So you have just arrived in the area, on the way to checking into your Sevierville cabin rental. Your family will inevitably stop at the grocery and/or discount store to stock up on food and other items that you will need during your stay. Our guests run the gamut from traveling with only the will to shop, to bringing absolutely everything to avoid buying any duplicates while here. For those that fall in between, I propose a pitstop you may not have considered to save you some substantial cash to reallocate as play money.
Don’t stop reading now: please give this concept a chance. Note there are several dollar discount stores in our area to shop for your liking: Big Lots, Dollar General, Family Dollar, and Dollar Tree. All of these chains offer discount items, with some great deals among the cheap junk. For the purposes of this blog, I chose the local Dollar Tree store, since it is conveniently located directly on the Parkway in Sevierville, which the vast majority will pass on the way into town. Also located in this center are a small Belk department store, TJ Maxx, Outback Steakhouse, Popeye’s Chicken, and a local bank ATM. By the amount of out-of-state tags that I see every time I visit TJ Maxx, it is obvious that everyone likes a great deal wherever they may roam. Another plus is that Walmart is just three more traffic lights up the Parkway, so you can stop here first. In addition, a new second location has also opened this month in Pigeon Forge at 161 East Wears Valley Road, in the Shops of Pigeon Forge center.
1. Celebration Items-So many come to our area for happy times: birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, showers, family reunions, buddy trips, holidays, and more. Check out these items that will help you celebrate at $1 each or less:
greeting cards, car window markers, decorations, party favors, mylar and latex balloons (mylar inflated instore), candles, gift bags, cellophane treat bags, wrapping paper, gift tissue, ribbons, bows, table covers, tableware and serving utensils, functional and decorative glassware, specific seasonal items, and holiday items. With a little creativity on your part, your celebration will not be diminished by using items that are $1 each. Even Martha Stewart thinks quite highly of tissue paper decor. Here’s the proof:
2. Water Play Items-If you plan to play in the local waters, inexpensive water toys are available in abundance now, and there is even a small selection year round here because of area indoor water parks. Think pool noodles, diving weights, small squirt guns, goggles, tote bags and backsacks, clear zip bags, flying discs, and flipflops (gotta love shoes for a dollar). Durability is not a major concern if you consider such toy items as “use and lose”, or pay them forward for someone else to enjoy (no packing to haul home!).
3. Kitchen items-I am certain you brought your own “can’t live without” coffee creamer from home! You can find all manner of foil pans, plastic and foil wrap, clear zip bags, picnic items, tote baskets and plastic containers available, along with many oddball kitchen gadgets that may not be standard vacation rental issue.
4. Toys and Candy-Namely, cheap entertainment, but I’m not advocating junk toys at all. Skip them for simple pleasures like balls of all sizes, sidewalk chalk, silly string, puzzles, glow sticks and glow jewelry. Not enough? Simple crafts, poster and foamcore board, paints and markers can also satisfy a kid’s creative side. See if you can challenge them to play a different way and set aside the electronics for awhile on vacation.
Candy? Yes, really. Theater box brand-name candy is $1 or less, and usually very fresh (blog writer tested). Other candies include Tootsie Roll products, Werther’s, Dubble Bubble and other name brand favorites. Many other items are American-made by regional confection companies and of good quality. Don’t be afraid to try these treats; if you have any concerns, check the dates or ask the staff. A recent score (for school gifts) was an entire box case of small Toblerone bars for $1 each, and they were completely fresh and lovely.
My point is to consider saving all you can on the functional stuff of trip life, to have more of your hard-earned dollars to spend on fun. I am assuming your innate capability to discern the foreign-made junk from the great gems that you can mine for your own shopping needs. I think you will find more than you expected, with a pleasant ending cash register total, as opposed to the typical tourist town sticker shock. For those already in the know, I am certain you have far more additional creative ideas than I could ever list here.
Enjoy your stocking pitstop, and we look forward to your arrival at Volunteer Cabin Rentals very soon!