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Save Big with Discount Shopping!

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Savvy moms know how to use discount stores -- and keep money in their pockets.

Woman holding money

Ashlee Holland: While most people will quickly turn their noses up at stores like The Dollar Tree or the 99 Cent Store, others make them their first stop for discount shopping. There are many great deals to be had if you know what you are looking for. Many of these dollar stores are not only test markets, but also take in a lot of overstock -- which saves YOU money. You CAN find quality products at these types of stores.

Think of the items that are the most disposable to you in your home. Why buy toothbrushes for $1.99 or more when you can take home a double pack of Colgate toothbrushes for 99 cents? Whether you are having guests or need to change your toothbrushes more often, you can do this and save! You should not spend a lot of money on items like these if they are going to end up in the trash quickly. 

Baby wipes, cotton balls, dish soap, floss and cleaning sponges are other items that I personally think you should NOT splurge on. Most discount stores always have these items in stock. Pick them up for a buck, so when you toss them you won't feel like you wasted a dime. 

Other MUST-BUY items at your local dollar stores are school supplies. They have just about everything you need! I will never forget the day I spent $4.99 on a notebook that my son ripped apart in less than a week. NEVER AGAIN. You can easily snag spiral notebooks, pencils, markers ... even name-brand monthly planners for a buck. They are GREAT quality and serve their purpose very well! I always grab a few more than I need because the cost is low and the destruction rate of a third-grader is high! 

Party-planning can also be hard on the pocketbook -- especially if it's for an event that you don't really need to go all-out for. You can easily find platters, tablecloths, matching plates, cups and decorations. I always go in with an open mind, looking to see what I can piece together. Use your imagination. Twenty dollars can create a great themed event and leave you plenty of cash to spend on the food! 

These chain stores also offer great deals on dishes. My best friend scored big time when she found Kenneth Cole dishes at the 99 Cent Store! She was able to piece together enough to have a set; she just had to look a little harder, rather than just skimming the aisles. (She still has them to this day, and they are GORGEOUS!) Some other items to buy that you know will go the distance are plastic serving bowls, plastic storage containers, wooden serving spoons, picture frames, kids' plastic hangers, socks, hair bows, bobby pins and coloring books.

Don't forget to look around. I have found SO MANY great deals on brands like Hanes, Kraft dressings, Nabisco foods and Revlon makeup. Don't count out the best discounts you can find ... at your local dollar stores!

Happy deal-hunting!

next: Awful Library Books: 'How to Be a Thin Girl'
6 comments so far | Post a comment now
CMaxx March 11, 2010, 10:49 AM

These stores can be great, but you shouldn’t automatically think you are getting a great deal just because something costs $.99. You have to pay attention to prices at other stores as well. Sometimes the dollar item is smaller than the one at a different store, and when you compare cents per ounce (for example) it would actually be cheaper to buy it somewhere else.

Oh, and spiral notebooks? If you are paying a dollar for a spiral notebook you are getting RIPPED OFF. Around the start of school, I regularly see those for 10 to 15 cents each. Buy a bajillion when they are priced that way, and you are good for years of school.

Richard March 11, 2010, 2:48 PM

Don’t forget Wal-Mart.

IE Mommy March 11, 2010, 6:40 PM

I totally enjoy the hunt of the Dollar Stores. Recently I found the wonderful L’Oreal hIp line of eyeliners…which I had just seen at the “regular” store…plus I have found numerous Littlest Pet Shop items that my daughters adore.

Anonymous March 12, 2010, 9:45 AM

I like to shop, & usually go to Wal mart, or Target to just get away & be by myself. Well, I end up spending way too much on things I don’t really need, so now I go to the dollar store & can spend an hour or so & spend $20. I always get my sponges there, also organizers & baskets. Coloring books for sure. The kids love to go to. Give them $5 for washing the car or something & take them to the $ store.

mercaties March 14, 2010, 11:06 PM

I’am a huge Dollar Tree shopper. I wont buy my cleaning supplys, air freshner or kids bath bubbles anywhere else. Except for foundation, I buy most of my make up there and it’s all name brand either Clairol or Maybelline. They are also great for “knock off” perfume. I totally agree with the other writer about party supplys. I’ve always gone way out for my kids birthdays, but I save a ton of money buying all the party supplys and invitaions at dollar tree.

Teresa Corvo March 29, 2011, 7:53 PM

Of course, what a great website and educative posts, I definitely will bookmark your site.Have an awsome day!

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