Ryan Chartrand

When you were little, you probably gave your parents gifts like a still wet, glue-glittered plate that no one could eat off of – and your parents loved it.

But now that you’re older, it’s usually more difficult to find a present that makes the same smash hit. Now that we’re students living on a tight budget, another stress factor is keeping gifts as inexpensive as possible. This year, you can avoid going into debt around the holiday season like many seem to do.

If you are lacking that childhood creativity and running low on shopping time, here are some low-cost, yet very good, present ideas.

We’ve split them into three categories: local, homemade and no time. Local items are located at stores in and around downtown San Luis Obispo, homemade are for those who have time and no time is, well, self-explanatory.


1. Local: You don’t have to spend a fortune at Kay Jewelers this winter. Downtown San Luis Obispo is home to many great jewelry stores with items that students can afford. Hands Gallery at 777 Higuera St. carries beautiful necklaces, bracelets and rings with most items costing $36 dollars and up.

2. Homemade items: Take a favorite picture of you and your mother (or any picture) and buy a frame at Ross, located at 868 Higuera St. For a hint of creativity, write a message or poem on the back of it. Every time she looks at it, she will think of you.

3. No time: Visit www.thingsremembered.com and check out their selection of lockets that cost $29.99. You can personalize them for around $6 and get shipped to your home.


1. Local: For the meat-loving dads, head to The Old Country Deli at 600 Marsh St. They make 35 varieties of sausage and a pound of it will cost around $7. Meat can easily be transported this time of year.

2. Homemade: Why not make a calendar? Dad can put it up at the office or keep it at home, giving him 12 months of fun memories – a great alternative to a pair of socks. FedEx Kinko’s at 1127 Chorro St. can get your calendar back to you in 24 hours for the price of $19.99.

3. No time: Is your Dad always in a hurry in the morning? At www.sharperimage.com, you can find a coffee maker that drips coffee right into a travel mug for $24.95 plus shipping.


1. Local: Therapy at 733 Higuera St. has cashmere scarves for $24. Who doesn’t want a cashmere scarf?

2.Homemade: Make a mini scrapbook. Aaron Brothers, at 647 Higuera St., sells Kolo mini photo albums for $8 with six pages of acid-free paper inside. Place a photo on each page and then write about that memory on the back.

3. No time: Although San Luis Obispo does have an Urban Outfitters, check out www.urbanoutfitters.com for a larger selection of sales items. A great gift would be a pearl watch, which is now only $19.99.


1. Local: Cheap Thrills, located at 563 Higuera St. sells vinyl records and CDs for around $13 and up. Also, the store can special order items.

2. Handmade: Don’t laugh, guys are crafty too. Make a CD of your favorite hangout tunes.

3. No time: For that real close bud, check out www.lids.com to buy him a hat he can’t find anywhere else.


1. Local: Pick up a bottle of wine made at local wineries. They usually cost $12 and up. You can get local labels from grocery stores as well.

2. Homemade: Do a shadow box frame, filled with tickets from a concert, fun photos of trips or pretty much anything. Shadow boxes come in all shapes and sizes. Right now at Aaron Brothers on Higuera Street, shadow boxes are on sale starting at $10 and range from 5 inch by 7 inch to 16 inch by 20 inch.

3. No time: Visit www.urbanoutfitters.com and purchase a pinhole camera for $24 plus shipping.

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