Saturday, January 7, 2012

Saving Dollars

I have gone over to the Dark Side.   Next I will be seeking out the Early Bird dinner specials, and thinking how clever I am.  Yes, I have sprung full force into my Golden Years though for the life of me, I could swear they were a decade away, at least.

You see folks, I have started shopping the Dollar stores and LOVING it.  I have always flirted around the edges of Dollar stores.  Merrill had one early on, and while I stopped a few times, it wasn't really on my way, and I kind of thought it a place full of cheap dishes and plastic ware, stuff I really didn't need.  But that was well over fifteen years ago.  Dollar stores of different kinds and labels, (but always with the word "dollar" prominently displayed  somewhere in the title), started to proliferate, and I just was left behind.  Heck, my daughter's company has an account with Dollar General and she works out of their corporate headquarters.  But I always held off from shopping them regularly, no Dollar Generals close by.  Even with that excuse the two dollar stores, Hemlock once supported only got cursory support from me.  That could be why one folded.  But over the course of the last year I have come to be a believer and a follower. 

It started out innocently enough when I threw a baby shower for my daughter in law and son.   It was a small shower at our house but I discovered the wonder of discounted party supplies at the Dollar store still in our small town.  That lead me to explore Dollar General and Dollar Tree, more distant, but still worth visiting in my search for Shower supplies.  Not content to just hop in and out I discovered other "goodies" for future endeavors.  Ridiculously cheap small paint brushes, perfect for some staining and finishing projects upcoming, where the "use and toss" method would be employed.  Aluminum baking pans when I needed to take a dish to pass at a neighborhood gathering or deliver a meal to a sick friend's family.  Yup, those stores came in handy.   But I had not totally submerged myself in "Dollar mania".   After all, after last winter I had only stopped in to a Dollar Tree while looking for one item and come upon "dollar" 8 pack double A batteries.  Great deal I thought.  Well, not so much in that case as those dollar batteries lasted about 2 weeks in my solar outdoor ground lights.  I digress....

That was last fall, and while I am trying to economize more, tap into my inner German frugality, or become even more cheap as my son would likely snort, I still hadn't descended to shopping any Dollar store regularly.  The closest store aside from the one in Hemlock was a 15 minute drive away.  And it was just easier to make my weekly shopping list up for the big chain store I frequented, then try to go three other places and waste time and set off my annoyance meter.  But then two things happened.  I realized I had plenty of time, so that was an excuse. Truth was, I just didn't like running all over bargain shopping, until a sale circular fell out of the weekly local  shopping paper we get, opening right to $.85 diet Coke in 2 liter bottles with coupon.  I am not made of stone I do react with all the thriftiness in me to a good deal.  Even better, the limit was 6 so I could buy in bulk.   I'd hit the Mother Lode.   Those of you who know me, know I am not a soda pop person.  Never have been, and don't think it will be a late life addiction, but Husband Kurt should own stock in Coca Cola, for all the money he has forked over for Diet Coke over the years.  I think I could have bought a Cadillac with it or a new pony, or a very nice pontoon boat, but the man has few other addictions and in the early years my chocolate cravings might have gone mano e mano with him. 

Still, I felt elated in seeing this wonderful sale and going over the rest of the circular with an eagle eye I found several more items worth checking out.   Having never shopped a Dollar store from their ads before I had some trepidation that I would arrive seeking bargains only to find they were out of everything I wanted and it was "first come, first served" and no rain checks.  Since it was only out to Hemlock and I was multi tasking a couple of other stops, I was reasonably assured that it would not be a total waste of time.  An hour later I emerged from Family Dollar with a few grocery bags of six 2 liter bottles of Diet Coke, (the coupon limit), a two pound can of Maxwell House coffee with a good discount, body lotion and some plastic containers, all gleaned from the ad circular.  I am now hooked on shopping dollar stores regularly and who knows I may soon be clipping all manner of coupons and checking out Bob Evans senior discounts....Kill me now....

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