Know Your Prices

A Few Great Deals

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When I was at the Dollar Tree last week, I noticed a few things that I thought I should share. They had seed packets for both vegetables and flowers for four for a dollar. They also had seed starting materials (containers–both plastic and biodegradable ones that you plant right in the garden–as well as seed starting mix in a 2 quart bag, which is the same price per quart as our local nursery, but at the local nursery they only have a 8 quart bag, so if you need just a little, this would save you $3).

They had 60 sheet dotted-lined paper pads (the kind you use for teaching preschool and kindergarteners to write). That’s the same number of pages as I see on the ones anywhere else that are usually $3.59 at Target and Walmart.

 
They also had Valentine’s scarves with hearts on them that Elsa just loved. I think they could be worn year-round. Elsa bought herself one.

Amazon has a few polka dot scarves in different colors for $2.59 with free shipping (shipping is about a month out) so you could order yourself two scarves using a $5 Amazon gift card that you’ve earned through Swagbucks, and be out 18 cents. (Or just order one and wait until you have another gift card to order the next one). They also have a few others for $2.19 with free shipping (also about a month).

 
If you’re wanting some red and white baker’s twine for Valentine’s Day (or any other gift giving, storing your linens, etc.), Amazon has been lowering the price lately down in the $8 range. I’ve seen it as high as $12 for a huge spool. (You may want to add it to your wish list and then watch the price; it seems to be changing every few days and it changed again this morning closer to $10).

However, if you want an even better deal, you can buy 2 spools (same size and brand) for $15 from One Kings Lane in their Give a Homemade Treat sale (ends on Saturday the 25th). That sale is pretty amazing; they have Kilner hexagonal jars, and a few Weck jars, and a great set of three white porcelain mixing bowls (I bought these from them before and I love them; I use them almost every day).  Also, if you’re new to One Kings Lane and you go through my link, you should receive a $15 off credit to use on any order of $30 or more (under My Account, click credits). If you place more than one order in the month of January, any orders after your first order will ship for free.

If you’re thinking about Valentine’s Day, you may want to check out my Valentine’s Day Pinterest board. You’ll see a few more uses for that red and white twine and also some ideas you can make with heart-shaped doilies (the Dollar Tree had red, white, and pink in different sizes).

Have a wonderful day! I’m off to work in the garden this afternoon.

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27 Comments

  1. I absolutely love the Dollar Tree. It is my go to store for storage, gift bags, and balloons. I use their plastic storage containers to organize all sorts of things. I try to reuse gift bags whenever possible, but sometimes I’m unable to find a good match. I don’t feel guilty buying a bag there as a last resort. I only buy balloons for two special birthdays. I have yet to find anywhere else that charges one dollar for helium balloons. It makes such a sweet but inexpensive birthday treat for kids. I was just thinking a few days ago of how I love seeing your pictures using the baker’s twine. It is such a simple but beautiful touch.

  2. I went over to your Pinterest link….you have such a good eye for things!! What cute ideas!!I’ve had the twine on my Amazon list for a while. I keep talking myself out of it….”Well what would you do with it when you have it?!? ” So far I haven’t given in to the urge. 🙂

  3. I really appreciate that you limit the number of deals that you share and the limited advertising on your site! I’ve come to realize that there is a big difference between the blogs that promote money saving deals and those that promote true frugality. I much prefer the frugal blogs and your site is at the top of the list!

  4. Dear Miss Brandy and readers,I went to the Dollar Store on my way to work and stopped to get my usual items that I get about once a month. I forgot about the Valentine scarves but there they were! Available were four different color combinations of pink/white and red/white with hearts on them. The background varied. BUT they also had St. Patrick Day looking scarves. They was more of a variety of the St. Patrick scarves. I do believe you could wear select colors and patterns year round. They are soft but I believe with good care (not washing in the washer or putting in the dryer) they will last a while. I went to the car and found enough change to buy 2. (We have very little in the budget till next pay day.) I doubt I could make a scarf for much less if my time is included.Thank for the heads up! I also got some seeds. I am delighted and excited about my scarves too! Elsa has excellent taste! :)Best wishes,Anna

