Holiday Gift Giving Guide for under $50

It’s the holiday times, and with that comes the stress of shopping for others.  In my experience, you can never go wrong with getting someone some awesome kitchen toys and you may even get some delicious food out of it.  I just threw together a small list of items that I think are necessary for every kitchen.  Bonus is they all cost around $50 or less :)  Without further hesitation, here we go:

The Slow Cooker changed my life when I used to work 80 hours a week because all my meals would cook while I worked and I could eat when I got home with no dishes.  I honestly believe this is the most underrated but most valuable kitchen appliance that exists.  Everyone needs one and this is my personal favorite.  Click on the image below or click HERE.


Before I started cooking, I had no idea what an immersion blender was outside of a counter top ornament.  Once I learned I became addicted to this powerful little tool.  I love making soups in the fall and the worst part was always transferring it in batches to a blender.  That meant more dishes and more work, NO THANK YOU.  With this snazzy tool you just blend it in the pan and Voila.  Enough said, grab one of these for yourself or loved ones by clicking on the image below or HERE.

Immersion Blender

So I would not be surprised if you have never heard of Bulletproof Coffee, but I am addicted.  When I started it involved so many dishes to have a glass that I became frustrated.  Then my best friend Abel introduced me to this little gem.  Now I go to Starbucks or my favorite coffee shop, bring my own butter and blend away.  I have carried this same frother for 6 months through 20+ plane trips and car rides and it is still going strong.  There are tons of other uses for it too, but I just use it for coffee.  Get it by clicking on the image below or HERE.


I feel like this tool has revolutionized the way everybody eats vegetables in the world this year.  I had never heard of one and then all of a sudden everyone was posting about owning a spiral slicer.  So being the curious George I am, I bought 2 just in case 1 broke.  I still have them both and I use them weekly.  I made everything from sweet potato and apple noodles to cucumber and zucchini noodles.  This thing is AMAZING and it belongs in every household.  Click on the image below or click HERE.


Just in case you didn’t know, Juli from PaleOMG and I are almost done with our brand new cookbook, The Paleo Kitchen.  Eeeek, I am so excited that I could pee myself but I know there is still a ton of work to do with edits and writing before it hits your hands.  Just the thought of you holding it makes me work so much harder though.  I never thought I would ever know how to cook, never mind write a book so I will probably cry a lot when it’s done.  I am already stocking up on tissues though so no worries.  For the holidays I also compiled a list of all my favorite Paleo cookbooks that will make perfect gifts or stocking stuffers this year.  So make sure you pre-order ours and then get the rest on the list by clicking on the image below or HERE.

The Paleo Kitchen

I am a huge supporter of my friend Steve and the amazing job he does using Steve’s PaleoGoods to create amazing Paleo products for all of us to eat while donating 15% of ALL proceeds to his non-profit Steve’s Club.  I have personally flown out to New Jersey and met the kids of Steve’s Club and they changed my life forever.  I will always be a supporter and do my best to spread the word about the amazing things happening there.  Make sure you stock up on some PaleoGoods for yourself or friends and help support and amazing cause by clicking on the image below or HERE.

Steve's PaleoGoods

When I started cooking, I always had the wrong ideas of what I needed.  Everyone used to tell me that nice knives were always expensive and you needed like 25 of them.  3 years later and many trials with knives and I still use the same 8 inch chef’s knife everyday for almost everything I do.  I have 10 knives in my block that have NEVER been used and probably won’t be.  I will save you some money and just tell you know, all you need is 2-3 good knives and it will all start with a Chef’s Knife like the picture below.  Keep it sharp and you will have it forever.  Click on the image below or click HERE.

Chef's Knife

This is my back up tool to that amazing spiral slicer I listed up top.  This makes quick work turning any vegetable into awesome noodles or just sweet decorative pieces.  If you are anything like me, I like to feel fancy with my google chef training and that means using big word little tools to make funky vegetable cuts to garnish with.  That was definitely not a complete sentence but I laughed and the point is, you will use this and love it.  Stuff it in your stocking or all your friends.  Get it by clicking on the image below or clicking HERE.

Julienne Peeler

Have you ever realized that all the fancy recipes have zest of something in them?  I figured out the way for people to think you are a famous chef, is just to zest something on top of the food.  You can zest lemon, lime, orange, or bacon.  I prefer bacon most of the time and no one complains.  Seriously though, there is nothing like freshly grated nutmeg or lemon on top of certain dishes.  This is an awesome tool to keep around for when you want a fresh kick to your palate.  Click on the image below to start zesting everything or just click HERE. Zester

I LOVE COFFEE.  There is no secret there.  I talk about it all the time and don’t think I will ever change.  What I realized though that I could have much more coffee if I made it at home because it is like 1/3 the price I jumped on it.  I got all scientific with pour over, chemex and french press while weighing and measuring coffee and water and that was just too much.  I just wanted some espresso for my americanos and this solved that problem.  I even brought this Aeropress to Afghanistan with me and used it daily.  This this is pure genius and everyone I know that has one LOVES it.  Get yours by clicking on the image below or HERE.


