Yippee! There's a new dollar store in town! I rushed right over in a buying frenzy but, alas! it's one of those quasi-dollar stores that also sell stuff for anywhere up to $15 or more. Still, I had a look around and discovered these key-chain watches for $2 each. I remember buying one of these from a mall kiosk for $10 and thinking it was a great deal. Now, I guess with most people walking around with clocks on their cell phones, there isn't as much demand for these watches.

I like the shapes these come in and thought they'd make a cute decoration hung from a purse zipper pull or a belt loop. These watches would make a great prize to put inside a homemade Christmas cracker, too. I know it's only June but if you buy up a couple of these little things when you see them during the year, by the time the holiday season rolls around, you'll have a good start on filling those crackers.

Also, I've discovered that I can replace most watch batteries myself much more cheaply than a jeweler can do it, unless I simply can't get the back off the watch! I buy a card of five watch batteries for a buck. You can also get lithium batteries, a card of three flat round ones or one camera battery for $1 each. Lately, I've also seen hearing aid batteries at the dollar store. Sure beats paying regular prices elsewhere.

My favorite dollar store, Dollarama, stocks both Sunbeam and Panasonic batteries, names I know and trust, in all of the usual sizes, too.

Marlene Alexander is a freelance writer and dollar store diva. She writes about dollar store decorating ideas at her website www.dollarstorestyle.com.


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