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Are “dollar stores” really a good deal?

19 Jul

A few weeks ago I went to my local Dollar Tree for water bottles for camp. It seems we always lose a few right away and I like having a backup for everyone. I took a little extra time in my browsing to write down what items are good deals at a dollar store. You do have to be careful because for some items, you get what you pay for. Like those water bottles. This year’s selection held up only one use before the sip top broke and the handles broke, too, Last year’s lasted a bit longer! Remember to bring your price list with you, so you can really determine if something is a good deal (for instance aluminum foil and plastic bags were not cheaper than the Ziploc brand at Sam’s Club). See my post on “Keeping a price list” for how to create your own.

Here are some items that ARE a good buy at your local dollar store:

Plastic containers: I love to find plastic baskets for organizing my classroom or toys at home, for gifts (like Shaloch Manos – Purim gift baskets), and more.

Dish scrubbers: Our sponges seem to get so disgusting even with frequent washing and microwave cleanings. So we instead love to use the handled dish scrubbers with nylon bristles.

Certain toys: There are some good deals on toys such as large bubble wands and other seasonal toys, mini figures (I found superheroes and Toy Story figures), silly straws (a great cheap prize for my kids), bug kits for outdoor discoveries, and stickers.

Teacher supplies: You often can find stickers, dice, playing cards, notepads, accents, and more for your classroom.

Party/gift supplies: Tissue paper, party bags, goodie bags, and thank you cards are super cheap here. Helium balloons are a great deal as well.

Craft supplies: The quantities are not big, but you can find a variety of craft supplies good for home or school.

Cheap ponchos: I would love to buy a bunch of these and donate them to our shul for emergency rain showers!

Shower puffs: Why pay more for a fancier shower puff when these work just as well!

Tea lights: At 16 for $1.00, this is the cheapest place I have found for tea lights. I use these in emergencies when I am out of Shabbos candles. They also work well for guests who need to light Shabbos candles at your home.

Food items: I have not priced out the food items yet or looked to see what is kosher, but friends tell me Goya beans are a good deal. I also like to get the Mrs. Freshley’s baked items like nutty bars. Cheap sinful treat!

Related articles:

* Do you have any favorite items you go to the dollar store for? Please share in the comments section!

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4 responses to “Are “dollar stores” really a good deal?

  1. ces

    July 19, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Westsoy Soy milk-pareve great price – good for baking

     
    • rmk104

      July 19, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      I will have to remember that! Thanks! We use powdered soy milk, but it is more expensive and we can only get it at Whole Foods. The advantage is there is no waste because you can make how much you need.

       
  2. Sally H

    July 19, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    I buy nightlights. If we go on a trip, I take one, so we don’t stumble in a room that is unfamiliar.And if I leave it by mistake, it’s inexpensive enough. I also buy containers for organzing.

     
    • rmk104

      July 19, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      What a great, clever idea! I will have to add that to my travel pack list, which I also posted about a while back! Thanks for reading!

       

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