Saturday, June 8, 2013

dollar stores.

generally speaking, i avoid dollar stores like the plague. i realize this is the exact opposite of whats expected of a poor person, but hear me out for a minute. first of all, ideologically speaking, id rather have fewer, higher quality items in our home and do my best to avoid spending our sparse resources on cheaply made disposable junk. second, practically speaking, id rather not add another store into my weekly shopping routing just in case i might save a couple bucks on some things that may or may not even be in stock (and is probably some weird smaller dollar store size). and lastly, speaking from experience, james and i are incapable of behaving like adults in a dollar store and a "quick trip" to grab a calculator and bug spray inevitably turns into wandering the store for an hour and spending $20 on beer (the 99 cent store near us has cans of sapporro for 59 cents), candy, cat toys, baby forks (even though we know we have enough baby forks) and a whole bunch of the exact kind of unneeded crap i spend most of the time trying not to buy (yes, this is a real thing that happened).

so i just stay away from dollar stores. and despite everyone telling me all the time about all the awesome stuff at the dollar store, i dont really miss it. one of the first important financial lessons i ever learned was that the cheapest thing isnt always actually the cheapest thing. i realize that doesnt really make much sense so heres an example: when james and i first got married i figured the cheapest place to get dish soap was the dollar store, well the thing was, the dollar store dish soap was terrible and only lasted like two weeks. so the next time i made the trek to target (which at the time was kind of far away) and spent $3.50 on a bottle of "real" dish soap. it lasted like four months. so if i had been using the dollar store soap that whole time, i would have spent $8 on soap, meaning that the "more expensive" soap was actually cheaper. and this doesnt just apply to dish soap, ive found its also true with toilet paper, pantyhose, printer ink, lipstick, and, well, almost everything. 

but sometimes we still really need some cheap, low quality dollar store things. like this week, when we decided that alice needed a clipboard to better facilitate on-the-go coloring, and even though i swear we have one somewhere, we couldnt find it. so when thursday turned out to be a gloomy morning with nothing to do, alice and i took a walk over to our local dollar tree. this is how she dressed herself for the outing (i feel i should add that the bag is FULL of stuff):

i like dollar tree because i recently found out they take manufacturers coupons, and most of the time theres at least a couple of items that are completely free (lots of coupon blogs will post the dollar tree coupon deals, but since every store is different, theyre not actually all that helpful). so in addition to the clipboard we needed (and the parmesan cheese i impulsively got to go with that nights dinner), i also got some free pretzels and taquitos. two bags of stuff for just $2 and tax? not bad, not bad at all. 

stay tuned for next week cause ive got lots of fun things planned!

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