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A dollar just doesn’t go as far as it used to — even at the dollar store.
Inflation is hitting all retailers, and the discount stores that have historically kept their prices under a buck are struggling to hold the line. Dollar Tree, one of the country’s largest dollar store chains, announced in November that it would hike its minimum price for items to $1.25.
While competitors Dollar General and 99 Cents Only Stores still have items priced at a dollar, they also sell products priced higher, as does Family Dollar, which is owned by Dollar Tree. Even so, shopping experts say it’s possible to find deals at dollar stores during these inflationary times, although they may not be as plentiful as in the past.
“They still have items that are good buys. You just have to know which things to look for,” says Marilyn Anderson, author of How to Live Like a Millionaire When You’re a Million Short.
Here are some tips to stretch your dollars further.
1. Stick with disposable items
Dollar stores are often a reliable source for inexpensive disposable goods that you can stock up on and have around when needed. Think: paper plates, napkins, cups and utensils. Single-use holiday items such as gift wrap, gift bags, greetings cards and party invitations are also good seasonal buys.
“Many of the things that you buy at the dollar store are still going to be cheaper than they would be elsewhere,” says Lisa Thompson, savings expert for Coupons.com.