Thursday, June 26, 2008

Homeowner’s BFF: The $1 Store

OK, admittedly, there’s a lot of crap to be had in your local dollar store, but it is also a treasure trove of items you can use around the house. Why pay more elsewhere when you need that extra cash for other money pit-related tasks? Here are some of my favorites:

  1. Buckets. Who doesn’t need a bucket? For the past two years, I’ve been using a pair of sturdy one-gallon black plastic numbers, one of which has become my “cement” bucket. Ideal for small patching jobs or for working on small areas of a big project. I use its twin for water only, and when empty, to gather up all my handtools so nothing gets lost.
  2. Paint brushes. Now these are not high quality but can be used for small painting jobs. They are PERFECT for odd jobs like sweeping off a board you just cut or the saw you just used to cut it. And, they come in a variety of sizes.
  3. Hardware assortments. One of my favorite things ever was a plastic case filled with all kinds of nails of differing lengths, thicknesses and even finishes. I’ve used several to hang pictures. This kit also contained some very tiny nails that I have now used all of and can’t find more of, even at the hardware stores!
  4. Scraper/spatula. It’s not like you get from the Pampered Chef – but then I’m not recommending you cook with it either. The silicon-like tipped ones are great for stirring paint, putty, or concrete patch, because things don’t stick to them.
  5. Gloves. You get double-duty here because you can buy both the dish-washing, Living Glove, single-pair kind or the multi-pack of single-use latex gloves. Use the thicker ones for cleaning, staining or using paint thinner. Single-use are GREAT for painting or patching jobs. Limits number of manicures you’ll need.
  6. Clothesline. Not only did I use the nylon/rubber blend rope for a clothesline in the backyard, I used some to wrap around shrubs and temporary pull them away from the house to paint. I also added loops to handtools to hang them in the shed.
  7. Scissors. I usually get a new pair every year or two just to use outside. They’re great for snipping open concrete bags, slicing open bags of rock or grass seed, and for removing those god-awful plastic ties that every manufacturer seems to secure its products in the package with.
  8. Drop cloths. They’re not very thick, but they’re good enough to keep paint, dirt, dust, or water off any surface in an emergency. Perfect for light duty. (Wal-Mart used to have three-packs for under $3, but that shot up recently thanks to oil prices.)
  9. Goggles. While I do own one really good pair, at this price, I can toss a set in with most of my power tools and my yard gear. They may not be the best, but they’re better than nothing. And if they’re handy, I’ll be wearing them.
  10. Gardening apron. I don’t garden. I use mine for jobs where you need 30 different things. When I put the laminate floor in last year, I kept spacers, tape measure, pencils, pliers, screw drivers (the last two for removing wayward staples left from the carpet) all handy. Less time looking. More time working.


MonkeyGirl said...

I had no idea there was so much stuff at the dollar store to use around the house. Now I just have to find one of those close to home!

NV said...

Girlfriend -- You have a HUGE DS off West Florissant -- across from Wal-Mart and Deals, etc.

Anonymous said...

This is coming at just the right time for me. If only everything in the $ store wasn't made in China.

Anonymous said...