Holidays and special days have taken on more meaning for me while sheltering in place. I’ve had a lot more time to watch the news, keep up with the numbers surrounding the virus, and have my heart touched with stories of people affected by COVID-19. Being four states away from my elderly dad made Father’s Day particularly poignant. I went to the nearest Walmart, stood in the aisle and tearfully read all the Father’s Day cards, and selected five to send to my father because I love him and miss him. I hadn’t looked at the price because you know…dad! But when the cashier announced the total, I was shocked. THIRTY FOUR DOLLARS?!?! FOR CARDS?!?!? That was an average of almost seven dollars each. It was primarily out of embarrassment that I went ahead and paid for them, but, geez, that’s how much I pay for good takeout for me and my husband. How many other non-essential items was I paying a premium for?
In my past, I was the general manager of an upscale department store; an assistant manager for a big box department store, and the manager/buyer for a boutique shop in a luxury car sales store. I was an unrepentant retail snob, but that thirty-four dollars showed me I needed to change my ways.
Of course, like most, I’ve made the dollar store run for paper plates and gift bows, but not for anything else because…retail snob. Well, I have seen the error of my ways and I’m inviting you into the bright warm sunshine of the dollar store.
I thought cards were a bargain at $1 a piece…but NO, they’re TWO for $1. That’s right, I could have gotten five nice cards for my dad for less than $3.00! What else, you ask? I’d worn prescription glasses for years, but after cataract surgery all I needed were reading glasses and I got them in every color and pattern for…you guessed it…$1! Not every item at every Dollar Store chain is exactly $1, but they still have amazing pricing.
The Dollar Store can be a great place to save money on basic household items. Toothpaste, pain reliever, canning jars, placemats, muffin tins, and packs of cleaning rag -- there are so many things I hadn’t considered before. If you look up their circulars, you’ll see many items that are seasonal bargains; small desk lamps, scented candles, waterproof solar lights, flowerpots, and even sun visors. If you need notepaper and school supplies, go there first, you won’t be sorry.
Did you know you can buy from the Dollar Store online? If you want to save time and money on gas, it’s a great option. Dollar Tree and Dollar General are among the chains that sell their wares on the web, allowing you to quickly order the supplies you need at great prices without leaving your home. In some cases, there may be a minimum price for online orders, so check it out before you place an order to be sure.
Learn from my misplaced snootiness; check out the Dollar Store and stretch your budget. You won’t regret it!
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