7 Perfect Gifts Under $100 for People with Type 1 Diabetes

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It can be a challenge to find gifts for a Type 1 diabetic that are both useful and add a sprinkle of joy to their daily routine. With the help of my wife, a T1D herself, we've compiled this list of gifts that are sure to be a hit.

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Gift giving season is upon us.

Finding the perfect gift for someone special is always a unique challenge, more so when they live with a condition like Type 1 diabetes. It’s a balancing act of thoughtfulness, practicality, and understanding their everyday needs and lifestyle.

My wife, Paige, was diagnosed with Type 1 when she was 8 years old. After many years of Christmas and birthday shopping, I’ve had my share of swings and misses when it comes to gift-giving, but I think I’m finally starting to get a grasp on what makes a good Type 1 gift…and which gimmicks I should pass on.

With Paige’s help, we’ve come up with this list of gifts that are perfect for the Type 1 diabetic in your life.

Under $50: Pantry organizer for diabetes supplies

Image showing a product catalog of diabetes supplies organizers

A few weeks ago while Paige was out of town for a medical conference, I decided to take on the project of cleaning out and organizing our pantry. If you know someone with T1D, you know how quickly those boxes of supplies can stack up and become unruly. Our pantry was no exception — it was a war zone of boxes, unread instruction manuals, and random unused syringes.

I got everything organized somewhat nicely and then I stumbled across this company started by the parents of a T1D child called T1D 3D Gear. The dad has a 3D printer and the mother is a professional packaging engineer, so they are the perfect people to come up with a cool business idea like this. Everything is designed specifically for all the different supplies that it takes to keep a Type 1 diabetic alive and healthy.

Check out T1D 3D Gear’s organizers and accessories here.

Under $20: Fun over-patch stickers

Image showing the search results of "dexcom patches" on Etsy.

The standard skin tone stickers that go over a Dexcom sensor are boring. My wife makes a point to “wear” her diabetes with pride and is always cycling in new sticker designs that she finds. As I was browsing on Etsy for some new stickers (just search for “Dexcom patches” and you will find hundreds), I saw some Taylor Swift ones that I am sure Paige would love.

Shop Dexcom Patches on Etsy here.

Under $75: Sports bras and leggings with pockets for an insulin pump

Leggings with pockets for an insulin pump.

Paige is a fitness fanatic, and that means that she has tried every brand of leggings known to man. She told me one day she might want to create her own design that caters specifically to Type 1 diabetics, but for now, leggings with pockets are the next best thing. A common issue that comes with working out as a T1D is that your insulin pump will often come loose if it’s clipped onto your waist and/or the tubing gets caught on something. At best it’s a massive annoyance, and at worst, it can result in an otherwise perfectly good site getting ripped out of your body.

The selection in the screenshot above is from Gymshark, but any brand that sells leggings with pockets is a suitable option.

Under $50: Fanny pack or crossbody bag

Crossbody bag for carrying diabetes supplies on the go.

Whenever we go for a long walk or plan to spend a few hours on the beach, we always need to make sure that Paige has the stuff she needs on hand to keep her alive. Most importantly, some form of sugar, either juice or a bar of some sort. And depending on what we are doing, she may also decide to bring her blood sugar kit too. Instead of throwing all that into her purse, she has a few stylish bags like these from Lululemon that she likes. It’s also a good idea to stuff some cash in there too in case you need to stop by a vending machine or store for an extra snack.

Under $20: Snack box of their favorite protein bars

A photo of Perfect Bars, which my wife loves because they don't spike her blood sugar.

You’d be surprised how excited a large box of protein bars can make someone.

I’ve seen it with my own eyes – every time a package comes from a supplement company, Paige’s face lights up with joy. Her latest bar that she loves is the Perfect Bar, and I must say, they really are perfect. I love them because they taste just like raw cookie dough, but Paige loves them because they don’t spike her blood sugar. They are on the pricey side but make the perfect sweet (and healthy) treat.

Under $100: Gift card for a massage or other self-care service

Spa day massage.

There is something psychologically draining about constantly jabbing your body with needles. While I think most everyone would love a good massage, diabetics might just appreciate them more than anybody. They’re good for the body, and, for diabetics, they are especially good for the soul.

1-on-1 T1D health and fitness coaching

Getting personalized help from someone who understands diabetes can be immensely helpful.

Yes, this is a thing.

In fact, it’s what my wife does for a living. She works with people who have Type 1 and helps them master the nuances of living with the disease. She teaches clients all about how to integrate healthy eating into their lifestyles and also helps create workout plans specifically for people who need to be extra mindful of their blood sugar levels. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all plan for living with diabetes, so working with a coach like Paige can be a total game-changer. I may be a bit biased, but she really is the best.

While a gift like this is a bigger commitment (both in terms of time and money), it definitely leads to lasting improvements in the life of a T1D. If you want to get an extra special gift for that person in your life, this is one worth considering.

Check out @Paige_T1D_Fitness here.

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Author
Jeff Proctor

Hi! I'm Jeff. A personal finance nerd and entrepreneur at heart, I'm here to bring you all the latest cool ways to make and save extra money. I am a quoted contributor in several online publications, including Entrepreneur, NBC News, GoBankingRates, Business.com, Credit Karma, US News & World Report, Lifehacker, MSN Money, Credit.com, Yahoo! Finance, and more.

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