Stretching your wallet

Arielle Williams

The Dollar Tree located on Route 43 in Kent offers deep discounts on a variety of products. Everything available in the store can be purchased for a $1. James Mellyn | Summer Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

Shopping at the dollar store is an easy way to save money while still getting everyday essentials. Dollar stores offer a variety of products for $1 or less, perfect for the average college student’s tight budget.

“I shopped at the one back home, but I didn’t know there was one in Kent,” senior psychology major Susan Hannan said. “I usually buy cards and things for around the house like candles, picture frames and stuff like that.”

According to Thomas Anderson, writer for, a Web site that offers personal finance advice and business forecasts, the Dollar Tree is one of the top three deep-discount retailers in the country. It has 3,470 stores in 48 states and one in Kent on Route 43.

Kent’s Dollar Tree sells off-brand and brand-name items for a fraction of the price they are sold at Wal-Mart, CVS or Walgreens.

“I went to the Dollar Tree and was able to decorate my friend’s entire house for her 21st birthday for only like $10,” junior education major Sara Gable said. “I got balloons, streamers, banners, candy, cards and all kinds of decorations.”

One downfall to shopping at the Dollar Tree is the fact that shoppers are never guaranteed the same products will always be in stock.

“Every week we get a new shipment,” store manager Tracy Yoder said. “It’s best to just check in every week so that you can see what we have gotten from our weekly shipment.”

Yoder also said the store does a lot of buy backs from retailers such as Wal-Mart and CVS. Customers can buy products that are sold at others stores for more expensive prices, for $1 at the Dollar Tree.

For example, the Dollar Tree has Lady Speed Stick deodorant for $1. CVS advertised the same exact product as on sale at $2.

This coming fall the Dollar Tree will be selling school supplies, and Yoder said she has already received information about “back to campus” products. She said in August the store will be carrying items such as hangers, storage containers, notebooks, highlighters, pens, cleaning supplies and paper.

Contact student finance reporter Arielle Williams at [email protected].