Affordable last minute gifts

12:45 PM, Dec 24, 2011   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Many shoppers will wander the stores Christmas Eve trying to find last minute gifts. Some will even be just starting their shopping!

Here are some of my favorite gifts for those on a tight budget:

The most expensive item on my list is the patent leather Michael Kors iPad case at Tuesday Morning stores.

It normally retails for $129.99 but is discounted to $49.99 at Tuesday Morning and features a gold lining and stand up easel. The Midtown Atlanta store had a large selection of the case on Dec. 22. Selection will vary by location, so call ahead.

Another steal was at Target, where eyes lips face (e.l.f.) cosmetic kits run from $3 to $15, though most are $5.

E.L.F  has been a popular online brand for years and became available  in Target and some drugstores during the past year.

Target is also a great source for stocking stuffers. In the dollar section in the front of the store, we found piggy banks for $2.50 and gloves for $2. There is also an assortment of $1 items like safe to eat cookie dough, calendars and day planners, children's Hello Kitty jewelry and educational  flash cards that feature the presidents of the United States, sight words and phonics.

Richard's Variety Stores is great for retro items, gag gifts and stocking stuffers. We stuck mostly with gifts under $5 except for the popular President Obama Change bank for $23.95.

For under $5, there are humorous stocking stuffers like bacon flavored candy and bandaids, fake bugs, giant pencils and lots of novelty items like dried cricket snacks.

You can avoid the toy stores altogether by checking out the magazine subscription discounts on  Many of them are under $5.00 per year.  Purchase one issue at a drug or grocery store and present it to the recipient on Christmas.

My favorite two stocking stuffers:

The Santa Dollars sold at Publix stores. They are authentic, legal tender dollar bills with a picture of Santa Claus instead of George Washington. The Santa Picture is a peel off sticker. They cost $2.50 and the proceeds benefit charities such as Junior Achievement.

And finally, for all parents who are tired of their children asking for everything under the sun, there is the No Button.  The big red button shouts "NO" in several different ways each time it is pressed.  I found the button at the Learning Express store in Buckhead for $10.99, where it is selling out quickly. The Alpharetta location said they have plenty left.

Merry Christmas!

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