Inexpensive Gifts for Teenage Boys – Simple, right?

We have a teenage son who recently turned fifteen. He doesn’t care about anything, yet he actually cares about EVERYTHING. To make matters worse, he doesn’t want anything for his birthday, Easter, Christmas or any other holiday…but actually he does. What does he want, you ask? I have no idea. Now and then we may get some little inkling of a thing he might like but it is usually way out of our budget or something he already has a few of or something similar.

We have (thankfully) tons of family that like to be involved in our kids’ lives so they constantly ask what to get him on holidays and we are usually just resigned to telling them money for a car next year or gift cards for places he likes to eat. But if your family is like my family, they don’t like that answer. They want to get something he will LOVE or remember or use and teenagers just don’t do a lot of that (especially remembering). The great majority just want to hang out with their friends, play on their phone, play their sports, eat and sleep.

Since this is such a problem for us, I figured we couldn’t be the only ones that search endlessly for gift ideas for our teenager. So, I have compiled a list of ideas of fairly inexpensive gift ideas for teenage boys and I hope it helps you out in your quest to find the perfect gift that doesn’t break the bank!

A Hope Chest for College/Moving Out

Hope Chest

This was probably one of the best ideas we had for our son’s big Christmas gift this year. He had just started high school which means he only had four more years until college. And in case you were not yet aware, buying for that first college year can get super expensive (and that’s aside from the monstrous tuition payment).

To try to offset some of that cost, we thought we could let everyone in on the fun and try doing the hope chest. We decided to buy the chest for Christmas from us and let family members know that from now on, they could purchase things to put in the chest so he would be prepared (or mostly prepared) when he moves out. Anything and everything you can think of for your first place could be bought and saved inside the chest (or outside if it was too large).

Wayfair, Amazon and even Walmart have excellent options for guys of all interests. We went with a chest from Walmart and only paid about $65 total which included free shipping because we picked it up in store. So far, it has been awesome. We always have a plethora of gift ideas to choose from now for any holiday plus we are saving ourselves money in the long run. I plan to write an article in the near future on ideas for filling the chest so make sure you come back for that one!

Shave Kits (of the nicer variety) or Electric Razors

Depending on the age your boys begin shaving, it may be a nice gesture to get them a shave kit that includes all the essentials of a good shave. Electric razors are great ideas as well, but probably nothing too fancy just yet.Shave Kit

You could go big with a kit from Art of Shaving which are extremely nice, but personally, we aren’t always that liquid and
many teenagers may not appreciate it as would an older adult. My favorite is Harry’s because they have great products AND are reasonably priced.

The deluxe travel kit will run about $35 and includes a razor, body wash, shave gel and post shave balm. Also, if you choose, you can give the gift that keeps on giving by signing up for a subscription and have replacement razors sent every two, three or five months. The price per replacement blade is $2.25 each when you buy 2, $1.88 when you buy 8 or $1.75 when you buy 16 on the subscription plan.

Google Play or Apple Gift Cards

Kind of a no-brainer but I had to include it because, let’s face it, these cards will likely be used up before the day is out. They love their apps and games and if I’m being honest, so do adults. Sometimes, Sams Club or Costco have them for less than their values (3-$10 gift cards for $28.48, for instance) which saves you a little bit of money, especially if you are looking for stocking stuffers for multiple kids.

This could also be a great gift at report card time or when they do something like *gasp* help out around the house or offer to take one of their siblings to or from an event. For the teenager with no job and little savings, these are great gifts to receive now and then for encouragement.

Portable Phone Chargers

These portable chargers are especially good for teens that are just beginning to drive and venture out because if their phone is running low on juice with no sign of an outlet, they can simply plug their phone in to this charger. You can find them for a fairly good price on Amazon or Walmart, usually for around $40 for a good one.

I can tell you from my own experience that Portable Phone Chargerwhen I need my phone the most, it tends to die right at that moment. As an adult, that can be a terrible thing if you have car trouble or get lost but even more for a teenager who is just learning to be an adult themselves. Having a portable phone charger in their car, pocket or backpack is essential for a parent’s peace of mind and the teenager will be happy to know their phone won’t die in the middle of a game, text or important call.

Good luck!

I wish you the best in finding the perfect gift for the teenage boy in your life and don’t hesitate to drop a comment below if you have other ideas or feedback for me. Have a great week!

26 thoughts on “Inexpensive Gifts for Teenage Boys – Simple, right?”

  1. These are such great ideas! I have a 15 almost 16 year old step son and you put it perfectly. They care about nothing but they really care about everything lol. I love the hope chest idea and even the shaving kit he would really like. You just helped me for this years Christmas gifts .
    Thank you! Mo

    1. Glad I could be of some help! We aren’t quite at the shaving stage yet but it will likely be a Christmas gift this year as well 🙂

  2. These are some very good ideas, Chasnea!

    I particularly like the Hope Chest. Teenagers tend to forget about anything an hour after it happens. It’s nice to have something that will build up over time and help save some money (and time!) in the future.

    Thank you so much for sharing this list with us. Looking forward to seeing your next posts.


    1. Thank you, Barbara! We struggled (and still do) to find something, anything, that he will enjoy and I think the hope chest is definitely something that can be enjoyed for years to come!

  3. well buying products for your children can be very tricky, specially for the ones who are getting into their teens. i my self have 2 children but as of now they are still under the age of 6 both of my kids. this site really helps parents on how to decide and on what to decide for their kids who are already touching their teens.

