Tag Archives: save money

Dollar Tree Haul – AWESOME Place To Shop For Household Goods, Supplies & Fun!

One of the things I wanted to do with this blog is to share some of the ways I utilize certain stores to maximize my savings and household budget. I have many stores I frequent, but the first of many I’d like to share is Dollar Tree. They are a chain of 13,000+ stores across the United States, which unlike certain other “dollar stores,” offers everything for only $1!

In addition to random household items and other things which we will get in to, many of the locations have a grocery section. Some even have a frozen section. I don’t often buy many things from the grocery section, but here and there I do get a small pickup. Some of the main things I buy from Dollar Tree are household cleaning products, Holiday decorations, greeting cards, and health and beauty items.

As you see in the included haul photograph from a shopping trip I made just yesterday, I got many of the things I mentioned already. First off I bought some decorations for the upcoming Easter holiday in addition to St. Patrick’s Day greeting cards I plan on sending out this week. You have to look carefully through the greeting cards at Dollar Tree. Obviously most are only $1, but some are actually only $0.50! On this trip I also bought some health and beauty products for me and my girlfriend, some seeds to plant this Spring, some disinfecting wipes, and yes, a cheese grater. We made a recipe last week with fresh Parmesan cheese and realized while making it that we didn’t have one (or lost it!). Luckily we didn’t actually need the grater for the recipe, but now we have one to use up the rest!

I didn’t buy much of it on this particular haul, but one of my other favorite things to purchase at Dollar Tree are holiday gift wrapping and packaging materials. Paper, bows, tags, bags, boxes, you name it, Dollar Tree has it. Being only $1 really helps you stretch your cash so when it is time to buy a gift you can spend more money on the actual gift and less money on the stuff to place that gift inside. Of course sometimes I do still buy certain things for gift wrapping at other stores, especially if it is on clearance, or sometimes just certain things that are unique. As I say often, you gotta live! Most Dollar Tree locations also have a section where you can buy inflated helium balloons, which can come in handy for many purposes.

Walking through Dollar Tree, to me, is always like an adventure. You never quite know what you may find that you need, or sometimes, just want. When everything is only $1, you can easily squeeze more “wants” into your shopping trips and not only “needs.” I always take my shopping list with me and am often able to cross off many things that I need.

I am always an investor first at heart, so I also just briefly wanted to mention that I do also own a small position in Dollar Tree ($DLTR) stock. It’s been a solid long-term growth stock, although it has recently pulled back from highs around $97 per share in August of 2016 to the level it is currently trading at of around $75 per share. As I usually do when you can get a discount and it is a solid stock, I say buy more!

If you would like more information on Dollar Tree you can check out their website here. You can also shop many of the items right on the site, although I currently don’t take advantage of that feature. I do know some friends who do. If you enjoy these haul blogs, let me know. I plan on doing hauls for other stores, and if you guys enjoy them, more Dollar Tree hauls as well. What did you enjoy? What would you have liked to see me do more of or talk more about? Other thoughts or suggestions? Leave them below, and I will respond!

Thank you for reading and enjoy your day!

Brent Ott

Don’t Forget About After-Christmas, After-Halloween, etc.. Clearance To Save Big!

When it comes time each year to buy the light-up pumpkin for Halloween or the new strand of snowflake lights for Christmas, it’s easy to notice how these purchases can add up quick. I’m the type of person that loves to look through the seasonal aisle with each passing season to see what’s new. I love decorating for the different holidays throughout the year.

Not only do I decorate for Halloween and Christmas, but I am known for putting up displays for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and a few others. For the smaller holidays I don’t go all out like I do for Christmas, for example, but I at least like to decorate the area in my living room around my television, put up new themed hand towels in the kitchen and bathroom, etc…

To be able to keep adding new decorations to my stockpile, and not break the bank, I use a tried and true method; hitting up the after-holiday clearances! Beginning the day after any holiday and going through the first week or two afterwards, you can score some great deals on decorations. By far, my favorite place for holiday clearance is TargetBeginning the day after Halloween or Christmas, you can score 50%-off, within 3-5 days all the decor goes to 70%-off, and in another 3-5 days what remains goes to 90%-off! At 90%-off I like to really do some damage!

