Stuff stockings on the cheap

By Mir
November 14, 2007

The very pretty Jaime writes:

Dear (beautiful) Mir,
I know most shoppers already have their Christmas shopping done, but I am not one of them. Do you have any inside word about stocking stuffers? Preferably socks and underwear, deodorant and razors for my husband? We are keeping it simple this year with a $25 max for a stocking and I have to squeeze every last dollar til it screams.
Thank you!

First off, I feel the need to point out that—contrary to Jaime’s assertion—most Americans don’t even start their holiday shopping until after Thanksgiving. So do not fret, pretty Jaime! There’s still plenty of time, and you needn’t heap more stress on yourself this way. Please repeat after me: “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, I am going to get some bargains.” There. Don’t you feel better?

Of course, the best way to get bargains on health and beauty items is to snap ’em up when you happen across them on sale, but that may not be an option for you at this point. Barring that, you have a few other options:

Local cheap spots. Dollar stores, Big Lots, Christmas Tree Shops, etc.—whatever you have in your area—are all great places to grab personal items for just a buck or two.

Stock up and save. If it’s financially viable to do so, you might want to hop on one of the various discount offers at Amazon; for example, right now they’re offering $20 off of $79 instantly on select Unilever products with coupon code ALLUNIN7, and before you faint at the notion of spending $59, you might want to scope out what it covers. If you need laundry detergent and such right now, anyway, that’d be one way to pick up some stocking-appropriate personal care items while you’re at it.

Watch those sales. Just yesterday I posted a $5 and under sale that might have some options that’d work for you, and here’s another goodie I found today: Over at Famous Footwear they’re offering free shipping on everything, plus they’re having their buy one, get one half off sale. Using coupon code 1107104 takes $5 off any $5+ order… and before you say “Gee, I don’t want to put shoes in his stocking!” I’ll point out that all of this applies to the socks that they sell.

Cruise the aisles you normally skip at the supermarket. If you’re like me, you don’t buy health and beauty items at the supermarket because, honestly, the markup there is ridiculous. However, the corollary to this is that occasionally those items are clearanced for dirt cheap. Next time you’re buying bread and milk, take a brief detour through those aisle and just check to see if anything is on sale. You might be surprised.

I hope that helps, Jaime. Happy shopping!


  1. I usually get some trinkets at the dollar store, but I am wary of painted toys made in China.

    Also, party stores (e.g. iParty) have lots of cheap goodies designed for kids’ party favors, which I find work quite well in young kids’ Christmas stockings.

  2. Good tips, Dave, though Jaime specifically asked about stuff for her husband’s stocking. So I skipped my kid suggestions. 🙂

  3. Whoops. I need glasses. 🙂

  4. Hmmm…. just tried to use code 1107104 and I got the following message:
    “Sorry, this Promotion Code is not currently Active.” Maybe they took it down already. 😛 Or maybe it’ll be up again soon.

  5. I just used the Famous Footwear special and the coupon together and I couldn’t be happier! There was a pair of Dr. Martens and Clarks I have had my eye on for my hubby’s xmas, but they came to just over $200 together. Now, with the special and the coupon, my total was $129 shipped and taxed!!!!!

  6. I couldn’t use the Famous Footwear coupon code either. Bummer!

  7. I actually find some great deals on health and beauty items at grocery stores. One example is toothpaste (or toothbrushes). When they are advertised for 2/$3 or $4, you can often couple that with a manufacturer’s coupon (often doubled) and then you get a great deal. I often buy laundry detergent and Kleenex that way too.

    The Fusion razors my hubby likes (and would appreciate in his stocking) are usually cheapest at Target though.

  8. I find a lot of stocking stuffers at Lee Valley because they tend to have lots of inexpensive “guy” things. My husband loves working on his old car, so I buy surgical nail brushes there for dirt cheap. I have now expanded and buy things for my sons there too…it’s not all tools and woodworking supplies. (I find their site a little awkward to find things, so I would suggest ordering a catalog.)

  9. Oops…meant to add this to the post above…there is a button for stocking stuffers on the top right under “Shop by Category.”

  10. the coupon code didn’t work for me, either.

    I was all stoked to get six pairs of boys socks for $1 plus tax. 🙁

  11. Lip gloss, chapstick, and mints or gum for the drive time. Socks, shoelaces (well, for the teens who like them), and (drumroll) batteries!!! After shave and cologne will work if your husband likes that kind of thing.

  12. I have been picking up dollar store and dollar items at Target as they come out. We have 5 kiddos, so I feel the pain of making dollars scream! I am also considering making more gifts this year for family & friends.

  13. In addition to the dollar stores out there, another good place for stocking stuffers from the health and beauty aisle is the travel section at stores like Wal-Mart. Many of the items are 0.49 – 0.99 and they’re perfectly sized to fit into a stocking.

  14. Great cheap idea for husband’s stocking. . . . stocking full of vices. Did this last year and it was a hoot. Bought him some cheap cigars, a lighter with a rude message, chocolate, a dirty magazine and a few more small things. It completely shocked him and ended up being the funniest thing ever. I don’t think I spent more than $25.

Bargain Hunt





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