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Hot or Not?
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Dollar Store Deals - Hot or Not? ($50 Giveaway)

submitted on May 30, 2011 by YanBz in "Member's Lounge", last updated on June 7, 2011 by YanBz
Update 6/7/11: the contest is over and the winner is announces in the comments.

I am sure all of you have visited a dollar store once or twice, and as you did so you certainly decided for yourself if the place was worth your time. Some of you then went on and became regulars while others hurried to forget the day when you first stepped into the store.

We would like to hear from both, the lovers and haters. If you shop at the dollar stores - what brings you back there, and if you don't - what keeps you from going. Please share your opinion and take our poll for a chance to win a $50 cash prize.

We will randomly pick a winner on June 6 and give away $50 cash prize. You must take the poll to qualify. US residents only, 16 and older.

This Poll is Closed


1. What is your opinion about dollar store deals?
  • I visit dollar stores often and score great bargains
  • 31%
  • I come to dollar stores once in a while and shop selectively
  • 64%
  • Dollar store are a waste of time, I can find better deals elsewhere
  • 1%
  • I have never been to a dollar store
  • 3%
    Total: 78 votes

     

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      Comments
    • 115413
      debra1296
      learner
      Posted by debra1296 on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 2 0
      i used to shop quite often at dollar stores and found myself spending more money for smaller packaged items than if i had went to a regular retail store.
    • 115415
      donnak4
      learner
      Posted by donnak4 on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 2 0
      I get some good deals, but I am careful. I avoid things from China especially food. Frequently I can get brand name items much cheaper at the dollar stores.
    • 115416
      happymomc
      learner
      Posted by happymomc on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 2 0
      I do shop selectively but I'm not a regular shopper...sometimes, I do find better deals other places.
    • 115423
      ChristieStruck
      learner
      Posted by ChristieStruck on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 2 0
      Trying to save time, money, and gas, it's one less stop and would actually be out of my way. I never find anything worth making a special stop for there, so I don't bother.
    • 115424
      elderlaw1
      learner
      Posted by elderlaw1 on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 2 0
      I used to shop dollar stores regularly but since I've learned how to effectively coupon I can now get the items I was purchasing for less than $1. I still but party supplies there though.
    • 115425
      equipurple
      professor
      2
      11 8 1
      Posted by equipurple on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 2 0
      I have found the quality of tools and plastics and cleaning supplies, for example, is often suspect; unfortunately you frequently get what you pay for. Dollar stores require the same trained eye and knowledge of the marketplace as other stores; you need to know that things are a bargain.
    • 115427
      acidreign
      master
      4 1 1
      Posted by acidreign on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 1 0
      There are some staples that I shop exclusively at the dollar store, things like packing tape that usually go for about $4 in other stores you can score for a buck. Also, trash bags and books - the trash bags quality are inferior so you have to use with caution, but it's over 50% cheaper than regular bags so I just use them in rooms other than the kitchen.
    • 115428
      annelaura04
      learner
      Posted by annelaura04 on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 1 0
      I get all kinds of deals at these stores. If you need party supplies, it's the place to go. Wrapping paper for the holidays? Perfect. Posters for kids projects? Shipping supplies like tape and brown wrapping paper? This is the place to go!
    • 115429
      acidreign
      master
      4 1 1
      Posted by acidreign on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 1 0
      and greeting cards! Smile
    • 115430
      kakleckner
      learner
      Posted by kakleckner on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 2 0
      You have to watch the dates and quality of their items. Some things are great buys, most things are not! you have to be aware of the difference.
    • 115431
      JackBauer
      admin
      Posted by JackBauer on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 1 0
      I go to dollar stores not really to shop or save money, but for amusement. Check out these products!



      and the Kitty Dukakis cocktail:

        115477
      • pablos17
        deity
        2 4 6
        10 8 2
        Posted by pablos17 on May 31, 2011 [reply] 0 0
        Mmm...time for some "Kitty Nips -now tastier than ever and with Wintergreen.

