10 Things You Should Score From Your Local Dollar Store to Save Money and Budget Better

Jennifer Brown Banks

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I proudly inherited many traits from my mom.

She instilled in me a love of learning; a reverence for education (she returned to college and earned a Bachelor’s degree after raising 5 kids); resilience; diligence; and a passion for cooking.

But when it came to money and spending, we were polar opposites. My mom was what the kids today would call a “baller.”

Allow me to elaborate…

If she and I walked into a store and she saw a TV that was priced at a thousand dollars and she liked it, she would purchase it and have it delivered pronto. It was a done deal. As for me? No way, Jose!

I am a true penny pincher. My ability to stretch a dollar would give a contortioness envy! Placed in the same scenario, I would likely go to multiple stores to comparison shop for the best deal or go online to see if I could apply any coupons or discount codes to reduce the purchase price. Or try to haggle with the salesman for a better deal. (It doesn’t hurt to try.)

Mom’s mantra was always: “You get what you pay for.”

Though mom was wise and wonderful in many ways, I would beg to differ here. I find that it pays to be an educated consumer. To save where you can. Doing so allows you to budget better, afford more and live a decent quality of life.

Particularly now, during the current pandemic and economic uncertainty.

Which is why I shop regularly at my local Dollar Tree Store. And you should too. Though some folks believe that the quality of merchandise in these stores is inferior, (due to the low pricing) this is not entirely true based upon my experiences.

According to Businessinsider.com, “ Dollar Tree is thriving in an era when many traditional retailers are faltering, with more than 15,000 stores in North America.”

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Today I’ll share some of the best buys for your bucks.

But before I do, here's why shopping at Dollar Tree Stores makes good "cents".

1. Smart money moves are more important than ever. And with the holiday season here, you will definitely want to do more with less.

2. Dollar Tree Stores are accessible and ubiquitous.

They are cropping up everywhere. Here's a link to help locate one in your local area.

3. The more that consumers patronize smaller stores, the greater the likelihood for their long-term survival.

10 OF THE BEST ITEMS TO SCORE FROM THE DOLLAR STORE

(IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)

1. PARTY ITEMS

Whether you are hosting a kid’s party, a Christmas gathering or a bridal shower for a best friend, this is your one stop shop. You can find lovely decorations, balloons, various candies and even trinkets to give your guests at a fraction of the cost of other retail stores. You’ll also find a generous selection with different colors, shapes and sizes. Money Talk News estimates that “you'll pay about 70% less on party supplies at Dollar Tree than you would at discount stores like Party City. You can find everything from streamers and party hats to paper plates and utensils, all in one stop.”

2. BOOKS

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For the avid reader, books found here will be a huge hit. I have scored some excellent hard-covered books; coffee table books; cookbooks (which I collect); Bibles; and even coloring books for adults. You can buy them for your own pleasure or as a gift for the holidays. Some of these books would easily cost you $25.00-$30.00 at a traditional book store. Trust me; I’ve done my homework.

3. MOVIES

One of my favorite things to do while on state mandated “quarantine” is to snuggle up at home with some good movies, a cup of herbal tea or glass of wine and popcorn, and just chill out. It’s one of the least expensive forms of recreation.

In the book Cinematherapy, the Girl's Guide to Movies for Every Mood, the authors write: "Movies are more than entertainment: they're self medication. A good flick is like a soothing tonic that, if administered properly, in combination with total inertia and something obscenely high in fat grams, can cure everything from an identity crisis, to a bad hair day, to the I-hate-my-job blues.”

Last week, I purchased four movies for under 5 bucks. Love it! Two of them I would highly recommend:

YOU’RE NOT YOU---WITH HILARY SWANK **** 4-STAR RATING

TWO NIGHT STAND---WITH MILES TELLER & ANALEIGH TIPTON *****5-STAR RATING

4. DISHES

Your friends will think you got your dinnerware from some fancy-smancy department store. No one will be the wiser. There is everything from pretty wine glasses, to decorative mugs, to chargers. Even Martha Stewart would be impressed.

5. DESK SUPPLIES

The prices are much cheaper here than Office Max or other office supply stores. Stack up on pencil containers, business card holders, stationery and more.

6. SNACKS

Choose from popcorn to trail mix to flavored potato chips. The big sizes!

7. STORAGE SOLUTIONS

Help keep your home neat and organized this year with an array of baskets, buckets and containers in bold, beautiful colors and sizes.

8. FRAMES

Whether you enjoy hanging photos of loved ones around the house or using frames for arts and crafts projects, you’ll love what Dollar Tree has to offer. These decorative frames also make nice gift items with a family photo included (if applicable).

9. CANDLES

I am crazy about candles. I use them around the house to create mood; provide warmth; and for aromatic purposes. I also include them in my home-made gift baskets for friends with bath products. Get creative.

10. WINTER OUTER WEAR

Depending upon where you live, you’ll want to stock up on warm, winter weather items before the real cold weather settles in. You’ll find hats, gloves, scarves, and cute socks. And here’s a bonus: because they are so inexpensively priced, I often buy several items, just in case a glove or sock gets lost in the laundry. I would suggest the same for you.

That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

If your goal is to save money, do more with less, and “spread more joy” this holiday season, a visit to your local Dollar Tree Stores should certainly be on your “to-do” list.

Happy Shopping!

Image credits: Pixabay.com

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Veteran freelance writer, award-winning blogger, thought leader, herbal tea enthusiast. My mission is to entertain, engage and inform readers with articles that are interesting, enriching and diverse.

Chicago, IL
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