Sunday, January 27, 2008

Dollar Store Bonanza

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.


Sharon said...

In my quest to be kinder to the environment, I would like to purchase a bunch of cloth napkins. I'm sure they have them at the dollar store? Thanks for reminding me of another source to check out!

Living Almost Large said...

I recall fondly some of the best gifts from my grandmother were handmade. She had little money and still doesn't but I have these really cool gifts.

I have a crafted flower holder, framed cards, dolls she made. When I was growing up, she sewed me clothes as well, my first christmas dance dress at 14. I have no idea if you can sew or anything, but they are some nice gifts for cheap.

Anonymous said...

Sharon- thought of another idea for cloth napkins- they do have the smallish terry towels or "bar towels" at the Dollar Store-- my inlaws use these as everyday table napkins with nicer napkin rings they've had forever.