Men are notoriously hard to buy for and the reasons are simple. Guys dig high-end stuff like electronics and when they see something they want, they're just as likely to buy it themselves, rather than think to leave loved ones a gift idea. But don't despair, there are some great gift ideas for men at the dollar store and they won't cost you a month's pay.

I saw a selection of Ivy & Castle men's body wash, soap on a rope, aftershave and shampoo in the dollar store, all of them full-sized bottles. Pick two, three or all four of these to make a great-looking gift for a man in your life.

For the photography buff, put together a kit including a table top tripod, a lens cleaning cloth, a couple of blank recordable CDs and a nice metal, wood or leather-look frame.

Sometimes you can find really great buys on movies or music CDs in a dollar store. Mine recently stocked a bunch of two-disc classical music CDs for a buck. Pickings can be iffy, but it's worth a look. Movies and CDs make great stocking stuffers, you could add one to a gift basket or buy a CD wallet to go with your choice.

In Wal-Mart, one Christmas season, I spied a gift for men in a small metal bucket that contained two plastic beer glasses, some peanuts in the shell and a set of coasters for about $10. It was one of those things I knew I could copy with stuff from the dollar store and the beer glasses in my gift were real glass. My daughter's boyfriend at the time loved it and I'd spent less than half of what the Wal-Mart version cost.

Another thing you can do along the same lines, is buy a larger metal bucket, build up the bottom with newspaper, top with metallic shred and add four cans or bottles of beer, along with the glasses, peanuts, a pack of playing cards and a bottle or can opener.

For the businessman, there are some nice sets of pens and mechanical pencil sets, vinyl covered eight by five inch agendas and desk calendars for 2011 available. I also saw an attractively-boxed diamond-shaped paper weight that comes in three shades, including blue and clear. Put it all together in a gift bag or basket, add some of his favorite chocolate, if you wish, and you can cross one more gift off your list.

Marlene Alexander is a freelance writer and dollar store diva. Her new e-book will show you how to decorate, entertain and give beautiful gifts using only items from the dollar store.

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