There are a few approaches you can take when buying gifts.
You can purchase things that the recipients would never buy for themselves. That's probably the most exciting way to shop.
But I really love when I realize a useful item was gifted to me by someone special. If it's something I use a lot I will be reminded of that person, even if I don't see them often.
Here's my list of 5 useful gifts that I have both given and received (plus a few extra/runner up ideas!)
For the men/husbands:
Wurkin Stiffs Power Stays- $40
Mr. Banker swears by these metal collar stays. They come with magnets to keep the collar in place when wearing a shirt without a tie. Over the year a pair or two is always misplaced so these are always on his list. Pair with a new shirt and you're done!
Sonos Wireless Sound System (for the big spenders) or whiskey stones (for the drinkers)
For the women/wives:
Warmrails Towel Warmer -$65
First let me say you should not gift this by itself. For your wife I would pair with a spa gift certificate or for a friend or family member pair with a monogrammed towel or robe (keep reading for those!) BUT this towel warmer brings a little bit of luxury into an otherwise boring routine. I'll never be without one again!
"Useful" is a loose term when it comes to buying for a wife or girlfriend. Purses and blue boxes are ALWAYS useful. Just keep the receipt if she doesn't exactly like your taste. Or get smart and just check her Pinterest.
For the kids:
I'm not sure that I know any kids that do not have access to an iPhone or iPad. And wow do they love apps AND know how to find them. Almost daily Nate is showing me a new game that he would like. We keep a running list that we often gift him as rewards, but that can really add up! I think this is a great gift because the parents can help choose what would be most useful for the child, be it a game, e-book, movie or music!
Pajamas (my family keeps my boys well pajama-ed) or anything Melissa & Doug-those toys have never failed me.
Lands End Luxe towels- $59 for 2 sets
We have received these towels as well as a nice set of sheets as gifts. Honestly at first I though, "Oh goody, linens. B-o-r-i-n-g." but what I forgot is that our linen closet is full of items we registered for when we got married. EIGHT years ago. Well I'm sure y'all know that towels don't stay nice and fluffy for eight years and quickly these towels became the ones that Mr. and I would fight over. Sheets and towels- everyone uses them.
Keurig coffee maker, Cuisinart ice cream maker, or a panini press
We have gifted all of these with great success and in the case of the ice cream maker they loved it so much they gifted one to us!
Restoration Hardware Robe- from $69
I adore these robes. Mr. has the plush version and I have the hydro-cotton. Until I got mine I used to steal his all the time. I gifted my Bestie one with some spa products or you could include some matching slippers.
anything monogrammed, notepads, cocktail napkins....friends are usually the easiest to buy for!
I hope my ideas have helped fill at least one blank spot on your to-buy list. Do you have any useful gifts to add?
**None of the items listed are sponsored and no affiliate links have been used.**