Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thrifty Thursday: Decent Things You Can Get The Dollar Store

Hey, Friends.  I haven't been thrifting this week, but I wanted to talk about my secret obsession with the local dollar store.  I hadn't set foot in one until a few years ago, because a lot of what you find there is weird plastic, breakable tchotchkes made in China.  But there are a few surprises, some of them the exact same things you'd pay extra for at your usual store.

First off, the dollar store is always stocked with decor for whatever holiday is coming next.  Most of it is pretty tacky, but there are sometimes a few things that could pass for something more elegant.  For example, I found these felt cut-outs that would look really cute hanging from the ceiling or as a table runner,  

I don't buy a lot of greeting cards.  And when I do, I walk away with sticker shock for what is essentially a pretty piece of paper.  If it's truly the thought that counts, I say save your cash and get your greeting cards here.

Plastic tablecloths have so many uses.  I like to use them as drop clothes for painting and a floor protector under the litter box.  Or, you know, use them as tablecloths for a party.  They come in dozens of colors and patterns.  And every one has paper plates and napkins to match.

A 2-pack of brand name tape.  Score!

I like to stock up on tissue paper.  Especially with with the holidays coming up.  This is a perfect example of something where quality just doesn't matter and you can go as cheap as possible.

When I have one of the kids with me, and they're bugging me for a toy, I divert them to the craft aisle.  Sticks, beads, glue, paint: you can find them all.  Even these chenille stems, which were called pipe cleaners back in my day.  

There is a variety of classroom supplies, mostly decorative, but sometimes you can find some good teaching tools and wipe-off calendars.

I'm not too picky about pens because I lose them quickly, but most of the usual name brands are here, even Sharpie markers.

This is crazy.  I found nail wraps!  And they're the good ones!

OK, so I think these styles may have been discontinued because of how ugly they are and that's how they ended up here at the dollar store.  Still, a fun find.

 Super cute houndstooth wrapping paper!  They also have Christmas paper with every popular cartoon character.  Not normally my style, but Punky was excited to see it.

I love using parchment paper for baking, and I love it even more when it's only a dollar.  They sell wax paper, foil, etc. here too.

What kid doesn't love getting a bunch of helium balloons for their birthday?  They last forever and, let's face it, some kids would rather run around with a balloon than play with a fancy new toy.

Of course, there is always a dark side to the dollar store.  Some things are better left on the shelf, such as...

Nasty migraine-inducing, chemically-scented candles.  I hate even walking past them.

Cheap plastic stuff for babies and children (especially the sippy cups and eating utensils that go in their mouths).  Are you kidding me?

Plastic cooking utensils that could melt or leech chemicals while they touch your hot food.

So, while the dollar store is not necessarily the best place to buy a gift for a loved one, or outfit your entire house, I like to peruse the aisles once in a while to see what kind of stuff it makes sense to buy here.  My philosophy is that even Target sells some cheap disposable crap, so I might as well buy it where I can get it for much less.  

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