However, having limited places to shop here, Dollar Tree has become a weekly hang-out for our family. And Nate has fallen in love. In fact he asked me the other day to try to get things there before going to Wal-Mart.
Rachel, at http://debtfreedowds.wordpress.com/2008/07/25/frugal-friday-2/ made a list of her top 10 finds at the Dollar Tree and I thought I would piggy-back off of her and make my own list.
So here goes.
10) Batteries-they are not the strongest batteries...they won't power your digital camera, but they will definitely power all your children's toys that are always needing batteries.
9) Mister Plumber- very similar to Drano, but works just as well.
8) Gift bags-very cute and very affordable.
7) Greeting Cards- 2 for $1 and there are some cute ones. I stocked up on these during Nate's deployments and sent him cards every few days.
6) DVDs/Books- these are hit and miss, but I've found some great finds in this area, including four discs with all the episodes of the classic Davey and Goliath DVD's that I grew up on (shoot, even my mom grew up on them).
5) Stocking Stuffers- come Christmas time, Dollar Tree is a goldmine for stocking stuffers.
4) Home/Office Supplies-cheap and cute pads for shopping lists, mailing envelops, school/toy room decorations, scrapbooking supplies, etc.
3) Fuel Injector Cleaner- (Nate is right beside me and he asked me to put that down along with Italian Ices, but since this is my list, I'll fit his two in one number. :)
2) Household goods- shelf liner here is way cheaper than Wally World, dish rags, dish scrubber wands, pot holders, tupperware containers, baskets for storage, etc.
1) My number one buy at the Dollar Tree is (drum-roll please....) PREGNANCY TESTS!!! That may sound silly but they are VERY accurate (used to determine all of my pregnancies, very early on) and VERY affordable. They cost anywhere from $8 up at any other store and I always feel like I have to *know* I'm pregnant in order to buy one of those expensive puppies, but at only a dollar a pop, I can take one even if I have the slightest scare of being pregnant (like when I cried watching the Gilmore Girls finale on DVD). Please note...I'm not making any subtle announcements here. Corban and Caleb are keeping us plenty busy for now.
Although we are not an official endorsement for The Dollar Tree, (that would be nice!) these are the things that have worked for our family. On the other hand, I will mention a few things that we steer clear from.
1) Most toys- most are made in China and have cheap paint on them...not good for kids who like to put things in their mouth. (Although we have found some great puzzles, kids books, balls, etc.)
2) Products like "namebrand" toothpaste, aspirin, etc. that can't be guaranteed to be from the actual manufacturer of the items. (i.e. Colgate toothpaste made in China)
3) Some cleaners are cheaply made and just don't do the job.
4) Most food items-most we have tried have tasted like "pooeys" (as Corban would say)
So, that's our opinion, take it for what's it worth. I'd love to hear what your opinions on top finds and steer clear items are at your Dollar Tree.