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Under $40 Gift Guide for College Students

Make shopping a breeze with these gifts to fit every person you know!

Holiday shopping can be stressful–the lines, the pushy moms, and of course the toll it takes on your bank account. Not to mention the stress of finding the perfect gift for each person in your life. Well today I hope to take the anxiety out of your holiday shopping with these 10 gifts under $40 for every friend you have. 

Remember, the holidays aren’t about how much you spend, but how thoughtful you are. Getting a gift a person will truly enjoy far outweighs the price tag! Happy shopping!

The coffee lover.

This ADORABLE Kate Spade coffee tumbler is perfect for the coffee addict in your life. They have several colors and quotes for under $20! You can even throw in a bag of coffee or a gift card to complete this warm and cozy gift.  Available at
gifts under $40 coffee cup image

The adventurer.

Never let a friend say “What should we do this weekend?” again! This travel guide features 150 weekend plans in the U.S. and Canada–perfect for a wanderlust loving 20 something.

anthro[pology gift book image

The practical princess.

This cute and useful gift includes double-sided tape, a safety pin, a mending kit, earring backs, dental floss, clear nail polish, an emery board, nail polish remover, stain remover, hair spray, hair elastics, a tampon, pain reliever, breath freshener, and lip balm. All in an chic case so she can always be prepared!  Available at .
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The candle lover—with a twist!

This yummy apple candle makes a comforting gift in itself, but Diamond Candles include something a little more. Each candle has a ring hidden inside which could be worth up to $5,000 dollars. Talk about a glam Cracker Jack box! Available for less that $25.

apple-slice diamond candle image


The college fanatic.

Have a friend who’s crazy about her school? Well, Etsy has TONS of vintage college apparel like this cozy Ohio State crew neck from The Rogue Gypsy that will keep her spirited and snuggled this winter. Starting at $35.

The foodie.

This gift is not only practical for the chef in your life, but also very sentimental. Personalizedjust4you from will scan a favorite family recipe and print it onto a custom cutting board!  Great to preserve your grandmother’s recipes and handwriting.  Starting at $23.

The traveler.

I bought one of these for my roommate who is going abroad to Paris next semester. These ADORABLE luggage tags are perfect personalized gift for your world traveler!  Only $24 for three small tags or $12 for one large tag from Niemen-Marcus.

luggage tages

The wine lover

These chic wine glasses are perfect for a holiday get together and make a perfect gift for your resident hostess. Could there be a more adorable way to cheers to the New Year?  Available at for less than $25 for a set of four.

color dot wine glasses image

The life of the party.

Snowed in over winter break? We’ve got you covered with Shot Roulette. This gift is ideal for the fun friend—a hilarious game of drinking is never a bad idea!  Available from Urban Outfitters for $24.

Gifts under $40 image

The fitness fanatic.

This microfiber fleece pullover is essential for the gym lover in your life. It’s a perfect basic for staying warm on the way to a workout!  Available from Target for $16.

target fleece image

The Jetsetter.

Dormify have the right idea with these bright and cozy neck pillows that will brighten up the journey to and from college.  They’re a bargain at $16 online.

neck pillow

The Holiday Hostess

Have some fun this holiday season an surprise your friends with this mistletoe wand.  Available at Urban Outfitters for just $12.

mistletoe wand

Molly Tavoletti

The Ohio State University | 11 stories

Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, I am now a junior at Ohio State University, majoring in Journalism and Political Science. I am obsessed with with all things health and fitness--I'm a blogger for an all female fitness organization at OSU as well as the health/fitness columnist for the OSU newspaper, The Lantern. In my free time, I am an intern at NBC4 in Columbus as well as a tutor at the OSU Writing Center. When I'm not writing (which is rare!) I spend my time singing with the OSU Women's Glee Club and of course--cheering on the Buckeyes at OSU football games!

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