Deck your halls for less at the dollar store

You can save a sleigh-load of money this holiday season simply by heading to your local dollar store for Christmas basics like tree ornaments and gift bags. You won't be sacrificing attractiveness, either. Here are just a few examples:

Gift Giving
I found a package of six money holder cards at a department store for $1.99. Get six for a buck at a dollar store near you.

Christmas stockings are becoming more and more elaborate and if your child simply must have the latest 3-D Dora-embellished stocking, the dollar store can't help you. But, if you're looking for something more practical that your child can use year after year, check out the fine selection at the dollar store.

For example, a simple plush stocking costs $1.96 at Wal-Mart and only a buck at the dollar store. A more sophisticated look for an adult might be an embossed velour Christmas Stocking with a cuff and hanging crystal gem accents for only $1. At Wal-Mart, you'll pay $6.96 for something very similar.

It's been a long time since I've bought any gift wrap, bags or bows from anywhere except the dollar store so I thought I'd check out the competition. Here's what I found:

An American Greetings medium-sized Christmas gift bag is $5.49. Their Christmas foil wrap comes in a roll of 15 sq. ft. for $5.49 and one curly bow costs $2.99. Get beautiful foil-like Christmas gift wrap in a roll of 120", curly bows or attractive holiday gift bags in all the larger sizes for only a buck. Save a grand total of $9.97 by buying at the dollar store, even if you buy two rolls of wrapping paper to make up for the larger roll of specialty store paper.

Ornaments and Home Decor
Two acrylic Christmas tree ornaments from Wal-Mart, cost $1.66. I saw the exact same pair of ornaments at the dollar store for 66 cents less.

A fabric and rhinestone ornament found at Wal-Mart cost $2.46. The dollar store version is perhaps, less ornate but still very attractive and only costs a buck.

A large fabric bow is $2.96 at Wal-Mart and $1 you-know-where.

A belled door knob decoration is $2.46 at Wal-Mart, $1 at the dollar store.

A stuffed Santa head door knob decoration that costs $6.96 at Wal-Mart is only a buck at the dollar store.

An 18' Christmas garland is $2.96 at Wal-Mart. If you need 18' of garland, buy two 9' garlands at the dollar store and still save 96 cents.

I saw poinsettia-printed tone-on-tone fabric place mats for $3.99 each at a housewares store near me. The exact same place mats can be had for $1 each at the dollar store.

Marlene Alexander is a freelance writer and dollar store diva. She writes tips and ideas for decorating using only items from the dollar store.

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