More gifts under $50, this time geek gifts rounded up by Unplggd. And therefore more home decor than tech toys.
Yes, a plethora of coasters, posters, and pillows, to say nothing of laptop decals. But a selection of more intriguing stuff too, including a shower radio designed to look like shampoo bottles, sure to puzzle houseguests who only want to wash their hair.
My favorite is the emoticon shower curtain from Bed Bath and Beyond for a fairly reasonable $14.99. Brush up while you bathe.
OK, I exaggerate. It's actually only 9,195 gifts under $50.
That's the number I got when I plugged HolidayUnder50 into the Search box at Etsy.com. Don't know Etsy? Etsy's tag line is "Your place to buy and sell all things handmade," and that says it all.
What can you get at Etsy? What can't you get there? Yes, there's hand-thrown pottery and handknits and handmade jewelry in unique designs. But there are also slightly naughty panties and monogrammed dish towels and Hello Kitty custom soap. And I haven't even mentioned Vintage items like the Polaroid Land camera (I remember those magical photos!) and the Lenox china Christmas angel brooch, and the wooden desktop paper sorter.
And several thousand more. And there's also a page of gift guides organized by price and category--stocking stuffers, food gifts, personalized items, and more.
Pictured above, a handmade iPhone/iPod case recalling the old Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) control pad. If you plug iPhone into the Etsy Search box, the number of items you get is, wait for it, 3,820.
For all you fashion mavens with designer tastes but only knock-off budgets, fear not, help is on the way. Gilt.com, the invite-only high end retailer that sells your favorite designer labels at near obscene discounts, recently launched their first web app. Called Gilt on the Go, the app allows thrifty bargain hounds to make the impulse buys of their dreams all by the stroke of noon when the warning bell on Gilt sales usually begin.
Thankfully, you don't have to be on the V.I.P. list to shop with the app, but you'll more than likely receive a form asking you to request membership. Which if the deals are indication, a membership isn't a bad idea at all.
The US Food and Drug Administration has added to its list of dozens of weight-loss products - available in stores and online - that contain undeclared pharmaceutical ingredients.
The new naughties contain drugs like fenproporex, an amphetamine derivative not approved in the US, and fluoxetine, better known as Prozac, the antidepressant. This extra stuff can produce unpleasant and even dangerous effects.
Here's the FAQ on the list of products plus the contaminants and their effects.
They say that Apple will start selling a no-contract iPhone on Thursday (March 26). Of course there's a tradeoff for that lack of commitment - a pretty big tradeoff. $599 (for 8GB) or $699 (for 16GB).
Sigh. Here's Engadget's take on this event. And here's Geek.com's puzzlement over what AT&T is up to here. The confusion stems from the fact that you must already be an AT&T customer to get this deal.
In a bow to the new frugality, the eco-friendly clothes hub White Apricot is offering dramatic cut prices on 10 fashions from last spring. All White Apricot items are said to be made of synthetics (non-toxic) or organic or recycled materials.
Shown, a sexy pink dress (of bamboo, tencel, and spandex) reduced 50%, from $230 to $115. White Apricot suggests you wear it to work. I guess it's a question of what kind of work you do. In some offices, that cleavage might cost you your job. In others, of course, letting it all hang out might help you stay fully employed.
I'm a little confused about shopping in this deeply unsettling economy. Do I shop a lot to help out the suffering merchants? Or do I cut back on shopping to help out the suffering me?
Given the state of my checkbook, that's an entirely theoretical question. But I'm still a sucker for any article that promises to show me how to save money--like Rick Broida's "How to Save $7500 on Your Technology Purchases," appearing in the March issue of PCWorld.
Logic tells me that I could save a lot more than $7500 if I made no technology purchases at all, but I read on anyway. "5 Great Technology Bargains" includes a 42-inch LCD TV for just under $1K. Quite a bargain if you need a TV. I don't, too bad. "Get Your Cell Phone Charges Under Control" is an informative roundup of tips and tricks including cheap international calling rates and free text messaging. Maybe it really is time for me to get serious about VOIP.
