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Grocery Stores

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    Seven Items You Should ONLY Buy at the Dollar Store


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    DollarstoresI always joke with my husband that when we walk into the dollar store, armed with a couple one dollar bills, that we feel RICH :-)

    But there are definitely items at Dollar Stores that, while only $1, are too expensive and can be purchased cheaper elsewhere. Consumer Reports compared prices on 38 everyday products and found that Dollar General had the lowest prices on many items. It beat or came close to Walmart in many cases, which typically does best in price scans. There are certain products I have noticed are always significantly cheaper at the Dollar Store so I am sharing a list of seven of the best items to purchase ONLY at the Dollar Store. Don’t forget the potential for loads of FREEbies found on our Coupon Matchups for Dollar Tree.

    Items You Should Only Buy At The Dollar Store

    1. Glow Sticks – I’m letting you in on my number #1 “Cool Mommy Trick”, stocking up on Dollar Store Glow Sticks, then whipping them out when we have friends over and the kids play outside at night, or we go to the Drive-In Theater, or we attend ANY Amusement Park (you know…where you get stuck paying $10 for a glow in the dark toy that dies before you ever get home?!) You’re Welcome.
    2. Party Supplies – Plastic tablecloths, silverware, balloons, and disposable decorations are great items to buy here. While you are only saving about $.50 a piece, that adds up pretty quickly when buying for a party! I also buy these items from here to use when we go camping. My local Dollar Tree has a great selection of Mylar Balloons you can get helium inflated! At only $1 that is about 1/3rd cheaper than a party store!
    3. Art/Craft Supplies – The poster board is always 3/$1 and that’s as cheap as it gets. If you are doing an extensive crafty project, they have excellent silk flowers, foam thingys and sequins. You can always make something pretty by gluing sequins on it.
    4. Seasonal Items – The dollar store deals abound on seasonal items and holiday decor. It can be a great place to put together fillers for holiday presents, etc. Dollar Store deals are also a great way to decorate for school functions, etc. on a budget. I always stock up on blow-up pool rings at the beginning of summer so we can each have our own in the pool.
    5. Eye Glasses – If you do not need a prescription, this is the best place for standard eyeglasses! My Mom stocks up here and then she can afford to leave them on every table top throughout the house.
    6. Double Sided Tape – Have you seen the price of Double Sided Tape lately? It’s around $4 per roll! When you break the price down by inch…the Dollar Store wins every time. And so far, I haven’t noticed any difference in quality.
    7. Pregnancy Tests – Consumer Reports found this one for me! They tested the tests and found them just as accurate as the name brand ones which can cost between $7-$15 (with coupons!)!

    Then here are three *bonus* dollar store deals that do not really “qualify” for the top 7 list (because they aren’t AS great, or are not available ALL the time)

    • Flower pots – Every year, my dollar store typically has smaller clay flower pots. They make outstanding little herb gardens {tie a ribbon bow around it and they make perfect teacher’s gifts}.
    • {in a pinch} Cleaning Supplies – The stock up price for most cleaning supplies is around a buck. If you are out of something, and need it right now (like toilet bowl cleaner)…then this is your place (Walmart is too expensive). Sure, you’ll get off brands, but the ingredients usually are the same. And you only need to get through until it comes up cheap again at your grocer!
    • Greeting Cards & Basket Wrap – While the card selection might not be super, greeting cards in the mainstream stores can get pretty pricey. For special Easter cards for your Grandmother, etc. the dollar store is where it’s at (they are usually priced TWO for $1). Do you make gift baskets for friends & family? Then you HAVE TO purchase these gift wrap bags that “Shrink Wrap” to your basket and give it the perfect finishing touch!! They are no less than $3 at the craft store.

    **DOLLAR STORE WARNINGS**

    • Death by “it’s ONLY a dollar.” It’s so easy to throw something into your cart that you otherwise would not have purchased because “it’s only a dollar.” If you went in to get poster board, put your blinders on, get the poster board, and get out.
    • Watch Food Ingredients – A lot of times, those off brands will skimp on ingredients to drive down the price. Decide if it is worth it to you to consume potentially cheaper ingredients to save what might amount to pennies.
    • Check Expiration Dates – More than once I got home only to find out that the granola bars tasted stale…oh, that’s because they had already expired. However…”it’s only a dollar”. So I didn’t go back for my refund.

    Don’t forget the coupons! Most Dollar Stores are now accepting coupons that add up to a pretty substantial savings so that means Dollar Store Coupon matchups; cause the only thing better than a buck is free right? Check our current Dollar Tree Matchup List to see what good deals are out there right now!

    Read More about how to shop using coupons at the three different Dollar Stores; Dollar Tree, Dollar General and Family Dollar HERE!How to Shop at Dollar Stores

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