        My wife has told me stories of when she grew up the Boston area. She lived close to the Dukakis' and, on more than one occasion, saw Kitty make a total fool of herself when she was way too wasted .
    • 115433
      laurenbayles
      learner
      Posted by laurenbayles on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 1 0
      I believe that, for the most part, dollar stores are not the bargain they claim to be. I have friends who get into a tizzy and overspend at the stores where every thing really is $1. If I find myself getting into a frenzy, I have to stop, take a deep breath and ask "Is this small bottle of (whatever) really worth $1?"
    • 115438
      losingstreak
      novice
      1 1
      Posted by losingstreak on May 31, 2011 [reply] 0 0
      The price of 20 oz sodas has gone up to about $1.69 here. If I am by a dollar store, I can get that for 70 cents less and it is whatever brand name I want. I think that is worth it right there. A lot of other things can be bought cheaper with a coupon, but it just depends on the timing for a lot of other things.
    • 115441
      ecollins86
      learner
      1
      Posted by ecollins86 on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 1 0
      I typically buy candy and other snacks, bread (including hot dog and hamburger buns), and items for gifting (tissue paper, bags, wrapping, cards) at dollar stores. I am weary about foods here, so I generally buy that at the grocery store.
    • 115442
      LisaSVance
      learner
      Posted by LisaSVance on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 1 0
      I like to check dollar stores for good deals on household cleaners and products such as gift wrap, etc.
    • 115446
      godskids43449
      learner
      Posted by godskids43449 on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 1 0
      Dollar General is 'dollar' store in my town and I really appreciate them for being here! Have gotten great buys on laundry detergent with coupons. Also, I can get good buys on cards and gift wrap and candy. Smile
    • 115448
      AnaJana
      learner
      Posted by AnaJana on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 1 0
      I'll go when I'm down visiting my grandson, because we can get a few important things there for not very much [shoelaces, invitations] but generally, they're not open when I'm out [I work nights, 11pm-7am, and I'm not staying up for the dollar store].

      I have gone to the 1€ store and the 1£ in Germany and in the UK respectively, and everything is, in fact, one € or one £ there. It's usually for camping/hostel supplies, though I did once find a very nice travel bag I'm still using!
    • 115450
      pjf362005
      learner
      Posted by pjf362005 on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 1 0
      I always go to the dollar stores I am bad at coupon clipping so I like the dollar store. You always have to watch what you are buying but for some things it's great!
    • 115452
      r24olmos
      learner
      Posted by r24olmos on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 1 0
      I get a lot of my craft supplies for the mums I make for baby showers. I always find my gift bags & wrapping paper. The kids get their coloring books from dollor stores & paper for crafts. I like the grab bags never know what you may find in the bag.
    • 115453
      eview
      learner
      Posted by eview on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 1 0
      i find that you have to be very selective. some of the products are even more expensive than regular stores if you have good coupons. some of the toiletries, shampoos are old and discontinued, the pet products are bad...although some of the toy are okay, the collars are okay but they will break if pulled on hard, good deals on candy, some food, plants seeds and bulbs are good deal, some of the cleaning supplies are good...even though most are off brands...i find family dollar and dollar general are more expensive than shopping at regular stores....except for a limited things such as candy and some food...
    • 115456
      MingoFan
      learner
      Posted by MingoFan on May 31, 2011 [reply] 0 0
      We have a Dollar Tree right next to a Super Walmart, and while I occasionally find some deals, most things (if I break the package down to cost-per-unit) are cheaper at Walmart... Neutral
    • 115459
      godzooki
      learner
      Posted by godzooki on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 1 0
      I just now started selectively shopping at the Dollar Store when I realized they were perfect for cheap snack/lunch items for the kids. Now that my 4 boys are all out of school for Summer break my grocery budget is in serious jeopardy. The Dollar Store is good for filler snacks but even then, I still compare prices. If you don't it's very easy to end up negating the value of a few cheap things by paying over on others. They also offer a coupon for $5 off of a $25 dollar purchase every now and then and That comes in handy!
    • 115461
      sunninjimmy
      learner
      Posted by sunninjimmy on May 31, 2011 [reply] 0 0
      I get a lot of Helium Mylar balloons for parties and for my daughter's baby shower i was able to pickup blue plates (we already knew by that time it was a boy-he's now 1 yr old), cups , napkins, etc.
      I also get books that are older but only $1 to read.
      I stay away from cleaners, foods, tp (sorry it's cheap and generic and falls apart), Shampoos conditioners, makeup (alot are very old and should've been out of date or are, also a lot of the brands tests on animals so buyer beware).
      I do buy some candles and candle holders and for my daughter's baby shower did find prizes for the games. Eye cooling masks (sold elsewhere for $3.99 - $9.99 same brand and same packaging), some head towels, toenail clippers and nail care tool sets.
      Sometimes i'll find a little decorative figurine to display at the holidays (Like a Santa) on the mantle of my fireplace but I usually end up donating after the holidays as i can't stand clutter. (I am decluttering more and more as i get older).

