We live within walking distance to a dollar, it’s in the same shopping center as our grocery store, and we’ve found many a good gem in there, mostly by accident. When I saw this Kiplinger’s article on the best and worst dollar store buys, I was curious to see what they found to be a good deal and what they found to be a bad one. They force you to go through a quiz but I won’t.
They said that good deals could be found on party supplies, cleaning supplies, greeting cards, seasonal/holiday items, pregnancy tests, gift wrap, and cooking & dining accessories like utensils and flatware/glassware. You should pass on vitamins, basic school supplies, over-the-counter medication, toys, canned food, batteries, and electronics. The winners were winners for reasons you’d expect, they’re simply cheaper. The losers were losers because they were either not cheap enough (you could go to Wal-Mart and pay the same or even less) or their efficacy, in the case of medication and vitamins, were suspect. A lot of dollar stores sell overstock merchandise, it’s possible to find things beyond their expiration date. That’s a good thing for seasonal items but not a good thing for vitamins.
We typically hit the dollar store whenever we’re looking for party supplies. The store is closer than any other store that carries party supplies, which is probably the greatest incentive, and there’s a surprisingly good selection.
What’s your best dollar store find?