Amazingly, some of the stores are trying to give you some sanely priced gifts that people—even you!—might want to receive.
I was in Lowe’s recently and saw near the Christmas trees three rows of gifts that were labeled “under $5.00,” “under $10.00,” and “under $25.00.” What a concept!
Dollar General has five different white appliances—hand mixer, toaster, 12-cup coffee maker, electric can opener, and stream dry/spray iron—for $10.00 each. They also have some black appliances (additionally including a blender and slow cooker) for $10 each every day of the week.
Old Time Pottery has a large assortment of bakeware for only $2.99 each, a doorbuster automatic mix and stir machine that includes a charger for $9.88 (supposed to cost $69.99 in department stores!), and a stainless steel chafing dish for $14.99.
If you want to shop at Walgreen’s or CVS, you can buy numerous boxes of candy (Russell Stover, Whitman’s, etc.) for under $5.00, massagers or bathroom scales for less than $10.00, and various toys in a similar price range.
Big Lots has a child-sized drum set (yes, an entire “trap set”) for $20.00 (in case you have someone in your family you’d like to give an earful to!), a cordless drill for $20.00, some watches and jewelry for $5.00, and house slippers for both men and women for $12.00.
Moving along for men and handy women, you can shop Harbor Freight Tools for a wireless driveway alert system for only $14.99 (Santa, are you listening? I’d like to know when the toilet paper crew who keep rolling every lawn in the neighborhood creep into our driveway the next time!), a wrist blood pressure monitor for $14.99, and a 4 ½” angle grinder for only $9.99. (There’s also a 20 per cent off on any single item coupon in their newspaper flier.)
Target is advertising toys galore and less than $25.00 plus books for $13.00 and newly released CDs at $8.99. For the cook a 16-quart roaster (normally $34.99) and a stainless steel warming tray (regularly $29.99) cost only $22.00.
Goodwill, the Salvation Army Store, and the Music City Thrift Store, of course, have all kinds of items for less than $25.00. You may be one of the lucky ones who find a painting for $9.99 that’s worth several hundred thousand. Or, you may just find that special book that’s $25.99 in the other stores and is only $2.99 on the second hand book shelf. You might buy a sweater with the tags still on it because someone else didn’t like the color or it didn’t fit. Shopping in a thrift store is always a fun adventure because you never know what you’ll discover.
We haven’t even discussed gift cards for places like your favorite restaurant or Wal-Mart or Kroger or wherever you buy food. You can also purchase gift cards for a bookstore or sporting goods store or even iTunes.
Shopping doesn’t have to break the bank at Christmas. Putting some thought into the gift is as important as buying it. The Black Friday super specials are fine if you don’t mind getting up in the middle of the night and standing in line freezing some of your parts while waiting to see if a stampede is going to occur and send you to the hospital. Some people just love doing that every year—and if you’re one of them, have a great time.
My hairdresser takes her job as a grandmother very seriously but has decided that her best gift is a small amount of money and the person’s favorite snack.
My husband found a candy bar in Tractor Supply Company that he had never seen in another store. For his birthday this year, I gave him an entire box of them.
You don’t have to give your loved ones a Hummer or the latest electronic game to show someone you care. Just use your imagination and stick within your budget. You’ll be glad when January 1 comes around and the bills start arriving.
And, by the way, always keep the receipt for any gift so that when the person wants to take it back, you can keep part of the hassle to a minimum.