I looked at:
- Overall quality
- Price per unit (sometimes ounce for ounce, or piece for piece it was cheaper to buy it in bulk somewhere else)
- Effectiveness for the job (if it was a cleaning product)
- Possible concerns–lead in the ceramic of dishes made in China, OTC medications effectiveness or safety, vitamins being “good”, etc
The “dollar” stores are stocked with mainly two kinds of items…ones that are made for the dollar store, and ones that are close out from national brands. There are so many items in these stores that is difficult to find consistency in any one product or item always being there. Typically once they are out, they are out. It pays to know prices, or at least have an idea of what is a deal or not. Here is what I found:
Generally a good deal
- Gift bags, party invites, ribbons, bows, tissue paper, gift wrap, greeting cards (often 2/$1)
- Kitchen tooks–measuring cups/spoons, ice cream scoops, wire whisks, spatulas, etc.
- Small storage containers, tubs, baskets and bins
- Cleaning products and supplies…mops, rubber gloves, sponges, and all purpose cleaners…work just as well as the higher priced cleaners.
- Pet toys…savings close to $3 per toy
- Holiday/Seasonal decorations
- Mylar Balloons…may save as much as $4+ per balloon
- Disposable aluminum pans for freeze ahead meals…savings of around $2-$3 per pan
- Picture frames
- Pregnancy tests
- Baby Shampoo and De-tangler
- Spices–while there isn't a big selection the price point is quite substantial
- Hair elastics, headbands, clips and bows are a great bargain at the dollar store.
- Disposable food storage containers.
- Some dishtowels-look them over carefully, some are better than others.
- Some make-up, like lipsticks, eye liners, and applicator brushes are generally a good deal…savings can be as much as $6-$7 depending on the items.
Not such a great deal
- kids toys
- canned goods
- over the counter medications
- paper products
- salt, baking soda, brown sugar