Tuesday, July 10, 2018

This Week's Best Buys: Household Deals at Big Lots!

For many years now Big Lots has offered a quarterly 20% off Friends and Family Weekend in January, April, July, and October.  During this event if you are a rewards member, you can begin shopping on Saturday morning.  Just show your rewards card at the checkout to get the discount.  On Sunday, you use a printed 20% off coupon. 

Big Lots sends out notices for upcoming Friends and Family Weekends a about a week before the event.  When you sign up to become a rewards member, you'll automatically begin getting messages on money saving events and extra coupons. 

 Big Rewards members get great perks!  These include:  a coupon for $5 off with every 3 purchases, a birthday surprise, VIP shopping days, and furniture bonus coupons. 

If you are not already a Big Lots Rewards member, click here for details on how to sign up.

What Is Big Lots?

If you're not familiar with Big Lots, let me give you a quick 411.  

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Big Lots is a retail store with 1400 locations in 47 states.  Big Lots specializes in purchasing large lots of name brand items and then offering them at discount prices  You'll find groceries, household items, soft goods, and furniture at Big Lots.  The most interesting thing about Big Lots is that you never know what you'll find.  The prices are fantastic and it's almost always worth stopping in and taking a peek if you are passing by a Big Lots.

Pros and Cons

Here are my observations on the advantages and disadvantages of shopping at Big Lots. 


1.  Name-brand items at great prices.  Sometimes I can do better with a sale and a coupon, but if I need the item and it's not on sale anywhere, Big Lots has the best price.  

 2.  If it's a specialty or organic item, the Big Lots price just can't be beat!  

3.  The decorative and seasonal items are really cute and inexpensive.  

4.  The clearance prices rock!  Items are clearanced at 50 - 90 percent off of Big Lots regular low price.  


1.  No fresh food at Big Lots.  They do have a small refrigerated section.  But, it is limited and the prices are not that great.  

2.  It's "hit and miss".  Because Big Lots specializes in buying large lots of merchandise, you can't count on finding the same items weeks (or even days) later.  Once they sell out, they may remain out of that item for a long time or it may never reappear.  So, if you find an item you like, you will need to be prepared to purchase all that you want.  

3.  Some of the non-food items are low quality.  If you are looking for tech gadgets or automotive parts, Big Lots is not the best place to get them.

4.  They don't take coupons.  

Clearance Rack

Once a week Big Lots employees scour the shelves for items which are close to their expiration date.  These are all placed onto special clearance shelves.  These items are priced at 50-90 percent off of Big Lots already low prices!  These items can be a serious SCORE when you are on a limited budget!  


Ask your local Big Lots staff what day of the week they do their markdowns.  At our Big Lots, it is Tuesday at about noon.  If you want the best markdowns, be sure to visit the store as soon as you can after the markdowns happen!

These bags of dipper tortilla chips were priced at $.75 per bag on the clearance rack.  But, with the extra 20% off weekend, the price per bag went all the way down to $.60 a bag!

 I see a taco salad night or veggie crack snack in my future.  Veggie crack is one of those amazing concoctions that you dip onto tortilla chips and just can't stop eating!  Here's a link:  https://www.copymethat.com/r/qW4rUOw/veggie-crack/  It is seriously addictive!  My sister makes some when we get together.  We sit with a bag of chips and an entire bowl of this stuff! 

What Else Did I Get?

  I spent $61.63 for 38 items. 

I did get some grocery items. But, the majority of my purchases were household items like toothpaste, laundry detergent, and food storage bags. 

 Here are my best deals.  

I use  lot of storage and freezer bags when I am bulk cooking. I thought that these name brand Hefty bags were a great deal.  There were 80 gallon sized or 95 quart sized bag per box.  With the 20% discount, each box was just $3.84.

We seem to always be running out of toothpaste!  The Ultribrite brand was just $.80 each and the Colgate $1.80 for the large 8 oz. tubes.  I could have done a little better on the Colgate, but one of our sons has braces and can't use any toothpaste which it labelled "whitening".  The name brand tubes with whitening were actually a better price.  I got 4 Ultrabrite and 2 Colgate.

This is where I tell you that I spend extra money to get name brand dishwashing detergent.  I have tried the knock off and bargain basement priced products and am always deeply disappointed.  I find that I have to add a boatload of detergent to get the same results that I do with just a few drops of Dawn or Palmolive.

I got one of each of these brands to try them out.  If I like them, I'll buy them in more bulk the next time that Big Lots has a 20% off weekend.

Dawn $2.80 for 34 oz.
Palmolive $28 oz. for $1.60 (Not sure how I'm going to feel about the apple-pear scent).

I'm conflicted about laundry detergent.  I've been making my own for a while now.  While I am pleased that my laundry seems clean and smells great, after about 4 months, I notice a distinct film on the bottom of laundry tub.  Hmmmm... is there a film on my clothes that I just don't see?  I've been doing some reading and researching.  I'll let you know what I decide.  For now, I'm nearly out of my homemade concoction, so I'm going to use this cheap detergent until I come to a conclusion about detergent.

**I would love, love, love to know if any of you have done any research on laundry detergents and what your findings were.  Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.  **

I got the Xtra laundry detergent - 128 load bottle for $4.76. 

My husband hates antiperspirant!  He only uses deodorant.  It is hard to find brand which do not have the two products combined into one stick.  He usually gets Old Spice.  But, this was cheaper.  So, he's giving it a try.

Speed Stick Deodorant - 3 oz sticks - $1.60 each.  

(I'd like to try my hand at homemade deodorant sometime.  If I do, I'll let you all know how it goes.)  

This is a nod to my kids' late night bowl of cereal habit.  It's hard to me to say "no" when these bag of cereal was just $.80 each!  I got 8 bags!  That should keep them happy for a while.  :-)

The Dollar Tree stores have spices for just $1.00 each.  That is also the regular price at Big Lots.  But, at 20% off, these were just $.80 each!  I was out of both onion powder and basil.  So, the price was perfect!

Shout out to my son, Daniel


My son, Daniel, takes all the blog photos and thought it would just be so cool to show all of this week's best buys next to his Millennium Falcon.  I thought they were awesome!  Thanks, Dan!

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Do all to the glory of God, 


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