Even if you're broke (hi, join the frickin' club), you can live large on a puny budget. Here's a sampler of five items, all for less than 5 bucks, that will upscale your life from has-not to has-a-little, with style to spare.
1. If you can scrounge up 11 dimes and one nickel (check the couch), then this cottony poor boy cap ($1, Dollar Joint , 1499 Gerrard East, 416-465-0915) can step in as the newest addition to your accessory cache.
2. Never mind that you're drinking water from the tap. Add a shiny coaster ($4, Open House , 2242 Bloor West, 416-604-8479) and a teensy lie about the water's provenance and - voila! - suddenly you're sipping from the most exclusive springs in Europe.
3. Dazzle your guests as you shuffle about in these pretty twinkle-toed mesh slippers ($4.95, Big Lots All Deals , 265 Coxwell, 416-461-6527), available in a rainbow of colour options.
4. Also great for veggies if you can afford them (yeah, right!), this Teflon-coated pot with built-in colander ($2.99, Honest Ed's , 581 Bloor West, 416-537-1574) comes in a single-serving size for all those carbed-up spaghetti or ramen dinners you'll be eating this winter.
5. Just because you're coin challenged doesn't mean you need to operate in a gift-free zone. This smoky glass bud vase ($1.99, the Best Dollar Plus , 961 Bloor West, 416-530-4377) is a nice little something that'll distract your host from all the free food you're scarfing.