I went to the Dollar Store today. I have three grandchild birthdays coming up in the next four weeks. There is no better or cheaper place to buy greeting cards, wrapping paper, tissue or giftbags.
I have my personal rules when it comes to shopping at any dollar store:
First, it must actually be a dollar store--none of this "dollar or more" nonsense. Heck, I'm old enough to remember when these used to be "88 cent" stores!
Second, I will only buy items that I know to be a bargain. It is easy to lose sight of this second rule. As an easy example, VO5 shampoo/conditioner, which both my daughter and I like to use, is $1 here. But it is routinely 84 cents at Walmart, and often on sale at both Walgreen's and Kroger's for 50 cents a bottle.
Third, I recognize that there is an incredible amount of crap that threatens to overwhelm the genuine bargains. Off-brand beauty products, laundry detergents and toys tend to be worth what the dollar store charges. Ditto with paper towels, napkins and toilet paper. One can get much better quality and similar prices by watching local grocery ads carefully.
That said, certain items are worth a trip to the Dollar Store. In addition to wrapping materials, there are a wealth of scrapbooking do-dads, office items like paper clips, staples and notebooks, and plastic kitchen implements.
Then there's the "Yes, I know it's crap but it's still useful" catagory. This includes party supplies and a zillion items for the goody bags every young-child-birthday-party seems to require. It also includes holiday items like Christmas stockings, Easter baskets, and Halloween decor.
And finally, if you keep your eyes open, there is the occasional, genuine "Omigod" find. Today, it was a hardback copy of Julie Morgenstern's "Making Work Work," a guide to organizing one's office life that I have checked out from the library several times.
All in all, a good, money-saving trip to the Dollar Store.