The Oprah's favorite things episode is one of the most anticipated shows of the year, and since this is her last season, I'm sure a lot of people were wondering how much bigger and better her gifts can get. Lucky audience members cried, screamed, and even told the staff to hurry as they unwrapped the gifts. Oprah's favorite things would make great holiday gifts for your loved ones or a treat to yourself, but a lot of them are pretty expensive. I've replaced 11 of her must-have items with more wallet-friendly versions so everyone can afford to have a little Oprah in their lives!
- Beige Cable Sweater: Oprah loves her Long Sleeve Open Placket Cashmere Sweater by Ralph Lauren ($498), but I found a beige Bias Cable Sweater by Ann Taylor Loft ($60) that looks equally comfy and just as fashionable.
- White Leather Watch: I'm sure a lot of us wish we could wear the Limited Edition 25th Anniversary "Oprah" Watch by Philip Stein ($2475) on our wrists, but that's out of the budget range for most. I found an affordable substitute, the Peugeot Women's Silver-Tone White Leather Watch ($51). You can even get your bling fix from the Peugeot watch because it has Swarovski crystals adorning the frame.
- Giving to Kiva: The Kiva gift card is already a savvy gift in itself - you can start with donations as low as $25. The money will go towards entrepreneurs who just need a little kick-start to climb their way out of poverty. Further, Groupon and Kiva are having a special deal in which you can buy the $25 worth of Kiva credit for just $15. If money is a bit too tight for you, and if you still want to help the microfinance institution out, why don't you tell the world about Kiva. The company's website has a list of things you can do to spread to the world, which includes sending emails to people, handing out Kiva fliers and brochures, and putting banners on your websites.
- Yellow Earrings: Oprah does love her Judith Ripka Eclipse Earrings ($525), but if you're looking for something that will treat your budget better, consider getting these Indian Stone Earrings ($48) from Chameleon Jewelry.
- Closet Systems: The elfa closet system seems like every organized fashionista's dream, but it can cost up to $1000, according to the Oprah website. I found a pretty neat closet system, the Seville Classics Expandable Closet Organizer ($104), which seems quite sturdy and does a great job of organizing.
- Decoded by Jay-Z: Oprah lists Decoded, a book written by Jay-Z that pays homage to the hip-hop world, as $35 on the Random House website. I spotted the book at Amazon for $19, but if you want a savvier deal, wait for the paperback version to come out. The Kindle version is also available for just $10.
- Panini Press: Coveting the Breville Panini Press ($100) which Oprah loves? Get your budget version from DeLonghi! You can buy DeLonghi's Panini Press ($54) for almost half the cost and it is also Consumer Report's top pick for a budget panini grill.
- Mac and Cheese: Beecher's might have the title of the "World's Best" Mac & Cheese ($29), but don't you think that there's nothing like homemade food? One advantage to making this dish at home is that it won't have to go through a freezing process and you can eat it straight from the oven. Plus, if you're gifting this to a friend, they'll appreciate the love and effort you put into it. To give a savvy present of Mac and Cheese, check out some of the great variations YumSugar has of the famous cheesy comfort food.
- Brownie Pan: Oprah loves Baker's Edge Brownie Pan ($35), but it seems The Perfect Brownie Baking Pan ($12) works just as well. The best part is, you don't have to slice the brownies and each piece is cooked to perfection.
- Hair Care Products: I admit, the Andre Walker Gift Set ($65) seems like a pretty good deal, because it includes a shampoo, conditioner, Q-oil and hair makeup to cover your roots. But if you're looking to save on hair care, BellaSugar has some great at-home tips for your luscious locks. For example, she recommended avocado as a good hair mask. I found an avocado gift basket ($25) online, but I'm sure your local supermarket has a better price for these yummy fruits.
- Gray and Silver Tote: The Flannel Tory Burch Tote was gorgeous, but had a hefty $250 price tag. A savvier version would be Aeropostale's NY Script Tote ($30) which has the same blend of grey fabric and silver embellishments. To top it all off, I think the Script Tote would make a chic gym bag!
2010 Holiday Gift Guide: Geeky Gadgets, Fashionable Finds, and Great Buys For Boyfriends!
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