Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Dollar Tree

2014 Leader Tip of the Year.  If you have not discovered Dollar Tree, you are in store for a real treat!   Dollar Tree is a smorgasbord of greatness for leaders.  This is a true dollar store meaning every item in the store is a $1, but often times you can buy items in bulk for a $1.  I am always amazed what I will find at this store and it is ALWAYS my 1st stop when shopping for supplies for my troops. Plus, you can easily register the Girl Scout tax ID and get all your supplies for your troop activities tax free.  With my large troops this can be quite a savings.  In simple terms when I buy 26 form boards the cost is $26, not some obscure price.  Another quick tip… I took a photo of the GS Tax-Free ID form and keep it on my phone for easy access whenever I need it.  
So what kind of things have I lucked into at the Dollar Tree?  
foam boards / poster boards
4" die-cut letters (which makes creating posters a breeze!)
craft supplies including small glue containers (3/pack) that can easily be re-filled and stored
office supplies like rubber bands, paper clips and neon index cards
60 page spiral notebooks perfect for passports for Thinking Day (4/$1)
candy and snacks
wrapping and Holiday supplies
plastic table covers for easy clean up with crafting projects
dixie cups to serve snacks in and use with craft projects
teacher items like Birthday Certificates
prizes and rewards for the girls
picture frames
brown paper lunch bags (40/$1)
glow sticks

Honestly the list is endless.  When I need inspiration for my next activity I merely have to walk the isles and ideas come to me.  Take your Girl Guides and read over the badges while strolling the isles and you will find inspiration everywhere.  
My biggest problem is sometimes I am not able to find the quantity of items I need for my large troops and I have to drive to several Dollar Trees.  They typically stock well, but items in high demand go fast.  And now that I am sharing my biggest GS secret, I may be limiting the stock even more :-)
However, Dollar Tree has an extensive web site that allows you to purchase in bulk.  If you have your items shipped to the store, there is no shipping fee!  As I mentioned you must purchase in bulk so this will not be convenient for small troops, but would be very valuable to any council sponsored or large Girl Scouting events.  Last year I needed 26 jack and ball sets for our end-of-the-year party.  I ordered on-line 2 dozen and picked up 2 additional packs at the store.  If you don't run out and check out the closest Dollar Tree in your area, you are throwing away money!  
My recent Glitter Ornament project could not have been done without the cost-savings Dollar Tree afforded me.  Glitter packets 6/$1 a steal!  Pledge Mop-N-Glow can range in price from $5-8 and I was not certain how much I would need.  So I bought 4 bottles at Dollar Tree of the knock-off brand "Mop-N-Shine".  It turns out I only needed 1 bottle.

You might think I was a walking advertisement for Dollar Tree!  But seriously how cannot I not rave about the place when the store gives my girls opportunities they might not have otherwise.  All of our troops are on a tight budget and every little bit helps!  This is a tip you can take all the way to the BANK!
Already know about this secret?  What items have you found at Dollar Tree for a steal?  

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