If you’ve been out casually browsing the department stores as I did this past weekend, you’ll notice an old retail trick: lining the space around the checkout area with quick deals and impulse buys that you may pick up, adding another few dollars to your order.
This is because those items are high-margin products for the retailers. They make for great impulse purchases because they’re cheap, fun, deliver instant gratification, and may have an nostalgic element to them -- like with a classic game of pick up sticks or your favorite bubble gum.
But squandering a few dollars here and there for items that cease to amuse us past the first hour of our purchase creates waste. And when the items are used as gifts, such as stocking stuffers, they end up as meaningless gifts.
To put together some acclaimed stockings this year, limit the dollar floral notepads, soap, or key chains and check out this roundup of problem solvers that provide practical solutions in an ‘aha’ way.
Cuppow ($7.95) -- No more spilling hot coffee on the go. This is a lid for your mason jar, turning it into a portable travel mug.
Bubi Bottle (Starting at $14.95) -- Foldable, versatile, and durable, this water bottle can scrunch up in your pocket or double as a cold or hot compress.
Glove.ly ($29.95) -- These gloves let you use your whole hand on the touch screen if you want, and they’re extra warm and soft with an insulated layer of warmth.
Gleener ($19.95) -- Eliminate unsightly fuzz and lint with this nifty shaver on your favorite cardigan.
OnHand ($19.95) -- For college students rushing back and forth, store your files in this wrist-ready USB flashdrive.
PocketMonkey (Starting at $18.95, Set of 2) -- This tool packs twelve functions together into a one-millimeter piece of stainless steel that's the size of a credit card.
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Caroline hails from a tiny tropical island originally, but calls Boston home. A curious bird, she spent a spring trekking all over Ireland, has been an Air Force Junior ROTC cadet, and worked at Disney World as a merchandising intern. With a love for all things interesting, she found herself at The Grommet, where she gets to eat, sleep, and breathe innovative undiscovered products. Say hello to her on Twitter.