      I also avoid hammers , nails and other men's tools and they're poorly made (lesson learned years ago when I bought my hubby a hammer for a dollar and he hit a nail and the claw came flying off).
        115532
      • YanBz
        admin
        Posted by YanBz on May 31, 2011
        [reply] 1 0
        "I also avoid hammers , nails and other men's tools and they're poorly made"

        This is so true. The few tools I bought,.. none lasted more than a day or two.
    • 115462
      thesweeter11
      learner
      Posted by thesweeter11 on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 1 0
      I always go back for birthday party supplies or Halloween decorating supplies. I usually go to Dollar stores once a month or every other month or as needed. I go back for the bargains, I spend less when I shop there for something that costs a lot more at big name stores.
        115572
      • arzkar
        professor
        3
        Posted by arzkar on June 1, 2011
        [reply] 1 0
        Same here, I only shop for party supplies and art and craft supplies .
    • 115463
      valsco
      learner
      Posted by valsco on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 1 0
      I get some home decor items, inexpensive shirts, and hobby/craft supplies. I just recently bought a framed 27"x38" mirror for $20. It's usually hit or miss but when you do find a good deal, I think it makes it all worth it!
    • 115464
      valj1617
      learner
      Posted by valj1617 on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 1 0
      I love spending time browsing at the dollar store. I find that some kitchen gadgets can be a great deal, and party supplies are generally really good too.
    • 115469
      babes64
      learner
      Posted by babes64 on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 1 0
      The Dollar Store is the place to go to really save money. Really save big by using coupons with purchased items.
    • 115470
      mommy25
      professor
      1 4
      8 7 2
      Posted by mommy25 on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 1 0
      I do shop on occasion. I do not buy anything that is not a brand name i already use. Typically party supplies and such.
    • 115475
      lootango
      professor
      11 9 1
      Posted by lootango on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 1 0
      I'm the same as most. I'll pick up party supplies, wrapping paper and greeting cards (which are typically 2 for a $1 at the Dollar Tree near my house). Can't beat that!
    • 115479
      pablos17
      deity
      2 4 6
      10 8 2
      Posted by pablos17 on May 31, 2011 [reply] 1 1
      Wow! And the newbies come out of the woodwork. Hello everyone! Eeek I recently purchased a lot of Elmo helium balloons for a birthday party for $1 each. At other stores I would have paid at least $5 each.
        115531
      • YanBz
        admin
        Posted by YanBz on May 31, 2011
        [reply] 2 0
        Yes, I love to see all the new faces too! Welcome everyone! Smile
    • 115480
      sandyshore
      professor
      2 1
      12 8 1
      Posted by sandyshore on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 2 0
      I always visit the dollar store at Christmas time, I've found some good decoration values. And as has been stated, party supplies are usually a good value.
    • 115484
      smilingmama
      learner
      Posted by smilingmama on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 2 0
      I love getting party supplies at the Dollar stores. But I do have to watch it in there. It can be easy to blow more money than what you had planned to spend. Big Grin
    • 115486
      crftyldy
      learner
      Posted by crftyldy on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 2 0
      I shop there once in awhile, usually for holiday decor, soda, & sometimes snacks.
    • 115494
      klcmaher
      learner
      Posted by klcmaher on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 2 0
      It depends on the 'dollar store'. My husband likes to call Dollar General, a 'dollar store' but it is NOT. Dollar Tree is. You have to use discretion no matter where it is though, and make sure it's actually a good deal.
    • 115511
      clover
      professor
      1 6 7
      12 11 2
      Posted by clover on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 1 0
      There is one next to the Post Office. I have actually gotten some decent deals on mailing products!
    • 115518
      webbyone2010
      professor
      1
      Posted by webbyone2010 on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 1 0
      Stick to the cleaning supplies is all I have to say.
    • 115524
      DebsFreebies
      professor
      2
      10 5 1
      Posted by DebsFreebies on May 31, 2011 [reply] 0 0
      I usually get cleaning supplies..and some "specialty" stuff like certain sponges I use for dishes, etc. Other stuff? NOPE.
    • 115533
      midget
      professor
      5 3 2
      10 6 2
      Posted by midget on May 31, 2011 [reply] 0 0
      There are 2 "dollar stores" I shop at as needed. (The Dollar Tree & The 99 Cents Store)

