Today's budget is five dollars and under—and I actually feel as if I've got a huge bankroll in my pocket. Because compared to searching out items for $1, $2, or $3, well, $5 seems like a windfall!
So where do we start...
• Marbles. How fun would it be to tell someone you found their marbles? I swear. I'm always losing mine. I've been to several stores that sell marbles by the bag—$5 to choose your favorites.
• Playing Cards — Yes, I already hit this one. But now that we're at $5, you can snag super-cool playing cards, like Tragic Royalty.
• Duck Tape. You heard me right. Duck Tape comes in a variety of colors and patterns (including black-and-pink zebra and mustaches) for $4.99 at places like Staples. If you've ever received a package from me, you know I am a believer.
• Bubbles. Who doesn't like bubbles? I swear, blowing bubbles is something I've never outgrown. The packaging has been upgraded, too. There are different shapes and sizes. Some bubble containers even come on necklaces.
• Candles—I don't have to tell you where to find candles. They're everywhere. But if you like Pacifica Candles, you can get a set of nine for $45. Split them up, and that's $5 a piece!
• Hot Sauce—I'm a fiend. I have a whole row in my kitchen. My favorite is Frank's Red Hot Wings. Under $5 at most groceries. Wrap with a green bow! Write "Have a spicy New Year on the card." (If you're feeling giddy.)
• Bumper Stickers. My all-time favorite is "The Weather is Here. Wish You Were Beautiful." Bumper Stickers can adorn binders, file cabinets, notebooks... This one costs $4.99 (with shipping). Bonus: Bumper Stickers are easy to mail!
• Lipsticks, like my new one by Milani called "Ruby Valentine" ($4.97). Many drugstore lipsticks start under $5, but you can also search for special sales.
• Movies—Amazon often features flicks for under $5, like Home for the Holidays, The Shining, and Pulp Fiction. (Am I the first person to ever use those three titles together in one sentence?)
• CDs—for those of you who are "retro" and still buy discs. Music CDs are fun to give, especially if you choose nostalgia music (which for me is 80s all day long and into the night).
• Colored Christmas lights. I've found boxes for under $5. Who doesn't need more lights?
• Something totally and completely unexpected that the recipient would never, ever buy for him or herself. Like a box of sugary cereal. (I just spelled sugary with an "h"—"shugary.")
• Certificate for coffee (oh, sweet coffee) from a local cafe.
Sommer Marsden also suggests:
• a pound of mixed candy from the grocery store.
• Sharpies, or colored markers, from the art supply store. Sold individually, give two or three depending on the price.
• a bag of Clementines.
• fancy jams (which reminds me of that scene in Six Degrees of Separation—"They have entire stores filled with fancy pots of jam wrapped in cloth.")
• Pampered Girl Jar: a $1 Mason jar filled with 99-cent nail polish, 99-cent face mask, 99-cent favorite candy, 99-cent votive candle...
• A sample-size bag of coffee and a single-serving packet of cookies
And now we've arrived at the smutty part of our guide. All of these titles are published by indie publishers. The authors absolutely appreciate every single sale.
• Open: $3.49—five authors on a bi-sexuality theme.
• Stocking Up: $3.99—all about stocking kink.
• Cuffed: $3.99—got your bondage all tied up.
• Those Girls is $4.99—and just received a stellar new 5-star: "Pure Alison Tyler Naughtiness!"
• Kiss My Ass $4.49—our first anal anthology.
• Bad Ass $4.49—the second in the series.
• Smart Ass $4.49—and the third.
So there you have it. $5 bucks and under. What do you think? Do you have any ideas to share? Tomorrow, we're jumping to $10. And then...drum roll, please, the Luxury List!
P.S. Please comment each day for a chance to win an assortment of the gifts mentioned in each list. My $1 gift guide winner is Tenille Brown. I'll announce the winner for the $2 guide tomorrow, so there's still chance to comment.