Barefoot by the Sea: Dollar Store Deals...oh yeah!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dollar Store Deals...oh yeah!

When I was a kid, dollar stores were retailers full of miscellaneous junk.  Often stuffy and full of no named items, we rarely hit "those stores" but in 2010, they are much different.  Dollar Stores offer value and deals and many major retailers are adding dollar sections to their aisles so that everybody can get products on the cheap.  These stores and aisles offer some great deals and some duds.  Here are is a list of the best deals you can find and the ones you might opt to avoid:   
Real Deals
1.  Cards, Wrapping Paper and Gift Wrap:  Great savings here!  If you're planning a birthday party, be sure to check out this aisle, where you will find some character licensed goods, like Elmo, Dora or Barbie as well as some pretty alternatives.  I found some brown kraft paper with pink and dark brown polka dots which was hit for my kids.  There are also colorful paper plates, napkins and tons of party favors for those bags that often times end up costing a fortune!
2. Kitchen Utensils:  Great place to find things like stainless steel potato peelers, kitchen gloves and measuring cups.  
3.  Glasses and Bowls:  I've found cute margarita and martini glasses on the cheap, as well as ice cream and popcorn bowl for the kids. 
4. Household Cleaners:  Most of the basic ingredients in unbranded cleaners are the same.  So, go ahead and grab that bottle of generic window cleaner (just in time for Spring cleaning) and rest assured it's going to work as well as your pricey name brand.  Same goes for toilet cleaners, air fresheners and stain removers.  Then again, vinegar is just as effective and better for the environment anyway!  
5.  Kid's outdoor toys:  Bubbles, balls, sidewalk chalk, journals, insect magnifiers, paddle ball sets, swim goggles, sand toys and much more can be found at these stores at deep discounts.  I usually steer clear of plastic junk though.
Not So Much
1. Batteries: Most batteries here are the carbon-zinc variety which drain really quickly and are more sensitive to heat and cold than the traditional alkaline. 
2.  Vitamins:  Since vitamins are dietary supplements, they aren't scrutinized as highly by the Food and Drug Administration.  In a recent study, consumer reports had found that half the dollar store brands contained less vitamins than the labels indicated and often did not digest properly.  When it comes to your health, why take the chance?
3.  Food:  I'm always leery of the food in these stores, simply because I wonder how long they have stayed on the shelves.  Just be sure to check expiration dates, ingredients and skip dented boxes and cans.
4.  Electrical Products:  Since the quality may not be the greatest, the risk is that certain products may not be wired to handle the current they receive. 
5.  Jewelry:  These stores are full of jewelry, which may contain lead so avoid it at all costs.  


  1. First, I cracked up at your second heading, "Not so much." I couldn't agree more. Second, I agree with the store being great for gift supplies!

  2. you are so right! They have come so far! I am always there for baskets and glass dishes for party serving!

    Kim @
    party inspiration

  3. you are so right...I love the dollar store for that list as well as some random storage stuff. If I am looking for something, I will always hit the Dollar Store to see if they might have it.
    The one by us sells balloons too...great for b-days!

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  5. I LOVE the dollar store and agree with everything you said!

    And I've emailed you a couple times. I guess my email is going to spam folders so let me know that you got my messages! I have a few sponsors for our July event and am waiting to hear back from more!


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