a thing as Girl Scout Cookie cereals? I bet you your follow swappers didn’t know that either. Blow everyone’s minds with these.

collapsible-microwave-popcorn-popper
Four words: Collapsable microwave popcorn maker! Just add kernels to the bottom, add the seasoning of your choice, and place in the microwave! And, thanks to the cool-touch handles, it makes popcorn PAINLESS.

unicorn-poop-soap
Three words: Unicorn poop soap. Who wouldn’t want to bathe in the essence of unicorn?



microwavable-smores-maker-yankee-swap-gift-ideas
What’s everyone’s favorite treat? S’mores! Which are pretty hard to make without a roaring fire and a bendy clothes hanger. UNTIL THIS THING! The microwavable S’mores maker is as adorable as it is awesome, and it surprisingly starts at only $9!

hoodiepillow-inflatable-travel-pillow
The HoodiePillow is almost too good to be true — but it’s real! And it’s awesome! It deflates to be portable and then it becomes the best way to catch ZZZs on the AND discourage annoying seat-mates from talking to you. It also comes in an array of colors to please everyone on your list.

cover blubber for yankee gift swap
Cover Blubber is this awesome reusable, super-stretchy rubber wrapping material, intended to cover food and keep it fresh inside your refrigerator or freezer. In short: It’s the eco-friendly alternative to plastic wrap. (Also food condom jokes are fun, but for reals this stuff is awesome.)



mollaspace-animal-shot-glass-set
Animal head shot glasses: Right-side up, they’re adorable animal heads. Upside-down, they’re adorable vessels for gettin’ drunk.

shark-bottle-opener
I have this shark bottle opener and I love it — and so does everyone that uses it!

Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist
Tequila Mockingbird is a recipe book for cocktails with a literary twist. Because drinking is FUNdamental!



candle that sounds like a fireplace for yankee gift swap
This is one of my favorite things to bust out during the holidays — it’s a candle that smells and sounds just like a fireplace. I don’t happen to have a fireplace, but now my apartment can sound like it does! These come in all kinds of scents and sizes too.

trader-joes-chocolate-passport
What do people love just as much as they love booze? Chocolate and maybe travel! Trader Joe’s has something that combines both: The Chocolate Passport, eight individually wrapped chocolate bars from around the world.

mini-donut-maker
Give the gift of sweet donuts anytime, anywhere — Or treat yourself. You deserve it. — with the Mini Babycakes Donut Maker!

yi-home-camera-wireless-ip-security-surveillance-system
How about a wireless security surveillance system for $29!? This YI Home Camera Wireless IP Security Surveillance System is highly rated on Amazon, and highly affordable.

after-this-were-getting-pizza-gym-bag
So this is technically a gym bag, but reeeeeeally… doesn’t this bag work for all occasions? I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want to get pizza after whatever this is. So the “after this we’re getting pizza” gym bag is a sure crowd-pleaser.

reeses-cookie-cast-iron-skillet
Speaking of baked goods (or goods that are great when you’re baked?) there exists a gift set that includes a mini cast iron skillet + Reese’s Peanut Butter Cookie Mix. Be careful no one actually wields the skillet when they fight over any of these cast iron skillet cookie gift sets!

ceramic-cat-measuring-cups
What’s cuter than baked goods? Cute cat measuring cups for baking said baked goods!

wide-angle-and-macro-phone-lens-kit
Use this HD camera lens kit to take professional photos with your iPhone! This $20 kit comes with a 2-in-1 clip-on HD lens and lens cap.



collapsible shopping bags for a yankee gift swap
These are some of my favorite things that exist in the world: Small zippered collapsible bags. I have one that I keep in my purse always, and I can’t even count the number of times that it has come in handy. (Especially since more and more places are making you pay for bags at the store).

coffeesock-coldbrew-kit
Coffee is life. Coldbrew is on trend. So this CoffeeSock ColdBrew Kit might be a wee bit popular.

smart wall charger for a yankee gift swap
No matter what they need to charge, this Powerslayer Smart Wall Charger (awesome name, yes?) has charging speeds up to twice as fast as standard chargers, an auto-off function that helps keep your battery from overcharging, and acts as a surge protector. I totally bought this for my Yankee Swap.

