Thrifty Tip... Finding Deals at the Dollar Store

>> 8.11.2009

If you read the title of this post and though, "it's a dollar, everything is a deal," this post is for you! Yes, there are great deals at the dollar store, but there are also many ways that you can end up wasting your money. I've made some of those mistakes and had several shopping trips where I somehow end up walking out having spent $30 on "great deals" that I ended up chunking. Here are a few duds and deals to keep your eye out for next time...

The Dud: cheapo gift bows
These bows are: 1. dated 2. obviously inexpensive 3. a total cop-out for real gift wrapping

The Deal: simple, modern gift bag
I kicked myself when I saw this bag for $1 because I had just spent $4 on a gift bag for a bridal shower. With all of the cute choices, I'd definitely say that this is my new go-to for fun gift wrap.The Dud: I-could-just-buy-it-at-the-grocery-store-shampoo
Look out for products that cost the exact same price at the grocery store. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but we're looking for deals!
The Deal: name-brand toothpaste
Sometimes, you can get a coupon to lower the grocery store price, but this baby is at least $.30 less expensive at the dollar store.
The Dud: junky kid's toy
This is the type of thing that you don't look for when it's lost in the house. If it isn't broken or lost, it's going straight into the next garage sale for $.10. It's not a deal if you aren't going to use/ enjoy it!

The Deal: HSM puzzle

It's a popular brand and the whole family can enjoy using it together. This would be a great gift or stocking stuffer.

The Dud: poorly made fake flowers

I'm never a fan of fake flowers, but if you're going to buy them, at least try to make them look real by going for higher quality.

The Deal: themed party decor
My dollar store has a ton of these cheesy party packs. If you're going for a luau party, there's no need to get the most expensive looking pieces. For $15, you can create a fun and festive party- a great deal!

The Dud: $1/1 box of tissue
Seriously, we can do better than $1/ box!

The Deal: dish/ hand soap
A multi-purposing name brand product? Sounds like a deal to me!

Dud Hall of Fame Winner: dollar hair coloring
I don't know about you, but when I buy toxic chemicals to put on my body, I don't go for the cheapest option!

What kind of dollar store deals do you look out for? Have any funny "dud" stories to tell me?


Kate August 11, 2009 at 3:21 PM  

I totally second the party decor deal, I went here before last New Years for black and silver themed stuff and decked out my house for like $15 (but I got my confetti poppers at Target, because the idea of them for the dollar tree kind of freaked me out).

If you are the type to use them (I try to not), paper plates and such can be a good deal.

WhimsAndInconsistencies August 11, 2009 at 4:05 PM  

I went into the Dollar Store the other day to kill some time (while waiting for my husband's appointment with Fantastic Sams!) and was really impressed with their party decor!
However, I did get some wrapping paper there a couple years ago, and I didn't do that math, but it seemed like a dud since it was a pretty small amount of wrapping paper for a dollar.

thriftylittleblog August 12, 2009 at 11:09 AM  

@WhimsAndInconsistencies- Those wrapping paper rolls are tricky! Once, I got one that barely covered one gift. From now on, I check the measurements. You can't go wrong with the bags though!

Jeannine August 12, 2009 at 8:27 PM  

My boyfriend has a radio show dedicated to live music and bands that have huge, devoted fan bases (think Grateful Dead, Phish, DMB, etc). One day he went into a dollar store and found boxes of books written by the bass player from the Grateful Dead. He bought a stack and had the author sign them the next time he was in town for a show. The autographed books were prizes for weeks after that.

Best part: my boyfriend has a lovely listener who is seriously ill and the artist not only personalized a book for her, he arranged for free tickets to his show for her and her nurse. She is on a fixed income and wouldn't have been able to buy tickets. Best dollar my boyfriend ever spent!

Bromeliad August 18, 2009 at 8:38 PM  

Love the gift bags. Also cards - two for a dollar. I'll never spend $4 on a bag and card again.

natienka August 21, 2009 at 10:34 AM  

Hahaha OMG I have the same thing but with:
a) 99p Stores
b) Poundland
I absolutely love them and what you can find there is astonishing sometimes. My collection cosists of, and does not end with:
- hardcover interior decorating & DIY books (for a pound!!!)
- travel pillows
- bamboo sitting mats
- loads of make-up sponges, nail files etc in wholesale lots
- acrylic paints
- painting canvas
- gift bags / greeting cards
- spray sanitizers (with swine flu all around not only you can't find them anywhere else, but also if you do they are so expensive!)

keep it up :)

Jennifer October 28, 2009 at 3:49 PM  

I know this is an old post, but I just started reading your blog and felt I needed to put my 2-cents in!

Biggest Dollar Store dud- Pregnancy Tests. I mean- would YOU trust one!!! Hahaha

I love your blog and I will definitely be keeping up!!!

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