Are Dollar Stores A Good Value
If you're like most folks, you have a dollar store or two in your neighborhood. These all-purpose stores reminiscent of the old five-and-dime are popping up everywhere. So much so, in fact, some major discount chains are worried. If you've walked by the dollar store but have written them off as peddlers of inexpensive junk, you couldn't be more wrong. The dollar store has something for everyone.
The kitchen section alone is worth a visit. Ok, so we're not talking about gourmet cookware and high-end carving knives, but there are some very good buys to be had. For instance, the dollar store has shelves full of plastic containers, which are just perfect for storing leftovers, carrying lunches, and housing small children's toys. Some of these containers come in packages of three or four for your dollar. Compare these to those found in the supermarket and you're sure to agree they're of equal quality, but at a better price.
Another good buy is foil baking pans. The dollar store features convenient disposable pans in every shape and size, from muffin tins to large roasting pans. These pans, which run two or three dollars each at the supermarket, can be found at the dollar store at two or four for a dollar for the smaller ones and at an even buck for a large turkey-sized pan.
Read on for a sampling of other great dollar store finds.
T-shirts - T-shirts for a dollar? You may be skeptical about the quality, and who can blame you? A shirt that cost a dollar is certainly not going to be as durable, or even as attractive, as a T-shirt found in a department store, but these inexpensive pieces of clothing have a purpose. They're great for wearing when doing crafts, washing the car, painting the house or doing other chores that may soil your good clothes. The dollar store is also a source for other small clothing items such as socks, panty hose and gloves. Again, the quality is questionable but it depends on your purpose. These can be great craft items.
Toys - The dollar store is the perfect place to purchase items for the birthday party goody bag or even small rewards for potty training and other good behavior. Bottles of bubbles, small bouncy balls, crayons, markers, and stickers...the possibilities are endless.
Gift-wrap items -The dollar store can take the edge off holiday spending. Gift bags, ribbon, baskets and greeting cards are all popular dollar store staples. Before buying wrapping paper, however, be sure to check the roll's quantity. You may find a better bargain at your local discount chain where a roll of wrapping paper runs less per yard than at the dollar store.
Household goods - While walking through the household aisles at your dollar store, you're sure to spot some great finds. Coffee filters, paper towels and napkins (again, check quantity before purchasing - it may be a better deal to purchase these paper goods at the supermarket) and large mixing bowls are found on the shelves here. Plastic cups and bowls abound, as do mixing spoons and inexpensive gadgets such as egg slicers. We're not done yet, though. A further browse will turn up shower curtains, table cloths, ironing board covers, and clothes hangars -- the good plastic kind.
School and office supplies - The dollar store is an excellent store of inexpensive school supplies. Pencils, mailing envelopes, notebooks and notepaper are some of the items one can find here.
Dish towels and wash cloths- You'll find a good selection of small towels and wash cloths. These, of course, won't be of the quality you're used to seeing at the large department chains, but for everyday clean up and chores such as washing the car, the cost can't be beat. This way you can save the good towels for when company comes.
Do you get what you pay for at the dollar store? Absolutely! For instance, a major consumer magazine cautioned against buying extension cords at the dollar store since they're not of good quality and can be unsafe. Also consider the quality of electronics, if you're purchasing a personal stereo and paid only one dollar, it's probably worth just that. Dollar store batteries don't last as long as the ones you'll find at the discount chain and it's always a good idea to err on the side of caution when it comes to purchasing food items at the dollar store. The good deals outweigh the bad, however.