The Dollar Store Should Be Called The Dollars Store : The Saturday Weekend Review #166

The Dollars Store Dollar Store

ONE PRICE DOES NOT FIT ALL: DOLLAR STORE ITEMS ARE GOING UP IN PRICE

 

It’s easier for consumers to justify spending a dollar on a product but what happens when that same products is now double or triple the price? The everything for a dollar store is now dead and has been for a while but now prices are slated to go up again at Dollarama.

Low-income earners are not the only customers that frequent dollar stores to stock up on a variety of products for less. Just about every wallet and bank account finds something they need at the dollar store. Why spend more money than you have to if you can find it cheaper? That’s the way the wife and I have thought over the years as customers to many dollar stores.

Almost every store you go into today has some sort of dollar section where they try to compete with dollar stores around Canada. It makes sense because if they can fool all of us into one-stop shopping then they have control over the market which can be bleak at times. There isn’t any money to spend for consumers so less is best yet we all still want quality products.

Just the other day my wife and I were out grocery shopping at the far end of town where the Dollar Tree shop is. The Dollar Tree Canada was once called the Dollar Giant until it was acquired by US-based Dollar Tree for 52 million dollars. Our son had fallen asleep in his car-seat so my wife picked up a few groceries and then asked if she could go into the Dollar Tree.

Every time we are at that end of town she wants to shop there because of variety and it’s neat, clean and still offers Dollar Store items for a reasonable price. The prices however have changed from $1.00 to $1.25 which was a reasonable increase to us because we can’t expect everything to stay the same price forever. Let’s just hope they stand behind their pricing with the price hikes happening at Dollarama.

Just as important, especially during these tough economic times, we continue to offer our customers the products they need at extreme values! We’re expanding our assortment of merchandise, constantly bringing you new and exciting items. Some of the product departments you’ll find at a Dollar Tree store in Canada include housewares, glassware, dinnerware, cleaning supplies, candy, snacks, food, health and beauty, toys, gifts, gift bags and wrap, party supplies, stationery, craft supplies, teaching supplies, books, seasonal décor, and more! We carry everything you need for every day, every holiday, and every occasion… and every single item is affordably priced at $1.25.-  Dollar Tree Canada

When she came out with 3 large bags of products I knew that she had some fun in the dollar store shopping. I don’t mind if my wife’s only bad habit is to shop at a dollar store a few times a year to stock up on cheap essentials that we’d pay more for somewhere else.

What was in Mrs.CBB’s Dollar Tree bags?

Well, she picked up some Mother’s Day cards since that is coming up on May 8, 2016. She also found some summer toys for our son. The way he goes through toys there is no reason to buy full-priced expensive items at Toys R Us, Mastermind, Sears, Walmart or wherever kids toys are sold. It’s nice to have all the fancy gadgets but at 19 months old, he doesn’t care.

In her bags I found cheesecloth, dish scrubbers, floor scrubber, dustpan and brush and some educational material for our son (flash cards) she did reasonably well spending under $20.

Oh… and she bought a 3 pack of black socks for $1.25 to top up her stash of socks. My wife has a habit of going through socks whether they are pricey or not. She loves wearing socks. In the winter she will pay the extra to buy higher quality socks but during the rest of the year it’s dollar store socks all the way.

We can safely still call this a dollar store which might not be the case for Dollarama where the name “Dollars Store” will start to sound a bit more appropriate.

 

Welcome to the Dollars Store

 

I’m sure this comes as no surprise to anyone. Prices have been on the rise for years at Dollarama and it seems as if most consumers have come to accept that we will always be faced with price hikes on just about everything from housing to food, clothing and transportation.

I think calling a store by any dollar amount is silly and unsustainable with the way the Canadian economy has gone that it’s no doubt that Montreal based Dollarama will be shifting their prices to the $3.50-$4.00 range according to an article I read today. A comment I read stated that dollar stores should be called Dollars Stores and I complete agree.

Over the years we’ve all seen dollar store giant Dollarama go from $1 bargains to $1.25 and now all consumers must read the price tag to know what they are paying. So much for the convenience of one price fits all.

We visit Dollarama more than the Dollar Tree simply because it’s the closet dollar store to us but if we can continue to get $1.25 prices at the Dollar Tree we’ll likely shop there instead. Producing products that can be sold for a dollar is increasingly difficult especially with the costs involved and import costs to Canada but if the Dollar Tree can keep doing it they may end up rounding up more customers.

The problem is that consumers want to see better quality products and more variety at Dollar Stores so to keep up with the demand the only solution is to bring in higher priced products. These days you can find name brand products and all sorts of stuff at the dollar store that you couldn’t find years ago. Personally, I don’t care if our dinner napkins are some unheard of weird name or a well-known brand name. I’m going to wipe my hands and face and then toss it in the bin.