      I usually shop at these places for things like cleaning supplies because they are cheaper than other places.

      I look around for items that have been discontinued at other stores like video games, caller id boxes, movies, novelties, etc. ( I have found these items and more at these stores)

      At the 99 I'll check out their frozen food section for items I consider to be a bargain and a few select canned goods.

      I'm a big candy nut, so I usually walk away with a bag or 2 of candy Big Grin

      I'll only buy things at these stores when i know they are offering the lowest price in town and it's something I can use or sell.
    • 115534
      stunn68
      learner
      Posted by stunn68 on May 31, 2011
      [reply] 2 0
      I love dollar stores. I shop for medicines for my first aid kits,(ibuprofen, triple antibiotic, hydrocortison cream ect.) cleaning supplies, and any other goodies I might find!
    • 115535
      jack69darin
      professor
      11 2 1
      Posted by jack69darin on June 1, 2011 [reply] 0 0
      Me too love the body washes, shampoos, etc, always find brand name products for a $1, that cost $4 or $5 elsewhere Mr Green
    • 115537
      CouponNut
      deity
      23 14 8
      12 10 2
      Posted by CouponNut on June 1, 2011
      [reply] 1 0
      I recently found neoprene covers for netbooks that had smaller zip pouches to match for the charging cord, that was a fabulous deal, so I bought half a dozen of each for all kinds of electrical devices. Also, I like getting greeting cards there 2/$1 since we're always in a rush at the last minute.
    • 115542
      spar97
      learner
      Posted by spar97 on June 1, 2011
      [reply] 3 0
      I love dollar stores. There are food items which I would pay more for at traditional grocery stores. Many toiletries can be found at a decent price and household goods. I have lots of luck with decorating finds as well. That being said, one needs to be a savvy shopper and know what the price of items would be elsewhere for the same product.
    • 115555
      orangearrows
      professor
      2 3
      7 1 1
      Posted by orangearrows on June 1, 2011
      [reply] 1 0
      SHop for household items like waste baskets, brooms etc. which are not really dependent on an expiry date. - I don;t have any good ones around otherwise I think they are a very good buy.
    • 115573
      Rightprice
      learner
      Posted by Rightprice on June 1, 2011
      [reply] 5 0
      I buy my Sunday Newspaper at the Dollar Tree for the Coupons only $1
      I like to take the kids there and let them pick out anything for a $1
      We always head there for all our party supplies.
    • 115585
      ZoggJones
      learner
      1
      Posted by ZoggJones on June 1, 2011
      [reply] 4 0
      Personally, I prefer the .99 store. Save 1%, and they have more close-out merchandise. I only buy items that I know are a good value. I wear $.99 polarized (Foster Grant) sunglasses. Always watch exp. dates.
    • 115601
      clover
      professor
      1 6 7
      12 11 2
      Posted by clover on June 1, 2011
      [reply] 2 0
      Youza! That's a lot of responses for a two day old post! Be careful of food products from the $1 stores. Check the ingredients, where they are from and of course the expiration dates.
    • 115641
      roxytang
      professor
      2
      10 7 2
      Posted by roxytang on June 2, 2011
      [reply] 3 0
      I go there for household odds and ends like dish towels and some cleaning products. I have noticed that a lot more people are shopping at the Dollar Tree by me. The lines are much longer than ever.
    • 115808
      LMR469
      learner
      Posted by LMR469 on June 4, 2011
