Each week, I create a list of things I need to do for the week alongside a running list of things to I need to purchase for our home. From groceries to hygiene items, I like to itemize each thing I need with a note of where to purchase it from. This simple “to do and to buy” system has helped me to save money when it comes to our weekly shopping.
When it is time to go shopping, I like to shop at the stores that will agree with my frugal budget. Often times, I will start at my local dollar store to see what good bargains I can find on household items (I don’t usually ever buy food from the dollar store.) After shopping at many stores, the dollar store has become one of my favorites.
My local dollar store is called Dollar Tree. If you live in the continental USA, I’m sure you have heard of this store. When I lived in Oahu, Hawaii, there wasn’t a Dollar Tree on the island, but there were discount stores that came close. When I lived in South Korea, I shopped at Daiso, where everything in the store cost less than $5.
Despite the rumors, you can buy good quality items from the dollar store. Truth be told, many things you can buy from the dollar store end up there for many different reasons. For example, I found this book at the dollar tree the other day (see picture below).
Notice the sticker on the front of the book? It is a Target store sticker. But what is an item from Target doing in the dollar store? That’s right, this book and many other books are sold at the Dollar Tree for only $1. But how?
Many times, big brand stores will often have a surplus of inventory that wasn’t purchased from the store. The big brand store then sells its inventory overflow to discount stores such a Dollar Tree, Ross, T.J. Maxx (and others!), making it easy for shoppers like you and me to save a few dollars on the things we would normally buy from the big brand store.
With that being said, when it comes to saving money, I buy from the store that has the cheapest price for the best value. With that mindset, many times I find it is more cost-efficient to buy particular things from my local dollar store.
Here’s a quick tip: As you shop at Dollar Tree, be sure to compare sizes and prices to what you’d normally pay at your favorite grocery or chain store to determine the better deal.
Another tip: Did you know that you can use manufacturer’s coupons at Dollar Tree? Dollar tree also often gives out their own store coupons in-store and online, so keep an eye out for those.
If you have a few things on your “to-buy” list, stop at you local dollar store to help save money. Don’t know if they carry an item? Check their website.
Here are a few of my favorite things to purchase from the dollar store:
Greeting and Birthday Cards – Hallmark has a line of greeting cards at the dollar store! There is a card for every occasion, and they are only 2 for $1.
Thank You Cards – Thank-you cards come in a pack of 8 for $1.
Gift Bags, Tissue Paper, Ribbon, and Bows – every time I give a gift, it pains me to pay $2.49 or more for gift bags and bows. At the Dollar Tree, there is a huge selection for any type of bag, bow, tissue paper, ribbon or bow you need.
Party Supplies – Buy colorful and themed tablecloths, plates, cups, balloons, banners, party favors and more for your party!
Holiday Decor – Dollar Tree has the best holiday decor to decorate for any upcoming holiday. My favorite to buy is their Christmas tree ornaments.
Organization Bins – I use Dollar Tree organization bins all over my house. From the kitchen to the linen closet, you will find my house neatly organized by using these storage containers. I tend to buy neutral colors (white and black) when decorating and organizing my home, and the colorful bins for organizing the things that belong to my kids.
Hair Accessories – My daughter and I go through hair ties and accessories by the thousands. Dollar Tree has cute hair accessories for you to add to your collection.
Toothbrushes – My family uses Colgate toothbrushes, and they are sold at Dollar Tree for $1 apiece.
Picture Frames – Dollar Tree sells quality picture frames in different sizes from 3×5 to 11×14.
Shipping paper and envelopes – Need to send a package? Dollar Tree sells packing tape, shipping labels, mailer envelopes, and other office supplies.
Posterboard – Do you need a poster board for a project? Dollar Tree has a variety of colors and sizes. They are sold 2 for $1.
Foil Pans – Foil pans for baking and cooking can easily get expensive when you purchase from your local grocery store. Each time I go to Dollar Tree, I buy enough to prepare my meals for the week, all at $1 each.
Children’s Activity and Coloring Books – these are great for your kids to stay busy in the car or around the house. During the holiday season, these are perfect for stocking stuffers. I am also a huge fan of the children’s board books for smaller kids!
Bathtub Toys – Bathtub toys are something that I never like to spend too much money on, so naturally, I buy them from the dollar store.
Books and DVDs – I have always found good novels to read at Dollar Tree – mostly titles that I have never heard of – but good books, nonetheless for $1 each. Depending on your Dollar Tree location, you may be able to grab bestsellers and classic hits in the book and movie section.
Plates and Mugs – I wouldn’t suggest buying all your dishware from dollar tree, but every now and then I may find a quality glassware plate or a cute mug that I can’t resist.
Dishcloths – These are my absolute favorite dishcloths to use right now. At 2 for $1, you can’t beat the price for the quality you get. Because they are so cheap, I don’t bother washing my dishcloths, instead, I just toss them out when they become gross.
Gardening items – Do you have a garden? Dollar Tree has all you need to start or maintain a home garden such as seeds, flower pots, and watering cans.
Cleaning Supplies – When it comes to cleaning brushes, scrubbers, and sponges, I need quality items for cheap. Due to bacteria build-up, I usually only cleaning sponges and clothes a few times before I throw them in the trash. Dollar Tree sells brand-name multi-packs of all my favorite cleaning brands.