Shopping at the dollar store used to be generic and most companies we had never heard of. Not these days and dollar stores offer a variety of inexpensive technology based products as well such as iPhone chargers, ear-buds, DVD’s and a host of other items.

I’m not sure if this is just another case of more people are shopping at Dollarama who depend on the cheaper priced products so the top-nacho wants to cash in and make a bit more money. It’s a business after all and one that has grown to be one of the most popular in the country.

 

Paying more for used stuff

 

These days we might pop into Value Village to see what is going on but we rarely buy what we used to. The better bargains seem to be at The Thrift Shop, Bibles for Missions and The Goodwill. Value Village is a commercialized second-hand business that is making someone rich on stuff they didn’t even have to buy.

Do you remember when Value Village used to be a bargain? Ya, we all know now that many products that we find in there are priced so high it’s a joke. Once the word got out about the bargains and shoppers weren’t so “embarrassed” to shop at second-hand shops the “New to me” shopping took off.

We’ve had many people who we’ve chatted to at the second-hand shop chat to us about why they were shopping at Value Village as if we cared. I don’t. You don’t have to be poor to shop second-hand.

My point is that since so many people jumped on the frugal bandwagon, prices started going up and up and up. It’s bad enough we are paying taxes again on products that have already been taxed and donated FREE now we are paying premium for used quality items.

If you’re smart you’ll do some homework on weekly garage sales in your area because that’s the only way to score the best deals on just about anything new and used. Plus, you pay no tax!

Related: How to buy and sell at garage sales

Just as Value Village continues to have a steady stream of frugal shoppers even with price hikes Dollarama will likely continue to have their weekly patrons visit and pay extra because it will still save them money. If customers have Dollarama as their only “Dollars Store” then they have two options, road-trip or pay the extra money.

Overall, if you are looking for party supplies, kids books, school supplies, gardening tools, garden seeds, groceries and just about any other odds n sods you’ll find it cheaper at Dollarama, Dollar Tree or any other independent Dollar Store type businesses.

Related: Buying Cheap Food at the Dollar store shouldn’t be your only option

Just remember to include the price hike in your monthly budget so you save enough for your Dollars Store trips!

What do you buy at the Dollar Store? Thoughts on price hikes? Can the Dollar Tree stay competitive?

 

What did I do this week?

 

Sometimes I forget what I’ve done all week so this weekly summary is a nice reminder whether I was too lazy or that I put in enough effort. I’ll admit that most weeks I put in more effort than I need to only because I’m providing for my family and hope to for years to come.

With the news of an extended contract weeks into the summer that means it will cut into our family time although I still have plenty of weeks holiday to use up. The wife and I are already talking about what we plan to do this summer.

I know that I must finish the bathroom renovations come hell or high water or my wife will make me sleep outside. She’s been very patient living in a war zone for many years now. The good news is my brother-in-law the plumber is going to help me out.

This week we took the boy on an all day adventure to the gym and then we went for a Tim Hortons coffee date as a family. As he was stuffing his face with a chocolate chip muffin the wife and I just stared at each other because we know it’s been too long since we’ve been able to do something together that wasn’t work or home related.

On that note…our budget for March is coming up this week and our Net Worth is looking a bit happier this month! We may hit the million dollar mark sooner than we think. No retiring just yet though.

Have a great week everyone!

Mr.CBB

 

Awesome posts published this week

 

Just in case you’ve missed any of my blog posts this week I will share them all below. If you are looking for past Saturday Weekend Review posts scroll down to the bottom of this post where I will list up to 5 previous weeks for you to read.

If you have a question that you would like to ask Mr.CBB fill out the Contact Mr.CBB form on the blog home page and I’ll do my best to reply to each one. If you want to share a story via a Fan Question please ensure that there is minimum 500 words and lots of details…we love details! I’m more than happy to chat via email to bring your story to life.

New: If your story submission gets chosen and published you will be entered into a yearly draw for a $25 Gift Card or $25 CDN via PayPal if you are from the USA.

Right now CBB is posting Tuesday (Grocery Game Challenge), Thursday (Personal Finance Post), Saturday (Personal Finance and Weekly Wrap-Up and a Frugal Recipe on Sunday!

Top performing CBB Post this week : Must-Have Kitchen Tools For the Home Chef on a Budget which was also featured by Rob Carrick at The Globe and Mail as a blog post pick of the week.

THE 2016 Federal BudgetThe 2016 Federal Budget is In- What does it change for you?

 

A SMART SHOPPING GUIDE FO PREPARE FOR THE GROCERY STOREA Smart Shopper Guide to prepare for the Grocery Store

 

 

cream of celery soup 2The BEST Cream of Celery soup Ever!

 

 

 

 

Budget brags

 

You got WHAT for HOW Much?

Submit your Deal or Brag:

Saving money while grocery shopping is essential in the CBB family and that’s why we share our grocery shops every week in The Grocery Game Challenge .

