Gifts on the cheap

HOUSTON You just have to know where to look.

We found fabulous things for less than $5 and $10. And just to be sure our cheap gifts didn't look cheap, we asked Houston shoppers to guess how much we paid.

Sure it may take a little extra effort to find just the right gift at just the right price. But at a Montrose-area resale store called The Guild Shop the options are endless. This place is known for its vintage treasures and interesting, one of a kind pieces.

"They are wonderful here, you can really find some excellent values, excellent things," said shoper Julia Lewis.

We first hit the store's bargain bin where we found jewelry for less than $5, like this 1950's necklace and earring set for a dollar. We also pick up this string of white and gray pearls.

But does it look cheap? We asked a fellow shopper to guess what we paid.

"Umm $75 dollars, maybe," Katy Stoll guessed.

Not even close! The pearls from The Guild Shop were $3.50.

"That's a steal (laughs) so that's a fantastic deal," she exclaimed.

We also find classic brooches for $7.50 or less. A gold foil print was $6. We also pick up pink candle holders for $7.50 and silver fluted bowl for $9.

If vintage or resale is not your thing, try hitting the off-price stores like Marshall's in the clearance section. We got this tea pot and matching platter for $10. One glass candle holder we found makes a great gift and it was $7.99. We also found a huge selection of vases for $9.99. Many shoppers thought they were a lot more expensive than what we paid.

"It looks like it's worth about $80," guessed Renee Ross.

Our final stop is Harwin Street where at SW Trading there is a massive selection of accessories for under $10 and $5. We found a turquoise necklace and ring set less than $10! We also pick up several "cuff" bracelets, each under $10 and several gold rings all under $7. All our great finds had shoppers asking one question.

"I am going to need to know where you got that," Stoll said.

Smart shoppers know the key to any great find is to first check out the bargain bin or clearance section.

But if you'd rather shop online, we also found great deals. At JC Penney's online outlet we found tear drop earrings or a red hand bag. Each ran for $6.99. At we found a men's jacket for $9.99 and at Things Remembered for $7.99, you can get a personalized ornament.

If you do shop online, remember most sites have a clearance section so check that out first. But before you check out, be sure to factor in any shipping costs and tax.

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