Tag Archives: dollar stores

Dollar Store Don’ts!

Dollar-Store dontThe hard-hitting sequel! Or something.

As much as I love the dollar store, there are some items you probably shouldn’t bother with, as the value doesn’t quite stand up. A relative term, for sure… it’s $2.50 someplace else, a dollar here, but it’s probably only worth 79 cents. Are you actually going to make a trip back to return it? You will spend more on gas!

Nevertheless, value is value, so let’s take a look at items to avoid, as listed by Wisebread.com

Dollar Store Don’ts…

  • Anything With a Plug: forging that “UL Approved” label is not unheard of.  About the only electrical thing I buy here is lightbulbs.
  • Food Storage Bags, Aluminum Foil, and Cling Wrap: Sometimes you have to buy 4 boxes to get as many bags or feet of wrap as you would at Walmart, so you aren’t really saving.
  • Kitchen Utensils: For a college dorm or your niece’s first apartment, maybe. For regular grownups, no.
  • Vitamins and other drugs: Not dangerous, but sometimes lacking ingredients, sometimes past their expiration and, again, there may be very few in the bottle compared to the grocery store or pharmacy
  • Toys: There are so many safety regulations for toys, and some of the dollar-store kind come from far, far away, if you know what I mean.
  • Tools: Been there. Planning to use that screwdriver exactly once? Buy it at the dollar store!

A general note, courtesy of Me: Along the lines of “how many aspirin are in the dollar bottle?” I often consider how much they had to shrink the product to make it possible to sell for a dollar. If you have to buy 3 or 4 of them, are you saving? (I’m asking!)

Also, I am generally wary of anything in the store that costs UNDER a dollar. I think “One Dollar” is a powerful psychological cue. If everything else in your basket costs a dollar, then you won’t mind (or even notice) that the can of peas you are paying 85 cents for is actually 60 cents at Walmart!

So, that’s the lowdown. Again, I LOVE the dollar store. But if you shop it smarter, you can enjoy it even more! What are YOUR dollar store do’s and don’ts? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Dollar Store Dos and Don’ts

Dollar-StoreConfession time… for me, the dollar store has replaced Goodwill as my go-to retail therapy option. My main reason? Too many times I have seen an item from the dollar store – one that cost a dollar! – still in the package and for sale at Goodwill for $1.91!

Anyway, love that dollar store! And, let’s get it straight; I refer to the one that has the green color scheme, where everything is truly a dollar or less. But I have learned that there are certain items you can feel comfortable buying there, and ones you can’t.

So I was intrigued to find this list, “10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store (and 10 You Should)” from Wisebread.com, to see if my instincts are correct. Let’s check out some highlights from the “Do” column (with bonus dumb commentary!)

Dollar Store “Do’s”:

  • Gift Wrap, Cards, and Party Supplies: I literally discovered gift bags and tissue paper here. Magical moment.
  • Glassware, Cups, and Mugs:  Fancy? No. But do they hold liquid, and transport said liquid from the table to your face? Done.
  • Coloring Books, Crayons, etc.: As long as your kids don’t mind that the coloring book is from Iron Man 1 and not Iron Man 3. For some kids, this is really a challenge!
  • Batteries: Probably my biggest purchase. I would classify dollar store batteries as “half as good for a quarter of the price.”
  • Holiday Decorations: You’d have to talk to Sgt Wife about this but, yeah, why not?
  • Most Cleaning Products: I would say mostly the basics. Bleach is bleach, but you won’t find the 14 kinds of bleach that Clorox thinks we need to survive. Another catch… I buy this generic Febreze, but I am convinced it is about ¼ the concentration of the name brand, and I go through it quickly.

Next time we’ll look at the Don’ts. What do you think?  Are you a dollar store freak like me? What are your big purchases? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!