Welcome to the second instalment of Thrifty Thursday. This week, we’re once again showcasing the dollar store and offering a small selection of real money-saving items. As you know, not everything found at a discount store is a bargain, but if you know what to look for, you can be frugal on some important items.
Today, let’s discuss the things that we can’t really do without, but can cost a lot of money at your average pharmacy or grocery store: toiletries. May I present, 5 toiletries you can find for less at the dollar store.
1) Shampoo and conditioner: OK, that’s technically two items, but they belong together. The Romeo and Juliette of the bathroom aisle, only more body, less tragedy. In my experience, the no name and knock off brands are not great, but if you can score a name brand, go for it. I once found my favourite conditioner for $3.00…it costs $9.00 at the drug store! I only wish I had bought the whole lot. It was all gone by the time I went back for more. I don’t know why or how these things end up at the dollar store and not their usual homes, but I’m not complaining.
2) Toothpaste and toothbrushes: Yes, yes, another duo. Again, it feels wrong to separate them. Brand toothpaste is about the same as you would find it on sale at a regular store, except you don’t have to wait for the sale. The toothbrush selection won’t blow your mind, but there’s something for everyone. Since I have to provide a toothbrush for my 4-year-old at daycare and at home, the 2-for-1 packs work for me. They also don’t seem to last as long as expensive toothbrushes, but according to the Canadian Dental Association you should be changing your toothbrush every three months anyway.
3) SOME first aid items: Peroxide, rubbing alcohol, gauze, cotton swabs, triangle bandages for slings, safety pins, scissors, tweezers, adhesive tape, disposable latex gloves… all important parts of a basic first aid kit for home or vehicle. You can also find adhesive bandages and tensor bandages, but they’re not great quality. They will do in a pinch, however.
4) Toilet paper and tissues: If you’re looking for luxury in this department, the dollar store is not the right place. If you’re not concerned about the difference between 2- and 3-ply, or whether the paper has delicate quilted patterns and cute animal mascots, however, a dollar can usually get you four rolls of toilet paper or a couple of boxes of tissues.
5) Travel sizes and travel containers: whether for a fancy vacation abroad or just an overnighter, it’s nice to not have to haul full-sized toiletries that take up valuable space. You’ll usually find tiny versions of all the basics. Or if you prefer, grab a pack of containers you can fill with what you already have, including travel toothbrush holders and soap containers.
Those are our favourites this week. Have any to add? Or anything we should all steer clear of? I’d love to read your suggestions in the comments. Happy bargain hunting!