Budget tight this season? Ramona merchants can help

Sentinel photos/Maureen Robertson
Sentinel photos/Maureen Robertson

By Jessica King

Big box stores aren’t the only ones offering good shopping deals to gift-givers this holiday season.

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From Ace Hardware to Jewelry World and Loan, Ramona merchants are offering holiday gifts for $25 or less — without the parking and crowd headaches.

“We have a bunch of stuff for anyone really,” Ace Hardware manager Jeff Sabian said of his store at 23642 San Vicente Road. For children, Ace has a Craftsman Kid’s Tool Box for $13 and remote control vehicles anywhere from $15 to $25. The store also carries a variety of home décor items, from decorative plates to figurines, starting at $10. Of course, many of the store’s tools and other hardware items are also on sale, starting as low as $1.99 in some cases, Sabian said, noting many of the individual hand tools could make great stocking stuffers.

Economizers at 209 10th St. also offers tools and decorative items for less than $25. Owner Laurann Volk invites customers to stop in and check out the specials. In addition to before Christmas specials on Black & Decker items, the firm also is offering rebates, she noted.

Ransom Brothers True Value at 1441 Main St. offers discounts on many of its tools and other hardware,

including rotary tools for $20. The store carries a novelty line of Redneck glassware, including wine glasses – Ball canning jars with glass stems – for $8.99 each.

And don’t think of Sears Hometown Store at 220 Rotanzi St. as just a place to find a new stove, refrigerator or mattress. You’ll also find plenty of items the handyman or gal on your shopping list will appreciate.

For the truly budget conscious, Ramona Food and Clothes Closet at 773 Main St. carries many deeply discounted quality items that might surprise some shoppers, said service manager DeeAnn Anderson.

“This is an awesome place to go,” she said.

Jackets at the Closet run anywhere from $1.99 to $20, sweaters sell for $4.99 and dresses go for $10 to $20. But perhaps among the most surprising items sold are books, most for less than $1. The “costlier” books would

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be the hard-copy coffee table books, which go for $1.99, Anderson said, noting they could make great gifts for hard-to-shop for relatives, friends or associates.

There are also plenty of books to be had at Unicorn Books and Gifts at 738 Main St. Co-owner Stacy Bart said most, if not all, books in her shop are $25 or less. Unicorn also carries handmade jewelry, candles, soaps and other items for under $25, as well as some unique toys.

Bart said she stocked up this year on toys for what she called the “hard to get for” ages, such as boys 8 to 12 and girls of a similar age. For the boys, Bart suggested science experiment kits, selling for $20 or less. For the girls, she recommended music boxes going for around $25.

For shoppers who don’t know what authors someone on their gift list likes, Bart said there are several popular books out that could work, such as recipe books that contain humorous stories in them and other joke books geared toward various interests and ages.

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