If you’ve ever stepped into a dollar store in the past, you might not have been too impressed. In fact, you might not think much of them now and believe they are full of off-brand items, bad lighting, and disgusting food.
A kid might light up, but they didn’t know any better. A toy is still a toy, and if you couldn’t afford the brand-new Transformers or Barbie, then maybe you’d don your disguise and head inside.
But over the last decade or so, dollar stores have upped their game. They’re no longer the pit they once were and can really save you a lot of money, especially if you’re throwing a party and need a bunch of decent decorations for cheap.
You could easily stop by Party City and pay $10 apiece for decorations and spend $50-$60 total. Or, you could go to the dollar store for the same quality items for $1 each. You could buy supplies for the whole party and spend less than $20. And it’s not just party supplies!
Birthday cards, plastic containers, dish soap, craft items, toys, coloring books, paper plates, snacks, and many, many other useful items…and they’re all for a $1 each. Still, you might not find too many name brands, but if you’re trying to live cheap to save money or pay off debts, the dollar store is a godsend.
It gives you the option of still being able to afford having that party without spending half your paycheck doing it. Even if you don’t have a party to decorate for, stopping at the dollar store before shopping can save you a lot on non-grocery items you buy regularly, like toilet paper.
You might just be surprised on what you find there. They thrive on getting you in the door and making a profit on customers being thoroughly surprised and buying more than they intended because it’s only a buck. This may be the only time you won’t feel guilty doing so.
Dollar stores often buy extra overstocked or out-of-season items. It’s like going to Target after Christmas and seeing their decorations at a fraction of the cost. The same idea applies here.
Tips for Saving Big
Even if you find something at the dollar store you buy regularly, it doesn’t mean it’s cheaper. Sometimes, they’ll get you with the brand name and you’ll think you’re saving money, but it’s a smaller size, so you’re actually losing money.
That means you need to do a bit of comparison shopping. Most of the big stores have websites where you can look up prices. If it’s more than $1 for the same amount of product, then you will save money.
Another tip is to know where you’re shopping. Some of the bigger stores might have the word ‘dollar’ in them, like Dollar General, but that doesn’t mean it’s your average $1 store where everything is priced at a buck.
Being a knowledgeable shopper means knowing where and how to save the most money. If you’re watching your budget and need to save a bit a cash, there’s no shame in visiting the dollar store. Your wallet will thank you in the long run.