Friday, November 16, 2012

Saving - Shopping Dollar Stores!

I have always been a fan of dollar stores. In fact, I remember as a young shopper heading to the mall in a neighboring city with my parents and finding my first dollar store. What?! Everything is a dollar?  Talk about pure joy for a young gal with little money!

Dollar stores have changed over the years, with many offering items for sale for more than a dollar.  The Dollar Tree, however, is a great dollar store with items not exceeding a buck. 

If you haven’t given dollar stores a chance to help you save on your family budget, I encourage you to do so.

First, a few tips when shopping dollar stores:

*Quality – Not everything is worth a dollar. Whether it is due to poor quality or the ability to get a better price elsewhere, be sure to weigh the value before purchasing.
*Inventory Changes – Some dollar stores (like Dollar Tree) will get in name brand products from time to time or random items they don’t usually carry that come and go quickly, so be sure to review aisles for special finds.
*Expiration Dates – If purchasing food items, be sure to review expiration dates.
*Higher Prices – When shopping dollar stores aside from Dollar Tree, be sure that you keep an eye on the price of the item you are purchasing as some products sell for more than a dollar.
*Coupons – Many dollar stores do not accept coupons.  The Dollar Tree recently started accepting coupons.  Their policy is available on their website.

Some great finds for a dollar:

Loopy's Dollar Store - Sycamore Ave
*Craft supplies - Check out the aisle for foam stickers, pom pom balls, googly eyes, popsicle sticks, glitter glues, pipe cleaners, etc!  Such a great way to stock your kid’s craft buckets!
*Containers – There are so many fun containers, depending on the season. Baskets, buckets, etc. Find a red or green, or other seasonal color and use them for gift baskets for Christmas or a way to deliver homemade cookies/goodies. Check out here for another fun idea!

Dollar Tree
*Coloring Books and Workbooks - Love, love, love the workbooks that can be found at dollar stores for a buck! Help your toddler or school aged children practice different activities like their ABCs, colors, shapes, reading comprehension and more. And don't forget the coloring books; some include favorite characters or even stickers. 
Dollar Tree
*Stickers - If your toddler is anything like mine, you will thank me for this tip! Grab stickers at the dollar store for those busy hands.  There are many options for their favorite characters.  Why pay $1.99 or more, when you can get it for a dollar?
*Gift Bags – Gift bags at the dollar store come in a wide array of sizes and occasions, including Christmasr.  This makes for great savings, if you are used to picking up bags elsewhere for $3 or more!
*Kitchen Items – Spatulas, tin disposable cookware, measuring cups, oven mitts, character zipper baggies, brown bags, etc.
*Cleaning Supplies – Think dish soap, liquid cleaners, rubber gloves, mops and more for $1!
*Party Supplies – Plates, napkins, cups, decorations, table cloths and more!
Dollar Tree
*Bubble Bath & Body Wash – lately I have noticed many character body wash and bubbles popping up on the shelves!
Dollar Tree
*Band-Aids – You may even find Barbie and Avengers band-aids!
Dollar Tree
*Hand Sanitizer – This is a great way to grab sanitizer, we even found Angry Birds and Spiderman individual size sanitizer!
*Lip Gloss – So many fun options for the lip gloss-loving gal in your life!
Dollar Tree
*Toothbrushes & Floss Picks – Character toothbrushes and floss picks at a nice value.
*Helium Balloons – They offer ‘get well’, ‘happy birthday’ and more!
*Greeting Cards – Individual cards are 2 for $1 and have really improved in quality.  They may also offer hand-crafted cards for $1 each and are super cute.

There are truly some great finds at the dollar store!  Now start checking over your Christmas shopping lists and put these great items to work for you this Christmas!  Save money by substituting one or more of your gifts with items purchased at the dollar store.  Simply switch out your kid’s character body wash normally purchased at Target for $3.99 a bottle for one (or 2) from the dollar store! 

Many items above would make great stocking stuffers.  Or combine products and make a gift basket out of them!

Stay tuned for an article highlighting some fun Christmas ideas from the Dollar Tree!

Note: This article was originally written for a MOPS group I participate in. 

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