The Dollar Store

As most of you know, I am all about being thrifty. I coupon. I thrift. I garage sale. I go without. I wasn’t always this way, but I have learned the tricks of the trade out of pure necessity. Having three kids and living on student loans followed by owning our own business in a failing economy did wonders for this mother. If you call pinching pennies wonderful.

One thing I have learned in my journey for thrift is not to be duped by the stores. Just because they stick those items on the cap aisles at Wal-Mart, it doesn’t mean it’s the best deal. And just because you are shopping at a discount grocery store, it doesn’t mean that everything is priced cheaper than other stores. And most of all, just because you are at the Dollar Tree, it doesn’t mean that you can or should buy whatever you want. In fact, don’t take your kids to the Dollar Tree. Ever. You will inevitably lose all the money you just saved. Unless you are a meanie and can say no to that glass figurine, and those coloring books, and those furry boas, and that candy…you get the picture.

However, there are two things that you absolutely should not buy anywhere but the Dollar Tree.

1- Diaper Disposal Bags. They smell good. They work. They are a godsend when your kids decide to poop everywhere, or puke everywhere, or mash a bunch of cheerios into the pew at church. They are .075 a piece + tax at the Dollar Tree. You won’t find them any cheaper. We take one with us wherever we go. Even when we walk the dog. If you get my drift.

2 – Pregnancy Tests. I realize that this admission just outed my inner hillbilly, but I don’t want all of you yuppies to go without this very great money saving tip. One dollar, people. And they work. They have worked for me at least 6 times. And before you think all my kids are running around without shoes and dirty (even though you’d be right) I only have four living children, and they each own many pairs of shoes. It’s just that I don’t always enforce the rule. (Oh, and I’ve had three miscarriages). So, don’t buy your pregnancy tests anywhere else.

The last time I visited The Dollar Tree in Knoxville, I got a bout of nostalgia. I have spent a lot of time at that store. My kids have bought a lot of Christmas presents for their grandparents there. I am serious. My in-laws think that those presents are some of the funnest. I mean where else is someone going to let their toddler pick out a dog chain for grandpa? It’s a dollar. It will be funny.

While I was walking down the aisle with my 10 boxes of diaper disposal bags, I noticed something. By the way, 10 boxes is roughly a two month supply. I buy a lot when they are in stock. It seems I am not the only one who knows a great thing when I see one.  Just to give you another shopping tip and I will hope that you don’t shop at the same store as me. Anyway, I noticed the pregnancy tests. I am not needing those much nowadays. But, you wouldn’t believe it. There were 10 boxes opened on the shelf. I assumed someone or 10 ones had opened the boxes and swiped out the tests without paying.

All I could think was this: “the poor unborn fetus that is in the womb of the person who couldn’t even afford to buy a pregnant test for a dollar.”

Not so white-trash, redneck, hillbilly, ghetto, (whatever you want to call it) after all, am I?



  1.  I buy the diaper disposable bags too. I love them. Plus those pregnancy tests have worked for me as well. And don't you know that I have had 3 miscarriages too. We were supposed to be friends, I tell you.

  2.  I love the dollar store. Thanks for the tip on the multi-purpose disposable diaper bags. I have to spread the word on the prego tests. ToOdLeS.

  3. Hey Sheila, Why don't you like it? Does it take longer to make a comment? Do you have to enter a security code? Really curious. Wondering if I should switch back. I figured this would be a little inconvenient for the readers but that it's worth is since I get to reply to every comment individually. Give me details. please. 

  4. I know Kathy. We need to get together and hang out. Whenever I get ambitious I will have you over for lunch. 

  5. Good one Marilyn. You got me laughing good this morning. And so true. I think you should just go for 12. I like the sound of having a dozen. That's how many I wanted to have when I was a teenager. Way before I realized how hard it would be. The kids have been into watching the reality show about the Duggars and when I stopped in on them and the TV yesterday it was right during the intro where it talks about how the parents don't let their kids watch very much TV. Sophia says, “Now don't be getting any ideas.” LOL Then later she came into the kitchen and told me that I should have 17 kids. I told her I would think about it just as soon as she gave up watching TV. She scurried off as fast as she could. 

  6. You forgot to mention the gift bags and tissue paper. CHEAP!!! and they have some pretty cool ones at times, too.

    New comment box is different. Let me think about it and decide if I like change 😉

  7.  I don't like having to enter my email. Complicates my commenting processes. I'm sooo lazy. There's an idea for a new blog for me 😉  And I'm typing a lot because if I hafta enter all that info agin I'mma gonna make it worth it 😛

  8.  Yes, yes and YES! I love the Dollar Tree, not so much the Dollar Store. Misleading I think. Anyway, I also love (sheild the kids' eyes) buying stocking stuffers there. I would not go anywhere else for them because with four kids, Santa would be broke. I actually buy some of my makeup there too. It's good stuff… and gift bags. They're a dollar! Birthday favors, YW supplies, coloring books, etc. 

  9.  You know what else those bags are good for?  Ice Bags at track practice!   I'm so glad you had one and that you are so quick thinking. 

  10.  Glad you could add to this post Katie. No better argument for having those little pink baggies everywhere you go.

  11. Thanks for your awesome commentary Renee. All great ideas. I do love their gift bags. I also love their actual hardbound books for $1. I have read several really good books that I bought at The Dollar Tree. And you are right, all dollar stores are not created equal, and Dollar Tree is most definitely my favorite. Although I have lived so frugally that I didn't even buy stocking stuffers at all, even at the Dollar Tree. Birthday favors are a must though, and another friend reminded me of another must buy at the dollar tree…birthday balloons. $1 for a helium metallic balloon is a steal. 

  12. I hope that once people comment the first time that they won't have to re-enter their information every time. I most definitely don't want to make it more painful for people to comment, but I also really like the ability this new system gives me to reply to everyone individually. I am going to keep trying it for a bit and give it a good trial run, but am not totally sold. I had a couple people e-mail me and say that they can't figure out how to comment at all. I don't understand what is going on. I need details people. Doesn't it just bring up a box where you put in your name and e-mail address? The e-mail address is key so that I can personally respond. 

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