Join the Budget Brag Challenge 2016 and WIN!!!

What I love the most is when my fans share their amazing shops with me whether it be groceries or other deals they find at a garage sale, online or freebies!  In 2016 if you send me your Budget Brag you will automatically get entered into a yearly draw for a surprise gift card.

If your Budget Brag gets chosen you get an extra ballot! So start sending in your brags with a photo and tell me about your deals. If you are from the USA and win I will PayPal you the money in CDN dollars. Open to Canada and USA only.

Email me at canadianbudgetbinder@yahoo.(ca) < remove brackets) or fill out my contact form by Friday each week to have your brag considered for the Saturday post.

This week CBB fan Penny shares her amazing Free Summer Wardrobe deals with us! Check this out.

Free summer wardrobe Salvation Army 1(1)

Hey Mr.CBB,

For the Budget Brag Post I wanted to send this brag that I recently picked up.

The Salvation Army in a nearby town stamps your card for every $10 spent. Having ten stamps means a $10 free purchase. Yesterday was the $10 grocery bag of clothes sale which I cashed in on.

What I did was I used my full stamp card to get:

  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 pair of cropped pants
  • 1 cotton blouse
  • 1 silk Alfred Sung blouse from Holt Renfrew
  • 1 blouse skirt combo Tan Jay
  • 1 skirt for a friend shopping with me
  • 1 t-shirt
  • 1 purple Disney t-shirt for my 5-year-old grand-daughter (she loves purple)

My new to me summer wardrobe was free.

 

Making a difference (MAD)

 

Making A Difference Canadian Budget Binder MAD

Welcome to the 2016 Making A Difference series! Join the networking movement of Personal Finance Bloggers around the world. If you are a personal finance blogger (anywhere around the world) and would like your blog to be MAD featured simply drop me an email and I’ll explain the process to you. I’m currently booking for May/June 2016!

This is my way of giving back to the personal finance community through networking and sharing knowledge with my fans. Today it is my pleasure to share with you the blog, Unchained 55!

Hi Mr. CBB and readers,

I’m Ulyana Frank, the blogger behind Unchained 55.

I am a 27-year old Canadian living in Ontario with my husband and our fur-baby, our rambunctious Doberman. I also have a rare sleep disorder, Idiopathic Hypersomnia, a variant of the better-known disorder narcolepsy.

I’d always been “good” with my finances – I bought my first condo at 20 and my husband and I purchased our first home together at 23. Back in 2014, I made the decision to quit my job at a large corporation to finish up my degree full-time. We’d been living frugally for so long, we decided to live a little – after all, we deserved it, right?

It wasn’t until I graduated in the summer of 2014 that I realized the state of our finances had vastly deteriorated. We started off 2016 with $14,777 of debt which had been an accumulation of not working for 14 months and our big family trip to Asia for a month.

We realized we needed to make a drastic change if we were going to get ourselves out of debt by the end of the year. So we put ourselves on a Crash Cash Diet of $140 per week and have paid off $3,987 (26.98%) to date. It’s not an earth-shattering amount by any means, but I only started working again on February 8 so we’ve only started to see some real progress recently.

It is my hope to motivate and inspire others on their financial journey, especially those who, like me, might have a little thorn in their side – something making it a little more challenging to meet our goals.

Unchained 55 is my blog on our journey to becoming financially Unchained by 55 – that is, achieving financial independence by 55. Sure, I may fall asleep along the way, but with some goal-setting, careful planning and long-term thinking, I am confident that I’ll wake up to the future of my dreams.

I hope to see you around!

Ulyana

 

My best recipe find

 

Strawberry-Cream-Eclair-Cake-one(1)Food and grocery shopping are relevant to us because food is a large part of the budget which people struggle the most with.

We all have to eat to survive but just because we have a budget doesn’t mean we can’t eat delicious home-cooked meals that are drool-worthy.

If you are someone who would rather buy convenience foods consider cooking homemade meals or baking from scratch. Not only will you save money but you will be proud of what you’ve accomplished and you’ll see that from the smiles on those you feed.

For the past 2 years I’ve had a second Facebook page called The Free Recipe Depot where I exclusively share recipes from Food Bloggers around the world. I also share recipes on the blog on Sunday either made by home cook and mom Nicola Don or myself.

This week our Top Recipe Pick goes to Kristy mom of 3 wild boys who also blogs at Boys Ahoy. She shared this fresh Strawberry Cream Eclair Cake that made me drool. I can’t wait to make this one. Check it out!

 

Top DIY project

 

cedar potting bench(1)

I love gardening and potting plants and although we don’t grow vegetables these days I still plant herbs and create our hanging baskets. I do all of this on the garage floor which sucks. When I saw this DIY Cedar Potting Bench over at Canadian Wordworking & Home Improvement website with all of the steps and materials you need to make it I just had to share it.

