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September 1, 2015

Dollar Store Duh: You Really Can Save

Although there has been a lull in the coupon craze, there are still lots of ways to save money. With school and holidays next on the radar, it's a good idea to re-evaluate where you shop and how you can save a few extra bucks. It's hip to be cheap. Frugal is the new black.

While some people drive right by dollar stores like Dollar Tree, I make sure to stop in at least once a week to pick up a few dollars worth of items that will cost me anywhere from double to quadruple at the grocery store. Dollar stores are just about everywhere, and they offer much more than just cheap pool toys these days. While I don't advocate the majority of food items as a great deal (smaller packaging), there are products at the dollar store you use every day that are much cheaper. Here's my list of favorites:

Cleaners
I admit I go for natural cleaning as much as possible, sticking with vinegar and water and sometimes baking soda solutions, but there are just some things that need chemicals. I live with a house full of men, okay? Showers for instance. Yuck. I love the generic spray of daily shower cleaner sold at Dollar Tree. I've made homemade versions, but they don't work as well. Also, at just $1, I actually feel like I save time and money because I don't have to buy and gather ingredients to make up a magic potion. While I do clean my tubs and showers with a natural cleaning solution, the daily shower cleaner spray is well worth the money. Why pay $4 somewhere else for the same results?

Toiletries
It's true you get what you pay for, but not everyone needs super strong soaps and deodorants. Dollar stores have a variety of soaps, body washes, shampoos, and deodorants that work just fine for the average person, especially tweens and teenagers. They carry name brands like Speed Stick, and you can also use coupons at most Dollar Trees, so grab some Colgate toothpaste or other popular item for .50 with the right discount. You can't get toiletries cheaper anywhere else.

Greeting Cards
Okay, greeting cards are my favorite items to buy at dollar stores. They are usually just .50. It makes absolutely no sense to pay over $4 for a piece of cardstock (plus stamp) that will more than likely be thrown away after it's received. I buy greeting cards in bulk about twice a year so I always have them on hand for emergencies. You never know when a friend may get sick or you forget Aunt Biddie's birthday. Stock up on cards and save a ton of money per year. Plus, you're always prepared!



Craft Supplies
I'm not a big crafter, because honestly, I suck at anything beyond slapping paint on a wall, but every now and then some cute, easy projects catch my eye on Pinterest. Have you seen the idea to spray paint cheap Christmas villages black for Halloween towns? Find homes and peoples at the dollar store for A DOLLAR! Cutest idea ever. I'm going to give it a try this year. You can grab all types of craft supplies at the dollar store that cost way more anywhere else. This spring I found some adorable washi tapes, but only bought two. Big mistake. My store isn't carrying them anymore. Astounding deal. They were quality, too!

Candy 
I know, I know, it's a well known fact and a cliche that dollar stores are stocked with all kinds of cheap candy, but they have good stuff. (You know you bootleg those movie size boxes into the theater.) I love their version of hard caramels (Fussion) that come in from South America, mostly because they are gluten-free, unlike the popular name brand. Many of their candies are international, but that means they use real sugar, not high fructose corn syrup. I like the candy at dollar stores. I keep stashes everywhere.

So, that's my two cents for savings this month. It doesn't take a lot of extra time, and it can save you a great deal of money. Put your local dollar store on your shopping route and save some big bucks. Good luck!

Stay balanced,
Danielle Thorne


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