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Stuff a Stocking at Dollar General

4 December 2011 3,683 views 89 Comments

by rhonda

This post brought to you by Dollar General. All opinions are 100% mine.

dollar store stockings tuffers

If you frequent dollar stores (and we know you do), you know that they have deals on all kinds of different stuff.  I don’t know about you, but I am on a serious budget this year, which means I will be looking for those deals as I shop and craft my way through my Christmas gift list!

In addition to gifts destined for under the tree, there are the stockings to consider.  What is your top money-saving tip for filling stockings?  I like to stretch my stocking-stuffing dollar farther by giving useful things that I know the recipient will actually use.  Don’t get me wrong, I love just-for-fun gifts too, but I feel like my money is better spent on practical gifts than on random odds and ends that are destined to collect dust.

I had a chance to go shopping at Dollar General with a mission to stuff a few stockings on a $25 budget.  I managed to fill stockings for my whole household:  My husband, myself, and our two cats.  Check out the video to see my shopping in action, and to see how I made a couple of crafty alterations to some of my purchases!

I bought:

  • 3 stockings, $5.50
  • Word search book, $3.00
  • Amazing Goop glue, $2.85
  • Socks, $1.00
  • 2 plastic tumblers, $5.00
  • 2 packages chocolate truffles, $2.00
  • 2 packages catnip mice, $3.00
  • Laser pet toy, $3.00
  • Catnip, $1.95
  • 2 cans cat food, $1.20

Total:  $28.50

Okay, so I ended up going a teeny-tiny bit over-budget, but I found a lot of good stuff and didn’t want to put any of it back!  The stocking for my cats was somewhat of a splurge at $3.50, and putting it back would have put me right at $25 on the button.  But once I saw it...  I had to have it!  Plus, if you already have stockings on hand that you use every year, you can strike those off your shopping list in the first place.  So really, the contents of my stockings cost a mere $23!

Win a $25 Gift Card to Dollar General!

Do you want to fill a stocking too?  One lucky reader will win a $25 gift card to Dollar General for their own holiday shopping spree.  To enter, answer this question: What is your top money-saving tip for filling stockings?

Giveaway open to United States residents only, 18 and older. Ends on Thursday, December 8th, 2011 at 11:59 PM. Full rules here.

Congratulations to our winner:

dollar general winner

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89 Comments »

  • Christal said:

    I have a box where I put things I collect all year for stocking stuffers. They can also be pulled out when the kids are sick or just need a little cheering up :D I have friends and relatives who spend hundreds of dollars every year filling their kids’ stockings, going over budget without fail. I RARELY spend more than $10 for all three stockings because I fill them up with what I already have and then only add things that I see while shopping and have to have :P

    Some things that always seem to end up in our stockings:
    1. Toothbrushes (Usually a cheap character brush, but last year my kids I bought spin brushes. They LOVED them, and they’re great for speech & sensory therapy! (all three of mine are on the autism spectrum, so gifts that do double duty are common :P) I had found them on clearance at my local riteaid, then used coupons. I spent >$1 each)
    2. Socks–usually character or Christmas socks, and usually one of the items from the $10 budget :P
    3. Batteries for their other gifts.
    4. Bathtub crayons or markers. My kids love both art and bath time, and this way it’s no (ok, very little) mess. Last year I found them on clearance in June :P
    5. Little people, often loose ones that I’ve picked up second hand and sterilized. My ‘most severe’ autistic son loves these, so we can never have too many.
    6. Small toys or action figures, often also picked up second hand.
    7. Mittens, hats, scarves.
    8. At least one small wrapped gift. Watches are common, and if you look on ebay you can often buy kids watches for around $1 including shipping.

  • Kattie D. said:

    I shop the after Christmas sales for the next year. I start about a month or two early and look for deals. It never hurts to shop the after halloween sales for candy. This year I froze some of our leftover candy and made cute Christmas tags to cover up the wrapping. I also love to look at the drugstores for some amazing deals. I coupon so I can get toothbrushes and such for practically free.

  • Sara said:

    I try to pick up things that can do double duty for possibly two or more people. Like buying 2 packs of chapstick to split up, or those boxes of instant coffee packets I can split up between three or more peoples stocking for one or two cups for each person. I also thrift shop alot and always try to put a new xmas ornament each year in the stocking toe. I tend to shop starting at the end of August for stocking stuff. I look at clearance only and dollar store finds along with thrifting, in my house they items can only be $3 and under for each stocking stuffer (but sometimes my boyfriend cheats!). I find that even some places like Deal Extreme and Meritline have good cheap little do dads for stockings, they take longer to ship (about 2 weeks) but worth it if you’re really on a budget! The stocking is my favorite part of the whole Christmas morning because it really does require lots of thought and I always love the small gifts, even when I was a kid.

