When we took our new-to-us pop-up camper out on our first trip a couple of weeks ago there were a lot of things we needed to stock it with for the weekend. The whole point of purchasing the camper was to ultimately stretch our family travel budget, so I didn’t want to break the bank buying supplies. I made a list of everything we needed, and before I hit my regular spots, Meijer, Walmart and Target, I went to the Dollar Store. Here’s what I found:
1. Plastic Tableware – You’ll probably want to use disposable dishes most of the time, but depending on what you’re eating you may want something a little sturdier sometimes. You may also want to be environmentally friendly or save money not re-buying paper products all the time.
I found plastic plates, cups and bowls at the Dollar Store. The plates and bowls came in packs of four for $1 and the bowls came in packs of three. You can also buy bags of disposable forks and spoons. They were plenty strong and cost a dollar less than the same 48 count at the big box stores. I also bought a plastic tablecloth for the picnic table at our site and a pack of extra-large clothes pin clips to clamp the tablecloth down so it wouldn’t blow away. When the weekend was over I kept the clips and just tossed the tablecloth.
2. Sand Toys – We were camping near the beach and the Dollar Store had all kinds of pails, shovels and other beach toys for sale. I stocked up, and now we have plenty for the summer. They also have water toys like pool noodles, goggles and squirt guns.
3. Glow in the dark toys – It’s rare the boys are up after dark, but I knew camping they would be. It’s an extra-special treat, so I found glow sticks, bracelets and necklaces to make it even more fun.
4. Seasonal decorations – They had Americana-themed battery operated paper lanterns, garlands and other decorations. I bought the lanterns to hang on our camper awning, and it looked really cute at night. I think I’ll go back and see if they have more for our Fourth of July trip.
5. Kitchen tools – It’s a lot easier if you have doubles of things you take camping, so you’re not constantly taking things between your camper and your house. The dollar store has all kinds of kitchen stuff: measuring cups, measuring spoons, stirring and serving spoons, knives. You name it, they probably have it for a dollar. I also found a small wash basin. Since we only have a one-sided sink in the camper, I used the basin for rinse water.
6. Cleaning supplies – I found brooms, dust pans, mops, towels to use for rags and inexpensive all-purpose cleaners. Kids will track all kinds of dirt into your camper. You’ll need the cleaning supplies.
They did have paper products at the Dollar Store, but that was one thing that wasn’t a good buy. The packs were small and weren’t a good deal compared to other stores.
Most of the things I bought were good quality, even though they were inexpensive. Some things were small like the wash basin, but that’s OK. You want small since you don’t have a lot of space in your camper. They weren’t fancy either, but we weren’t exactly glamping with two little boys in tow, so that was fine too.
Are you a Dollar Store shopper? Have anything to add to the list?