By Barbara Pronin
According to the National Retail Federation, American shoppers spend about $208 on holiday-related items each year – like cards, décor, gift wrap and the like – and that’s before you buy the first gift! But, say consumer editors at Kiplinger Magazine, your holiday spend on non-gift purchases can be slashed mightily with a visit to the nearest dollar store.
Spend a buck or less apiece to purchase as much as you need on holiday necessaries like these:
Christmas cards - They aren’t fancy, but they convey the warm wishes you want to send – and a box of 14-20 cards will cost you just a dollar.
Holiday wrap – For colorful gift bags, boxes, wrap and tissue, you can’t do better than the dollar store – and it’s all available at a small fraction of regular retail prices.
Disposable bakeware – If you don’t want to buy a roasting pan or pie plates, or you just don’t want to have to scrub them afterwards, you’ll find all the disposable bakeware you need for just a dollar each.
Holiday decorations – For big red bows and ribbons, as well as greenery you can incorporate into wreaths or staircase chains or affix to the front door, you will save significantly over prices charged at specialty retailers.
Tree ornaments – Specialty ornaments and a large selection of glass balls packaged by the dozen are all available at – yep, you guessed it, at the dollar store.
Holiday mugs – At a buck apiece, you can fill these colorful mugs with candy, cocoa mix or caramel popcorn and have suitable gifts for teachers and others on your list.
Paper goods – You’ll find holiday-themed paper plates and napkins in a variety of sizes, packed 14 to 20 to a package – far less costly than the packages of eight found at supermarkets and other retailers.
Serving platters – You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find charger plates, serving platters, serving bowls and more for $1 each at the dollar store.
Picture frames – Don’t spend more than a buck to frame photos for grandma in simple but pretty frames you’ll find for a dollar.
Stocking stuffers – Avoid small toys, which are cheaply made, but have fun looking for decorative pencils, playing cards, hair ware, cosmetics and a huge variety of other stocking stuffers, all for a dollar or less.