Hi, I'm a travel writer, photographer and podcaster based in the Blue Mountains. Explore my work here >> www.jadejackson.com.au
Quality five dollar gifts for anyone
It's easy to fall into the Christmas trap set by retailers, and spend beyond your budget. However, it's still possible to get a decent present, for under $5; perfect for secret Santa gifts. All of the following items were available in-store at the time of writing, and include the recommended retail price (i.e. not weekly specials).
10L Hiking Backpack, Decathlon - $4.50 Despite the small size and price, these backpacks should be on everyone's list. They come in a variety of colours, feature a main section and a zippered front pocket, and there's an astonishing amount you can fit in these tiny bags. They're also lightweight and come with a ten-year guarantee.
You can fit an astonishing amount in these hiking backpacks from Decathlon. Image by Jade Jackson.
Round drink bottles are so passé, if you want to live in the future, then a slim, flat, square drink bottle is just what you need. Fits neatly in a handbag, or a laptop bag. I've seen a brand name version sell for over ten times as much.
Flat drink bottles fit better in bags. Image by Jade Jackson.
Neck cushion (for the car, or plane), Daiso - $2.80 The perfect gift for the long holiday drive ahead. Features an elastic strap to securely mount on the headrest. It's firm and is covered in mesh so it doesn't get too hot. Could also be used on a plane and is more compact than a traditional neck-pillow.
It should be noted that most goods at Daiso are only $2.80 and they stock everything from lunch boxes, to phone cases, to make-up. All imported directly from Japan. Lots of hidden gems.
A comfortable neck pillow that's also compact. Image by Jade Jackson.
Air-vent phone holder, Kmart - $4.00 Avoid double demerits and huge fines with this easy to use car phone holder. Takes seconds to install, (just clips onto the air vent) and you can easily slip your phone in one-handed. If you've got voice activation set up, then you can still ask for directions or listen to podcasts without even touching your phone.
I bought one of these last year and each month includes a discount voucher so not only can you organise your life, you'll save on stationary and other goodies throughout the year. It's the gift that keeps on giving. Last year's discounts included 20% off notebooks and 30% off any three full priced items. Comes in assorted designs.
Book ends, IKEA - $3.99
Never underestimate the practicality of bookends. Forget the suffering and anguish of books falling over, or off your shelf because nothing is holding them up. Includes a charcoal grey and an aqua blue coloured design, discreetly keeps your books upright, neat and tidy. Like the quality design, it disappears from view and does its job perfectly.
As if by magic, book ends keep books upright and in place. Image by Jade Jackson.
Kavalkad 24cm non-stick frying pan, IKEA - $4.99
I've used IKEA frying pans for many years and when looked after, they have outlasted more expensive ones. This 24cm frying pan is the perfect size for 8 sausages or four eggs, or a creamy carbonara sauce for two. It can even be used for vegan food.
Just because it's cheap, doesn't mean it's poor quality. Image by Jade Jackson.
Fiskbo photo frame (10cm X 15cm), IKEA - $1.49 each
Buy three photo frames, in a selection of colours including white, aqua blue, pastel pink, fushia or black and still have enough change left from $5 to fill them with your own prints, for the ultimate personalised gift. Prints from Kmart start at just 10c each for next day printing (10cm X 15cm size) or 15c for 1 hour printing.
Rabbit ice cream mould, MiniSo - $3.99
These will be a super hit in summer. Simply fill any liquid such as juice, fruit tea or ginger beer and place in the freezer for the ultimate refreshment. Reusable, great for the environment and virtually pays for itself after one use with the money you save on ice-creams. There is also a We Bare Bears version and Target has a pink and blue $2 Icy Pole Mould .
Gift a movie, game, song or book, Itunes - From $0.99
Within any item on iTunes, tap the square box with an upwards pointing arrow and you can gift any song, movie, book or game to anyone in Australia with an iTunes account. Songs start from $2.19, books start from 99c and movies start from $4.99 (look for the Great Movies at Great Prices section) and once your recipient has downloaded their gift, it's theirs forever. Choosing something specific shows you have put more thought into it than just handing over a gift card and with movie of the week rentals (30 days to watch) at just 99c (including a bunch of documentaries) you could essentially gift a book, a movie, and a game for under $5; providing weeks of entertainment.
Own a digital movie, legally for five dollars. Screenshot courtesy of itunes.