Shopping on a Budget the Dollar Store Way

For students with a limited budget, finances can be a tough route to navigate. Spending money isn’t always easy to control when opportunities present themselves. A night out on the town here, a shopping trip with your friends there – the expenses add up, and the temptations to spend frivolously are at every corner.

Consider the little expenses in life. A trip to a Safeway for school supplies, cleaning supplies, household décor, or party necessities can easily prove to be a pricey outing. But there is a great alternative that many overlook, and that is The Dollar Store! Here are 10 items that most Dollar Stores hold that will help you keep more money in your pocket:

Dishes – Compared to a 16-piece dinnerware set from Walmart at $34.99, the Dollar Tree sells mugs, plates, bowls, and other kitchen necessities.

Candy – The Dollar Tree has name-brand candy from Butterfingers to Hot Tamales, varying in size but not taste!

Pregnancy tests – This may be surprising to some but while the average pregnancy test is around ten dollars, the Dollar Tree pregnancy tests have five star reviews on their website and are significantly cheaper!

Toothpaste – A 6-ounce tube of Colgate toothpaste at Safeway is about 4 dollars. The Dollar Tree also sells 6-ounce Colgate tubes of toothpaste. That speaks for itself!

Air Freshener – While not name brand, a 10-ounce bottle of Hawaiian air freshener is sold at the Dollar Tree while a 9.7-ounce bottle of Febreze from Safeway is $2.99.

Office/School supplies – The Dollar Tree sells pens, pencils, notebooks and highlighters that can easily add up to more than ten dollars when bought at other stores like Walmart or Safeway.

Deodorant – A 2.6-ounce bar of deodorant at Safeway is around three dollars, while the Dollar Tree has the same size of name brand deodorant.

Ibuprofen – A 50-count 200 mg bottle of Ibuprofen from Safeway is about six dollars. The Dollar Tree has a 40-count 200 mg bottle of Ibuprofen.

Greeting Cards – Greeting cards can vary anywhere from two to five dollars. The Dollar Tree has a variety of birthday, holiday, and special occasion greeting cards.

Soap – A 7.5-ounce bottle of hand soap is around $2.50. The Dollar Tree provides the same size hand soap bottles without the name brand titles.

The products may not be brand name and they may be a bit smaller compared to their competitors, but comparing size and money amount is sure way to decide if you are really getting all that you can out of your money. One thing is for certain, the Dollar Store will provide you with some of what you need and a lot of what didn’t know you needed.

Certain items may be better bought with the assurance of quality and past experience rather than the momentary gratification of finding a superior bargain. Here are five items to re-think before purchasing at your local Dollar Store:

Batteries – If you are in need of a quick fix, then yes, the Dollar Store can meet your needs in this area but be sure that you’ll being coming back to replenish your battery needs. Quality is an important factor to remember when purchasing these items. In this case, the more money you spend the longer they will last.

Makeup – Makeup is one of the more expensive products but it also is something that is going on your face. Your face matters! Quality products should go on your face!

Toys – The idea of a toddler chewing on a cheap toy that could possibly fall apart is scary!

Food – Going back to the same idea as putting quality makeup on your beautiful face – food shouldn’t be thought of as any different! Quality food may be more expensive but certainly is worth the extra dollars!

Light Bulbs – Scary! The idea of screwing in a cheaper light bulb and having the house set on fire is off-putting. The security of spending a little extra money on higher quality light bulbs is a lot more appealing than saving a few extra dollars.

Until your degree kicks in and you start making the big bucks, contemplate the benefits of shopping at the Dollar Store. Who knows the tremendous bargains awaiting you in the aisles!

Photo by Andy Cox.

Photo by Andy Cox.

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