Great and no-so-great dollar store gifts

Don't Watse Your Money

Are you pinched for a Christmas gift as the shopping days -- and your budget -- run out?

Sure, you can buy someone a $20 gift card. But there might be a less expensive and more thoughtful option at your local dollar store.

No Crowds, No Hassle

Dave Plumber is regional manager of Family Dollar, where he says you'll find great gifts for $5 and $10, with no crowds or hassle.

He walked around the store, showing off some of his favorite stocking stuffers.

     -For a grandparent, he suggested "this $10 working water fountain display, it's good all year found, not just Christmas."

     -For that car lover, he pointed to "a full kit for washing and waxing the car, a good deal for $10."

     -For kids, he said, "we got a lot of different Disney items, some as little as $5 each."

Many people associate dollar stores with off-brand toys, but that is no longer the case, Plumber says.

Other name brand toys include Nerf, Monster High, and Hot Wheels. Plus, right now, if you buy one, get the second 50 percent off at Family Dollar.

In addition, don't forget a dollar store is a great place to get wrapping paper and holiday gift bags. At $2 for a Christmas gift bag, that's half the price of other stores.

Caution On Some Items

But Consumer Reports Magazine says there are some dollar store gifts to be careful of, because in some cases you don't know what quality you are getting. They include:

    -No-name baby toys, where you don't know what chemicals they may contain.

    -Items with electrical cords, unless you are sure they are U-L listed.

    -No-name electronic gadgets, which may not last.

The Bottom Line

But for stocking stuffers and decorative items, you can't beat the prices. And, yes, you can peel that $5 off so as not to come off looking cheap.

Finally, it's usually a good idea to include a gift receipt with a gift, in case the recipient wants to return it.

But if you worry about being embarrassed by a dollar store receipt, don't include one.

Tell them you will do an exchange personally if the gift doesn't work. That way no one gets embarrassed, and you don't waste your money.

________________________

Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

"Like" John Matarese on Facebook

Follow John on Twitter (@DWYM)

Print this article Back to Top

Comments

or Subscribe now so you can share your opinion! It’s only a penny for a month trial.

Latest Forecast
More DWYM
Best deals, discounts for a Cincy 'Staycation'
Best deals, discounts for a Cincy 'Staycation'

John Matarese shows how to get discount tickets for local vacation attractions.

Why don't ice cream sandwiches melt anymore?
Why don't ice cream sandwiches melt anymore?

John Matarese looks into one mom's question about her kids' ice cream.

Netflix movies stink? New way to find the gems
Netflix movies stink? New way to find the gems

John Matarese shows a better way to find good movies on Netflix

Surprise! Delta may carry off your carry-on bag
Surprise! Delta may carry off your carry-on bag

John Matarese reports on an airport surprise for many travelers

9 brands that may disappear in 2015
9 brands that may disappear in 2015

Each year, once popular brands disappear into the abyss due to corporate mergers and acquisitions, as well as weak products and poor management.

How to keep your phone clean and safe
How to keep your phone clean and safe

We use them everyday, all day. But there are things about our cellphones, laptops and tablets that a lot of us just ignore. For instance, did…

Thousands of Tri-Staters have unclaimed funds
Thousands of Tri-Staters have unclaimed funds

John Matarese shows how to check for unclaimed funds in your name.

You Win Wednesday freebies
You Win Wednesday freebies

John Matarese shares the latest freebies. Click here for App of the Week

Three secrets to a successful yard sale
Three secrets to a successful yard sale

John Matarese shows how to make the most money selling your old stuff.

Survey: The BEST and WORST tasting fast food
Survey: The BEST and WORST tasting fast food

Three of the biggest fast food chains in the U.S. are among the lowest rated for the taste of their food, according to the results of a…