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Roommate Gift Ideas: Unique, Affordable and Useful

Living with roommates for the first time and not sure what to get for gifts? Whether it’s Christmas, birthday or a moving in gift, getting someone else something can be a real challenge.

Luckily, there are great and affordable roommate gift ideas out there. Whether you want something practical or unique, there’s sure to be something inspiring for you.

Best roommate gift ideas

A pink and white polka dot gift box tied with pink ribbon - cover image for roommate gift ideas blog post

1. Bottle of wine or champagne

A bottle of wine or champagne is a great roommate gift idea because it’s practical and very adult. Many people enjoy a drink every now or then, so something on the fancier side (without being a ton of money) is sure to be appreciated.

Unlike other gifts, a bottle of something can be enjoyed by both of you. It’s a nice way to celebrate special occasions together, so if you’re doing a Friendsgiving or roomie Christmas, it could be the gift to go with.

2. Gift certificate

A gift certificate is a great roommate gift because it is unique, affordable and useful. You can find gift certificates for any type of store, so you can get your roommate the perfect present. Plus, they don’t have to worry about returning anything or exchanging it for something else they might not like.

Not sure what kind of gift certificate to get them? Some great ideas are:

  • Their favorite restaurant or a local hotspot
  • A local store that they love or want to try
  • Something travel-related like a Disney gift card that they can use later
  • A spa or massage gift certificate for some much-needed relaxation
  • Streaming service or entertainment gift card (like the Apple Store)

3. Tickets to a show or theatre

Who doesn’t love going out to a show? Chances are there’s a theatre show, cinema or even comedy venue that your roommate loves to visit (or wants to), that’s where tickets as a gift idea come in. This allows them to have a fun night out without having to worry about planning anything. Plus, it’s a relatively affordable gift that everyone can enjoy.

4. Basket with favorite snacks and treats

If you want to get a little creative, have a specific budget you need to stick with, but still want a hit gift, then a snack basket is for you. Not only is it a thoughtful gesture, but it’s also a practical one, since you know your roommate is going to be able to enjoy it. What I like the most about this roommate gift idea is that it’s an affordable enough option that you can adapt to literally any budget.

5. Good book

Books make great roommate gifts because they are unique, affordable and useful. A good book can provide hours of entertainment, don’t take up much space, and are budget-friendly gift choices. Books are also a good way to show that you care (and know) your roommate’s interests.

6. Something personalized

Personalization makes a gift something special. Whether it’s a necklace with their name in script or a mug with their face on it, it shows them you took the time to pick out a unique and special gift just for them. If you’re on a budget, there are plenty of websites that offer affordable and quality personalized gifts.

7. Cute set of coasters

Coasters are a great roommate gift because they can be unique (if you pick the right set), and a very adult gift. Honestly, most people these days don’t think to buy coasters, so it’s a fresh and original present. Plus everyone can really use a set of coasters to protect their furniture from drinks, your roommate will definitely appreciate this thoughtful gift.

8. Candle with jewelry

A candle with jewelry is a unique, affordable, and useful roommate gift idea. Candles are always popular gifts because they are versatile and can be used for many different occasions. Adding jewelry to the candle makes it even more special and unique.

I got my friends Charmed Aroma candles one Christmas and they were a hit! The best part about this gift idea is that it is affordable enough for most people to afford. Plus, it is very practical because your roommate can use the candle for any occasion, and she will always have a piece of jewelry to wear.

9. Cute throw blanket or pillow

A roommate is someone you share your living space with, so it’s important to get them a gift that they will appreciate. A cozy throw blanket or pillow is the perfect gift for any roommate, as it is both unique and useful. Plus, at such a low price point, it’s affordable for any budget!

10. Mini Zen garden

A mini Zen garden is a great gift idea for a roommate because it is unique, affordable and useful. It is unique because not many people have one, and it is affordable because they are relatively inexpensive. Most importantly, it is useful because it can provide a sense of calm and peace in a busy environment.

11. Succulent or other plant

Plants brighten up the room, help clean the air around you, and (flowers in particular) can leave you simply happier! So, naturally, they make for a great gift for your roommate. If you have a green thumb, consider gifting a plant that you’ve been taking care of for a while – this way they’ll know it’s low-maintenance. If not, there are plenty of succulents and other plants that don’t require too much attention.

12. Mug and gourmet beans or tea

A mug and gourmet coffee or tea is one of the best roommate gift ideas because it can be both useful and affordable (so long as you’re SURE they drink it). A mug is a unique gift because it can be personalized with a message or picture, and everyone enjoys drinking coffee or tea.

While gourmet coffee or tea is more expensive than your average grocery store brand, you can but it in smaller quantities so you don’t break the bank. You can easily keep your purchase on budget.

13. Cookbook

Cookbooks are a great gift, especially if they’re someone who likes cooking (or booking). They’re affordable, it’s something they can use every day, plus it can be a fun (and delicious) creative outlet.

If your roommate is a novice cook, be sure to choose a cookbook that is easy to follow. If they’re an experienced chef, choose a cookbook that has interesting recipes. Either way it’s a thoughtful gift!

14. Gourmet food item

Food is great, fancy food is even better!

If you want to get your roommate something good and have a small budget, grab a unique piece of gourmet food from a local vendor. For example, you could give them a basket filled with different types of jams, jellies and preserves from a local farmers market. Or, you could give a basket filled with locally made cheese, crackers and a bottle of wine. Whatever the gift consists of, it is sure to be enjoyed!

15. Cozy socks

A good pair of cozy socks is one of our favorite roommate gift ideas. They’re affordable, unique and most importantly, useful. Socks are always a welcome addition to any winter wardrobe, and they’ll appreciate the thought you put into finding a special gift just for them. If you want to step up your sock giving game, try a subscription like Bombas.

16. Spa day or massage gift certificate

Who doesn’t deserve a little relaxing TLC? A spa day or massage gift certificate is a great gift idea. Not only can you make this affordable (like any other gift card option), but its a gift they’re sure to appreciate. It’s something that shows you care about their wellbeing, and want them to treat themselves.

17. Game night basket

A game night basket is a great idea to gift a roommate if you like to co-host game nights (or they simply like hosting them). You can put together a basket with all the supplies they need for a successful game night, like their favorite snacks, drinks and games. This is a unique gift that shows you put thought into it – they’re sure to appreciate it!

18. Yoga class pass

If your roommate is someone who appreciated working out and likes to relax a bit, a yoga class pass is the perfect gift idea for them. Not only is it unique and useful, but it’s also affordable.

Most yoga studios offer class passes that can be used for a certain number of classes, or for an unlimited amount of time.

19. Unique piece of jewelry or clothing accessory

It’s important to premise this last roommate gift idea with the fact that you need to know them good enough to know their taste. But a unique piece of jewelry or a clothing accessory that you know they’ll love can be a meaningful gift.

It can be something as small as a pair of earrings or a bracelet, or something larger like a necklace or scarf. Just make sure it’s something they would actually wear and enjoy – no white elephant clothing items that will sit in the back of their closet!

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