      [reply] 3 0
      Actually, anything where quality is not as critical as savings is a no-brainer for dollar store purchases - paper, party supplies, name-brand cleaners, snacks.
      Being an inveterate label reader, I did notice that the frozen vegetables were from China. Hmmm, don't think I want to chance those puppies.
    • 115818
      mooncow728
      professor
      1 1
      12 6 1
      Posted by mooncow728 on June 5, 2011
      [reply] 2 0
      I like dollar stores for party supplies and certain electronics. I've found quite a few good deals on things but you have to be careful. A lot of the stuff is junk and breaks quickly. I don't shop at dollar stores often as the extra trip is just not worth it to me. I do however buy all my pregnancy tests at dollar stores. They've proven to be accurate for me and for only a buck, it's nice to have them around for peace of mind.
    • 115864
      sueskabuxr
      learner
      1
      Posted by sueskabuxr on June 5, 2011
      [reply] 4 0
      At the dollar store, we've generally had success purchasing light bulbs. For example, a few of the Sunbeam 3 way light bulbs we purchased may have a filament broken. but these can be still used as a one way bulbs. When all 3 levels worked, we found them to have a very acceptable lifespan.
      For us the reduced price makes them a good deal.
    • 115874
      Version
      professor
      9 7 2
      Posted by Version on June 6, 2011
      [reply] 4 0
      I shop at the dollar store occasionally, but mostly name brand items. Anyway, I sometimes wonder if they are the same quality as the ones in the name brand stores. Some items are smaller in size, which I understand, but some items are the same size as the ones in name brand stores that cost like three times more. Most times you could find great deals .
    • 115878
      fleurette
      learner
      2
      Posted by fleurette on June 6, 2011
      [reply] 5 0
      Only shop at Dollar Tree. Food--I purchase only fresh bread products (check date) & name-brand products which may be smaller size than regular grocery store (good for me as a single person). The best food deal is the President brand feta cheese! I purchase plastics--such as organizing boxes and bins, small trash cans. Small beauty items (cotton balls) & seasonal garden supplies (potting soil, trowels) are also a good deal. I steer clear of all pet products (mostly made in China).
    • 115892
      luv915
      learner
      Posted by luv915 on June 6, 2011
      [reply] 5 0
      I go the dollar stores for cetain items and then pick others, I usaually go for the twist mop heads, and for colored light bulbs.cleaners,phone items,utensils, if the candies are fresh I will purchase them.most of the stores are not dollars stores but "a dollar & up". "dollar tree" is great too!
    • 115967
      YanBz
      admin
      Posted by YanBz on June 7, 2011
      [reply] 2 0
      I just ran the random number generator at random.org

      The winner of this contest is equipurple who was #12 to take the poll at 5/31/2011 9:47:59 AM

      Congratulations and thanks to everyone who participated!
        115971
      • equipurple
        professor
        2
        11 8 1
        Posted by equipurple on June 7, 2011
        [reply] 2 0
        Thanks Yan and Buxr! You can be sure that the prize money, if spent in a dollar store, will be spent on very carefully selected, in-date, quality manufactured merchandise!
      • 116065
      • lootango
        professor
        11 9 1
        Posted by lootango on June 8, 2011
        [reply] 3 0
        That's awesome... congrats equipurple!

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