stores are either a place to snatch up bargains, or a
all in your perspective and your self-control. Common
sense tells us not to fill a cart with stuff we donít
need. But there are deals to be had.
can resist a Jif Peanut Butter to Go three-pack for $1,
when itís $3.99 elsewhere? What about Scrub Buddies, a
two-pack but slightly smaller knockoff of Mr. Cleanís
Magic Erasers, which go for $2.49?
time I come here with a budget, I always go over
it," said Anthony Allen of Lake Worth, Fla., while
recently shopping at Dollar Tree in West Palm Beach,
who works for another retailer, was eyeing the scads of
Christmas decorations. He plans to buy the $1 ornaments
to make his own wreath, rather than pay $34 and up for a
decorations and party supplies are among the most
popular items in dollar stores.
attention to quality, check labels and stick with
national brands. What Dollar Tree calls its
"million-dollar brands" include Ultra Laundry
Detergent, Ajax dishwashing liquid, Renuzit air
fresheners, Lady Speed Stick deodorant, VO5 shampoo,
Campbellís soup and many others.
out for products with labels that mimic name brands, but
arenít, such as Enregin brand cleansers with the same
colors and label style as Neutrogenaís products.
browse for items they typically buy at a regular grocery
store, and save money, a study by The Hartman Group Inc.
of Bellevue, Wash., found. While 42 percent of shoppers
go to dollar stores more than once a month, consumers
are more likely to buy food and beverages elsewhere.
definition of dollar stores includes Dollar General and
Family Dollar, which have merchandise thatís more than
Wright, Hartmanís senior manager, marketing, said
those two retailers and Dollar Tree are planning to open
more than 1,500 new stores in the U.S. in the next year
and remodel many existing stores.
channel is growing because shoppers are interested in
discount shopping, which now includes a growing
assortment of foods and beverages, Ďthe treasure huntí
that they believe such stores provide, and because the
stores can be located in diverse locations ranging from
urban to suburban and rural," Wright said.
with stores small enough to zip through quickly and
parking usually right outside the door, as well as low
prices draw customers of all income levels.
half of people with household incomes of $150,000 a year
or more say they shop at dollar stores, a recent survey
of 2,000 adults by Chicago-based Mintel found.
for party favors are another favorite of dollar-store
come here for treasure box toys, and party favors,"
said Dayree Gonzalez, a West Palm Beach mother of two.
She especially likes the coloring books and flash cards.
Heyden of Lake Worth loves the cleaning supplies,
shampoo and soap, and finds the holiday decorations a
lot of value packed into $1 each.
about those name brands? Is the Crest toothpaste sold at
Dollar Tree really Crest? A Procter & Gamble
representative said yes, it is, and if not specified
otherwise, it is made in the U.S. Anything made in a
foreign country must be stamped with that information.
is another big draw. Some people buy it before heading
for the movies, where it costs much more.
items are less than a dollar. For example, the greeting
cards are two for $1 and the Libbyís canned vegetables
are 79 cents for a 15-ounce can.
gift bags, similar to those that cost as much as $5 in
other stores, come in a wide variety of sizes, styles
STORY CAN END HERE)
dollar store items are the best buys and which are a
waste of money?
a brief list compiled by the Palm Beach Post:
cotton cosmetic rounds, $2-$3 at drug stores.
Mead brand security envelopes, $1.89 for 50 at
Crocker brand silicone spatula, as much as $5 on
Amazon.com and eBay.
hair elastics, $2-$3 at drug stores.
oz. bottle of Martinelliís Sparkling Red Grape Juice
that sells for $3.47 elsewhere.
holiday-themed solar lights are cute, but the light they
provide is insignificant. If you need a solar light, get
something bigger ó unless you are an ant.
Sunbeam batteries have terrible consumer reviews, with
many people reporting they donít last long. They are
made in China. Stick with made-in-the-U.S. brands such
as Energizer, Duracell and Rayovac.
Bear Honey Flavored Syrup, 8 oz. We hate to say it, but
this made-in-the-USA product is deceptive. Itís
packaged in a honey bear-shaped bottle. Here are the
ingredients: corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup,
honey, honey flavor, natural and artificial color. It
would be easy for someone to mistakenly grab this
bottle, thinking it is honey. Buy the real thing
crayons made in Thailand. Thereís a reason why Crayola
has been around since 1903. These crayons donít do the
four-piece manicure set is basically a joke, with
scissors that wonít cut fingernails. Donít waste
said, even Good Housekeeping says the cleaning supplies
and paper products sold in dollar stores are a good
a womenís lifestyle website that focuses on saving
money, started out with list of "10 things you
should always buy at a dollar store," and following
reader input, the list grew to 67 items and counting.
the items people recommended are cotton swabs, clay
flower pots, double-sized tape, paper clips, wax paper
and aluminum foil, holiday decorations, mailing labels,
shaving cream and candy.