I have met many people who have never shopped at a dollar store. These are people who have never even been inside a dollar store to look around and see what they might have to offer. There are several different dollar store franchises and they are not all the same. There are several dollar stores that sell everything in the store for one dollar plus sales tax. There are other dollar stores that cost more but undercut even the cheapest department stores. The dollar stores have made a decision to rely on greater turnover and smaller profit margins on goods. They sell more items with a lower profit margin than other stores.
I imagine that people do not shop in these stores for various different reason, but one might be that a person cannot imagine what one dollar might buy. They might think that one dollar would just buy a cheap plastic necklace or something of cheap quality that would break right away. There are many reasons to stop at the dollar store before going anywhere else. Here are a few reason:
Household Cleansers and Soaps
Some of the one dollar stores have a entire section on household cleansers and soaps. There you can find name brands for dish soap, floor cleaners, tub and tile cleansers, bleaches and the sort of items that might cost you at least three dollars as your local supermarket. If you do the math, if you buy ten of these items that you would normally get for two, three or four dollars, you are saving anything from ten to thirty dollars in household cleansers. It is easy to go crazy picking up necessary cleansers knowing that they are such a bargain. In another section of the store, you will find anonymous brands of hand soap. shower gel, and shampoo. There are some name brands there also.
The all-for-a-dollar type of stores usually have a large supply of kitchen items such as large slotted spoons, spatulas, graters, whisks, measuring cups, measuring spoons, mugs, plates, bowls, water sippers, glasses, dish towels, and again, these are the type of items that would cost you three to five dollars at your local sueprmarket, and again, you could save yourself a large amount of money by stocking your kitchen with necessary items from dollar stores. In addition you can get trash bags, kitchen garbage bags, and storage bags for a dollar for each box of ten.
Special Occasions and Birthday Parties
Many of the one dollar stores sell the fancy shiny mylar balloons that have a message and a picture on them, and will inflate them with helium for you. Instead of getting one birthday balloon at the local supermarket, you could get six for the same price at the dollar store! The dollar store is also you go to place for greetings cards, gift bags, wrapping paper, ribbons, paper plates, party favors, party hats, and decorative items such as vases, glass pebbles to go in the vases, and fake flowers. You might want to start your party shopping at a dollar store and then progress to a more expensive store for cakes and gifts. The dollar stores also change their wares for the season so they have items for graduation, for the Fourth of July barbecue season, Thanksgiving , Christmas, Valentines Day and Easter.
There are all sorts of other items in the dollar stores that should probably be avoided. One example might be large bottles of soda made by unknown brands. Unknown brands of food may be risky, but if you see a recognizable brand — that should probably be safe. Dollar stores have cans of food by well known companies such as Libbies or Del Monte. Generally, I personally do not buy food at the dollar store unless I know the brand.
There are also a lot of useful items that I have not mentioned because soaps, party items, and kitchen wares are what the dollar stores excel at supplying, but they have lots of other bargains too. You can get picture frames, automotive supplies, toothbrushes and tooth paste, make-up, vitamins, toys, books, baby goods and a whole host of other things. It is worth just browsing around and making a mental note of stuff that you might need in the future from these stores.
The type of dollar store that is cheap but sells items for more than one dollar, such as the Family Dollar franchise has all of the things that the all-for-a-dollar stores sell, but in addition more expensive items such as laundry soap, laundry baskets, hampers, plastic tubs, totes, and storage boxes. Some of these stores also have decor items such as lamps, wall art, rugs, shower curtains, bath towels, hand towels, wash cloths,and small appliances such as radios, CD players, alarm clocks and batteries. These stores are great for disposable items like paint brushes, paint rollers, plastic pails, and if you look around you may find other bargains.