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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Autumn decorations from Michael's vs Autumn decorations from Dollar Tree

On Saturday, I was out running multiple errands in the area with my daughters, and we all wanted to stop at Michael's. We each had our coupons (from mailers, as well as online rewards program emails), and we each had a couple of items we were interested in.

I've been longing to add decor to our front entry for autumn. One of my daughters hit it when she said, "this is your way of making up for summer coming to an end". That is a good part of why I like to decorate seasonally.

In Michael's, I could feel myself wanting to go wild with the spending. I need colored leaves, flower stems, faux squash, corn stalks, bales of hay. . .I need it all!

After much planning, and much mental mathematics, I selected these flower stems. they were on sale at 50% off, so I thought I was getting a great deal. Total spent -- $16.92

Driving on to our next errand, I realized that I should have checked Dollar Tree first. Kicking myself for not doing that only left me with a sore shin while trying to drive. I vowed to compare the floral stems at Dollar Tree, when we stopped in later that afternoon.

And these are the flowers that I found at Dollar Tree. Total spent -- $7.66

Okay, so they're not exact replicas of what Michael's carries, but they give the same autumnal "feel" to my entry decor. And as they'll be outside in the elements, I'm glad to not spend so much money on decorative pieces.  When my front entry decor transitions over to Christmas decor, I'll bring these inside to store until next year.

The differences between Michael's floral stems and Dollar Tree's are not significant to my needs. the Michael's stems are longer, and fuller. The length of stems didn't matter for my use. And the fullness was made up by purchasing an extra stem in each flower-type.

My plan was to put the mums into a pot (still to do), and the sunflowers into a basket. While at St Vincent de Paul's on Sunday, I found this great grapevine cornucopia for 99 cents. Doesn't get much better than that -- a great autumn piece, and only 99 cents!

Does anybody here receive the Victoria online newsletter? If you do, then last week you may have seen this photo:

It's gorgeous, isn't it? This is the cover for October's issue (only it's reversed on the magazine cover) While my front entry won't look nearly as lush and full, this is the feel I'm aiming for. In the next couple of weeks, I'll be adding decor details to my entry, but on a budget. I'll share as I go.

I'll swing by Michael's while out this morning, and return those original floral stems. I saved myself $9.26.


  1. I would have done the same (returned the Michael's purchase). Annually, I redo my seasonal wreaths and assorted baskets for the front door (used to do 2 doors but I've downsized, only have a front door at the condo). I have large, clear plastic tubs on a shelving unit in the garage with the decor in a tub per season (exception is Xmas which has several tubs due to Xmas tree decor). I cull the spent and faded stuff, refresh as needed. Recently, I put up my front door wreath. I replaced the Fall themed ribbon bow with some fresh remenants I found in my Fall tub, and added more Fall picks to freshen it up as well as to make it completely filled (it previously just had a cluster of leaves on one side). I like it, and the best part is that I spent $0 this year on it. : )

  2. I should have added: I see many shopping for the aformentioned Fall decor items at Dollar Tree.

    1. Hi Carol,
      Your decor items sound like they're stored in a very organized fashion. I really should clean out my closet full of decor stuff. I don't have clear bins, which would make finding everything so much simpler. I have several large plastic trunks. I've labeled all of the trunks, but things still get misplaced from time to time.

      I checked out your door wreath. Very pretty, colorful and autumnal Carol!

    2. Lili, I invested in the clear storage tubs and an addiitonal shelving unit when I moved here to the condo, for the reasons you mention. Thanks for the feedback.

  3. Hi, Lili-- Glad you could get such lovely decorations at such a cheap price. I worked at one time for a five-and-dime that had some crafts, and I was always impressed, actually, by how many/how pretty silk or dried flowers I could get there for 99 cents. (This was years ago.) And fake ivy and other greenery was always a great deal, too, for arrangement filler.

