Let there be Dollar Stores! I love the Dollar Store for shopping especially for DIY and craft projects. Creating gifts, co-worker gifts and holiday DIY are so made affordable thanks to the dollar store. I’m trying to remember when shopping did not include the dollar store! I do shop at the Dollar Store with a strategy and have developed a few Dollar Store Shopping Tips when delving into the world of the Dollar store.
Project Scouting Trip
If you are fortunate enough to live close to a few dollar stores I always recommend a preliminary scouting trip once your project has been chosen. The key to dollar store craft shopping for me is too shop early and more than once for the upcoming holiday. After I decide upon an idea I first make a list of possible dollar store materials. Then I make a scouting trip to each dollar store to see what is and may be available.
After the scouting trip I compare notes and prices for each store. This is where timing is critical as Dollar Stores tend not to restock or have limited quantity; flexibility to change your idea when running into an item at a great savings helps too.
Price Comparison – Is It Really A Dollar?
Is the price really a savings at the Dollar Store? I have to do my research and know the prices at the stores I frequent and online shopping sites I frequent to know if the price is competitive or a bargain. Because there are so many Dollar Stores in my area in close proximity the cost and comparison is easy to do; less easy id there are only a few Dollar Stores in your area.
I also compare the prices against the Big Box Stores and Amazon Prime Pantry for food items. Amazon Prime Pantry is included with your Amazon Prime membership and I find the prices to be lower than our brick and mortar stores.
Another reason it is important to know the retail price of an item versus the dollar store price is the trend of many dollar stores to price merchandise at a dollar ish! Many items will be $1.29, $1.49 and so forth – not really a $1.00!
Quality Of Merchandise – Dollar Store Shopping Tips
The brands offered at each dollar store varies widely and weekly. I frequently see brand names for every type of merchandise so this is where personal preference versus the savings comes into play.
The quality of merchandise also comes into playing when making crafts and DIY projects; most craft materials at my dollar stores are off brand and work great. Occasionally ‘you do get what you pay for’ and an experienced crafter will know which materials can be purchased at the dollar store and which materials should be purchased elsewhere.
It helps to be flexible particularly when in the planning stages of a craft or DIY. Perhaps the Dollar Store does not carry an item … but you find a substitute at a great savings especially if buying in bulk. This is why sometimes dollar store craft shopping does take patience as you are standing in the craft aisle going through plans a-d for one crafts; but the savings is worth the labor!
Food Expiration – Check!
It is very important to check the expiration or buy by dates on food items at the dollar stores I frequent. Nuff said. There are many brand names food items and it is possible for some spectacular savings with savvy price shopping.
My Favorite Dollar Store Merchandise
- Bottled water
- Brand name toilet paper
- Gift Bags
- Wrapping Paper
- Mailing Supplies
- Bubble Wrap
- Paper goods
- Poster board
- Foam care board
- Craft supplies