I like to buy the $4.96 plastic bins from Wal-Mart which I use to store my holiday decorations in throughout the year, until the season comes back again. I used to think that being another year away, buying clearance wasn’t that smart. As I grew older, I realized that years begin to feel like they go by much faster, so why not save as much as 90% on something you will be buying again anyway?

I usually hit up a store the day after Christmas, then again within the first week once or twice, and finally a few weeks after for last-minute deals. I wouldn’t mind waiting until everything was 90%-off, but a lot of the best things that I actually would want go quick, and 50%-off is still a great deal. For Christmas this past year by hitting various clearances I stocked up on enough wrapping paper, gift tags, bows, gift boxes, lights, and more to get me through the 2017 season without having to buy any. I’ll have more money for gifts instead! (or more money to put into savings!)

Target is by far my favorite, but some of my other favorite places to check out are Wal-Mart as I mentioned, local grocery stores, local drug stores, and pretty much anywhere I happen to go in the week or two following a holiday. A big secret? TJ Maxx! After Christmas TJ Maxx begins to blowout winter clothing, Christmas merchandise, and a lot of other things in between. Only twice a year do they do their “Yellow Tag Clearance” and the weeks following Christmas is when it first starts. They do it again mid-year, around July. The “Yellow Tag Clearance” is literally a gold mine. If you’ve read most of my blog up until now, you may know that I am big into reselling. At this clearance you can find a TON of great stuff to resell such as clothing, accessories, toys, games, you name it. Sam’s Club is another place to score some great clearance. Pretty much anywhere you can think of, after Christmas, is well worth checking out to see what they may have available.

Do you do any after Christmas clearance shopping? Any certain places you like to go? Have a favorite deal that you’ve scored? I’d love to hear about it! Leave me some comments below and I will respond! THANKS for reading and enjoy your day!

Thanks again!

Brent Ott

A long time favorite for FREE MONEY. Yes, FREE $$$$ … eBates!

This site I am about to share with you is an “oldie but a goodie,” eBates! eBates is a simple website that you go to before you plan on making a purchase in a variety of places on the Internet. By a variety, I mean pretty much anywhere! You simply go to eBates, click the link to the website you are about to shop from, the site loads, then you do your shopping as you already planned on. That’s it!

After a few days, or sometimes even instantly, you receive your percentage of cash back from the purchase. Sometimes it’s only 1%, sometimes 2%, and sometimes MUCH more. I often receive 18% from GoDaddy, for example. During the Holiday Season and several times throughout the year eBates offers special “Double Cash Back” and greater deals. If you sign up for the email list when you create your account you will receive updates on special promotions they are running.

Your eBates account balance grows, and four times per year (quarterly) you get paid. You can choose to receive a paper check in the mail, or have your payment deposited into your PayPal balance. This all may sound too good to be true, and I believe it does as well, but let me tell you this…. it isn’t! I’ve done it for years now and can’t imagine not doing it again!

To make things even simpler there is a Google Chrome Extension which you can add to your browser that will enable a little notification to pop up each time you visit a website that offers eBates Cash Back. This makes it easy to earn FREE MONEY those times when you make a random purchase and forget to look at eBates first. I’ve had several times where the notification popped up and I had no idea the website I was about to buy from was included. Sometimes I have made purchases from a site simply because there was cash back. NEVER something I hadn’t already planned on buying anyway. I’m not an idiot, and you reading this blog probably aren’t either!

Besides using GoDaddy often (being an Internet Entrepreneur), a big tip, especially for those who travel often, is to use eBates to book travel through Hotels.com. If you book your stay and use Hotels.com through eBates you can either pay upfront and get your cash back, or, as I often do, book the stay and choose the pay-at-hotel option. After your stay concludes, eBates eventually gets notified and you will STILL receive your cash back! Sometimes this takes longer than other times, but hey, it’s still FREE MONEY!

If you sign up for eBates using my unique referral link there is yet another perk; $10 to start absolutely FREE! You’re probably beginning to think this is an amazing deal, and yep… you’re right! To begin using eBates follow this link: https://www.ebates.com/r/BRENT522?eeid=28187

THANK YOU for reading and if you have any questions or comments leave them below!

Enjoy your day!

Brent Ott