a one hundred dollar billMany of us regularly shop dollar stores for household items and holiday-related items. I typically find most everything for entertaining like cooking pans, extra serving pieces, gift wrap and cookie tins (seriously, why would anyone pay those prices at The Container Store for holiday themed tins you will be giving away?). But I've been wondering about the gifts themselves, what dollar stores have to offer in this area.

Walletpop's own dollar store diva Marlene Alexander will be offering tips on dollar shopping and gift ideas as we get closer to the holidays, but until then, Family Dollar has some suggestions. The retailer will be offering a selection of $5 gifts with brand names like the Disney Play Hut, will issue a recipe and coupon booklet for the season.

There's also a chance to win a shopping spree. Now through November 19, submit a short essay (250 words or less), explaining why you and your family deserve to win. Twenty-five finalists will be selected and during the week leading up to Black Friday, anyone can cast a vote. The winner gets 90 seconds to grab as many items as possible.

And if you shop for large quantities during the holidays, both Family Dollar and Dollar General are offering 10% discounts on bulk buys. Spend a minimum of $100 at Family Dollar and $250 at Dollar General to get the deal, a program meant to encourage folks to use the stores for charitable giving.

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