>> Thursday, October 2, 2014
The Dollar Store can be a magical place. Not only have I found a number of inexpensive crafts + activities for my toddler to enjoy, but I’ve also discovered some very useful items for our home. Now, you’ll need to get past that initial shock of the pregnancy tests next to the at-home drug tests (I had a WTF moment there the other day!). Skip over the cheap knick-knacks, too.
Otherwise, pick up these items for just $1 each. I’d advise you guys to always make a list before you head to the Dollar Store. You’ll inevitably find a ton of stuff you’ll want to stash in your cart. Some of it you’ll pick up simply because you’re surprised to see it there. Other stuff, you really just don’t need.
Stay on task to stay on budget.
Between making homemade Almond Milk, Brown Rice Milk, and juice without a juicer; attempting mozzarella cheese at home; and a number of other cooking uses for cheesecloth -- it’s helpful to know you can buy it on the cheap.
Though we’re working to eliminate plastics in our home, we still use freezer bags for some items -- like homemade bread -- in our standup freezer. When you make almost all your bread yourself (here’s why you should stop buying sliced bread), this can add up to quite a number of bags. So, we try to reuse them when they are still in good condition. Once they get holes -- we move on to a new bag.
Wax Paper, Parchment, Etc.
Store stock varies by location. But if you can find any of these items at your store -- pick some up. I’ve had pretty good success with the wax paper, parchment, heavy duty tin foil, etc. Cling wrap, not so much. Our store has brown bags, too. They come in handy for a variety of purposes.
I once found a 5-gallon bucket at our dollar store. Since, I’ve mostly found smaller ones -- not necessarily food grade. However, if you make your own cleaning supplies, a plastic bucket can come in handy for mixing vinegar and water or even storage for small batches of DIY Laundry Detergent. (Related: 5 Green Cleaners That Actually Work!)
I took a nice, long bath last night using epsom salts. My muscles thanked me for it. If you read my post last week about all the wonderful uses for epsom salt in your home, you know the magic, too. Unless these salts are on sale at the drug store (rare, but happens), the absolute best price can be found at the dollar store at $1 per pound.
If you make your own candles, salves, DIY lotions, or other concoctions, glass containers can be helpful for storage. I’ll get into more of the stuff I make from home in another post. While you’re at it, head over to the kitchenware section and pick up some drinking glasses (they have all shapes and sizes).
Who wants to fill their trash can with paper towels? Not me. We have a system of rags (that I mentioned in this post) in our kitchen that we regularly clean. If you don’t have a lot of old t-shirts around, buying towels and rags, microfiber cloths, etc. at the Dollar Store is a good investment.
I was surprised to see a solid collection of spray bottles at our Dollar Store the last time I visited. We’ve been spending too much! From now on, whenever I mix together any of our green cleaners, I’ll be putting them in $1 spray bottles that look identical to the ones we bought that were nearly 3x the cost.
This is a good thing to stash in your emergency supply kit. We were woefully unprepared after our move to the new house when the power went out. We seem to have misplaced our old lights, so I picked up a few at the Dollar Store and some batteries, too.
That’s right! You can buy batteries at the Dollar Store. I read a fellow writer’s article on Wise Bread about the 10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store, and he mentioned that batteries are actually a good bet. So, I picked some up a while back. No, they don’t last as long as their counterparts, but they are FAR less expensive.
Twine, Yarn, Rope
In different sections, you’ll find twine, yarn, and rope. Obviously there are a ton of uses for these items. Anything from crafting to baking/cooking to even more practical stuff. Mother Earth News has some good info on uses for rope in/around the home.
Skip over the weird scented ones. They’re not that great (and might contain some icky stuff). However, if you are lucky enough to find soy candles (our store had them -- weird!) or even just basic wax, stock up.
We don’t eat white rice, but there are lots of ways you can use it in your home. I have been making some draft protectors for our doors getting ready for winter. Just like the ones you buy at the store, I put some rice in the bottom to keep them steady. You can make little heating pads + hand warmers, too. We also use white rice when we replenish Ada’s sensory box.
I’m going to have a post on creating a first aid kit sometime in the near future. But you can get all the basics at your Dollar Store. Bandaids, alcohol, cotton balls, triple antibiotic ointment, and lots of there important stuff.
You can also find a ton of different bins, baskets, etc. at the Dollar Store. If you need a system for housing essential oils or other supplies, pick up some containers. I found this great video with how to organize your pantry using Dollar Store products, too.
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