Saving A Buck While Raising Kids

From diapers to gear, young kids are expensive. That coupled with living in a small town sometimes makes saving money on routine purchases seem difficult if not flat out impossible. Moving from Oakland to Sonoma was a big change for me in this way.

Without the convenience of local discount superstores, things seemed more expensive in Sonoma. Now, however, I have discovered that without the monthly Target runs, it is actually cheaper to live in the Valley. The Valley has changed my shopping patterns – now I rely on local stores and a few websites rather than spending an hour or two lolligagging around a discount superstore.

One local gem of a store in Sonoma is the Dollar Tree at 18615 Highway 12.  Your town probably has a similar store.   With everything priced as it sounds – for a dollar or less, this place offers many opportunities to save some money. Here are eight great deals that I have scored at the Dollar Tree:

• Greeting Cards – Need a card for a present? Pick up a card or two at the Dollar Store.

• Household Goods – With generic cleaning and household supplies, you are bound to find a bargain. Last week, I scored a shower curtain liner for $1.  Total steal!

• Kids Stuff – Find some coloring books and bubbles. (For merely $1 you can get three containers of bubbles.) Right now the store also has children’s sunglasses – what a find.

• Party Supplies – With mylar balloons and party decorations, you can buy party supplies for a modest price.

• Pregnancy Tests – these are the biggest money saver that I have found at the store.  At $1 a pop, these tests check for the same HCG hormone as the more expensive tests available at drug stores. Worried that the $1 test won’t perform as well, then buy two.  I can tell you from recent experience, these tests work just fine.

• Sand Toys – From buckets to sand molds, the dollar tree has a variety of sand toys. At $1 for a large bucket and shovel, who can complain? Some of the kitchen goods like measuring cups, funnels and slotted spoons are ideal for playing in water and sand.

• Swim Noodles – Who knew that you could get a swim noodle for $1?  Looking for affordable water toys, check out the Dollar Tree. The store also has other water friendly toys, like inflatable dinosaurs.

• Wrapping Paper and Bags – need to wrap a large present like a bike?  Well, grab some plastic tablecloths. At $1 each, these are a super cheap option for disguising fun large presents.

Next time you’re driving down Highway 12 and have a few minutes, drop into the Dollar Tree and see what you find. You are bound to find a deal. Feel free to share your favorite Dollar Tree deal in the comments section below. In the meantime, happy shopping!

 

First published SonomaNews.com, http://www.sonomanews.com/News-2011/Saving-a-buck-while-raising-kids/

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