The roundup also includes "8 Web Sites That Will Save You Cash," "4 Ways to Save Money on Software" (including Quicken alternatives), "4 Green Technology Tips That Will Save You Money," and some other approaches to technology frugality. Not everything here will be news to you--or helpful. But, among the 31 tips, probably some you'll find pounce-worthy.
Looking for stocking stuffers that won't end up in the back of the closet by New Year's? Here are a few of our suggestions for quality gifts that won't break the bank.
For the fitness fanatic, Sony has the MDR-AS20J headphones, which conveniently fit around the outer ear with an earbud that sets inside the ear canal and because they feature a convertible ear hanger, you can transform them from over-the-ear headphones to a traditional earbud style. But take it from me, if you're running full-out on the treadmill, you're going to appreciate the over the ear function.In addition, all active style headphones have moisture-resistant features. Reasonably priced at approx $20.00. (Evan)
Tokidoki goes high tech? Well, not exactly but you can buy one of these dangerous looking mouse pads for only $16. I am a big fan of "Bastardino" but the others are pretty cool too. (Evan)
LOLcats have been the internet (sorry, "teh internets") hit of the decade, and what better way to celebrate than with these cute magnets, which will have you LOLzing every time you look at the fridge. (Diane)
If you're in the UK, you still have a few days to add some disembodied lego head earrings to someone's stocking (or your own ears) thanks to Plastic Bat. They're much cuter than they sound, look:
And speaking of retro objets, if you know someone who had to stop drumming after they downsized - I do), these Finger Drums could tide them over 'til they find a place to stash their bass. And if not, they're still just good fun. (Diane)
The KingMax 8GB Super Stick USB Drive is compatible with all Windows and Mac operating systems, is super small, and - get this - is washer/dryer safe! Buy it here
for $24.99. (Shelley)
Here's a great, affordable Christmas gift for anyone on Santa's list! Griffin's "Tune Buds" which come in 5 snappy colors (Silver, Light Blue, Purple, Light Green and Red). At $19.99, you're not going to expect the quality of your Shure earbuds, but they're surprisingly good, especially with the bass, which is always tricky. The secret is not only the neodymium dynamic drivers, it's the specially-engineered ear cushions, shaped to perfectly conform to the shape of the inside of your ears, which means enhanced audio isolation from outside distractions. Size matters, folks. With 3 sizes of interchangeable soft washable silicone ear cushions included in every package, there's a size for everyone, so no more "ear-fatigue." (Evan)
Amazon.com is launching a multi-year program this holiday season as part of their effort to go Green, offering a select few popular products in recyclable cardboard packaging. They call it "Frustration-Free Packaging." That's right - no hermetically sealed plastic clamshells, cut-inducing sharp plastic edges, or annoying metal twist-ties.
Sure, the packaged toy (or mouse, or memory card) may not look pretty on the shelf or under the wrapping, but opting for the cardboard will save you from what Amazon refers to as "wrap rage" and the late-night, pre-holiday panic that sets in when you realize you don't have a pair of bolt cutters sitting around.
More importantly, the cardboard boxes are fully recyclable, reducing the use of excess plastics and other non-biodegradable materials.
It's a small step; right now the program is only offered for 19 popular products. And it's pretty funny that Amazon's revolutionary new packaging is just a rediscovery of what companies used before the ubiquitous plastic came into use. But I still applaud Amazon for taking this step, and hope other companies will follow Amazon's example.
A big hoo-hah has attended the news that some state Planned Parenthood groups are offering gift cards and gift certificates (in amounts up to $100). Yet this may be the perfect holiday good wish for someone you know even if you oppose contraception. PP, after all, offers Pap smears, breast exams, and other crucial women's health services too.
You can get the gift certificates in Illinois and Indiana and probably in other states too. Check with your local PP, which you can find through the national Planned Parenthood site. Plug the state and/or zip code into the search box at the top of this page.