  4. This is so helpful! My son is turning 17 in a couple of weeks and I had no idea what to get him for his birthday but now I do. These are some great unique finds and I’m sure he will love what ever we get him but I’m leaning towards the portable charger. That’s such a good idea because he is always on his phone playing games. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Ours is always on his phone, too! I love the portable charger because I feel so much better knowing they have sort of a safety net if they get stuck somewhere with a low battery. Glad you could get some new ideas for his birthday!

  5. I don’t have a teenage son yet, but that will end in a few short years. I really like the idea of a hope chest that they can bring with them to college. It’s a fairly cheap option that can be personalized and used for many years after college. This were great ideas

    1. We are so glad to have easy ideas to give friends and family now as well for the hope chest. We just tell them what he already has and they can just add to it, it’s great!

  6. I have a 13 year old son who is the absolute worst to shop for!!! Anytime I ask him, all I get for a reply is, oh I don’t know mom, just get me whatever. So frustrating. I loved the ideas for a portable phone charger and the shaving supplies. He’s not quite there yet but it;s just around the corner. Thanks for the ideas, will be following for more!

    1. We get the same answer “I don’t know” or “I don’t want anything” when we know good and well that he would be disappointed if we didn’t get him anything. You’re right, incredibly frustrating! So glad this was helpful!

  7. These are great ideas, my son will be 14 next month. This gives me a couple of ideas for gifts.
    He does like to read, I have got a couple of books already.
    The shaving kit may be a great gift for him this year, he will leave mine alone.
    What type of items would a teenager put in this hope chest, he does collect a lot of stuff over the years and someday I hope he moves out on his own.

    1. Hi John,
      Books are a great idea as well, we try to give one book for every holiday to each of our kids to encourage them to read! Regarding items for the hope chest, so far, our son has gotten a set of dishes, a car wash kit and a car repair kit complete with jumper cables. Our future ideas include a toaster, coffee maker, hangers, set of sheets, silverware, a set of glasses and maybe some pots and pans. But, there are tons of other things you could add to it for a first apartment or dorm; extra blankets, kitchen utensils, closet organizers, shower curtains, towels and washcloths, and the list goes on.

  8. The hope chest is an excellent idea for collecting things one needs for the future and I think the masculine design is great for a boy.  Teenagers in general are difficult to buy for and it always feels so impersonal giving money. 

    Giving a gift that means something to them is a great way to break the ice with a teenager as they will see that you actually tried to understand what they want and need. 

    1. Hi Michel,
      You’re right, teenagers are probably one of the hardest age groups to buy for because it seems like they just really don’t care about anything. So you never really know what they like! I wish you luck with buying for any teenagers you may have!

  9. Great ideas.  The topic is appropiate and eye catching. I really like the idea about the chest.  We have a 14 year old that just finished his freshman year in high school so this would be a good time to start one for him.  He, too, always says that he doesn’t want anything(not true, or course) or he wants things that are very expensive.  Great ideas.  Nicely written and it keeps your attention.  Like the linking and images, too. 

    1. Thank you so much for reading and I am glad we are not the only ones with a teenager that never knows what he wants OR chooses the most expensive thing he can think of!

  10. The hope chest with a college bound theme is a brilliant idea!  And not just for boys.  We took our daughter to college for the first time and our eyes were opened to all the little stuff she needed.  You know, all the things we have at our house that we just walk into the garage to grab if we need anything.  We purchased a few major things, but the accumulation of a LOT of little things added up, and up, and up!  Oh if we had only read this article before that day, we would have saved ourself some sticker shock.  

    I saw a few suggestions in another comment which was helpful.  Looking forward to future articles .  Again, great article!


    1. You are so right, it is not always easy to remember all of the little things when you are starting off. Having family and friends help out and contribute is amazing because many times, they think of the things we don’t. I actually had a hope chest myself and it was seriously the best thing. I had so much of what I needed by the time I moved out that my parents didn’t really need to purchase much besides the bigger items. The rest was already in the hope chest. Thanks for reading!

  11. Doesn’t sound so simple haha. I like to keep it simple too, money or gift card. I think those are the best gifts because there is no waste. It’s not some toy that will collect dust in the attic. I agree though those aren’t the options that family want to hear, money or gift cards. The hope chest looks like a fantastic and economical gift. I’m going to bookmark your site for when it’s time for a teenager gift, thank you!

    1. I totally agree, money and gift cards are fantastic for quick and easy gifts and everyone loves them! The hope chest is something I had a teenager and I loved it once I moved out and had all of this stuff for my first place. And my family liked the idea too, because they always had gift options that they knew would be used at some point. Thanks for reading!

  12. Hi, Chesnea and thanks for these excellent ideas.  I have a teenage nephew and I never know what to get him on those special days but, these are great ideas.  

    I like the shaving package and I think he would as well so that’s going to be the next B-Day gift.  He’s heading off to Africa on a missions trip so perhaps he’ll need it before then.  Maybe I’ll put it in a hope chest he can take along with him.

    Your thoughts on teenager behavior resonate as well especially around that 15 -16-year range.  They do know some of what they care about but they’re still young enough that they are still sorting it out.  It’s good that you are there to guide him along.  He may not let on that he cares but he will definitely let you know that he did when he gets a little older.

    Gotta love the kids in our lives,


    1. Hi Wayne,
      Thanks for reading! Harry’s is so awesome, I totally recommend it for teenagers just starting out or those that have already been shaving for awhile. Definitely a great gift! A mission trip to Africa sounds incredible, I hope he enjoys it and I am sure he will learn a great deal about the people and himself. Have a great weekend!

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