Is the Plus Positive?

Watercolor paint set with 48 colors

Unfortunately, it happened.

We went into a Dollar Tree in Gulf Shores for something. While I was shopping, I noticed a really nice assortment of watercolor paints. Then I noticed a large canvas (16″ x 20″), and I thought, hey, that’s what I need to paint my picture of white birch bark trees. Wow! That extra quarter really makes a difference!

But then, like a hostile witness in a courtroom, I remembered something I didn’t want to remember.

I vaguely recalled hearing something about Dollar Tree test marketing a “Plus concept” where items would be offered at prices beyond $1.25. I was hoping this was fake news. But when I saw an actual $3 and $5 price sticker in a DOLLAR TREE, I couldn’t deny it any longer.

First , they abandon the $1.00 price. Now this!

Three wooden bird houses to paint
This is for the birds!

I can understand the move to the $1.25. After all, items had been only $1 for 35 years. A store can only do so much for so long. Plus, I noticed whenever I bought new “man socks“, they got holes really quickly – especially since I often walk around in my socks. I’ll pay an extra quarter if the socks can get back to the medium quality I am used to.

But honestly, I didn’t go to the “Five Quarters” store (as one of my neighbors now calls Dollar Tree) as often. And I sure didn’t buy as much. Don’t tell Dan, but I once counted well over one hundred Dollar Tree items in our basement. These items were mostly bought for future craft projects. Also, anything with a camper on it jumped into my cart. That’s just how I rolled back then.

But no more. At $1.25 per item, I’ve stopped that. After all, I’ve got a lot of inventory to craft. Down the road, if you get a little metal camper with cookies in it from me, you know what’s going on.

But, like I said, I still go to the Dollar Tree. I’ve even adjusted to the $1.25 price. My head just allows me to get 4 items rather than 5. In the end, it’s all about round numbers. Anybody know what I’m talkin’ about? How it’s easier to spend $5 than $3.75? Either you get it or you don’t.

A small metal camper

Now, I liked Dollar Tree so much, one of my readers said, “Betty, you ought to buy stock in Dollar Tree.” (You know who you are.) And I thought, you know, I should. So, I did. I bought it as part of my HSA (Health Savings Account.) I bought 10 shares which cost me $1383.77, and as of this writing, it is worth $1594. That’s an unrealized gain of $210.23 which is a 15.19% increase since December of 2021. I guess I’m not the only one with little metal campers in my basement.

So, then I thought, why don’t I buy some Dollar Tree stock outside of my HSA. Then Dan and I can go camping with some of the money I make. So, on 4/19, I bought 3 shares for a cost of $517.02. It is now worth $478.20; that’s a loss of $38.82. Given the volatility of the market, I’m not worried. At least in the short term.

However, I am concerned about this new “Dollar Tree Plus” bone-headed idea over the long term. Sorry, but that’s my opinion. I mean, the whole point of Dollar Tree was that everything was one dollar!

If things in the store can cost whatever, then what makes Dollar Tree different from every other retail store in America?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

And there’s not one of us in the Dollar Tree cult following that is wired in such a way so as to have the ability to say out loud, “and it only cost three dollars.” We just can’t do it.

Yes, there are lots of items in the store which are still $1.25. Just like Target. Target has a section of dollar items, but who goes there for that? I don’t shop a lot, but I’m betting lots of other stores have dollar sections, too.

So, I’m not sure what to do. Do I take my $200 plus profit in my HSA and get my teeth cleaned? Do I bail on the Vanguard and cut my losses? Or do I wait until it breaks even and then sell? Or do I wait even longer and hope to camp at one of those fancy, “Resort Campgrounds” which offers things I don’t know about because we’ve never been to one?

What’s your take on Dollar Tree? How do you feel about the extra quarter? Do you like the Plus section? Maybe together we can start a movement, so that the test market gets an F grade. Are you with me on this? Let me know your thoughts. And one more question.

Would you like a little camper with some cookies in it?


  1. Seriously, Betty, this post had me cracking up all the way through! I love your wit, how you express your humour, and your writing style. There’s always a treat in store with your blog posts. We don’t have Dollar Tree here. Ours is called Dollarama (same idea and yes, in recent years, there are items up to $3 on the shelves). I do buy some things there but I don’t have a “stash” anywhere. I’d have loved a camper tin of cookies when we still had our RV. Now, I’ll bow out and leave these treasures to those who are still living the camping life. Thanks again for the fun post, and good luck with those investments!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Terry. I’m glad you enjoyed the post! What no camping tin with cookies! Not even for old time’s sake? Maybe I could modify one so it would look like a park model. 🙂 Hope you have a really good week ahead!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi there, I did love the 1.25 store too. Here in Canada a lot of the articles have now gone up to 1.50 which is disheartening as before you could go in and know everything was 1.25. We also have Dollarama and most of the articles in there are 4.00.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good morning! I would have no reason to stop at a Dollarama if most things are $4. I hope the Dollar Trees in the U.S. don’t go up to $1.50, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they did. I’ll still go there, but I know I won’t buy as much. Maybe that’s a good thing! Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy your day!


