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Good Time on a Budget: The Dollar Store

March 21, 2010

As I previously posted, this year my goal is to pay off debt. One of my strategies is to not spend on impulse buys and things I want, but don’t need. But let’s face it, sometimes it is just fun to go shopping. I’ve found a way to satisfy both my shopping urges and my need to save. The Dollar Store.

Now, not all dollar stores are created equal, but when you find a good one, you can score big on things like seasonal and holiday items, greeting cards and many other things. About once a month, I take my 4-year-old son to our local dollar store – Dollar Tree –  if he’s been good and  let him pick out any 5 things he wants. To him is is a HUGE treat, and for me it is fun to watch him go through all of the items and choose his  top 5. He talks about all of his cool finds for days after, and I usually find some pretty cool things too.

Most recently, I found a Bjork CD. While Bjork may not be for everyone, there are usually CDs from several music genres all for $1. Here are some of my favorite things that you can find at most dollar stores.

  • CDs & DVDs, especially for kids’ music and cartoons
  • Toys – puzzles, coloring books, etc.
  • Holiday and seasonal items
  • Cards and stationary
  • Cleaning supplies – like sponges, mops and brooms
  • Office supplies
  • Party supplies – balloons, favors, decorations and wrapping
  • Arts and crafts supplies

You can also get good deals on canned goods, dried food items and spices.

If you’ve ever had that anxious feeling when you push your cart up to the check out counter wondering how much your total will be, you should be pleasently surprised by how little you spend and how much you get. For less than the cost of 2 movie tickets and some popcorn, you can have an hour of fun with your kids digging through all sorts of treasures and leave with some great finds!

What are your tips for having a good time on a budget? What’s the best thing you’ve ever found at a dollar store?

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