Phillips: Gift ideas for grocery, drug stores abound

Phillips: Gift ideas for grocery, drug stores abound

December 18th, 2010 by Ellen Phillips in Business 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