Something that happens all the time to food bloggers, are nasty comments about how the recipe didn’t work.  It is just a fact of life and we live with it.  One tip I have to mitigate it though is to have an amazing digital thermometer.  As much as I wish that you could put EVERY chicken in the oven at 350 Degrees for 35 minutes and it would be done, that is just not the case.  You have to take into account user error, broken ovens, altitude, barometric pressure, wind direction, and distance from the equator while cooking, even more so while baking.  As awesome as I think I am, I just can’t nail all those factors every time.  Therefore you need a digital thermometer so I can just tell you to bake a chicken until it reaches a certain temperature and we are all happy :) Just click on the image below or click HERE.


I can’t make any jokes about this one.  I can’t overstate how important it is to have a sharp knife when your cooking.  I honestly think dull knives are more dangerous than sharp ones and we will leave it at that.  Like I said above, you only need 1 good knife and it has to be sharp.  That round piece of steel with a rubber handle that comes with your knife set is NOT a sharpener.  It is honing steel which helps keep your blade straight after cutting with it, but it does NOT sharpen.  You will feel like you have brand new knives after a nice real sharpening.  Click on the image below or click HERE.

Knife sharpener

Nothing says love like Bacon.  Hence why I might have a slight obsession talking about it often and even plastering it all over my t-shirts and tank tops :)  Show your love for everyone by giving them the gift of bacon that they can wear around and be proud.  Don’t forget to get one for yourself either.  Click on the image below or click HERE.


This pineapple slicer and corer changed my life when I was living in Hawaii.  I lived up the street from the Dole plantation but for the life of me could never figure out how to eat a pineapple.  Every time I tried to cut off the sides I would take more of the pineapple or my skin than intended and I would get frustrated.  Some awesome friend of mine gifted this to me and I ended up with yummy pineapple and an awesome pineapple glass for cocktails.  Win win in my opinion.  Now it’s time to sneak one in someone’s stocking.  Click on the image below or click HERE.Pineapple Slicer

Here is another lesson learned from me to you.  I thought that being a good cook meant having the shiniest and most expensive pans.  What a dumb idea that was because I bought them all, used them all, and now don’t touch them all.  I have 4 cast iron skillets and they get used for everything.  The seasoning that builds up over time with proper use and care imparts flavors that can’t be replicated anywhere else.  Not to mention, you can defend your house from burglars if need be with these things so you are getting a 2 for 1 deal.  Not to mention, you can buy 10 of these for the price of 1 of those shiny decorative pans we don’t need.  So click on the image below or click HERE.

Cast iron pan

I though when I went Paleo that my days of waffles were over.  Boy oh boy was I wrong.  Now I make huge batches of banana bread waffles, freeze them and then toast them in the morning when I want a quick breakfast.  I also have a slight obsession with trying to make every baked recipe I try into waffles.  Normally it results in a bigger mess and no edible food but it’s still fun.  And since life is about having fun everyone should have a waffle maker.  Good luck fitting this in a stocking, but under the tree works just as well.  Click on the image below or click HERE.

waffle maker

So earlier you read me talking about having a sharp knife.  Then about keeping it sharp and how that is safe and all that blah blah.  Well, one of the reasons that people’s knives get dull so quick, is because they are cutting on the wrong surface.  You should only be cutting on soft wood boards or blocks because they are the best for your knives.  Wood is a porous material so instead of pushing back against your blade, it absorbs it as you cut.  Ceramic, glass, tile, or all those other cutting surfaces are like cutting with your knife on concrete.  Treat your knife right and let it cut comfortably :)  Get yours by clicking on the image below or HERE.

Cutting board

I will always be a fat kid at heart and I am ok with that.  I grew up eating ice cream and I just can’t now because the pain it causes my body is not worth the temporary heaven it provides.  So instead, I make my own at home and I can’t believe how simple and delicious it is.  Honestly, it is 2 or 3 ingredients and this machine does all the work for you.  Then you can eat the entire batch without feeling guilty.  I will actually encourage it.  So get your ice cream maker and then whip up some batches of coconut milk ice cream with the recipes from my site.  Get yous by clicking on the image below or clicking HERE.

Ice Cream Maker

I know everyone wants one of those fancy Stand Mixers that takes up 45 square feet of your 90 square foot kitchen (that is my case in my tiny kitchen) but you don’t need one.  You can do the same work with some elbow grease or this awesome hand mixer.  Just throw everything in a large bowl and whip this little beast out and put it to work.  It is also so much easier to clean than a bowl that is too big to fit in your sink and attachments that need special brushes to clean just so you spend another $50 on something you don’t need.  No more complaining, I own a stand mixer but I use my hand mixer more.  So gift this or get one for yourself, I am all for everyone being their own santa sometimes :)  Click on the image below or click HERE.

Hand Mixer

****Disclosure: If you purchase any of the products linked in this post or products through the links on the right side of my page, I receive a small percentage from the respected affiliate programs****

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  1. But George, I LOVE my (Breast Cancer Awareness) pink KitchenAid stand mixer. And I have the ice cream maker attachment! Also love a crockpot for pulled pork, and my cast iron, and my spiralizer. I swear that I’m thankful for our spacious kitchen! Can’t wait for the cookbook!!

  2. Thanks for this list, I just ordered the Aeropress and frother and can’t wait to get them! I have many of the other items already, but I sure do love learning about new things :) Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  3. Thanks for all those recommendations!!!! Can you please recommend a food processor? I need a new one and wanted to ask if you could recommend one in particular.

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