Sunday, August 17, 2008

Shopping Report: Dollar Tree and Marshall's

This weekend I decided to test how much organic goodness I could pick up at some discount stores.

My first stop was Dollar Tree. I knew this would probably be a plastic-filled wasteland with nary a green item in sight, and my suspicions were oh so nearly proved true.  But much to my surprise, after ambling up and down all the aisles for a while, I spotted some WestSoy organic soy milk - 32 fl oz. (very nearly a liter) for a dollar. Yup, $1. Now, OK, it's probably not worth a trip just to go to Dollar Tree to pick up one item, but maybe just maybe you can combine it with a visit to another store close by and start to put together a decent basket full of things. They also had some white vinegar, which you could use for cleaning or washing fruits/veggies (diluted, of course), but I didn't pick any up. And some Mediterranean sea salt. And that was about it.

My next stop was MUCH more successful. I went into Marshall's trying to see if there were any organic skin care items that I could pick up. In actual fact, there was such an overabundance of items, I almost felt ashamed that I hadn't thought of going there in the first place and that I have been wasting my money at other stores. There were many many shampoos and conditioners (Giovanni Organics, Nature's Gate, EO, etc), a large selection of Juice Organics skin care items, more natural soaps than I could possibly use in several years, some JASON hand lotions and other smaller labels that I can no longer remember.  They also had some giant 32 oz family-size Nature's Gate lavender & aloe shampoos and conditioners (for $5 if I remember correctly!), and family-size Giovanni Organics tea tree shampoo and conditioner (for $12), which would both be great for kids. I would definitely have bought them if my hair weren't so picky and in need of more oomph than a family shampoo can give me. I do love a giant family value-sized item, though, and actually, the amazing bargain of the Nature's Gate stuff is eating away at me, such that I may have to go back and snap up the giant sizes just because. I can always use them every other time I wash my hair and it hopefully wouldn't leave my hair too lackluster. Besides, I may have hallucinated the $5 price tag so I may have to go just to double check. Or double-take, depending on your point of view.

In the end I picked up a Giovanni Organics shampoo for $4.99 ($7.95 at Whole Foods), a Juice Organics Brightening Cleanser for $4.99 ($9.99 at Target), two Giovanni Organics vegetable oil soaps for $2.99 each, and a JASON hand & body lotion for $3.99 (which was even more of a bargain because it was a "25% extra free" size). Some of this stuff I don't have any urgent need for, but it will keep until I get around to using it - I figure with places like Marshall's and TJ Maxx you need to buy when it's there because you never know what merchandise they are going to have available. I may be doing a good portion of my holiday shopping at Marshall's over the coming months, as some nice natural soaps and/or body lotions could be good stocking stuffers. I didn't check the clothing section for organic cotton items, but I may just have to do that one of these days. Marshall's/TJ Maxx is definitely a winner in the frugalista's book.

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