The Buck Stops Here


Ummm-have any of you been in a dollar store? Why didn’t somebody tell me about this place earlier? Who needs Disney World when you have the dollar store? I ran in to gather a few paper products for a birthday party and was wowed by the many, many things I didn’t even KNOW I needed. Like a bow and arrow set. Dollar! Toothbrushes. Dollar! Ring pops, soap, gift bags…dollar, dollar, dollar!

Just thinking back to the dollar store makes me woozy. I will tell you there are a few things that I wouldn’t buy-such as steak (yes, they really sell steak for a dollar) and…gosh, that’s about it. They have this great stuff called Totally Awesome that cleans anything, including small, smelly 4-year-old boys, but I think it’s made in Mexico and the fumes seem, well, deadly. But back to party planning-a few finds that you can thank me for later:

Mason Jars: These are fantastic for outdoor parties and can be use as a candleholder, flower vase or condiment carrier. Or you can use them for their intended purpose-moonshine-and then when you break one (and you will), no worries!

Candles and Cards: Candles and cards, even at the so-called “discount” stores, are completely overpriced. I spent $7 on a Father’s Day card recently for a man who still asks me where we keep the pepper. Really? Guess where the card is coming from next year. That’s right, folks…my new favorite store.

Wrapping Paper: So cheap and so cute-great for parties because you can line trays and tables for a colorful, clean, pulled-together look without being tempted to throw down those horrid plastic tablecloths.

Wallpaper Stickers: This was my favorite score of all. I bought a package of wallpaper stickers for, you guessed it, a dollar. I wrote every guest’s name on the sticker, stuck it to their glass, and voila-everyone had a personalized glass for the evening. No confusion, no drinking out of your neighbor’s glass, no me washing 100 glasses and wishing the dollar store sold housekeepers.

Stephanie Blackford
Communications Director, Epicurean Culinary Group