April 20, 2024

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40 On-Sale White Elephant Gift Ideas for Foodies, Starting at $4 – Food & Wine

7 min read

White elephant parties are always fun, but the stress of choosing a gift that not only suits the budget, but is also something versatile enough to elicit a little competition can be stressful. One thing is for sure, however — kitchen tools and supplies won’t disappoint. Whether a small, fun grab or an essential gadget, a good old kitchen-themed gift is sure to.......

White elephant parties are always fun, but the stress of choosing a gift that not only suits the budget, but is also something versatile enough to elicit a little competition can be stressful. One thing is for sure, however — kitchen tools and supplies won’t disappoint. Whether a small, fun grab or an essential gadget, a good old kitchen-themed gift is sure to be appreciated among many. 

That’s why we’ve taken the time to round up over 35 popular white elephant gift ideas, ranging from $64 all the day down to $4. The bonus? They’re all on sale. 

Score items from brands like Le Creuset, Food52, Oxo, Our Place, Hearth & Hand, and more for your next gift swap. You’ll find items like mugs and bowls, matcha whisk sets, personal blenders, coffee makers, and more. Shop each section below based on your party’s budget, with options for avid at-home baristas, snackers, home cooks, bakers, and cocktail makers — all at a discount.  

RELATED: The 50 Best Cyber Week Kitchen Deals to Shop Before They’re Gone

Food52, Amazon

Best White Elephant Gift Deals $25 and Below

  • Bentgo All-in-One Stackable Bento Lunch Box Container, $15 (originally $30) at amazon.com
  • Dash Mini Waffle Iron, $10 (originally $13) at amazon.com
  • Food52 Five Two Reusable Silicone Straw Set, $19 (originally $25) at food52.com 
  • Pottery Barn Sherpa Double Wine Bag, $20 (originally $25) at potterybarn.com
  • Primula 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso and Coffee Maker, $16 (originally $20) at amazon.com
  • W&P Peak Silicone Sphere Ice Mold, $15 (originally $18) at amazon.com
  • BambooWorx 3-Piece Matcha Whisk Set, $11 (originally $25) at amazon.com
  • Smyrna Turkish Cotton Turkish Throw Blanket, $25 (originally $30) at amazon.com 
  • FineDine 6-Piece Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Set, $21 with coupon (originally $39) at amazon.com
  • Ecolution Micro-Pop Microwave Popcorn Popper, $10 (originally $13) at amazon.com
  • PowerLix Milk Frother Set, $25 (originally $35) at amazon.com
  • Lodge 10.25-Inch Skillet, $20 (originally $34) at amazon.com
  • Escali Kitchen Scale, $25 (originally $27) at amazon.com
  • Hearth & Hand Stoneware Mug, $4 (originally $5) at target.com
  • ChefSofi Mortar and Pestle Set, $23 with coupon (originally $40) at amazon.com
  • KitchenAid Asteroid Oven Mitts, $10 (originally $28) at amazon.com
  • Thermos 24-Ounce Stainless King Vacuum-Insulated Food Jar, $20 (originally $28) at amazon.com 

Searching for gifts that are $25 or below has always been a feat, but this is even more true nowadays. The gifts we’ve picked range from being ideal for seasoned chefs and bakers, to take-out prefer-ers, and the snack-obsessed. 

For groups of people that you know love to cook or bake, it’s well worth picking up some basic upgrades, like a kitchen scale, mixing bowls, a sturdy cast iron pan, oven mitts, or a mortar and pestle set. These small gifts start at just $10, and reach up to the top of the budget at $25. 

For a digital scale that will last for years to come, grab the Escali version. This scale is loved by editors (it ranked in the top according to our testers, too) because it is straightforward and inexpensive. If your giftee doesn’t have a scale yet, or has a scale they don’t like, this will be a huge benefit for them. Baking and cooking is more precise, plus if you know the weights, you don’t have to dirty any measuring cups (and less cleanup is always ideal). Along with that, if you know you’ve got a lot of bakers in the room, this bestselling mixing bowl set isn’t just affordable — it’s stacked with just about every bowl size you’d need, and they neatly nest together. 

Other kitchen workhorse essentials that make great gifts are these KitchenAid oven mitts, which are affordable enough at $10 to combine with an extra item or two for a themed gift, and a cast iron pan. A cast iron pan is the perfect white elephant gift, because a seasoned chef could come across it and appreciate it, but so can someone who is just getting into cooking too. They’re a piece of cookware everyone needs, since they last forever. This $20 Lodge version is no exception either, since it’s raked up over 50,700 five-star ratings on Amazon. 

For people who take their morning beverages very seriously, grab this Food & Wine tested favorite milk frother set. It comes with everything you need to be your own barista: a frother, milk pitcher, coffee art stencils, plus a stand for easy storage. You can also pair it with this on-sale moka pot for at-home espressos, or pair it with this matcha whisk set for the ultimate morning beverage tool collection. And, you can wrap any of these up with this $4 mug from Hearth & Hand. 

