Dollar Store Picnic

Dollar Store Picnic

Dollar Store Picnic … easy & neat

Have you ever felt that it would  be too hard to put a picnic together so that things would run smoothly?

The dollar store is a great place to start.  Planning a simple menu and asking friends and family to help with the food makes it easy.

My nephew graduated from high school and  I wanted to gather my family together for a picnic to help him celebrate.  We’ve never been much of a picnic-type family so, even though I love them, I met with some resistance.  It didn’t stop me though….my brother and I thought it would be fun.

There is a beautiful park on the Fraser River, (Derby Reach Park)  about 10 minutes from my house so it was the perfect spot…..lots of room for bocce, croquet or a game of Frisbee, big, sturdy picnic tables, and outdoor johns nearby.

A few days before the picnic, I wandered the aisles of a local dollar store to pick out things that we needed.  For less than $15, I came away with

• two plastic red polka dotted shower curtains to use as tablecloths (the white one shown is 54 x108 inches)

• red napkins….large and small

• red glasses (to disguise the wine or beer that you are not allow to have in public parks,) and clear plastic glasses for soft drinks

• plates for the meal and smaller ones for the cake

• plastic knives and forks, a basket to put them in, and some serving spoons

• red tea light holders

• citronella candles to keep the bugs at bay

• a Frisbee and some bubbles……doesn’t everyone enjoy blowing bubbles….especially in a lovely park by the river on a sunny day?


The day of the picnic, I gathered together a few more items to take:  large garbage bag and a folding laundry hamper to hold it, wet wipes for sticky fingers, tin foil to wrap any leftover food, paper towels, sunscreen and mosquito repellent, deck of cards, paper towels, small first aid kit, and a fold-away portable carrier with water.


Everyone brought a lawn chair, my sisters brought homemade potato salad and Greek salad, my brother brought two cakes he had just made that morning….chocolate and carrot with cream cheese frosting…as well as coffee and pop, and I brought crispy chicken and Spanish rose wine. Some of the younger adults rounded out the menu with pickles, chips, and buns.  It was wonderful to just chat and relax without any fuss or bother.  Some played bocce, others croquet, and some of us just sat and chatted by the river….a perfect picnic.

Even the reluctant picnickers still comment on what a good time they had…and how organized it was….truly easy and neat!  Who knows, one day you may run into them in the dollar store preparing for their own picnic.


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