It's not too late to get last-minute gifts recipients will love, and that won't break the bank -- as The Early Show Saturday Edition's "Bargainista" proved.
Co-anchor Erica Hill had help from Alison Deyette, host of TLC's "10 Years Younger," who let viewers in on some great finds.
They're personal, yet affordable:
Patent leather reigns supreme this season. You can give a bag that carries it all, and you have a choice of colors: grey, black and purple. And you can get a designer brand that would normally cost $110 at a department store for $39-$49 at TJ Maxx. In general, appropriate items can be had there for $40-$50.
GIFT CARDS ARE THE GO-TO PRESENT THIS SEASON, BUT THERE'VE BEEN WARNINGS ABOUT GOING THAT ROUTE:
There are some rules you have to remember: Make sure you choose a strong retailer, not one you've been hearing is iffy. And use the cards right away. Be aware that, if you buy a credit card gift card, there may be a fee. Check for restrictions on the back of the cards. You can also add something to make them special: Fill a popcorn bucket with a theater-sized candy and microwave popcorn, and add a Blockbuster Card. Give a refillable Starbucks card for morning commutes and add a travel mug to fill up at the shop, and fresh ground coffee for weekends. For a college student, you can fill a new wallet with a variety of cards, from retailers to restaurants. The best thing is, you can control the cost.
EVERYBODY LOVES A GOOD GADGET, AND THESE ARE GADGETS FOR KIDS:
An iPod dock alarm clock was $60, it's now $39. The 'Little Shots" digital photo and video camera holds 120 photos and takes video clips and it's for ages three and up. It was $80, it's now $40. This Disney High School Musical digital camera holds 40 photos, was $39.99, it's now $15. And this "Shift 3" digital photo album on a keychain holds 60 photos. It was $29.99, it's now $18.99.
A LITTLE MORE COZY -- A ROBE AND SLIPPERS:
A sweet, super-soft hooded long robe comes in a choice of burgundy, grey or cream. It was $39.50, it's now $24.50. You can add an eye mask for $10. And slouchy slippers from JC Penney are only $22.
THERE ARE EVEN HAVE SOME GOOD DEALS ON BLING!:
Ali found lots of shimmer and shine in beautiful brooches, great for your dresses and jackets, and you can even add them to your ribbon belt. The best thing? All are just $18 apiece, at JC Penney.
AND SOMETHING FOR THE GAMES LOVER:
A a game they can tote along on their travels -- a leather travel backgammon set that comes in three color variations, and you can add an elegant gold monogram stamp. It's just $44, plus $7.50 for the engraving. Then you get a 20-percent discount for adding the code INSTYLE08 at checkout at mrsmonogram.com.
GLOVES ARE ALWAYS A FAVORITE, AND THERE ARE SOME AT A GREAT PRICE:
It's a simple style gesture and a surefire gift giving success, every year. Leather gloves Ali s[potted have cashmere linings. They were $59-$69, but they are all just $19.99 at Marshalls.
A GIFT ANY WOMAN WOULD APPRECIATE -- A REAL SURVIVAL KIT!:
Stuff her stocking with survival this season. A broken nail, snagged hose, messy 'do, a fallen hem, bad breath, tummy ache? They can all be cured in a jiffy with the Shemergency Survival Kit, and it's just $20. You can find it online at msandmrs.com, fllight001.com and ShopKitson.com.
FINALLY, CAKE AND COCKTAILS:
These are great. They're called "Nothing Bundt Cakes". You can get little bundtlets for $3.99 each, 12 for $45, or larger cakes from $18.50 to $39.50. Show your "green" side with Fabkins cloth napkin, and instead of wine, bring the very pink drink, Nuvo Sparkling Liqueur. You can create the signature drink at the party, with a little ice and Prosecco. The Nuvo ranges in price from $10-$30, and you can get these glasses from Food Network for just $12.50.