Tuesday, June 21, 2016

How to Survive the Dollar Spot at Target!

Believe it or not, I have been getting warnings from fellow teacher friends on Instagram that Target Dollar Spot in some areas is EMPTY! Picked through. Nothing left. Tears. Regret. School JUST ended for most of us, some are still in the throws of their last few weeks. But Target doesn't care. They are ready for us to start preparing for August, so we must be ready as well.

Because some of the most exciting back to school shopping happens at Target - especially the Dollar Spot, it is important not to miss out on this very important event. Ever since this area of the store was invented, teachers across the country look forward to finding deals that spark creativity and ideas for classroom decorations, organization, group activities and lesson planning.

As soon as I got news that the Dollar Spot could potentially be a graveyard of classroom supplies and teacher blissfulness, I headed right over. Thankfully, when I got there, I wasn't disappointed. The shelves were stilled lined with things that make my heart happy! However, I recently purchased a home and my budget is much tighter than usual. So, I had to follow some rules in order to survive this early back to school shopping spree. I somewhat successfully followed them and spent only $21.

STEP 1 - Grab a BASKET not a cart! For obvious reasons. And stay at the FRONT of the store! Because Dollar Spot is located right at the door, you can prevent further shopping by forcing yourself to go straight to Dollar Spot, not be distracted by any other section and then right to the cashier. I am not telling you NOT to relish in the Back To School shopping section, I am just telling you, not today. Here are some basic rules to follow during Step 1.
Rule #1: I told myself I would only choose things that were priced $1. (Prices range from $1-$5)
Rule #2: After I broke Rule #1 (there were these really cool adhesive label covers and a color the landmarks US map), I decided I should only buy things I must have.
Rule #3: After I broke Rules #1 and #2 (there was a really, super cute mini-notebook that I surely had to add to my once-used pile of other notebooks at home and binder clips labeled To Do, Ignore and Today!) I decided that my pile would also include things that I wanted and could possibly use.

Step 2 - Once you have browsed, picked, convinced yourself, talked yourself out of things and made decisions, find a quiet corner and Make 3 Piles: Must Have and Can Use, Want and Can Use, Want but aren't sure How to Use, but Know You Could Come Up with Something Creative and Fun

Step 3 - Place Must Haves in the basket and, if you can't give up the rest without a slight pain in your heart, choose one or two items from the other two piles.

Step 4 - When you arrive to the cashier line, place your items on the conveyor belt and choose ONE thing you could live without and do not need. When it is your turn in line, apologize and tell the cashier that you've changed your mind and don't need said item. They are always very nice about this change of heart, they have a basket right behind them for this exact reason!

This is how I survived the Target Dollar Spot on a budget and purchased some really great things for my classroom and students. I am super excited about the items below as they all fall into one of the three categories above! Now... how to make sure I don't return to grab those binder clips I put back...

Have you made your way to Target Dollar Spot yet?? What have you purchased? How do YOU survive?  

These file folders are my favorite! I grab them every year!! They come 3 for $1 and are durable and more importantly, pretty! I use these to collect student published work throughout the school year. Target works overtime by making a different set of designs every year. (I found another set of designs that are primary colors, but I liked these more.) Even the students get excited over how cute the folders are!

For some reason, my calendar has been a constant pain in the butt for me. I could never find one that matched my room and so I made a couple. Hated them. Tortured myself throughout school years and used them. But for $3, I found this! The colors don't match exactly, but I am over trying to make that happen. I am just happy to now be able to replace my ugly one that I tried to create with paint samples with this professionally made one. 

The white square is a pack of adhesive label covers. I am planning on using these in my library to label the bins. You place the adhesive square on the bin and then there is a pocket where you can place the label to the bin. I don't have any specific plans for the border yet, but I am thinking about making a section of student work and using these to border the area off on one of the walls. 

These cute stickers!! I love them! The bookmarks are cool, too. On the back, students write a list of their favorite books. I plan to use these as part of a back to school activity the first week of school.

My favorite find of the day! A 'color the landmarks' US map. I teach the states and capitals and this will make for a perfect Early Finishers activity or part of a station. IF... I don't color it first myself. I am seriously tempted, but I will resist. 


  1. Thank you Teacher Julia!! Your advice is fantastic and hilarious. I need to go get some of those file folders and bookmarks now...!

    1. You can't deny the awesomeness of the Dollar Spot!

  2. Hello Julia! That is my favorite part of the store😁 I grabbed 4 of the dry erase US maps, I found a really cool (free) activity on TpT.


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