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Holiday Deals and Tips (KANSAS CITY METRO)

In November we found out that after 35-years of pricing all their merchandise at a dollar, the Dollar Tree stores will be increasing their base price for items to $1.25 by the summer of 2022. Executives at the Virginia based corporation, which also owns Family Dollar, have claimed that 3-decades of inflation have compounded the issue of trying to increase profit while keeping a low price point.

With this in mind, most of us are still looking for bargains as the World economy recovers, and with so many options of discount and warehouse stores in our area, we have compiled a small list of tips to help you find deals through the New Year.

Starting at Dollar Tree with half a dozen local locations, these stores still have great prices on Christmas boxes and gift bags, and on an array of New Years Eve party supplies. They are also a good store to find small craft materials and items for clothing drives. Dollar Tree stores often have a cart full of random items, these are items that are usually being thrown out or sent back to the distributor, and they will usually discount them for you below a dollar. They also accept manufacturer coupons, even if the value of the coupon is for more than the price of the item at the store.

There seems to be a Dollar General every ten or so miles now, which is why we can’t forget to mention them. While most pricing is straight forward, there is a DG app that gives you coupons and most receipts from the store provide coupons on future visits. With this being said, Dollar General also allows coupon stacking of manufacturer coupons on top of their own coupons. These stores are consistently being restocked which accounts for the often disarray appearance, but have patience, these employees are working double and triple duty to keep the shelves stocked. Dollar General stores also spread their clearance items all over the store on end-caps, half-way down aisles and next to the exit/entrance doors. In addition to their regular dollar aisle, Dollar General mixes in dollar items throughout the store.

Five Below, a store that has items priced under $15 and with four local stores, is a great place to find novelty gifts and candy varieties and sizes that are hard to find at other stores. These stores are also a good place to find bluetooth speakers and headphones. Five Below carries many items targeted towards teenage girls and a variety of stylish winter clothing accessories. However, be aware that many items that cost more than $5 do not have price tags on them, but they do have clearance sections.

A tip for Walmart is to shop for items in the aisle where they are normally located year-round, not the end-caps, bins or kiosks. Also, you should check out the general clearance section early in your visit to the store. The best tip is to download the Walmart app and use it to scan the price barcodes of the items in your cart. The app will tell you the price of the item in the store’s system, which shows you the price that the register will ring-up. When you do this, the app will let you see the price for that item, and when the price is lower on the website and app, the cashier or manager will price-match that item.

With stores in Harrisonville, Lee’s Summit and Belton, Aldi is a great alternative for lower priced food and special buy general items. You can find everything for your holiday dinners and beverages for your parties. Tips for this store is to shop there on Wednesday afternoons. This is because they often restock those mornings, discounting older stock and bringing in new special buys. Asking the manager for a better deal on the last couple of items of a particular brand on the floor often gets you a discount also. In addition, as a German-based company, Aldi stocks taste-tested German food items (even if they are produced in the USA) that meet authentic German flavors and standards. A big saver is that the Aldi branded spices have been confirmed to be overstock of McCormick brand spices. For a bonus tip, when air-fried or deep-fried, Aldi’s “Season’s Choice'' extra crispy quick french fries taste surprisingly similar to McDonald’s fries.

Finally, using reward apps like Fetch, Checkout 51 and ibotta help ease the shock at the register. They all work like a rebate program where you buy the items, scan your receipt and then receive rebates on matching items. Fetch gives you points for any receipt that you submit and bonus points for certain items purchased that can be redeemed for gift cards at all major brands and stores. Ibotta is more restrictive and takes more effort, but provides cash rebates that range from twenty-five cents to $10 per matched item. Checkout 51 offers less in the quantity of deals, but you are often able to submit the same receipt to multiple rebate apps making it better than coupon clipping.

If you download the Fetch app and use referral code “UQDXE” by the end of 2021, you will receive 2,000 points immediately and an additional 1,000 points with your first receipt which is the equivalent to $3 towards a gift card. If you download the ibotta app and use referral code “CVBYRAL” by the end of 2021, you will receive a $10-$11 rebate when you submit your first receipt.

For full disclosure, this article is not sponsored or endorsed by any store or brand. The mentioned items and store deals have been compiled from independent research, testing and trials of the tips. We hope that these tips and deals will help you have the best holiday season and help you to pinch a few more pennies before that property tax is due.