Dog Eared Books view from the street.

The economy may seem like it’s picking up, but don’t get too far ahead of yourself. Before you blow all your money this holiday season on things you’re not even sure your friends and family will like, think about shopping these Mission District stores for gift ideas that sell for $10 and under.

Shoe Biz

This place rocks. Alongside pricier footwear from Converse, Vans and Gola — and boots for climbing down chimneys on Christmas Eve — Shoe Biz has a funky selection of affordable socks that will keep your friends’ feet warm this winter. Whether decked out with seasonal red stripes, green camouflage or praying hands, these foot-warmers are great for people on a budget. The shop also carries a cool “purse thing,” as they call it, for $5.

Community Thrift Store

One of the Mission’s coolest retailers, the Community Thrift Store sells used plates, coffee mugs and kitchenware in general, all for under $10. Actually, most of the kitchenware costs less than $1, so go crazy and buy some for everyone you know.

Aquarius Records

Know someone who’s into heavy metal? Aquarius Records has you covered. This obscure joint is no Amoeba, but it will save you a trip downtown — or worse, to the East Bay — if you’re looking for a giant shelf full of used heavy metal goodness that’s all under $10 a pop. The store carries music besides heavy metal, as well.

Dog Eared Books

If you’re shopping for people who like to read the old-fashioned way, you should visit Dog Eared Books. The sale cart outside always has some decent books on it, and there’s a $10 table inside where you will definitely find that book you think your friend will like. They’ll even wrap it for you. (Just remember, it’s always good idea to ask for a receipt.)


This store stands out as a truly unique retail shop in the Mission, with its eclectic and eccentric collection of vintage and antique products. It features a lot of work by local artists and musicians, so if you’re looking for a unique gift created by someone in the community, this is the place to shop. From handmade soaps to works by local musicians, you can get it here.

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