Dollar Store Shopping Secrets
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Dollar Store Shopping Secrets

Posted on Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 at 6:12 am
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You walk into a store where everything is priced near a dollar. It’s beautiful. There are so many great deals to be found. Of course, it is easy to get carried away as well. So here’s the scoop on how to find the good deals and leave the not-so-good deals behind when shopping at dollar stores.

Know your dollar stores. Know which dollar stores are the most organized, stock the items you like, and have the best deals. Also, know which stores accept coupons. Here’s the low down on some of the major dollar stores:

  • The Dollar Tree: Since everything is $1.00 or less, they do not accept coupons.
  • Family Dollar: Not everything is a dollar, but they do accept both manufacturer and store coupons. You can find store coupons on their website.
  • Dollar General: Not everything is a dollar, but they also accept manufacturer and store coupons.


Go in with a plan. In other words, make a shopping list. This is a great way to stay on track when shopping at a dollar store. It is easy to get distracted and buy items you don’t really need when they are only a dollar, but those unnecessary dollars will add up at the check out.

Quality over quantity. Not all items at dollar stores are worth a dollar. Before you buy something, make sure it is worth it. Don’t stock up on items you aren’t familiar with and, when applicable, check for shelf dates. These dollar store shopping tactics will prove especially helpful in the food aisle.

Remember, you get what you pay for. I’ve personally found that dollar stores aren’t the best place to buy items you need to be durable, such as toys or tools. Here are the things I have founds to be the best dollar store buys:

  • Gift wrap and cards. There’s no need to spend a fortune on gift wrap when you can get everything you need at a dollar store. I’ve found dollar stores usually have a great selection of wrapping paper, tissue paper, ribbon, gift bags, and cards.
  • Party supplies and holiday decorations. Dollar stores are a wonderful place for cheap party and holiday decorations. I’ve found great bargains on streamers, party hats, paper plates, holiday lights, table cloths, ornaments and so much more!
  • Cleaning supplies. Dollar store cleaning supplies are a must. You might not recognize the brands, but if you compare ingredients you will most likely find they are about the same. Dollar store cleaning supplies will work just fine for everyday household chores and the savings are huge.
  • Household and kitchen items. I’ve found dollar stores offer a good selection of kitchen items, from dish towels and sponges to spatulas and cutting boards. Whether you are stocking your first kitchen or just need some extras, the dollar store is a great place to check. Also look for dish soap, paper towels, toilet paper, etcetera.
  • Toiletries. Lotions, shampoos, nail polish, combs, and soaps are great dollar buys. However, I haven’t been particularly impressed by dollar store make-up quality. Check out “How to Save Money on Beauty Supplies” for tips on make-up bargains.
  • Candy, snack foods and sodas. You will usually find the same name brands you would at the grocery store, but you will certainly pay less. Plus, these food items have long self lives. I love to stop by a dollar store on the way to the movies to grab some cheap candy!




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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.