10 under $10: Budget gifts for the geek in your life

I think we can all agree that Christmas can be a costly time of year. We all want to make our loved ones feel appreciated during the holiday season, and it feels good to get into the spirit of giving with gifts for our family and friends. But when you start to add up all the people you want to buy a present for, it can get very expensive very quickly!

I come from a big Greek family and if I wanted to get a gift for every Spiros and Maria on my family tree, I’d be starting 2016 in some pretty deep debt.

Thankfully, everyone tells me it’s the thought that counts, so if you want to spread Christmas cheer without breaking the bank, I’ve compiled a list of 10 great geeky gifts all under $10.

Geek is the new black, so some of these are bound to make excellent stocking fillers for someone you know.

1 – Sleep Mask


I swear by my sleep mask. It isn’t just great for helping light sleepers sleep through the night or preventing that sweet REM to be cut short by the sunrise shining through the gap in your curtains; it’s also perfect for those glorious occasions you actually find yourself with a free moment to nap during the day (don’t deny it, you love it too!).

Here’s a little bit of interesting science for you: Pure darkness while sleeping helps your body to produce and promote a healthy level of the hormone melatonin. This hormone is not only important for helping you sleep, it’s thought to also reduce the risk of developing certain kinds of cancer!

So block out all light and visual distractions with a cute, quirky and cheap sleep mask. I’m currently using this adorable panda mask from Typo, but you can also go pug, zombie, or one of my personal favourites, anime eyes, all for under $10.

2 – Coffee Mugs


Before you cast this idea aside as a cliché’, a personal mug can become a very important gift to someone, just take Edmund Lim for example. Everyone has their “favourite” mug, and it’s usually one that was gifted to us by someone important. My favourite mug at home features a kitten in a handbag, which is quite a simple joy, but there are some really funky mugs out there these days which will make a fun stocking filler.

At the moment I am loving heat sensitive mugs, they are a nice novelty with your morning coffee. For the geography geek in your life you can get all the glory of planet Earth, day and night with this global mug. Watch as the caffeine helps recharge your battery, literally, with this cute heat sensitive mug. If you believe retro games were the golden days, relive those sweet pixels with this blast-from-the-past Tetris mug.

3 – Key Chains


We all have keys: Car keys, house keys, keys to a secret diary. Some special people, such as myself, have multiple sets of keys to keep track of. There’s the keys to my parents’ house, the keys to my rental, car keys, keys to the front gate, keys to the back storage, a key to my partner’s house; it’s out of control! It can be a massive pain keeping tabs on our jangly little friends, and differentiating between them, which is why a custom keychain can come in handy.

There are some amazingly adorable key chains out there, like this Baymax one for example. Or you could surprise your Star Wars obsessed sweetheart with this ridiculously cute, talking Chewbacca clip-on. If you’re more into games than movies, there’s this sweet light-up Mega Man Buster Keyring.

4 – Pens


Who doesn’t love a free pen? You can never really have too many; even if they aren’t swiped or lost, they eventually run out of ink, so you’ll want to keep a good stockpile. The best thing about pens is they come in so many different styles, you’re bound to find one that is perfect for the person in your life. Seriously, just name it, and I bet there’s a pen for it.

Are you a Marvel maniac? Grab one of The Avengers in the form of a crazily cute pen: Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk, they’re all available online. Or for the ultimate geek, you got to love this 5-in-1 pen and stylus: A pen, UV light, white LED light, laser pointer and stylus all in one.

5 – Tote Bags


I love me some trendy tote bags: great for trips to the beach, taking home big piles of books from the library or even just reducing the plastic bag waste in landfills by taking it to the grocery store as a reusable shopping bag. So what’s your geek vice? Adventure Time? Star Wars? Dr Who? Vampires? Spider-Man? Yep, there’s a tote for that.

There’s even a My Little Pony tote for the little princess in your life, or adult “bronies” whose love of MLP may seem a little unusual, but hey; no judgement here!

6 – Phone Covers

phone cover

Everyone these days has a smartphone. I realised this the hard way when mine was stolen a couple of weeks ago. I may as well have been living under a rock in a cave, deep in the woods.

There’s little I can do to protect my phone against pick-pockets, but I can make sure a drop doesn’t leave me phoneless by getting a protective cover. Give the gift of peace of mind with an inexpensive phone cover. At the iiOnlineStore we have covers under $10 for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S5, in a range of stylish colours.

7 – Plushies Galore


No matter how tough you think you are, everyone secretly loves having something to snuggle up to. Plushies are great for cuddles when you need one, and what could be more comforting than snuggling up to your favourite microbe? Or maybe you’d prefer to give your favourite emoji a squeeze (Yes, they even have the poop one).

8 – Tees


Having a geeky side is not something you need to hide, you should wear it with pride; literally! What better way to show off your geek prowess than with a clever and quirky tee. Every year I do one stock-up shop at Threadless for all my artsy and geeky shirt needs. How can I resist with so many affordable and creative options? Just look at these gorgeous Inside Out, Incredible Hulk and Zelda designs all for $10 or less.

The ABC shop currently has some cheap, geeky fashion options, like this Mens Star Wars Shirt and Avengers for the little one. The website also has some great geek designs: I adore this funny cat shirt and retro gamer motif tee.

9 – Socks


Socks are pretty much a given when it comes to Christmas gifts and there are so many good socks for geeks; I’m salivating over these! From Ghibli to DC to Star Wars, I can’t take all this epic sock game.

10 – DVDs


JB Hi-Fi has dedicated a whole section of their website to DVDs under $10 and there are certainly some geeky gems in there, such as all-time classics: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, ET the Extra-Terrestrial and Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. The ABC store also has some cheap options like Monty Python Holy Grail for only $5 and The Best of Dylan Moran for $9.99.

Which gifts do you want to find in your Christmas stocking? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo credit:


Olga Filonenko

Wicker Paradise

Lisa Paul

MadEmoiselle Sugar


  1. scatty says:

    Wow what an excellent article. Thanks for all the great ideas. A list like this is a godsend at xmas. Awesome ☺

  2. Uyen Loewald says:

    I’d like the two pens.

  3. Kylee says:

    The links for $10 shirts (Zelda, hulk & avengers) are all $25-$27 shirts???
    The other links are good though.

  4. What a list of novelties etc. !!!! I love it. Thank you.

  5. Izzy says:

    What a terrific lot of suggestions for stocking fillers at great prices. Fantastic Thanks

  6. Robert Hughes says:


  7. Anonymous says:

    Hugely underwhelmed. Loads of unnecessary tosh.

  8. Thanks for great ideas. Something helpful and practical. Good job.

  9. Lindsey says:

    Did you seriously recommend the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie? I hope this was a pathetic stab at sarcasm, as no geek in their right mind doesn’t hate that with a passion. If there is any non geeks out there scanning this list for something for the geek in their life, buy the TV series, NOT the film.