Think those dollar stores are only full of useless junk you don’t really need in the first place? Guess again. I too used to think that, until I stopped into a local Dollar Tree the other day on the advice of my grandmother, who wanted me to pick up some holiday wrapping paper for her. I had never thought of checking out one of those stores for much of anything, but she insisted that I stop there to buy the paper she needed. Once inside, I thought I had hit the jackpot, as they had tons of products priced at just $1 that I normally buy at my local drug or big-box stores for much more money.
On this visit to the Dollar Tree I managed to spend a grand total of just $12, and came out of the store with the following items, each priced at $1:
- A two-pack of Colgate Classic soft-bristle toothbrushes, as ours were almost ground down to nubs.
- A cotton knee support for my aging runner knees.
- Travel first aid kit for keeping in the truck, just in case.
- Adhesive Bandages, 100-ct. box of assorted sizes. When can you ever have too many bandages in your house?
- 35-sq. ft of aluminum foil wrap, for wrapping up those leftovers.
- A 10-ct. pack of PaperMate Write Bros. recycled-plastic ball point pens, because even though I work mostly online I still need to jot down notes from time to time
- GoodSense fold-top sandwich bags, 120 pack.
- A pair of microfiber dish scrubber sponges. These are great to have because you can wash them in the dishwasher when they get grubby, unlike regular sponges which you would just throw away.
- A set of 2 rolls of Christmas wrapping paper for grandma.
- Two gift bags for me to put to my grab-bag presents in.
Can you believe I spent only $12 for all that stuff? I am not normally one to buy a bunch of items on a single trip to a store, but I just could not believe that these types of stores have name-brand, much-needed merchandise in them. And because I know that I saved a ton of money over a trip to the local drugstore, I wanted to compare the price I would have paid had I skipped the Dollar Tree and stopped into CVS instead. So now let’s take a look at equivalent items for sale at CVS:
- One Colgate soft full-size toothbrush – $1.99 each, so $3.98 total.
- Futuro knee support – $11.29
- CVS first aid kit – $9.99
- CVS bandages, assorted sizes, 30-ct. – $3.29, so $10.97 total to make it almost 100 pieces
- CVS Aluminum Foil 75 Sq Ft – $4.39. Since this is double the size of the roll I bought, will cut this price in half to $2.20.
- Pack of 10 Papermate Red Ball Point Pens- $2.19
- CVS Fold & Close Top Sandwich Bags, 150 pack – $2.99
- Package of two Scotch-Brite scrub sponges – $4.19
- Two rolls of Christmas wrapping paper – $1.99 each, so $3.98 total
- Two gift bags – $1.99 each, so $3.98 total
So, I am sure you must be wondering what the grand total is for all those items were you to buy them at CVS. Hold on to your hats, because it comes out to $55.76, or $43.76 more than they would have cost if you had found them at a dollar store. How is that for saving a ton of money on everyday items we all often stock up on without even giving the cost much thought? If you were able to make a few trips a year to a local dollar store rather than where you typically buy these type of items, you could potentially save hundreds of dollars over the course of twelve months.
In this economy, more dollar stores are popping up all over the country, so chances are you have at least one close to you. There are many different stores out there operating under different names, but some good ones to start with include Dollar Tree, Dollar General, $.99 Only Store, and Family Dollar. I truly thought these were stores full of items that absolutely no one ever needed, but my thinking was far from the truth. With some selective shopping, you can definitely make a dollar-type store work in your favor, saving yourself a small fortune in the process.
Do you shop at your local dollar store? Or do you avoid them like the plague? Let us know in the comment section below!