Savvy moms know how to use discount stores -- and keep money in their pockets.
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!
|Ashlee Holland, single mom of one and a former actress on "Days of Our Lives," brings money and timesaving advice to momlogic.com. Ashlee's range of frugal and fabulous expertise helps moms find efficient and affordable ways to cut costs and stretch a buck. Ashlee's resourceful and innovative tips, combined with her infectious enthusiasm and tenacity, motivate anyone to survive and thrive.|