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At MoneySense, money is always on our minds—even during the holiday season. For this year’s MoneySense gift guide, our editors and interns have chosen thoughtful presents that save money, store money (or crypto) and inspire good money habits.
The cost-conscious cook in your life will appreciate the opportunity to have fresh herbs and greens while steering clear of the increasing food prices we’ve been seeing at grocers—and the feeling of accomplishment they’ll get from growing their own food is the gift that keeps on giving. We love that this planter is Canadian-made, it’s easy to use (the instructions promise no green thumbs required), it looks good near a window (even in a tiny condo), it’s affordable (under $40) and it includes four seeds of each: basil, arugula, lettuce and kale, as well as two bottles of plant nutrients. But, you can also add on other seeds, like for cucumber and strawberries. Just Vertical Seedling Kit, $39.99; four-pack of seeds, from $5.99.—Lisa Hannam
Perfect for the avid traveller on your list, this carry-on bag includes a laptop sleeve and a large main compartment that opens like a suitcase. It has plenty of space for clothes, gadgets and personal care items. Plus, it’s compliant with the maximum overhead and under-seat baggage size requirements for Air Canada and other airlines, so your friend or family member can save on checked baggage fees. Choose from five colours. Hynes Eagle Weekender Carry-On Backpack, $72.99.—Margaret Montgomery
We all know someone who, when given the choice, opts for sparkling water over still. A sparkling-water maker, such as SodaStream’s new Art model, can make the choice even easier for the right recipient. With its stylish new design and dishwasher-safe bottle, this machine helps eliminate the waste and costs that come with regularly buying bottled sparkling water. Also available: a wide selection of tasty flavour packs, like Pepsi and bubly. SodaStream Art starter pack, $169.99; flavours from $6.99.—Justin Dallaire
Though an e-reader costs a bit of money up front, it saves space and money in the long run. Digital books are often much cheaper than print copies, plus your loved one can borrow e-books from the public library. The newest Kindle model has an upgraded high-resolution display, 16 GB of storage capacity, longer battery life and a new dark mode for easy reading indoors and outdoors and at bedtime. Amazon Kindle, $129.99.—Nolawie Getu
It may be a budgeting cliché to save money on a daily coffee, but for some it works! As food prices continue to rise, we might be spending even more on coffee next year. A great resolution is to invest in a simple and elegant French press. Coffee machines like Keurig and Nespresso are convenient, but using a French press is far cheaper and less wasteful than buying coffee pods—plus your loved one will have more control over how their morning brew tastes. Master Chef 8-cup French press, $19.99.—Jessica Lopez
With this inexpensive gadget, your gift recipient can revive their favourite T-shirts and sweaters and make them look fresh and new again. This rechargeable model from Conair has an easy-grip handle and extra-large shaving head to make quick work of lint, fuzz and pilling, and it’s adjustable for different fabrics. Makes an excellent stocking stuffer… and then you can defuzz the stocking, too. Conair Extreme Fabric Defuzzer, $24.98.—Jaclyn Law
If you’re shopping for kids and want to teach them about money, don’t get a piggy bank. Instead, buy an electronic ATM. The Dr. STEM Talking ATM isn’t as small as Mr. Piggy, but it has a cool design that mimics the real ATM experience. The toy is completely functional—you can deposit money, and the digital screen shows a balance. The ATM has a working number pad, and it even includes a mini debit card. Kids aged six or older will have fun and learn about banking and saving money. Ben Franklin Toys Dr. STEM Talking ATM, $68.85.—Jessica Lopez
A great gift for the cryptocurrency enthusiast in your life, the Ledger Nano S Plus hard wallet holds up to 100 apps and supports over 5,500 tokens, plus it’s NFT– and DeFi-friendly. Available in five colours. If your gift recipient has been really good this year, you could upgrade to the Bluetooth-enabled Ledger Nano X ($209 including HST). Ledger Nano S Plus, $114 (HST included).—Jaclyn Law
There’s no shortage of personal finance books that focus on levelling up your finances while the going is good. Financial First Aid, published by acclaimed “Mixed Up Money” blogger Alyssa Davies earlier this year, offers a roadmap for when times are, well, less good. This highly accessible, 240-page guide will help your loved ones prepare for financial emergencies big and small. Davies’ own illustrations add levity to the book. Financial First Aid, paperback $23.99, e-book $10.99.—J.D.
Batteries might not seem like an exciting gift, but considering that people buy them over and over again, giving someone a set of rechargeables will save them lots of time and money. Plus, you’ll help them declutter their home, with fewer dead batteries to deal with. This Energizer charger comes with four AA batteries. Energizer Rechargeable AA and AAA Battery Charger, $23.99.—N.G.
Apple’s AirTag will help your giftee track their stuff—from keys and wallets to luggage and bikes—when it’s lost or stolen. The tag has a built-in speaker and can be clipped onto a keyring or slipped into a pocket. To find it, use the Find My app (yes, the same one you use to find your phone somewhere in the house) or ask Siri, and the tag will “ping” and appear on a map. The AirTag is a great gift for frequent travellers, tech fans and anyone who loses things on the regular. Apple AirTag, $39; four-pack, $129.99.—L.H.
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While I appreciate the concept of this article, I disagree with the Kindle suggestion. As this site is Canadian and this article is intended to save money, a Kindle is not the way to go! A Kobo e reader will permit the reader to download books from the library-free of charge and buy books if so desired.