Saving a buck while raising kids
Mary Piasta-Valluzzo with son, Bobby
From diapers to gear, young kids are expensive. That coupled with living in a small town sometimes makes saving money on routine purchases seem difficult if not flat out impossible. Moving from Oakland to Sonoma was a big change for me in this way.
Without the convenience of local discount superstores, things seemed more expensive in Sonoma. Now, however, I have discovered that without the monthly Target runs, it is actually cheaper to live in the Valley. The Valley has changed my shopping patterns – now I rely on local stores and a few websites rather than spending an hour or two lolligagging around a discount superstore.
One local gem of a store in Sonoma is the Dollar Tree at 18615 Highway 12. With everything priced as it sounds – for a dollar or less, this place offers many opportunities to save some money. Here are eight great deals that I have scored at the Dollar Tree:
• Greeting Cards – Need a card for a present? Pick up a card or two at the Dollar Store.
• Household Goods – With generic cleaning and household supplies, you are bound to find a bargain. Last week, I scored a shower curtain liner for $1. Total steal!
• Kids Stuff - Find some coloring books and bubbles. (For merely $1 you can get three containers of bubbles.) Right now the store also has children’s sunglasses – what a find.
• Party Supplies – With mylar balloons and party decorations, you can buy party supplies for a modest price.
• Pregnancy Tests – these are the biggest money saver that I have found at the store. At $1 a pop, these tests check for the same HCG hormone as the more expensive tests available at drug stores. Worried that the $1 test won’t perform as well, then buy two. I can tell you from recent experience, these tests work just fine.
• Sand Toys – From buckets to sand molds, the dollar tree has a variety of sand toys. At $1 for a large bucket and shovel, who can complain? Some of the kitchen goods like measuring cups, funnels and slotted spoons are ideal for playing in water and sand.
• Swim Noodles – Who knew that you could get a swim noodle for $1? Looking for affordable water toys, check out the Dollar Tree. The store also has other water friendly toys, like inflatable dinosaurs.
• Wrapping Paper and Bags – need to wrap a large present like a bike? Well, grab some plastic tablecloths. At $1 each, these are a super cheap option for disguising fun large presents.
Next time you’re driving down Highway 12 and have a few minutes, drop into the Dollar Tree and see what you find. You are bound to find a deal. Feel free to share your favorite Dollar Tree deal in the comments section below. In the meantime, happy shopping!
Mary Piasta-Valluzzo is a Sonoma mom who loves exploring the town with her son, Bobby. She’ll be writing blogs about anything and everything related to parenting young children. She is also a board member of the Sonoma Valley Mothers Club, an organization that supports women with young children in everything from parenting to socializing. The club is open to all Sonoma moms. For more on the club, visit sonomamothersclub.org or call 996-9890.