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Budgeting Tips

4 Ways to Save Big on Summer Essentials

Get discounts on all your warm-weather needs!


Dollar stores offer big bargains year-round, but these smart strategies will save you even more on seasonal staples, from grilling gear to sunscreen. Get these money saving tips while they’re hot!

Save up to 60 percent on picnic items.

Ready to fire up the grill or have a picnic on the lawn? “Dollar stores have great deals on all kinds of goods for outdoor eating,” says Jim Wang, founder of, which has lots more great money saving tips. For example, Family Dollar offers a pack of 150 paper napkins for just $1, and Dollar General offers a pack of 45 coated paper plates for $2.50 — which is about 40 to 60 percent less than other retailers charge. Other bargains worth snapping up? Flags, banners and decorative tablecloths. Dollar stores order a limited supply since they’re “seasonal” products, but many items can be used year-round!

Nab garden tools for less.

Growing flowers, fruits or other greenery? Head to a dollar store for your garden supplies and tools, says Kati Kiefer of “The same products will cost much more at home improvement stores!” You can get a pair of garden gloves for $2.50 at Dollar General, while a similar pair costs $5.99 at Home Depot. That’s a savings of more than 50 percent! Another one of Kiefer’s money saving tips: Since gardening products aren’t stocked year-round at dollar stores like they are at home-improvement stores, you’ll want to get them now while supplies last.

Pay 50 percent less on this date.

Plan to visit your local dollar store on Sunday, July 5. “Dollar store prices are already low, but they drop even lower on many items right after a holiday,” reveals Kiefer. “You’ll find these bargains in the clearance section and aisle endcaps.” Plus, many dollar stores have a day of the week when they mark down prices and release new coupons. Dollar General offers a coupon (on their website, app or on the bottom of a store receipt) for $5 off a $25 purchase on Fridays or Saturdays. Another way to save: Sign up for the stores’ free loyalty clubs to be notified about deals before anyone else!

Cut your bill with coupons

Many dollar stores not only accept coupons, some (like Family Dollar) allow you to use them for sale and clearance items—sometimes getting items for free! And at Dollar General, if a coupon exceeds the value of an item, you get that “overage” applied toward your total bill. “So if you’re purchasing a toothbrush for 99 cents and use a $2 manufacturer coupon to pay, that extra $1.01 goes to any other item you’re buying,” says Kiefer. And at both retailers, you can use a manufacturer and store coupon on a single item to boost your discount!

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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