This is Eli

A blog about Eli. A blog about survival – and by that, I mean life!

Whether you are frugal by necessity or just cheap, the dollar store is not to be overlooked.

Here are my five favorite dollar store finds as of late:

1. Helium balloons

A buck a pop, ya can’t beat it. I went coo coo and bought about 15 for Eli’s birthday, which kind of defeats the purpose, but whatever! For real though, these suckers are expensive elsewhere. Stick with the dollar store for all of your helium balloon needs. Take it from me.

2. Party and/or seasonal decorations

You won’t find the latest in kid birthday trends, but you will find the classics: streamers, balloons, table covers, ‘Happy birthday’ signs and other festive messages. The cost of this stuff adds up so fast – even at Target. It’s crazy to me to throw down a lot of cash on party decor, especially since most if not all will end up in the trash. Laila had a family birthday party this year but we decorated the house with cute spring-themed stuff, like paper flower streamers, tissue flowers and paper lanterns.

3. Seeds!

Since it’s spring, might I recommend picking up a few seed packets at the dollar store? Due to our desire to defray costs everywhere we can, we try and grow our garden from scratch each year. Flower seeds at the dollar store were four for a buck — zinnias, Forget-me-nots, and that pretty edging flower, Alyssum, just to name a few. We picked up a few veggies, too. Even if you have a yard that’s landscaped or outfitted with plants from a greenhouse, it can be fun to till a patch of dirt, throw down some seeds and tend to them with the kids.

4. Random seasonal goods

Along the lines of gardening, I found a trowel, garden kneeling pad, two kiddie shovels and kiddie watering cans at the dollar store. We’re digging up our yard for aforementioned planting endeavor. I might pick up a humming bird feeder next time, because I’m 94.

5. Hair stuff

Since I lose every pony tail holder I get my hands on, it only makes sense that I buy these from now on at the dollar store. Also, my mom called these pony bobbers. I only discovered in college that no one else did.
Moving on, getcha bobby pins at the dollar store. As we enter dance recital bun season, the time to stock up on bobby pins is now. You will also find the gel you need to shellac your child’s bun. I’m feeling “L.A. Looks.”

She's going to need more hair gel.

She’s going to need more hair gel.

What are your favorite dollar store finds?


I try to write about our effort to save, survive and thrive each Monday in the category Money Madness — and sometimes even do! My family is on a new kind of adventure since the birth of my chronic badass son Eli, now 2, who has cystic fibrosis. He likes choo choos. We like to defray costs.

Bookmark us. xo


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