  • Julissa Medina said:

    I try to stuff their stockings with halloween candy since we have a lot left over this time of year. Just decorate it into Christmas. Plus I try to recycle little toys for their dolls like make belief doll or sew little pillows for them as Christmas theme. My girls love it!

  • Heather dela Cruz said:

    I try and shop for little items all year long. That way I don’t go on a stress-induced buying spree right before Christmas and I tend to put a little more thought into it!

  • Kelly W said:

    I add several small handmade items to my kids stockings

  • VIE LEWIS said:

    I have a son in the Army in Kabul Afgh. I was in your store yesterday and picked up all kinds of goodies.
    Toothpaste
    Toothbrushes
    disposable cleaning wipes ( Clorox)
    handy wipes for hands
    x-mass candy
    a plastic box that had Penguins on it,I filled it with lose candy.
    Playing cards
    q-tips
    a round tin with a cookie in it.
    just part of his x-mas gift, ( hard to buy for)
    oh Yes a calling card.
    Your store saves me mega $$$

  • Angie said:

    You have to get things all year, otherwise you end up with an expensive stocking full of junk the kids don’t want.
    This year’s stockings will include craft things from the dollar area at Target, body spray, shower gel, lip balm, wacky shoelaces, a few pieces of candy, but also some fruit like an apple or orange.

  • ThatBrunette said:

    I also buy little things all year round. PlayDoh, when it goes on sale after Halloween is a good stocking-stuffer. I also like to add a larger-sized gift to take up a bit of space. Small items are fun but the stocking can look a bit limp if there are only a few.

    My mom used to wrap every item in the stocking. Individual pencils would be wrapped!

  • Vanessa said:

    My father always gave us fruit, candy and nuts in our stockings as did I when my children were younger. This year I will revisit that, and include a favorite for each child. For instance My daughter loves socks and they are inexpensive, my husband loves chocolate turtles and my son has lots of hair and ALWAYS breaks his comb so a nice durable comb. And to top it off this year I will write a special letter to each one of my children and include it in the stocking.

  • Abie said:

    Shop for stocking stuffers year round.

  • Rachel said:

    It’s just me and my boyfriend so I only make stocking for my younger siblings and cousins. (All under the age of 11) I like to buy small stocking for them or make lines stockings out of old or cheap T shirts that have characters they like on them.
    I save small things I pick up all year around for stockings. I like to especially stock up on school supplies when they go on sale in the beginning of the school year. I like that they will actually use what I gave them! I also include candy and a small nonsense toy like a slinky, car, playdoh, juggling balls for something fun to do.

  • Michelle Dippel said:

    Stuff I think would be a good idea :

    use samples gotten over the year that are of interest to the person

    look over things at the dollar store

    put in fruit

    multi packs because the cost per ounce is better

    (littleangel_mw at yahoo dot com)

  • Moriah said:

    I like to include small versions of things the person uses on a regular basis, like shampoo, soap or shaving cream. You can usually get travel sizes for REALLY cheap. And they may be inspired to take you on a road trip!

    Also, the drug store clearance section is great. They almost always have things I find uses for. That’s usually the first place I look for things I need.

    Make things! Crafts are the BEST and people appreciate handmade gifts. Jewelry, embellished photo frames, key chains, sweet treats & personalized coffee mugs are all SO EASY and enjoyed by all!

  • Kristi Dalberg said:

    I always include basic toiletries that we’re going to be buying anyway…(new toothbrushes, toothpaste, brush, etc). It saves money and they fit in the stockings perfectly!

  • Nancy's Couture said:

    My stocking stuffer fillers consist of useful items and a few fun items. I usually put sock in there, a candy cane, and a pez (they collect pez dispensers). Then I add some educational- ABC cards, number cards, a early reader book, and something related to Jesus (a DVD or devotional)

  • Charlotte (Shay) Brewer said:

    These are the items I almost always put in the stockings for my 3 small people…

    1. Batteries
    2. Slippers (we get a new pair every year at least until their feet stop growing)
    3. Their favorite candy king sized (skittles for my boy, a hershey’s bar for my girl and for the littlest he loves gummy bears)
    4. Almost always darts for the nerf guns and a new journal for teh girl.

    Big usable items instead of little dollar trinkets!

    Merry Christmas
    Momma to 3
    *Shay B*

  • Ginigin said:

    When I was a kid, my stocking always had an orange and brazil nuts in the shell and peppermint sticks. We would roll the orange around (still unpeeled) to squish out all the juice, cut a hold in the belly button, and put the peppermint stick in there to suck out the juice. You need teh softer peppermint, not the rock hard canes. So that fills up much of the stocking and has the added bonus of entertaining the kiddies as they squish, suck up the juice and then spend hours cracking open the brazil nuts. My son still gets these in his stocking … at 36!

