Dollar Store Shopping

Image courtesy Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee / Freedigitial photos.netTypically, when someone says Dollar Store, junk comes to mind.

Yup, that’s right. Junk. After all, what could you possibly find of value at a store where everything only costs $1.25?

Prior to my descent into poverty, visits to the Dollar Store were for purchasing party supplies, Halloween costumes or craft supplies. Later, when I had $20 for the week to feed my family and my pride prevented me from going to food banks, the Dollar Store became my best friend.

Granted, dairy and meat products can’t be found at your local Dollar Store (or can they?), but just about everything else can such as whole grain pastas, sauces, baking supplies, condiments, snacks, beans, canned fish, veggies and fruit and sometimes even cereal. Additionally, the Dollar Store has a myriad other useful items on the cheap such as toiletries, cleaning supplies, household items, pet food and greeting cards.

But how do Dollar Stores make money? Some products are comparable to those found at Safeway while other items are worse than those found inside chocolate eggs. Well, the easy answer is that the brands sold at Dollar Stores have no advertising behind them and celebrities don’t endorse them. Also, products come in smaller sizes and there’s no guarantee when a product is in stock.

After the third fixture in my house stopped working, I was ready to give my landlord a piece of my mind. Before I did that, however, I thought I’d try an experiment. I unscrewed a light bulb from a room that I know I bought at Home Depot and tried it in the light fixtures that weren’t working. And you know what? They worked!

Other worst buys have been cotton swabs, deodorant, hair colour and dish soap. Purchases which have made my life better include deep cleansing pads for cleaning my floor, whole grain pasta, muffin mixes, condiments such as ketchup and mayo and puzzles.

Yes, there is a lot of junk at Dollar Stores, but you can also find valuable items. What are some of the best/worst products you’ve found at your local Dollar Store?

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