Thursday, October 20, 2011

Are the Dollar Stores Really a Bargain?

If you're anything like me, you enter the dollar stores and think, "Wow, what great deals!"  In some cases that is very true, but be aware of items that aren't really "a deal".  I just finished reading an article on and here are some interesting things that I took from it:

      • Cleaning items: Bleach and sponges are usually good dollar store deals
      • Shampoos: good buy. This article quoted that Consumer Reports stated the only difference between inexpensive, off-brand shampoos and their more expensive cousins is usually the scent
      • Greeting Cards
      • Spices: $1.00 for basic spices can't be beat!  You won't find a huge selection BUT make sure to check the expiration date!
      • Packaged and bottled foods: check the expiration date...
      • Picture frames: I've purchased frames from dollar stores that have been great!  You can also paint them a color you like or decorate them
      • Halloween and Movie Night Candy
      • Seasonal Decorations
      • Socks
      • Gift bags
      • Toys: I knew this before I even read the article - not a good deal.  My experiences with the toys sold in these types of stores are that they are cheaply made (surprise!) and not even worth the dollar you paid.
      • Batteries: not a good buy - they usually dont' last as long as the name brand versions
      • Medications & vitamins: they may be unregulated and mislabeled
      • Paper products, plastic & aluminum wrap
      • Drinks: not competitively priced
      • School supplies: better off going to the big box stores and getting them on sale during back-to-school season or just after
      • Pet Food: after all of the pet food scares...go to the national chain stores
      • Power cords and strips: often terribly made and can cause more damage to your electronics than they are worth!
      • Knives
      • Chewing Gum

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