Anyway, in my prop gathering euphoria I decided to make a list of reasons why I like the Dollar Tree and why it's worth a shot if you've never been to one. I was going to try for 10 reasons but I could only get to 8 without repeating reason #1 over and over again (it's a pretty good reason, I think you'll agree).
- First and foremost, everything in the store is $1. Seriously. Just $1, not a penny more not a penny less. None of that $0.99 nonsense or random things that happen to be more or anything along those lines. There are no price stickers, it's just all $1.
- They have a little bit of everything. It's like a teeny tiny Walmart in there. They have food, spices, bakeware, tools, cleaning supplies, toiletries, floral stuff, school supplies, party supplies...well, you get the idea.
- Nothing is such high quality that you would worry about something happening to it. I know we all generally prefer quality but hear me out of this one. How many times have you gone to a party bearing food and then never see your serving dish again? You can get cookie sheets, baking pans, and trays that are nicer than those toss-able aluminum ones but are cheaper than the aluminum trays at bigger stores. Or what about having family over for something like Thanksgiving dinner and slowly losing all your food storage containers because Aunt Nettie can't remember which are hers and which are yours, Johnny college student put your 1980's non-microwavable Tupperware in the microwave, and you happened to drop a container of frozen turkey and the container shattered. If you had gotten stuff on the cheap it wouldn't matter that half of it vanished into the either never to be seen or heard from again.
- Very short to non-existent lines. Most people are just popping by to get a thing or three. Since there's never a need to price check you can get in and out in an astonishingly short period of time. The lack of frustration is totally worth it.
- Sometimes useful things come in 2 (or more!) packs...and it's still just $1 for the whole package!
- There are some brand name things to be found. I routinely see Soft Soap there and they just started stocking Betty Crocker utensils. I don't know how they manage it and I'm not sure I care.
- Different stores have slightly different stocks. Admittedly, there is a certain soothing familiarity in big box stores that all have the same things in the same places and some people might find it frustrating not to find the same thing every time in every store. I find that there is an inexpressible joy in finding new bits in unexpected places. Had I not gone to both stores in my area I wouldn't have found the marvelous things I did and I wouldn't have been able to get out of the house to enjoy the nice weather we had.
- Their Halloween stuff is AWESOME. I know, I know, you saw this coming. They don't have a massive selection of Halloween funs but what they do have can be damn useful. Take the Creepy Cloth for example. I use Creepy Cloth for so many things. It makes a great addition to the food table, you can drape it over draperies or over furniture, and I've even used it to swag doorways. Unfortunately it tends to be freaking expensive for what it is (for those of you unfamiliar, Creepy Cloth is badly woven, ripped fabric. It really looks great for decs). Oriental Trading Company sells it for $5.25 for 4 yards, at Bog Lots it goes for $4 for 72 inches. I've seen it for as much as $7, which is just obscene. And they have it at the Dollar Tree. $1 for 72 inches of Creepy Cloth is AMAZING!! Oh, and did I mention they have decent skulls? And bugs? And pumpkin strobes? And 8" plastic cauldrons? It really is a prop source dream. Their selection of cutesy Halloween is pretty good too, not that I ever use those (-;
|A sample of the wonderful things that I procured. The ears, flies, |
snakes, spiders, and fingers are all part of larger packages of the same.
The flies, for instance, came in packages of 25. $1 for 25 flies!
|This is Creepy Cloth. Like I mentioned, it isn't exactly a brilliantly |
made fabric but it gets the job done.
And there you have it. Many of the bits I got will need a bit of touching up, the heart needs some better coloration and I'm thinking about corpsing a skull or 2 (I got 3) but really, it doesn't get much better than this.