In the spirit of “staycationing” in our new home, I’m writing a new series of posts about ways to save money and live frugally without being extreme or insane. I used these methods to save for my down payment, and I continue to use them to survive being a new, yet thrifty, homeowner.
Let’s embark on the House Poor Summer Tour 2013!
I’ll admit, shopping at dollar stores is nothing new. This post isn’t really original in that sense; everyone knows you can save money at the dollar store. Don’t stop reading yet, I promise. I worked *really* hard taking pictures in Dollar Tree while trying NOT to be a creeper.
Recently, I discovered the Dollar Tree off Sam Rittenburg Boulevard. Even after living here a year, I didn’t realize it was there- it’s inside a shopping center and pretty tucked away. I’ve since posted about that Dollar Tree on Facebook and Twitter. If it’s close to me and on a road I travel frequently and I didn’t know about it, surely others in Charleston may not know about it.
You know you’re on the House Poor Summer Tour when you’re excited to tell your social media friends about a discount store. You know your friends are on the S.S. Broke Boat when they “like” that status.
Here are some good buys at the Dollar Tree. Not all Dollar Trees are this large or have a big selection. Until about a month ago, when I discovered this one, I’d only visited what I thought was the only Dollar Tree in Charleston (Savannah Hwy) and is about half the size with half the selection. You live and learn!
Kitchen supplies and gadgets– You can’t see it too well in this picture, but all of these gadgets are Betty Crocker brand. It’s not Pampered Chef, and the gadgets probably won’t last until you have grandkids, but if you need a set of measuring spoons, some tongs for a salad, scissors, etc- Dollar Tree is your place.
Better yet, if you attend a cookout, potluck, or church dinner, stop by and pick up a “cheap” serving spoon you don’t mind not getting back (just in case you don’t). Why not pick one up for $1, rather than taking and risking losing something that you like?
Organizing Items– As you can see, our dollar store has baskets, buckets, and bins in all shapes, sizes, and colors. I bought a few to hold K-cups, candy, and protein/energy bars for our pantry. It looks a lot neater than just having everything in cardboard boxes. These are also great for putting together small gift baskets for birthdays, baby showers, or college going-away gifts.
Cleaning Supplies– For $1, there’s really no reason why you can’t have a Swiffer on each floor of your home. I also saw some college kids shopping in this area, which is a perfect idea. If you’re going off to college and only need a broom and dustpan for a semester, this is your aisle.
Face it, when you move out of your dorm or apartment, you’ve accumulated so much stuff, you won’t have room in your car for a broom, dustpan, or mop- so you can throw it away guilt free at the end of the year.
Movie Theatre Candy– This one’s a no-brainer. You can pay $1 for a box of candy at the dollar store, or $3.50 at the movie theatre. You can also find many of these candies at Wal-Mart for 97 cents. Our dollar store has the best selection of movie theatre candy by far.
School and Office Supplies– With back to school sales at Staples, Office Depot, Walmart, and Target, you can usually beat dollar store prices in the late summer months. However, if it’s the off season and you need something like a cute notebook, they’ve got that.
With all the great items at dollar stores, I wouldn’t buy everything there. With couponing, I can beat the prices on toiletries (shampoo, toothpaste, mouthwash, body wash, etc) at drug stores like CVS or Walgreens. The food selection at our store is good, but I check the expiration dates just in case. I’m also weary of baby items or something a small child would put in his or her mouth.
And toilet paper? Forget it! That’s one thing I have to buy name brand for pretty important reasons!
If you’re looking for more fun buys at the dollar store, check out this blog post from Raining Hot Coupons.
Do you like to shop at dollar stores? If so, what’s your favorite thing to buy there?