Can we talk about dollar stores?

Dollar stores often go overlooked by a lot of people, for a whole slew of reasons. Some may view the stuff there in a negative way, and others may have concerns about the quality, but either way, can we talk about dollar stores today? Sure, sometimes the quality can be hit or miss, because as the saying goes, sometimes you get what you pay for. Other times, it’s a surprise in a good way, and it’s a great way to start saving money. Like for instance, I saw these jumbo cookie scoops at Dollar General on mega-clearance, and I picked up two of them, one to have as a backup in case something happens to the first one. I find the quality on them to be great for the price, and they’re easy to handle with my bad arm.

Over the weekend, I came up with the idea to go over to the dollar store on the other side of my neighborhood, only to find out that it had closed early, and would remain closed until Monday. The note on the door didn’t say why they closed, but I’m guessing the bad weather we’ve been having these past couple days probably had something to do with it.

I’m hoping that’s the case, and not due to, ahem, other things. I’m hoping it was due to the weather for the sake of everyone working there, as well as for their families. Until I find out otherwise, that’s what I’ll believe.

Since this wasn’t meant to be, I’ve got plans to go back there later this week, when the temperature’s predicted to get above 30 degrees. Sadly this is Fahrenheit for this time of year. Not Celsius.

I wish it was in Celsius, for that matter. That time will hopefully come soon, haha.

In any case, dollar stores were never a major part of my family’s choice of businesses to patronize for several reasons, and they did so only when they had no choice.

Whatevs. They’re the ones missing out, though.

On the other hand, when I gained the autonomy that’s part and parcel of coming of age, dollar stores were one of the places I’d stop by and look around. I’ve found a lot of great things over the years, and will occasionally find some things I’d have never expected to find in a dollar store of all places.

Like this little narrow bookshelf I’ve got my TV sitting on, for instance. I’d been looking for something better than what I’d had it sitting on for a long time, and whatever I found was out of my price range at the time, or sold out super fast with no plans for restocking.

Until one day when I went to Dollar General last summer, after I picked up a few things from the neighborhood farmer’s market. I saw it in one of those boxes laying on one of the low shelves, and there were two of them still available. I took a picture of it so I’d have the measurements, and once I compared the measurements to what I already had, I went back the next day, armed with the granny cart, and as luck would have it, it just fit. Getting it into the cart was tough, but I was able to drag the cart with me to the register, pay the 20 bucks for it, and drag it the 3 mile walk home.

I found a way to drag it into the house through the basement garage doors, tipped the cart on its’ back, and grabbed the box with my good arm. I found a place to put it together, and in about half an hour, it was ready to roll. The shelf turned out to be far lighter than I was expecting, which I can’t tell if it’s a good thing or a bad thing.

It’s mainly a TV stand for a small one anyway, and aside from some lightweight stuff on the shelves, there isn’t much on them.

Dollar Tree is one I seldom get to go to, since the closest one to me is two buses both ways, and a 10 minute walk. It’s where I found some Salon Selectives conditioner. I saw it on the shelves, and I was like, ‘this stuff still exists?!’ I basically forgot all about it back in the 90s, when I stopped seeing the ads for it on TV (and in magazines like Cosmo, which definitely wasn’t for kids, haha.) For a dollar each, I picked up both the original conditioner and the Marula Magic variation, and they were bonus sizes too. The smell on the original version was a bit different from what I remember it, but I also only had it one time as a kid.

Family Dollar’s become another store that’s on repeat for me. I came across this brand of strawberry preserves I’d never seen before at one of the neighborhood little free pantries, and figured I’d try it. I added my contribution to it, and picked up the strawberry preserves. I’d made a note to myself to try and find whoever carried it, since it’s become my second favorite to Bonne Maman. I went over to Family Dollar, and by chance, there it was! I didn’t have the money to pick up a jar, but my next trip, I’m doing so for sure.

Over to you, readers. Do you like dollar stores? If so, which one’s your favorite, if any? Found something unexpected? Drop it like it’s hot below.

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