  5. I know many of my readers don’t have a lot of money to spend, and neither do I. Sometimes, though, I think a deal is going to save you money in the long run. The seeds are good for those who need to grow a garden but don’t have much money to spend.I know that when you don’t have money to spend, seeing advertising for things you can’t afford is difficult.I know the scarves aren’t a need, but a scarf can make an outfit feel different without buying a whole new outfit–and these are low priced enough that one might find it possible to buy one (as Anna comments below by finding change, or by using Swagbucks to get them–especially since they have free shipping). Small things like this have brought me great delight when it has been difficult to come up with a dollar, so I hope it gives someone else that chance as well.I definitely think there is a difference between frugal lifestyle blogs and deal blogs. The deal blogs are great when you have money to spend and you need to make it go as far as possible. I find it helpful to check those when it’s time for me to go shopping.

  6. Anna, they had the St. Patrick’s Day scarves at our store, too. I wasn’t sure those were as versatile to use throughout the year as the Valentine’s ones.I rarely wash scarves but when I do I wash them by hand and hang them to dry.I love that you used change in the car to get yourself a little something.

  7. Some of the St. Patrick scarves had shamrocks on them and two patterns had stripes and green hearts. I got the white scarf with green hearts and a white scarf with pink hearts. I have to share them with my daughters. Oh well. Sigh. Yes, the Valentine scarves may be more versatile as you observed. Good advice about the care of any scarf in general.Anna

  8. I LOVE Dollar Tree for some items! I just called my local store and they have their seeds and gardening items out, so I will brave our frigid weather this weekend and go buy some of the seeds we need for spring! Great post Brandy. I really wanted to buy a scarf, but just didn’t have it in the budget. I saved them in my wish list though 🙂

  9. In years past, I have had good success with several of the inexpensive seeds from the Dollar Tree, Walmart, or a local hardware store. They are all the same brand, and run 4/$1 or 3/$1 usually. I got huge amounts of pickling cucumbers from the seeds I planted from there a couple of years ago. I direct-seeded a couple of packages in late spring when the weather warmed up and got a huge crop. I also got some canteloupe a few years ago, and carrots, I believe. I also got lots of flower seeds like alyssum, zinnias, marigolds, etc. My daughter grew an entire tray of marigolds for less than a dollar and they grew well. Even last year, when I used some of those I’d had for a few years, I got several lovely marigolds to grow, as well as lots of zinnias. I still order seeds from Territorial, Pintree, Johnny’s, and a couple of other catelogs. We have a short season here because I’m at a slightly higher elevation. I have to be very selective as to which varieties I use if I want to get any harvest. This year, I am also trying to get disease resistant varieties of tomatoes, since I lost all of mine to blight last year–all 50 plants. I only canned 6 quarts. Thankfully, I had such a bumper crop the year before, I have plenty, but this year, it’s crunch time and I must get a crop if at all possible. Every year, I can extra, saying to myself and any who ask “it’s in case I don’t get a crop next year.” Last year, for the first time, it really happened. I do have a sister who generously will share if I encounter these problems again, but I’d rather figure out how to make it work here if at all possible.I’ve had years where my corn did not mature at all, so I’m looking for shorter harvesting dates on corn. Also, I have a green bean I get from Territorial (Venture), that grows tons of beans for me to can. I like Sweet Meat squash for winter squash, so I get that, too. I am exploring other kinds of winter squash because that one barely matures around here, although it’s been a family favorite for my whole life and it’s what my mother always made pumpkin pie from. Also, the kids eat it on a plate during meals, pureed, as a vegetable.Also, some of these inexpensive packets have way fewer seeds in them than others you may buy elsewhere. That may actually be a blessing in the case of pear tomatoes, for instance. I don’t need 30 pear tomato plants, so if I can get something like that in those packets, one or two plants will do, so I’m happy if I get that many to grow.So, thanks for the heads-up. I’ll try to get some of those to plant this year along with the seeds I’m in the process of ordering.

