This week at the dollar store

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I'm in the dollar store so often it's a wonder they haven't named a shopping cart after me. I love the thrill of the hunt, prowling up and down well-stocked aisles waiting for the next find to jump off the shelf at me.

This week I spied brand-name barbecue sauce, salad dressings and mustard in regular yellow, honey mustard and Dijon flavors for $1.00 each -- just in time for picnic season.

I'm a big fan of the seasonal aisle and grabbed up several of these cute ceramic pieces. I especially like the little watering cans. You could use one to make up a small gift for a teacher, add it to a larger gift or display some pretty posies. It does work like a watering can, too, although I had to poke a toothpick through each of the five holes to get it to pour well.

A bigger surprise was the package of two dryer balls I found in the cleaning aisle. You know what a dryer ball is, right? They look like hard blue tennis balls with goosebumps. You toss a couple of these in your dryer instead of the dryer sheets for an eco-friendly way to soften your clothes and help prevent static cling. I've been using some for a few months now but I paid five times as much for mine and, when they were first introduced, they cost as much as $15.00. Suddenly, they're showing up in dollar stores for a buck for a package of two. Nice!

Marlene Alexander is a freelance writer and dollar store diva. She writes about decorating with items from the dollar store at her website www.dollarstorestyle.com.

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