star-wars-power-bank
Or harness the power of the dark side to power your cell phone anywhere! These Star Wars Power Banks are adorable and bad-ass at the same time, and come in all different characters.

binge-watching-kit
This Binge Watching Survival Kit comes with 2 face cleansing towelettes, 2 stain removing towelettes, 2 hand cleaning towelettes, dental floss, breath drops, socks, 2 coasters, snack slip, decision coin, 2 folding sporks, tissues, and sofa yoga guide. Netflix and Chill FOR DAYS for only $20!

sriracha keychain for white elephant gifts
Can you believe the “Sriracha2go keychain” exists? I can’t either, and neither will everyone else when they open this gift!

texting gloves
If I lived in a place that had cold weather (ie. not Los Angeles), I’d live and die by my texting gloves. Get the people on your list something that will keep them both warm AND social.

hot-chocolate-on-a-stick
Speaking of warm and social, check out these awesome Hot Chocolate on a Stick Variety Packs! Just stir into hot milk and enjoy.

reusable-slim-water-bottle
Give the gift of being able to bring a reusable water bottle anywhere with the Memobottle! It’s so thin, it can fit in your back pocket, or slip it into a purse without taking up much space. And all that hydrating, space-saving convenience for only $24!

waterproof-sack
This thing is bad-ass, it’s a waterproof waxed canvas all-purpose bag, handmade by Hide & Drink. Your dad will love it as a tool bag, your co-worker can use it as a lunch bag, or your sister will love it as a hipster carry-all bag.

I AM CARDBOARD virtual reality simulator for gift swap
Inspired by the Google Cardboard v2, the I am Cardboard Virtual Reality viewer is easier and lighter, and super-fun!

elf-ear-buds
I would 100% cut a bitch to get these elf ear buds!



contigo-autoseal-kangaroo-water-bottle-with-storage-compartment
Meet the most convenient water bottle EVER! It’s made from BPA-free material, is 100-percent leak-proof, has a carabineer clip on the handle allows you to take this wherever you go, AND has compartments for money, ID, key, whatever! And all that for only $13.

matador-pocket-blanket
This pocket blanket unfolds to create enough space for two people to sit next to each other. It’s water repellent on the back side to keep you clean and dry, puncture resistant to protects you from twigs, rocks, dirt, sand and insects, and the corners are weighted. It’s the best travel companion ever!



iphone charger key chain and bottle opener for gift swaps
I need this, you need this, and anyone else with an iphone needs this — it’s a keychain that’s also a charge sync cable AND a bottle opener. Access to batteries and beers is the key(chain) to anyone’s hearts.

Mini Griddle - gift swap ideas
How adorable is this mini griddle!? It’s compact design and non-stick coating, so it’s perfect for pancakes, grilled cheese, and quesadillas ANYWHERE! And it includes a recipe guide to get ’em started.

cards against humanity for yankee gift swap
Cards Against Humanity is the best worst game for the most awesomely horrible people. It’s like Apples to Apples but totally messed up. Best game EVAR!

kitchen-maestro-pizza-scissors
Hi, pizza scissors exist! Did you know that? My question is… why is this a new thing? This is totally the easiest way to cut and serve pizza!

find-anything-bluetooth-device
This little bluetooth device can help anyone find anything. Attach LAPA to your things and find them using sound or light. It can also help you find your lost phone. And it also works for pets and kids!

tile-slim-phone-finder
Or go for the slimmer Tile finder that easily slides into a wallet or purse and can also be attached to a things like laptops, tablets, notebooks or lunchboxes.

sloth-coffee-mug-and-tea-infuser
This “live slow die whenever” sloth coffee mug and tea infuser set kills me every time. It’s probably the best $16 you’ll ever spend, watching people lose their damn minds over this.

Amazon Gift Card for yankee gift swap
Still not sure what to get? Or is there no time left for shipping? Easy peasy, just do this, and EVERYONE will be happy: Amazon gift card.

Need more gift ideas? Check out my collection of my favorite unique gifts.

Leave a Reply