  10. Regarding the baker’s twine/string, if you are unsure of wanting that large of an amount, I have seen another option. I was in Michael’s last weekend and checking out their dollar bins. They had small spools of red (like Brandy’s), peach, aqua and I think I also saw yellow or pale green. Sorry, didn’t notice how many yards, though quite a bit less than Brandy’s large spool.

  11. I would skip a year on the tomatoes or plant them in a different location. You could also try an early-bearing variety. Blight lives in the soil. It can live in compost, too, so don’t compost any blighted plants.

  12. Hi Brandy, This week I am cooking meals from my storage from the pantry. This was a blessing I learned from you! I plan not to spend money for 2 weeks and live off the pantry each month for 2 weeks to cut the cost of my food bill. We started to prepare our garden area for the next plantings, as the rain has stopped for a few days. It has been cool, but spring like weather… such a treat for us in the NW. It was a fun day to work with my husband. I have a question tho, do you grow asparagus where you live? I would like to try here, and have called a couple of nursery’s but they are not carrying any starters. I am searching on where to get them. I so much enjoy your blogs…thank you so much! Patty W

  13. I do grow asparagus. It takes 4 years to grow from seed. You can buy 1-year-old plants and then you only have to wait 3 years 🙂 A few places sell 2-year-old plants, but that is less common.Sometimes you can find them at your local nursery (one-year-old plants) but they can be anywhere from $1 to $4 a plant, depending on the nursery. I’ve only seen them my my local nurseries a few years, so what you’re seeing isn’t too unusual.A less expensive way is to buy crowns and plant them. Those should be ordered soon for you. Seed companies often carry them. I bought mine from Burpee; they sell them in sets of 25 crowns. If you have the space I would grow a LOT of them, as the amount of crowns needed for one person is rather high. I would have to plant my entire garden in asparagus to have enough for all of us–so do order a good number. I had a number of plants die on me in years past so I had to start all over a couple of years ago. I did get a good number for a while before that. I have only seen 4 send up shoots so far this week, so I am rather nervous about mine this year. The four that did grow were too young to eat.You can also buy seeds online from several companies.Good luck; it should grow real well for you there.

  14. I am going to move the tomatoes. I do every year. I’m not sure what happened, because all areas of the garden got hit with this blight. On studying the issue on the internet and in seed catelogs, etc., it looks like some copper might help with the problem. So, I might try that. On the internet, they say to spray a mixture of baking soda, oil, and water on the leaves in the morning. Not sure what I think about that, but I might experiement. Also, I am ordering seeds for blight resistant varieties. Hopefully, with all those things I can get a crop. I really can’t skip this year for tomatoes, because I can 75-100 jars of assorted tomato products each year, and I am using my backlog up this winter. I did get a bunch of seeds from the Dollar store yesterday. I was happy because they still had vegetables left. Somtimes, the only thing left is flowers. The packets don’t have much in them, but even 4 packs for a dollar, I will be able to get a lot of the ones I bought.

  15. I live in interior Alaska and Blue Jade corn did exceptionally well for me this last year. The ears are steel blue, the stalks are short and it can actually be grown in pots (although I did not, I grew them in a regular garden). Many stalks produced 2 ears. Not a sweet corn, but very tasty.

  16. I found a package of baker’s twine in the scrapbooking/stamping section of Hobby Lobby. I think it had five different colors in it. I thought it was pricey at $10, but you could wait for a sale or coupon. Although it didn’t have much in it, it would be a great way to get a nice variety of colors.

  17. I realize I’m late to the party on this, but how many crowns is “rather high”? How many would you plant per adult?
    We are having a new home built and will move in next spring. I plan to establish raised beds for strawberries and asparagus, plus 3 dwarf fruit trees (apple, plum and pear)…if I feel the need for any annual plants, I’ll get a plot at the community garden (about one mile away; $10 includes soil and water).

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