  3. A cute little camper tin AND with cookies in it? I’m in. I love cute little tins (even though I have been paring down) and love cookies–how can one say no? Perhaps Dollar Tree is taking cues from Dollar General–where things generally range in the $1-5, unless it is something you really want which then might be generally between $10-20. I wonder how much longer before we see a new memoir out: Leaving Dollar Tree Behind: Betty’s Betrayal.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Okay. I will mark you down for one cookie tin. 19 to go! There are a few things I will likely buy from DT for the foreseeable future, but let’s just say some boundaries have been set. 🙂 Enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s exactly how I feel. On our trip to Gulf Shores and back, we were amazed at the number of Dollar Generals. I looked at the price of their stock – very expensive! I hope Dollar Tree does not move forward with the Dollar Tree Plus.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This one made me laugh – now every time I will think of Dollar Tree or visit one I will think of it as the “Five Quarters Store”! Too funny! I think it is now the $5 store, but after all $5 is the new $1. I have bought some very good quality $5 items – a rug for the back door, 2 little round metal tables for the deck, and 2 solar lanterns for the deck (and I love them)! And, I have some catching up to do with your craft stash!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I know you have a good point. But I just hate to see the Dollar Tree concept die. I do have to say the $5 for two 11 x 14 canvases seemed a good price to me. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out! Enjoy your week!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. A agree that things costing more than $1 or $1.25 should not be in a dollar store! I hardly ever go to a dollar store, but I would for sure buy cards there. I hardly ever buy greeting cards, but when I do I refuse to pay $5 for a piece of paper with a canned message that someone is going to put in the recycling shortly after they receive it. I wonder about the quality of many of the items there. Is it better to pay more somewhere else and have it last longer?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I totally agree about the cards! Everybody gets Dollar Tree cards from me, but I do keep cards from those I love. Some products are better than others. I often purchase seasonal decor at DT for my mom’s apartment. Most I throw away when the holiday is over. I like the Awesome cleaner and the Bar Keeper’s Friend (when I can find it.) Balloons are good there, too. Batteries and towels, are a no go! I have heard of a steak at DT, but I wouldn’t even feed it to a dog. LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! And thank you for purchasing items for your classroom. Teachers have a life long effect! I don’t like the Plus idea, and I hope you never see it in your area! 🙂 Enjoy your day!


    • I agree. I’m not sure how long I will keep the stock. I think they are throwing away what made them what they are today. We will see what happens. But whatever happens, Dan and I are still going camping. 🙂 Hope you have a good week, David!


  6. The Dollar Tree where I go for gift wrap and cards has changed the prices to $1.50 per item. In Canada, that’s a bargain. I usually pop into the store about once a month for cards or seasonal items.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am glad I had you laughing! And I’ll mark you down for the cookies. 🙂 I hope you have a great day, too! We are home for a bit, but we do have lots more plans for 2022. Safe travels, and keep having fun!


  7. Yes please for a tin of cookies! No thanks on the Dollar Tree “plus” section. Just saw it for the first time last week and I absolutely hate it! You are right, the whole appeal of the Dollar Tree was that everything cost a dollar (or 1.25 now). I our house we call it the Dollar 25 Tree, but I don’t see myself going nearly as often now that things cost up to $5. Ugh 😩

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I have gone less already with the quarter increase. I’m really not interested in the $5 stuff either. I think they are getting rid of what made them great. Oh well, I don’t need any more stuff anyway! I will mark you down for a tin of cookies! 🙂 Enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Well I think 25 cent increase in this time of high inflation isn’t so bad. It’s still cheaper than what you will get at Target or Wal-Mart. If you need my mailing address to send that tin of cookies I will be glad to give it to you. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I think the Dollar Tree will go the way of the Five & Dime. Remember those? We had one in our town when I was a kid. Not sure exactly when it closed down.

    I think the next big thing will be the Five & Ten Buck Shop. When you see that, buy their stock. On second thought, never mind—trust me when I say you don’t want to take stock advise from me. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, I remember the Five & Dime! We had one we could walk to when we were kids. There is a nostalgic one in Branson (Missouri). I don’t need more stuff, but I had fun looking around in there. I bought a salt and pepper set which looked like a camper and a van. I’m not sure what will happen with the Dollar Tree, but you may be right.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.