10 White Elephant Gift Ideas Under $40

White elephant gift exchanges are a fun and exciting way to spread some joy, whether for a special event or during the holidays — especially when your friends, family members or colleagues are battling it out for one or two standout gifts. 

But finding a white elephant gift that appeals to a range of personalities and stays within a typically small budget can be tricky. You can opt for a fun present that will fill the room with laughter, a cool gift that everyone will love or a sentimental gift that can be treasured.

Here are the best white elephant gift ideas to spark some friendly competition at your next gift exchange.

Death Wish Ground Coffee

If the folks in your white elephant group are not morning people, then a bag of Death Wish Coffee will have them start their day with much more energy. It uses a combination of arabica and robusta beans to create a rich, intense blend with twice the amount of caffeine as your average cup. Coffee connoisseurs will appreciate the notes of black cherry and dark chocolate that fill each sip.

Whiskware Batter Mixer

Your foodie friends will be eyeing this kitchen gadget that creates perfectly smooth batter for pancakes, crepes and baked goods in just a few seconds. All you have to do is toss all the ingredients into the bottle and shake. The silicone spout makes it easy to pour the mixture, and it’s heat-proof just in case it gets too close to the pan. 

100 Movies Bucket List Poster

Grab the popcorn and take a deep dive into movie magic with this movie scratch-off poster that’s a "menu" for movie buffs. Scratch off each bucket list film—from The Godfather to Mean Girls to The Lion King—after you watch it, and reveal the film-related art underneath. 

We’re Not Really Strangers Card Game

We’re Not Really Strangers is not your typical card game. Each card holds a question that is meant to encourage introspection and build a deeper connection with the people you’re playing with. This game is a great conversation starter for new acquaintances and lifelong buds alike. The game has three levels that prompt you to dig deep into topics like love, friendship and self-image.

Two Tumbleweeds Foodie Dice

Help them get rid of meal indecisiveness once and for all with these Foodie Dice. Each set comes with nine dice dedicated to cooking methods, proteins, carbs, herbs, bonus ingredients and seasonal produce options—together, they create 186,000 possible meal combinations. Just note that this does require a bit of culinary knowledge (particularly cooking techniques like braising, grilling and sauteing) since no recipes are included. 

The Five Minute Journal

It’s no easy feat creating new habits, which is why this daily gratitude journal includes pre-filled prompts that make it easy to integrate journaling into their routine. Unlike the daunting task of filling a blank page, the Five Minute Journal has short prompts geared towards cultivating positivity, with daily challenges, highlights, inspirational quotes, affirmations and self-reflection. 

Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is so much easier when you get to drink from something as stylish as the NAYAD Roamer Bottle. This sleek reusable water bottle slips nicely into a backpack or gym bag without weighing it down and features a power coating so it won’t slip out of your hands. It’s also vacuum-insulated, so you won’t have to worry about drinking warm water.

Rechargeable Lighter

A rechargeable lighter is a unique and practical gift to bring to a white elephant get-together. Since there’s no flame, this wind-resistant lighter is ideal for firing up a grill and lighting birthday candles at an outdoor party. It’s also useful for candle lovers who don’t like dealing with bulky, plastic lighters and flimsy matches.

Moon Lamp

No need to head outside to stargaze—this LED Moon Lamp brings the night sky indoors. The remote control allows you to toggle between 16 brilliant colors, adjust the brightness of the light, and select flash, fade, or strobe modes. This distinctive lunar lamp can act as a night light, decorative accent or desk lamp, making it a versatile gift suited to any home. 

Instacart Gift Card

Finding the time and energy to go grocery shopping each week can be hard. The receiver of an Instacart gift card can skip long checkout lines, crowded aisles and flimsy shopping carts by ordering groceries through the user-friendly app. Stores vary by city, but Instacart supports many major grocery stores and other retailers for everyday essentials.