When I was forced to become a self sufficient adult when I moved out of my mother's house to start my family, I quickly learned everything is expensive. All things car related, spices, family sized lasagnas. It's all too rich for my blood, so I've made it a mission over the last few years to find as many worthwhile items at Dollar Tree to save my cash for more important things. Here's what I found that will help you save some bucks in the future.

Basic hair ties, hair clips, scrunchies (for when you're being lazy with your hair), and bobby pins are needlessly expensive at the grocery store and drug store. Unless you're getting really fancy and intricate with your hairstyles, they are basically all the same. In fact, I've bought hair ties at Walgreens when I was in a pinch with no Dollar Tree nearby, and I couldn't tell the difference. Some of my longest lasting hair clips were $1. Seriously, you are throwing away money on little hair accessories if you're spending more than a dollar on each.

Feminine products are also wildly overpriced. The brand at Dollar Tree is as generic as it can get, but also gets the job done. I swear, all these commercials with women in flowing dresses in a field telling you pricey pads and tampons are a must is are so off base. I have yet to have an accident using them, which is really what we're trying to avoid. Also, pregnancy tests. Unless you're dying to know 15 days before your missed period, the  $1 test will tell you if you take it after you've missed it. That's how I learned I was pregnant with my second son and I didn't have to spend $20.

The laundry baskets in my kids' rooms ran me $2 altogether. It's a vessel for dirty clothes. Why would anyone want to spend more than a dollar on it? I got them three years ago and they've survived rambunctious boys who also use them as shields and to build forts.

You can get a whole entire broom WITH dustpan for a dollar! Is it basic? Yes. But it doesn't just sweep. Life hack for scrubbing down dirty walls: Dip the broom in a bucket of soapy water and scrub the walls. You can reach the top of the walls because broom. Used this trick to leave my walls sparkling clean in my last rental which helped get my deposit back.

I get all my pens at Dollar Tree too. Not just the basic ones, but fancier ones with the smooth gliding ink. Before I discovered them I was always mad that nice pens were so expensive. Now I don't have to care because they no longer apply to me. I have my cheapy amazing pens for all my writing needs.

Basically I'm just letting you know not to count out Dollar Tree as just some cheap store with poor quality items that won't last long. There are surprising finds that will save you money to spend on items that inevitably will cost you more than you'd like. I'll be heading back tomorrow for some trashy movies on DVD. Yes, they even have movies!


Rose Garden at Julia Davis Park

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