I love dollar stores. In the 90s, I photographed and shopped at dollar-store equivalents in Japan, pre-Euro Spain, Amsterdam, Scotland (All Things A Pound!), Mexico. I mean, what’s not to love about a store where you can get a 3-pack of 80% cotton sweat socks (does anyone still call them that anymore?) for the change in your pocket? Well … there are probably a few things in the store that make you shudder at the thought of using, and I’m curious – what are they?
One of my mother’s co-workers feeds herself and her kid from the dollar store. They catch every little bug going around, and the co-worker often has stomach issues. My mother keeps lecturing her that the no-name dollar store canned goods come from China, and hasn’t she been paying attention to the news about such things? And all that stuff is nutritionless carbohydrates loaded with salt and preservatives, no wonder their immune systems are shot. The woman won’t listen to her. I suspect we can all agree that my mother is right, and that unfamiliar brands at a dollar store should be avoided while expiration dates on name-brand items should be vigilantly checked.
No one I know would even consider wearing dollar-store underpants…but over the years, I’ve run into a few people who buy them for traveling. They wear them once or twice and throw them out, because they can’t bear the thought of the TSA sifting through their dirty dainties. Plus, ditching 5-10 pairs of undies frees up a bit of space for souvenirs. My personal trick for this one is to bring pairs that are on their last legs and toss them. It’s more eco-friendly as well as hygienic (most dollar-store undies are nylon, blech).
Favorite things to buy at a dollar store: greeting cards, gift bags & wrapping supplies, craft items, ziploc-esque baggies, disposable aluminum cooking trays, votive candles, chenille gloves.
Things I’d never consider buying at a dollar store, in addition to the above items: plastic baby items (e.g. bottles, rattles), deodorant (that stuff HAS to work – no compromising there!), soap (they often stock Ivory and Safeguard, but I find them a bit harsh on my skin despite their soothing names).
So where do you stand on dollar stores?
- Are you a fan or do you avoid them like the plague?
- What things do you like buying there?
- What else would you add to my list of things to avoid?
Filed under: Frugality