On the Cheap: Dollar for dollar deals

Every dollar counts when you are on a budget, and the local dollar stores can help you make the most of them.

If you’ve never frequented the Dollar Tree, 2108 W. 27th St., or one of the Dollar General Store locations, 1811 W. Sixth St. and 1001 N. Third St., these stores may seem like too much of an unknown to make a special trip. But if you know what to look for, you can save money each time you shop by hitting up this venues.

When it comes to dollar purchases, here is the skinny on what to buy where.

Dollar General Store

Not everything at Dollar General is a dollar, but there are plenty of items that are. Here’s where you can stock up on personal hygiene items and hair accessories as most of these items are only $1. If you make the switch from a name-brand hand soap, which would retail for about $4.50, to the Dollar General’s hand soap, you would save $3.50 on just that one item. And the fragrances of the hand soaps at the Dollar General are comparable to popular scents found at Bath and Body Works and The Body Shop.

You can also find name-brand toothpaste like Colgate for $1. The same toothpaste retails for $4.49 at other locations — a savings of $3.49.

Dollar General also sells hair accessories and nail polish for $1. If you purchase one bottle of nail polish and one package of hair clips a month, you could save about $7 a month by buying these items at the Dollar General instead of paying retail elsewhere.

The Dollar Tree

The Dollar Tree is my go-to place for party supplies. Every time a throw a party, I make the Dollar Tree my first stop. It has decorations for every kind of party you can imagine: birthday, bridal shower, baby shower and holidays.

I recently got my daughter’s Disney Princess-themed party supplies at the Dollar Tree. The plates and napkins I bought for $1 there retailed for $4.41 and $4.19 elsewhere. Altogether I saved about $35 on her party supplies.

The Dollar Tree also sells gift bags in a variety of sizes for $1. It’s common to spend $5 or more for these same bags at other stores. If you give only one gift a month, you would save about $50 a year by purchasing your bags from the Dollar Tree.

The Dollar Tree also has miscellaneous items that you can find for a steal. For instance, the store recently had K Nourish, a hot cereal made by Special K, on sale for 2 for $1. These hot breakfast cereals retail for $2.78 at other stores.

A dollar may not seem like much, but by spending $1 you can save up to 80 percent on selected items at your area dollar stores.

— Arley Hoskin is a writer, mom and avid bargain shopper. Follow her on Twitter at @ArleyHoskin for updates on local bargains.


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