    So, it's always been in the back of my mind to check the silks at discount stores and drug stores before I resort to craft stores. Sometimes they look tacky the way they're presented at the store; but a lot of times, by the time you cut them up, mix and match, add ribbons or other items, and re-arrange them, a lot of times no one would ever guess how little you spent. I love that! :) Great shopping, as always, Lili! Enjoy your new decorations! Sara

    1. Hi Sara,
      You're right about the display in-store at places like Dollar Tree not being the best. But once you get them home and do something with them, they can look quite respectable!

      I think there's this myth that faux flowers at dollar stores will be plastic. But they've come a long way, and look so much better than maybe they once did.

  4. Here's a link to see my front door wreath:

  5. I love the display on your bench...very pretty! I would have returned the flowers to Michael's, as well. Yay for saving almost $10!

    I was thinking last night that I should start getting out my autumn decor. Our weather had been so hot that I wasn't feeling like decorating yet. Just over the weekend we started having some cooler nights, and even though the days are still warm I feel like decorating now.

    Besides setting out my autumn decor, I love to burn a pumpkin spice candle at this time of year. The scent makes me so happy, and really says autumn is here.

    Have a great day!

    1. Hi Angie,
      Always great to save $10!
      It's amazing how quickly weather turns from hot summer to crisp fall. We're having warmer days, here, but the nights are cooler, too. This is much better sleeping weather.

      Your candle sounds very autumnal! I noticed Starbucks has the Pumpkin Spice Latte, again. It almost seemed too early when I saw the board announcing it at the store last week. But here we are, mid-September. Enjoy that candle, Angie!

      And have a great day, yourself!

  6. Completely agree about the Dollar Tree vs Michael's flowers! Early in the summer, my oldest daughter and her best friend wanted to make flower halos to wear at an all day concert they were attending. Oldest wanted to go to Michaels for supplies but we found everything they needed at a fraction of the cost at the dollar store! =)

    1. Hi Traycee,
      Oh, great job on finding just what you needed for so much less, for those halos! Especially with items to be used or worn only one or two times, it just seems silly to spend so much at a craft store.

      And like Sara mentioned, above, sometimes we have to imagine our craft project in more detail when we shop at dollar stores, as opposed to craft stores. Places like Michael's put a lot of emphasis on display, compared to Dollar Tree. You can find great stuff at dollar stores, but it takes more imagination up front, than at places like Michael's.

  7. We don't have many craft stores here, we lost Hobby Lobby (where we bought a nice chess set 15 years ago, and is used every time the grandkids are over). When we travel to Vegas, I always stop by JoAnns and Michaels. Maybe that's why thrift stores are my favorite places to find craft supplies. I sometimes order online from JoAnns when they have free shipping deals, and Fire Mountain Gems when I have a large order to make the $5 flat rate shipping a screaming deal (beads are very heavy). Our only local craft store in the islands is just too far away and expensive to shop.

    And no seasons here, so fall and spring completely escapes us. Your daughters are so smart, and I agree with her, that celebrating fall with beautiful decorations may be a way of extending the sunshine and happiness of summer.

    I love reading about your shopping trips in the quest to make the best buys. I recently decided to turn my thinking around about what makes a successful shopping trip...from a nice big haul to buying absolutely nothing. I always felt I needed to buy something or I'm wasting my time, like productivity is being measured. Now because we have more time than money lol, I'm going to change that thinking. I may go into the store to just buy eggs because that's all I need, and check the clearance buys, and walk out. In fact, because we need so few things, we must be stocked well...yay think we may have enough towels and sheets for the rest of our lives, so now is when we need to stop buying and start using down. I don't want our children to have to deal with so much stuff one day.

    Have a beautiful day!!


    1. Hi YHF,
      I find a lot of great crafting and sewing supplies at thrift shops. Oftentimes, it's clothing to use for the fabric. But I've seen a lot of yarn, knitting needles and patterns at thrift shops, too. So maybe you aren't missing all that much by not having Jo Ann's and Michael's on the islands.

      Have a great day, YHF!


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