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December 9th, 2009 WW Editorial Staff | Special Section Stories
 

A Very Broke Christmas

We gave six writers $50 apiece to do all their holiday shopping at one store. Here’s what they came back with.

     
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Click on the image above for a closer look at the haul.

Ross Dress For Less - India Nicholas


618 SW 5th Ave., 295-1171.
Stainless steel Ruff-N-Tuff pet feeding dish. ($2.49).
Fashion Faux Paw Christmas dress. ($6.99).
Circleware’s Kick Back shot glasses. ($5.99).
John Wayne DVD collection. ($5.99).
XOXO passport holder and luggage tag. ($2.99).
Trina and Co. travel bags. ($9.99).
Armour Tek iPhone skin. ($4.99).
Vans Christmas skulls shoes. ($9.99).

CHANGE: 58 cents

H-Mart- Kelly Clarke


13600 SW Pacific Highway, 620-6120, hmart.com.
Lotte portable gas range, perfect for tabletop Korean barbecue (at your own kitchen table). ($24.99).
A-Moxa cupping system, according to the pink box, “cures all kinds of diseases” and is “popular among young people.” ($7.99).
Cow Beauty Soap, crafted by a Japanese company that’s been in the keeping-you-clean biz since 1909. ($2).
The two pan-Asian, baby-themed condiments all discriminating foodies ought to have in their kitchen: Kewpie-brand mayonnaise ($3.99), and Golden Boy fish sauce. (99 cents).
Kasugai’s superior gummies, in tropical lychee fruit and pineapple flavors. ($2.99 each).
Back issues of Portland Chinese Times and Oregon Journal, for wrapping presents. (Free).

CHANGE: $4.06

Goodwill Outlet (“The Bins”) - Kate Williams


1740 SE Ochoco St., 230-2076.

Note: Most of these prices are estimates. Most merchandise sold at the Bins is priced by the pound—$1.59 per pound for up to 10 lbs. of stuff. Electronics, heavier items, books and VHS tapes are priced individually.

Plastic Christmas tree for your friend living at the top of an apartment building. ($3).
“Portable” fog machine with fog liquid ($3) and projector screen for trippy projections ($5), for that dude always throwing house parties.
Coconut “purse” for your aunt who wants to go to Hawaii next summer. (About 50 cents).
Stroller connectors and Snugli baby carrier (about $2), three types of massage toys (about $5), for a new mother.
Personalized L.L. Bean bag with the name “Kris” (about 50 cents), Ab Roller ($1), for your friend named Kris.
A General Selection From the Works of Sigmund Freud ($1), Saussure for Beginners ($1), framed erotic painting (about 50 cents), for your youngest brother who just started at Reed College.
Inflatable waterslide mat ($2), trendy knit hat (about 25 cents), Simpsons Magic 8-Ball (about 50 cents), assorted stretchy book covers (five for about 25 cents), RadioShack Easy Home Video Editor ($2), for your teenage niece and nephew.
Two Nalgene-esque bottles (about 50 cents), back brace (about $1), for your backpacking buddy.
I Love the ’90s hand-selected VHS collection including Interview With the Vampire ($1), The Baby-Sitters Club ($1), The Backstreet Boys: for the Fans ($1), The American President ($1) and Titanic ($2), old-skool Vivitar camera (about 25 cents), for your nostalgic best friend.
Recession-themed books including Kaiser Permanente Healthwise Handbook ($1), The Neighborhood Organizer’s Handbook ($1), Get a Financial Life ($1), and Albertson’s How to Make the Most out of the Least Expensive Cuts of Meat ($1) for your cubicle-mate who is (shhh…) about to be laid off.
A Kid’s Guide to Managing Money, for his kid. ($1).
“Jesus is the Reason for the Season” stationery (about 25 cents), New Testament Lessons ($1), Truth in Life: the Parables and Prayers of Jesus ($1), I Believe in Jesus workbook ($1), for your church-going neighbor.
Giant tarot cards (about $1), for your sweat-lodge-going neighbor.
Vending-machine toy for yourself. (25 cents).

CHANGE: 92 cents

CD Game Exchange - Michael Mannheimer


1428 SE 36th Ave., 233-1708, cdgameexchange.org.
Almost the entire Bill Murray discography on DVD, $37.50: Caddyshack ($5), Stripes ($5), Ghostbusters 1 2 ($6), Groundhog Day ($6), Lost in Translation ($2.50), The Royal Tenenbaums ($2.50), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou ($8), Broken Flowers ($2.50).
Logan’s Run on DVD. ($6).
Leadbelly LP. ($6).

CHANGE: 50 cents

Rerun - Casey Jarman


707 NE Fremont St., 517-3786, portlandrerun.com.
Shrimp boat. ($4).
Upside-down Nike swoosh lighter. ($4).
December 1967 Playboy. ($7.50).
Stop-Time by Frank Conroy. ($3).
The Smiths: The Complete Picture on DVD. ($5.50).
Sleater-Kinney “Get Up” single. ($2.50).
Lennon Remembers. ($1).
The New Wave. ($2.50).
Every Picture Tells a Story by Rod Stewart. ($3).
Godard on Godard. ($2.50).
Plastic recorder. ($5).
Glass Garfield mug. ($1.50).
Cassette-tape-shaped belt buckle. ($8).

CHANGE: 0 cents

The Dollar Scholar - Ethan Smith


3279 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 235-2222, thedollarscholar.org.
Golf tees in primary colors. ($1 per package).
Gently used Danish-to-English dictionary, perfect for that friend who only dates Danish girls. ($1).
Shoddy knockoff Rubik’s Cube, for that punk cousin who thinks she’s so smart. Try solving a puzzle that won’t twist without sticking or breaking. ($1). See also nerd glasses, ($1).
Pencils inscribed with odd facts about the 50 states ($1), and calculator, ($1).
Tweezer set (two pieces) eyebrow razors (three pieces), hair extensions (two pieces), for the skanky 14-year-old Bratz fan in every clan. ($1 each).
Giant scissors for the giant scrapbooker in your family. ($1).
Pterodactyl glider. Keep it. It’s awesome. ($1).
Brain floss and trick roach gum, for your wacky/annoying/creepy uncle. ($1 each).
Crayons and tiny magnifying glass for your ant-roasting, wall-defacing niece, ($1 each).
Plastic animal toys, including but not limited to octopi, turkeys, kitty cats, turtles, allosaurs and crabs of every variety. Delightful. ($1 per package).

CHANGE: 0 cents

 
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