This blog contains some simple tips and advice from two regular guys. We're not accountants, financial advisors, or brokers, so follow, ignore, or discuss our ideas as you see fit.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Saving money, one dollar at a time

Posted by Matt

Chances are good that you've got a store somewhere near you where every item for sale in the store costs one dollar. There are at least two of these chains in our area; The Dollar Store and Dollar Tree. I never really wanted to shop at either one; they are kind of depressing inside. Obviously they have to keep their costs low, so they don't put a lot of effort into making the place look nice, and the quality of the products can only be so good.

However, my frugal wife has, over time, put together a short list of items that she always buys at the dollar stores. These items are typically either short-lived or do not vary widely in quality no matter where you buy them.

  • Party supplies: gift wrap, gift bags, etc. My wife recently went shopping for invitations and found a pack of 8 for $8 at a regular store. She decided that was too much, but was able to find the exact same product at the dollar store. 8 invitation cards for $1!

  • Pet toys. When we owned dogs, we bought all their toys there. Much less expensive, so we didn't worry when the dog chewed through them in a week. I don't think they have an actual pet toy section; we just bought stuffed animals or rubber balls.

  • Plastic food storage bins (i.e., tupperware).

I should also pass along my wife's warning not to buy food at the dollar stores (did that go without saying?). She reports that most of what they have is near the expiration date, and I'm guessing it probably isn't prime stuff, anyway.

1 comment:

Leah in Oregon said...

A couple of other Dollar Tree items to look out for...

If you have dogs, buy your doggie poop bags there. We found the brand they carried was not only much less expensive than other stores (50 bags for $1), but also higher quality. Low quality poop bags = poopy hands = not much fun unless you're a poop perv.

My one exception to the "no food" rule is hot cocoa. They always have Swiss Miss cocoa for $1 a box...about 1/3 what you'd pay in a grocery store.