If there’s one thing I love, it’s a good deal. Clearance racks make me jump for joy, coupons are my best friends, and my family loves to poke fun at my extreme thriftiness. I may or may not break down gift sets into multiple presents for friends, I repurpose paper bags from Trader Joes into wrapping paper, and I’m the queen of regifting.
Well, now my dirty little secrets are out, but judging by the crowds I witnessed on Black Friday, I’m not the only person who lives for a great deal. And in this economy, everyone can certainly stand to save a buck or two on holiday gifts.
Luckily, Maplewood and Brentwood are full of great local shops that offer a variety of budget-friendly holiday gifts. Many people assume that locally-owned businesses mark up the prices on their items to make up for the smaller volume of sales, and that is just not the case. I visited a few local shops to find holiday gifts under $20 to prove my point. Read on, deal seekers!
And don't forget to check out our previous guides: and in Maplewood Brentwood.
Gisele's is an adorable boutique in the heart of Maplewood that offers items ranging from clothes to candles, and a bit of everything in between. Owner Brenda Wolf helped me navigate through the great selection of wares. "Scarves are a great holiday gift," Brenda mentioned. "They're cheap, easy, and everyone loves them." Brenda speaks, and I listen. I spotted a gorgeous yet simple orange scarf ($15) that would make a fantastic stocking stuffer. Leg warmers are the new thing this season, so my more stylish friends tell me, and Gisele's has a great selection for only $18.99. Gisele's also has a nice selection of Fragrance Oils ($12.99). My favorite scent? Juicy Pear. Is it weird that I wanted to drink it?
I don't know much about wine, but I do know that I like it sweet, fruity and bubbly. Luckily, Saint Louis Cellars offers wine that suits my picky palate. If your gift recipients are as picky as I am when it comes to wine, Saint Louis Cellars manager Diane Blaskiewicz recommends the Educated Guess cabernet sauvignon. "It's been our most popular wine since day one," she said. "It's a great holiday wine that is definitely a crowd pleaser." And at $19.99, it won't break the bank! Saint Louis Cellars also offers a variety of holiday-themed gifts. Once you pick out your perfect bottle of wine, you'll definitely need a stopper; pick up the Christmas Tree Stopper ($12.99) for a festive holiday stocking stuffer. Feeling a little jolly? The Holiday Plate and Spreader ($16.99) is an adorable Santa-themed gift set that would make a perfect holiday gift. And if your gift wrapping skills aren't quite up to par, Saint Louis Cellars offers free gift wrapping for your bottle of wine. Does that mean I can stop using paper bags to wrap my gifts?
I love a good strong cup of coffee, and Stone Spiral brews some of the best in Maplewood. This neighborhood coffee hangout offers a great selection of specialty drinks (the Chai-der is my favorite) and brunch items like bagels, oatmeal, and flatbreads. Satisfy the coffee lover on your holiday shopping list with a gift card to Stone Spiral. Better yet, surprise your caffeine addict with a bag of coffee beans. Choose from flavors like the Decatur Street Blend ($12.50/lb) or the Columbia Excelso ($13.50/lb). Interested in even more deals? Stone Spiral is hosting its annual Christmas Bazaar on Dec. 10. Local artists and business owners will be present to sell their unique and cheap wares. I may or may not be camping out the night before. Just kidding! Sort of.
I’m convinced that antique shops are God’s way of telling us that he cares; there really isn't a more perfect place to find both unique and affordable gifts. Big Bend Antique Shop was full of interesting and cheap finds for the holidays. I found a great set of four Hot Cocoa Cups for only $10; these would be a perfect addition to a new homeowner's china cabinet. I also spotted a set of Snow Man Wine Glasses ($10) that would make a great holiday gift. If you have a friend in need of some holiday decor, a set of hand-painted crystal candle holders ($10) would be a fantastic option.