Whether you choose one gift, or combine from section to section to create your perfect bundle — there’s sure to be an option for any party guests you’ll be around, from a seasoned cook or a champion of leftovers. 


Best White Elephant Gift Deals Between $26 and $39

  • Modern Mixology Bartender Kit with Stand, $33 (originally $50) at amazon.com
  • Williams Sonoma Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark, $30 (originally $55) at williams-sonoma.com
  • Hydro Flask 32-Ounce Wide Mouth Bottle with Flex Cap, $30 (originally $45) at amazon.com
  • Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker, $36 (originally $55) at amazon.com
  • The Complete Chinese Takeout Cookbook, $32 (originally $35) at amazon.com
  • Food52 Five Two Ultimate Baking Tool Set, $39 (originally $49) at food52.com
  • Our Place 4-Piece Side Bowl Set, $35 (originally $45) at fromourplace.com
  • Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking Cookbook, $30 (originally $40) at amazon.com
  • Baggu Mini Nylon Bucket Bag, $30 (originally $38) at baggu.com
  • Magic Bullet Personal Blender, $30 (originally $40) at amazon.com
  • Oster Electric Wine Opener, $25 (originally $30) at amazon.com
  • Hearth & Hand Portable Insulated Backpack Cooler, $32 (originally $40) at target.com
  • Skylar Vanilla Sky Scented Candle, $38 (originally $45) at nordstrom.com
  • Yhy 6-Piece Pasta Bowl Set, $36 (originally $50) at amazon.com
  • W&P Porter 16-Ounce Ceramic Mug, $26 (originally $30) at amazon.com
  • Cosori Electric Stainless Steel Kettle, $30 (originally $40) at amazon.com
  • ChefSofi Knife, Bowl, and Cheese Board Set, $36 with coupon (originally $72) at amazon.com
  • All-Clad Dual Purpose 3-Piece Dish Towel Set, $27 (originally $30) at amazon.com

Sometimes it can be tough to find items that are priced in that awkward in-between range, like below $40 or above $25. That’s why we reserved this section for those harder-to-find gems that don’t quite hit the top or bottom of the budget. You’ll find just about anything from mixology sets, to mini-bags, blenders, kettles, and dish towels.  

For an affordable but functional appliance surprise, why not grab the Magic Bullet blender? This small-but-mighty gift is perfect for anyone, even beyond a smoothie lover, and it sits right at a comfortable $30 on sale. In our tests for best personal blenders, this Magic Bullet ranked for its compact size. It’s also easy to use, and comes with different accessories, like three different cup sizes, different lids, and a recipe book. Blend up smoothies, or use it to make salsas, dressings, and cocktails. 

If you’re looking for a crowd-pleaser — go with versatile basics like insulated water bottles or bowl sets. You can grab this Hydro Flask bottle for $30 on sale. It comes in a ton of different colors to choose from, plus its large size is the perfect companion for people who commute to the office, go to school, or like to spend time outdoors. It keeps drinks warm for 12 hours and cold for 24. It also comes in other smaller or larger sizes on sale.

These bestselling Yhy pasta bowls make for a surprisingly essential gift. They’re some of the most versatile pieces of dishware you can have, though not many people own a set of their own. Since they’re a plate-bowl hybrid, they work for just about every dish imaginable. From saucy stews, to pasta dishes, salads, grain bowls, and soups — the options are endless. They’ll be the giftee’s go-to dish.

Food52, Le Creuset, Amazon, Chamberlain Coffee

Best White Elephant Gift Deals Between $40 and $65

  • Le Creuset Heritage 4-Piece Mug Set, $64 (originally $80) at lecreuset.com
  • Food52 Gingham Linen Apron, $44 (originally $49) at food52.com
  • Oxo 32-Ounce Cold Brew Coffee Maker, $41 (originally $52) at amazon.com
  • Smirly Bamboo Cheese Board and Knife Set, $40 (originally $56) at amazon.com
  • Chamberlain Coffee Hot Chocolate Starter Pack, $47 (originally $52) at chamberlaincoffee.com

While it’s rare that a white elephant exchange exceeds the classic $25 cap, there are definitely some out there with a heftier budget range. If you’re attending one, we’ve gathered a few ideas that aren’t just useful, but also exciting enough to make them actually wanted by the giftee. 

A good mug set is always appreciated, especially if you know most people are heavy coffee or tea drinkers. Luckily, this coveted set from Le Creuset is on sale. It comes in a ton of dream-worthy colors that fade from light to dark, like a teal sea salt, a toasted creamy meringue, and a deep, dusty oyster gray. Not only are the mugs dishwasher- and microwave-safe, but they’re also oven-safe, which means you can bake up any individual dessert in them too. 

If you’re sticking with a drink theme, you can also snap up this Oxo cold brew coffee maker on sale. It was ranked as the best cold-brew maker in our Food & Wine roundup thanks to its easy-to-use design. It also has a special feature other cold brew systems don’t have — perforated holes for steep the grounds in a smoother, even way. 

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