Things I'll buy at the Dollar Store...


I have a confession:  I loathe 'dollar stores'.  As luck would have it, I believe we live in the town with the most dollar stores per capita.  We have a Dollar Tree, Dollar General, TWO Family Dollar's and a 99 cents only (where everything is really $1) in a town of about 50,000.  That's 1 dollar store for every 10,000 residents if you're into statistics.

Dollar stores are big business.  In 2011 Family Dollar stores reported net sales of $8.55 billion.  Dollar General's 2011 FY sales were $14.81 billion.  That's a lot of stuff! Dollar General positions itself in rural areas, some of which are too small for a Walmart, which makes it the go-to store for all things bargain-y.

Dollar stores have even made it into the blogosphere.  Blogs like Dollar Store Crafts, & Dollar Store Mom feature really neat crafts using supplies from dollar stores.  Many are kid friendly which I know I like.  Many of the crafts are so amazing you would never know they were so inexpensive.

While I don't personally care for dollar stores there are a few things I will venture into one of them for.  Remember, I am pretty frugal and there are some things I just don't like to shell out a lot of money to purchase when it's not necessary.  So, the things I'll buy at the dollar store are:


  1. Party goods. $1 for 8 paper plates that will get tossed in the trash? You bet.  $1 for a plastic table cloth that I won't feel guilty wadding up and throwing out?  Sold.  Anything that has a short life is something I want to spend as little on as possible.  In my experience, the dollar stores have great color selections for any type of party goods.  It's the #1 thing that will get me into a dollar store.
  2. Gift wrap.  This is along the same line as party goods.  Do I want to spend $5 on a gift bag? No way!  I have found lots of cute gift bags and tissue at the dollar store and it's another thing I'll head in there for.  Wrapping paper is hit or miss for me since some of the paper is really thin and I find using it difficult without ripping the paper. (For wrapping paper I usually head to Target and find some on sale for a couple of dollars.)
  3. Goody Bag items.  We still do goody bags for birthday parties and the dollar stores are great for the little tchotchke items & candy that end up in goody bags.  Also, prizes for party games. $1 puzzles or books?  Great prizes.
  4. Beach toys.  Plastic sand castle building kind of toys can be found at the dollar stores & since they are the type of things that get lost why spend a ton on them?  I have also found the foam pool 'noodles' for $1.  Beats $3 or 4 any day.
  5. Cookie sheets. Sounds weird.  I use Pampered Chef baking stones for all my cookies so I went for quite a while without a metal cookie sheet.  But sometimes you just need one.  The one I got at the dollar store has been used for crafts and on the grill.  The last thing I want to do is ruin a $30 Calphalon cookie sheet by using it on the grill.  
Are you a dollar store shopper?  What kind of things do you buy there?

Linking up the Frugal Friday at Life as Mom.

Comments

Laurie Anne said…
I'm with you on paper goods and gift bags. Those can be really expensive and I've never understood why. I usually buy travel things there like those little travel bottles and things like that. Our dollar store also has a ton of containers that are perfect for organizing. I think my favorite purchase there was a set (I think I bought 12) of melmac dessert plates in the shape of hawaiian shirts. Super cute, super cheap and perfect for when causual company comes over and I've run out of my "good" plates
:0)

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