The cedar potting bench looks dead-easy to do and it won’t cost a fortune. If you’re handy and know someone who appreciate this potting bench as a gift this is the website to check out. What I also like is that it will blend in nicely with our deck so it doesn’t look odd in our back garden oasis.

 

Editor’s Choice weekly read

 

Every week I will pick a blog post of the week from around the web that I found interesting and want to share with all of you. Please head on over and give the post a read and let them know that Mr. CBB sent you if you comment. Thanks.

Editor’s pick (That’s me Mr.CBB) This week I read a post by blogger Jim Wang over at Wallet Hacks titled, The Flattery Project: I thanked 42 companies, see what they sent me. It was a great read and he shares responses from companies and the swag he received from them. This is American but if you live in Canada you can do the same thing. We’ve messaged many companies over the years with a compliment and have been sent Free Product Coupons. It’s nice to hear you are doing a good job once in a while.

 

The things people Google

 

Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. Any spelling errors below are because I share with you the exact way they typed their search engine query to land on my blog. Some of them are serious and others are meant to have a laugh.

  • 28 and my parents still look at my bank account: Maybe it’s time for you to move out or tell your parents to mind their own business because you’re an adult now.
  • Mr. Basil Canada– I’ve been called worse. Lol
  • Mint sauce section at the grocery store– Right, because you’re going to find that info online.
  • Buy fake money that looks real– So you’re hoping that a cashier won’t catch it. Wrong.. all fake money says it’s fake. You’d have to be a moron or half asleep if you accepted it.
  • How super are supermarkets– Ha, oh VERY SUPER.

That’s all for this week, thanks for dropping by.

See Ya!

-Mr.CBB

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Comments

  1. Hi I guess I’ll be checking the dollarama here this week, before the prices go up.
    As for the dollar Tree I LOVE it ! Not only for the prices, but for the cheerful, friendly and very helpful staff and manager.

    You mentoned Value Village…… I’ve always been shocked at their prices, usually I’ll buy new for only a couple $$ more.

    Buy the way have you done an article about Salvation Army lately ………. Yes you can now pay wit debit or credit cards. But its the prices there that have shocked me the most …….. for crying out loud its suppose to be Salvation Army (you wouldn’t know it for the prices of the clothing)

  2. Gail Coulter says:

    Loved your blog about Dollarama, I do buy several items in Dollarama all of my freezer bags, foil and all other wraps. I also buy any foil pans I will need. My grill cheese bags, can’t afford them in the grocery stores, these are amazing and I have celiac so these are a wonderful item. All office supplies. I do buy cereal and other brand name items if its cheaper than my grocery store. Even with the price increases I will still shop there. Still can’t beat their prices. I was aware that their prices would be going up, but from what I understand this will be their final hike because otherwise you can go to Wal Mart and get the same item.(I don’t shop at Wal Mart ever) I will the pay prices in the Dollar Store

  3. I haven’t been to a Dollar Tree in a long time. As far as I know everything still costs a dollar here in the US, but we go to Dollar General or Family Dollar where everything is normally $2 or $3 at least. Either way, I only buy things like junk food or toiletry items like soap or shaving cream from there. Most of the time, you are better off just going to Wal-Mart as the prices aren’t much different.

  4. Thank you for the mention – very honored to headline! 🙂

    I love dollar stores because you really can’t beat them for paper products and the places by us are like treasure hunts, sometimes you can find something great that other stores were clearing out and just trying to get rid of.

  5. Christine Weadick says:

    We have a Buck or $2 here and have had since Bi-Way left town years ago. It’s just on the Main Street so we can walk there easily. The prices have gone way up there over time, my younger boy bought me a fluffy Christmas blanket a few years ago, pretty sure he paid about $10.-12 for it. It’s still on my bed, covered in cat hair thanks to Stuart and Miss Molly.
    We had a Dollarama open not long ago and we enjoy it, taking a drive out to the east end. Hubby loves prowling around there for this and that, and art stuff. The boys and I do too. I’ve grabbed craft supplies there cheaply so that I can try something different without spending a lot. I did pay $3.00 each for a couple of things for the kitchen by Betty Crocker, a juicer and a nice hefty whisk! For the quality, I can handle the $3.00 price tag! The socks there aren’t bad, got some last fall that I will be wearing until things warm up enough for the flip flops to come out!!
    That recipe looks tasty!! Nice deals at the Thrift store there!!
    I hope you do get in your trip back home, you deserve it!!!! Have a great weekend!!!

  6. I buy shaving cream and shampoo at the dollar store. They cost $1.25-$1.50 which is at least half the price of Shoppers Drug Mart. These are made in Canada as well.

  7. Mr. CBB, good luck on your March income report. I am so excited to know about your summer plan. What summer idea do you and your wife cooking?

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