published Saturday, December 18th, 2010

Phillips: Gift ideas for grocery, drug stores abound


by Ellen Phillips

More gift ideas abound, some of which arrived from readers. While all are interesting, I never would have thought of some of them when shopping at non-traditional "gift" stores.

* Grocery stores: Buy Asian or other "exotic" teas, combine with an ornamental teapot or an ornamental tin for an afternoon delight. Purchase a magazine your recipient likes and add a note detailing a year's subscription. Dinner for Two consists of a couple of steaks, two baking potatoes, salad fixins' and a bottle of wine; wrap a fancy ribbon around the bag that holds it all. A gourmet cheese tray includes a cutting board, several types of cheese, and a loaf of French bread; combine all in a pretty basket for extra oomph. Tie fresh herbs with a festive ribbon and add kitchen tools and jars of spicy gourmet goodies.

* Drug stores: Pedicure and/or manicure kit; Christmas mug filled with candy or gel pens (preferably red for the holidays); favorite makeup or shaving items; photo albums even if empty. For extra splash, though, add photos of you and the recipient for a reminder of shared memories. Bath powder, lotion, body wash, scented candle, and milled soap for a relaxing spa.

* Homemade gift coupons: The sky's the limit! 1. Babysitting coupons; backrubs; dinner-of-the-month to an overworked friend; car cleaning, inside and out; computer lessons; chauffeuring to someone unable to drive; date time from one spouse to the other or one-on-one time with a child; and my personal favorite -- silver polishing.

Ellen Phillips is a retired English teacher who has written two consumer-oriented books. Her Consumer Watch column appears on Saturdays in the Business section of the paper. E-mail her at consumerwatch@timesfreepress.com.

about Ellen Phillips...

Ellen Phillips is a retired English teacher who has written two consumer-oriented books. Her Consumer Watch column appears on Saturdays in the Business section of the paper. An expanded version is at www.timesfreepress.com under Local Business.

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marydrivas said...

Best article! Best place to find and print coupons of major brands during holidays is "Printapons" search online and find.

December 18, 2010 at 12:35 a.m.
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