Outside-the-box thinking in the dollar store

My Story: How I Use My Dollar Store Finds

contributed by The Baroness in Oregon

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Dollar Store Grocery Shopping

Most of us like going to a dollar store, and I am discovering more and more uses for the "typical" items that I find there! Try these:

  • Baby Wipes - In addition to the obvious, try using baby wipes to clean out the inside of your microwave oven (leave door open to air-dry after cleaning). Also, clean your kitchen and bathroom counters, clean tile/slate floors if one of your pets has an "accident," clean the dashboard of your car, and place some in a zipper sandwich bag for quick hand/face clean-ups at work or school.

  • Toothbrushes - I use these for cleaning around the faucet and handles on my kitchen and bathroom sinks. I also use them to clean the corners in uncarpeted rooms and to get that caked-on gunk out of the tracks of sliding glass doors and windows. They also work great to get at stubborn grime on car bumpers (use a "soft toothbrush" with a bit of mayonnaise for this and "brush" gently!) and to clean under my fingernails after working in the garden all day.

  • Watches - My local dollar stores carry plastic watches. For a dollar, I dig the batteries out and find that they fit in most of my more expensive watches when battery replacement is needed. Watch batteries are usually expensive, but not this way! The watches make good stocking-stuffers for children, too, as I have found super hero watches and other character watches at my local dollar (and party) stores. The character watches are also good for office holiday grab bags. A lot of adults' faces light up when they see a character watch!

  • Halloween "Leftovers" - Candy is candy, and you can always freeze chocolate for later. Just thaw at room temperature when needed. Mine carry name-brand candies around Halloween and Valentine's Day, and you can bet I stock up on it. Candy comes in handy when you have unexpected company, for a child's birthday party, and for that dish on your desk at work. One of my friends in the local Rotary Club collected leftover Halloween candy and his club sent it to our troops overseas. It doesn't have to be Halloween to get great deals on candy at a dollar store and you can find many uses for it too.

Be creative and have fun!

"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money, please send it to MyStory@stretcher.com.

Take the Next Step:

  • Get cash back on the groceries you buy. Checkout 51 can show you how!
  • Continue to look for new ways to trim food costs. Visit our food & groceries section each week to get tips for keeping more of your hard-earned dollars in your pocket.

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