MoneyDon't Waste Your Money


Not a joke: Great last minute gifts at your local convenience store

Shoppers were surprised at what you can find on the way to Grandma's house.
gas station
Posted at 4:00 AM, Dec 23, 2022

If there's one last person on your shopping list, or you need one last stocking stuffer when all the stores are closing, don't sweat it.

The good news is you can find unique gifts in the most unexpected places.

Neil Sebastian owns a convenience store called Street Corner Market.

Don't laugh, but he says there is no better place to find a last-minute gift than your local convenience store, with or without gas pumps out front.

Convenience stores had come a long way since the days when they were known for Mountain Dew and beef jerky.

Nowadays, thanks to the craft beer revolution, they can be a great place to pick up some last-minute gifts.

Great things you can find:

If stores in your area have liquor licenses, nothing beats a bottle of wine or an av6-pack of some unusual craft beer.

"We do have a high selection of different assorted wines and alcohol, chilled and un-chilled," Sebastian said.

For teenagers, almost every convenience store stocks USB chargers, earbuds for listening to music, and more.

"We have all your cell phone attachments and accessories here," he said. "And we also have an assortment of sunglasses."

For the adults, how about some lottery tickets? Or a single rose if your convenience store sells them.

Or what about a last-minute gift card? That's not a bad idea, according to Julie Ramhold

RELATED: How to avoid a gift card scam that could ruin Christmas

"This is when we see a lot of restaurants and retailers offering bonus cards with the purchase of select amounts of gift cards," she said. "So, it's a good time to buy those."

And, right before the big stores close Christmas Eve, Ramhold says you have a good shot at finding big markdowns on lots of items. Among them:

  • Toys.
  • Winter clothing and gear.
  • Holiday decorations.
  • Exercise gear.

She says a new yoga mat or gym towels make great last-minute gifts.

Just know these items will be marked down even more if you can wait till January, she said.

"That's when retailers really start to discount [things] like activewear, exercise equipment, and all that kind of stuff," she said.

Back at the Street Corner Market, Sebastian says if your family tends to enjoy the holiday too much, pick up a pack of morning recovery items.

"We have an assortment of hangover remedies for all your holiday needs," he said.

They might thank you, and you don't waste your money.


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