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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Living the Good Life at Dollar Tree

dollar tree storeEven if you’re on a budget, you could be living the good life by shopping at Dollar Tree.

Olives, pickles… no caviar, though. Gnocchi, balsamic-style vinegar…. A dozen soft oatmeal cookies the size of your hand, little pecan pinwheels perfect for afternoon tea or a languid brunch….

Turns out that the dollar store is no longer just for the pnecessities of life. If you arrive first-thing in the morning, you can grab a still-warm loaf of white bread, hot off the truck. Should you have a carful of unhappy campers later in the day, they have a frozen goods section with three creamy vanilla ice creams on a stick coated in caramel/toffee/chocolate crunch for a dollar. Traditional movie snacks from Milk Duds, to popcorn, to chips, to Baby Ruths are not $3-$4 per package, but yes… just a buck each. We love some of their jams that could easily be passed off in gourmet shops for many times the cost.

pI am amazed at the seemingly-higher end goods from small, silver-like picture frames, perfect for calligraphy namecard settings at your next holiday gathering, or if you choose to order online from Dollar Tree, buy 100 or so for that upcoming wedding. There are red, gold, or silver chargers to put under your place settings, and faux silver serving trays that give an upgraded look to a simple party. Colored napkins, plates and cups come in coordinated colors, along with heavy, clear plastic cutlery.

Mason jars, plastic storage bins and anti-bacterial wipes. Nail polish premover and cheap nail polish in hues ranging from glittery to electric blue, lime green and pale pink. How would summer pedicures resist such stuff? Lipstick, powder, blush, mascara, eyeshadow palettes. Hey, I’ve been in places where something breaks or is lost and you need a quick fix on the face. Speaking of which, they also have anti-acne facial wipes, as well.

greeting-cardsThe greeting cards can fill your most basic needs from two cards for $1, or if you want to splurge, lol, the finer ones are $1 each. Thank you notes come in batches of 8 for a dollar.

Dollar Tree has clothing ranging from t-shirts, to some fairly snazzy socks upon occasion, to fuzzy slipper socks with anti-skid grips. Sunglasses and baseballs caps and even straw hats in the summer round out the fare. Warm knitted caps and gloves are on tap in the winter.

Should you be renting a beach condo or mountain cabin, stop by for extra dishtowels, paper towels, coffeep mugs or trash bags. My latest snag of choice came in the form of silicone pot holders (some of their quilted cloth ones are on the thin side)— big squares that may be wrapped around a hot handle, and also small grabbers shaped like duck bills or puppet mouths that you pop on your hand.

“Those will never work,” Benedetto shook his head when I presented my latest find in industrial black, having passed over the riot of other colors offered.

thHe still admitted the pot holders looked cool in a Euro-chic way. When we tried them just for brief oven-to-counter maneuvers they were not bad at all. Most of all, I was right and that in itself was worth far more than $1.

(I must add the disclaimer that Dollar Tree does not know me, apart from being one of their better customers. I am not paid in any way for this positive review. But you knew that.)


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2 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar melin says:

    So true. I’m a Dollar Tree person, too. I tend to go there in fits and spurts. I always end up spendng too much but in the moment it all feels like a steal. I will go in for 12 balloons and….well, you know the rest of the story. Before Christmas I was able to fill well, a bunch of Samaritan Purse Shoe Boxes with DT store stuff. I only do the big boys since people tend to avoid them. The DT store has lots of high interest stuff for teen boys. My dd thinks she’s fooling me by feigning interest when I have to go there but she’s not. She knows I will always give her $1.oo to go wild. Recently I bought a bunch of dollar toothpaste to use to clean the grout in our stone shower. Works so well (used with a regular scrub brush). Also used the dollar store to purchse 50 dollars worth of misc stuff to give to an elderly neighbor so she could create gift bags for her friends. Lotions, old person type candy, glass animals, shiny ornaments, note pads kind of stuff. Fifty dollars can go a long way there! I always go before a trip or the movies to get movie style candy, disposable socks for the plane ride. If we are going on an international trip I like to get stuff to assemble a gift bag to give to housekeeping that has a unique american flair.

    Every now and again I will stop there to buy myself those round caramels with the white icing inside as a power snack in the middle of errands.

    I’ll weave my way there again around Easter, I’m sure.

    I wonder how my children will describe mom’s shopping algorithm when they are older? 🙂

    I’m putzing away too much time on the computer this afternoon :). Time to move on!

    • avatar admin says:

      I hear you, Melin! To many, I’m sure the store fills a real need. For us, it’s pure fun. We’ve also put together numerous gift bags with small necessities for folks who end up unexpectedly in the hospital. And yes, we love to bless older kids, too. Glad I’m not the only one enjoying DT-!

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