  • Caley said:

    I buy for stockings throughout the year, any time I see something either useful and cheap or fun and cheap, and put it away until December. If it doesn’t get used in the stocking, there are plenty of other holidays/birthdays/random celebrations to bring it out for.

  • Roxanne said:

    I would have to say, thrift stores are my new best friend. It’s amazing the cool stuff you can find for lovers of antiques or “fun and funky” type things. I also think buying things throughout the year is a great way to keep the cost down — I love the idea of a previous poster to have a “cheering up” box for stocking stuffers and “just because” gifts!

    Thank you for the giveaway!

  • Julita K said:

    I love eyeslipsface.com $1 lip glosses for my girls and stickers are a fav. I can always find those at low prices, and a paperback book on amazon.com

  • Lulu said:

    I like to look for practical things my kids (who are now adults) will be using anyway… batteries, flavored coffees, salt & pepper shakers, small tools, etc. I try to shop for stocking stuffers all year, especially right after the holiday when everything is on clearance. A central place to hide the stash is essential or I will totally forget where I’ve hidden things!

  • Michelle in Htown said:

    I have kids of both genders, all in college now. The trick for me it to go to Target and hit the food and personal grooming. All the guys appreciate some Axe body wash (usually too expensive for their budgets) and extra razors. The girls get bath puffs, body wash and make up brushes and the like. Then, it’s to the food area. Beef jerky is a traditional (I don’t recall why) favorite and gets eaten while opening gifts Christmas morning! Trail mix, candy bars and gum round out the items. Small stuff, all, but the fun mainly is in the opening!

  • BMackey said:

    this is a big one for me…mainly because i remember it so well from when i was a kid. an apple and an orange in the bottom.

  • Jenna Z said:

    The trial-size isles at Target/walgreens/grocery stores are GREAT for finding fun stuff. They don’t just have toothpaste and tampons, there are fun things like beauty implements, cute tissue packs, first aid kits, sewing kits, little snacks, and more! Perfect for older, hard-to-shop-for teens. Add some candy, an i-tunes giftcard and they’re happy.

  • Renee Stewart said:

    I shop all year and buy little items (1 a month)I see my family memebers use or hear them say they wish they had~I also try to watch sale ads to save $$$. By December you have 11-12 items for each stocking!!

  • Diane said:

    I shop for stocking stuffers all year round, looking for fun and unusual items under $3. But I also purchase “normal usable items” like toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, q-tips, etc. as well as desk items used all year long, like paper clips, staples, index cards, bill paying envelopes. But the favorite stuffer for everyone to receive is a scratch-off lottery ticket…lots of anticipation and fun for only $1…plus sometimes the recipient makes a profit!!

  • Heather said:

    I usually go with food in stockings: candy, fruit. Things like hair elastics and combs are easy and cheap, too!

  • sw said:

    clementine oranges are always fun in a stocking!

  • shepard said:

    oh my gosh, the giant peppermint sticks. kids LOVE giant candy, and right now dollar general has them 2 for $1.

  • Beth Anne said:

    I put oranges or apples in the stocking, plus a canister of pringels, then fill it up with the small stuff…candy, small toys, etc.

  • Kasi Haire said:

    I always buy toiletries, underwear, socks and special school lunch snakcs and juice boxes!

  • Aarika said:

    In my family, we always use the stockings for addictions/essentials so it’s my mother’s favorite cookie or my brother’s favorite candy and then toothbrushes and hairbrushes and umbrellas and gloves and whatever else I can think of that they can use but wouldn’t necessarily think to buy for themselves.

  • Carrie said:

    We stuff the bottoms of the stockings with fruit so that helps cut down on the other extras. We buy little things throughout the year when we see great deals.

  • Carson Moore said:

    I come from a large family and we buy in bulk! Buy cute little inexpensive gifts in large numbers and then find adorable ways to personalize each stocking stuffer for each family member!

  • NanaJo said:

    Get things from a dollar store that will be used by the recipient like chapstick, cologne, hair barrettes, clips, etc. Other personal items that are always appreciated. We always received fruit in ours when I was growing up but that doesn’t seem as special with the abundance of year round fruit these days. We couldn’t afford to have fruit all the time in the 60’s.

  • Rachel said:

    My kids will mostly get candy and small items like a note pad as well as tooth brushes. My oldest will also get a gift card.

  • Kim said:

    I’ve used dollar store items like crossword books and cute socks, and like to add hand-made notes, little candies, etc, and I do use the fruit at the bottom trick…mostly ’cause it’s tradition from my own childhood. Those curly ribbons Dollar General sells for gift wrapping are fun for topping off stockings, too!

  • thepricklypinecone said:

    I always scout around the clearance sections of stores. Often you find multipack items that may be missing a piece or two for huge discounts that can then be split up for several different people!