Thursday, January 30, 2014
This info is from an article on my web page.
1. Electric cords and other electric devices
If you're looking to bring a fire hazard into your house, you should definitely buy cords and other electric devices from dollar stores. If you would rather not reduce your home to embers, we suggest you steer clear.
That may be a bit overly dramatic, but dollar stores don't have a great track record of quality control when it comes to cords and electronics. All the way back in 1999, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warned about faulty power strips, extension cords and surge protectors being sold at discount stores. Made in China, the products failed to meet established U.S. safety standards.
However, the problem appears to persist, with recalls for extension cords, holiday mini-lights and portable heaters all occurring in recent years.
Dollar store toys could be a safety hazard, and some have been recalled for posing a choking risk. But the bigger issue here is dollar store toys are, quite simply, junk.
It's not that the toys have so-so quality. No, we're talking so cheap they'll break if you look at them wrong. The wheels will fall off, the batteries won't work, or your 3-year-old will snap it in two before you've even hit the parking lot. Then, you'll be left with a broken toy, an upset child and a lesson in never buying toys at the dollar store again.
Your experience may differ but unless you're looking for cheap party favors that don't pose a hazard, we say you're better off paying a little more and not dealing with the tears and frustration.
3. Shampoo and beauty products
Opinions seem to be mixed on dollar store shampoo and beauty products, but they get a thumbs down from us. Not because of any safety concern but because they often don't provide great value.
Lipstick © Stockbyte/PictureQuestDollar stores may sell brand-name products, and there has been some healthy discussion on the Internet about whether what you get at the discount store is the same as what is sold elsewhere. The comments against dollar store shampoos range from them being watered down to being the result of diversion, which can mean you are buying outdated or expired products.
However, leaving that aside, we find that many dollar stores stock itty-bitty bottles compared with what you get in other stores. So you may not be paying a lot, but you're not getting a lot either. A better value might be to combine coupons and deals at drugstores where shampoo, conditioner and other beauty products are practically being given away.
4. Kitchen knives
Quality concerns also get kitchen knives placed on the do-not-buy list.
Dollar stores knives can be flimsy and dull. Both are bad when you're trying to cut your food and not your finger. We hear the knives sold at dollar stores overseas aren't much better either.
5. Paper products
You're welcome to try dollar store toilet paper, but we don't recommend it. Often having fewer fibers than other brands, using no-name paper can make for a less than ideal situation.
As for the brand-name toilet paper, tissues and paper towels at dollar stores, you may find the same problem we discovered with shampoo. Small sizes and fewer sheets mean the dollar store price isn't much of a bargain. Try hitting your warehouse club or otherwise buying in bulk to get the best quality for the lowest per-unit price.
6. Canned and boxed foods
Most dollar stores carry a selection of canned, boxed and bagged foods that may include many brand names. Some stores may even have a full grocery section complete with meat and produce.
While the dollar pricing may seem like a bargain, you could find many of these items on sale at your grocery store for less. In particular, grocery supercenters like Walmart seem to win on the price war for canned and boxed foods.
To learn more, you can read one Tampa Bay Times writer's experience living on dollar store food, and Rachael Ray offers some dollar store food buying tips on her website as well.
Finally, we come to batteries. In a pinch, dollar store batteries will work just fine, but don't expect them to run like the brand names.
Rhett Allain, an associate professor of physics at Southeastern Louisiana University, put Dollar General batteries to the test against Duracell and Energizer ones. He discovered the dollar store batteries contain significantly less energy and see their voltage drop off quickly. Apparently, a major difference between the brands is the fact that Dollar General batteries are not alkaline and likely zinc chloride instead.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
This was on my web page and I thought it was interesting . I shop at the dollar stores all the time and save tons of money. Never have tested the pregnancy tests but according to this article.....they are accurate.
1. Greeting cards
There is no reason to spend $4 to $5 or more on a greeting card when dollar stores typically have a wide selection available for a buck or less. You might not get textured paper or fancy extras like ribbon, but the heartfelt message you write will be the same regardless of how expensive the card looks.
2. Party supplies
By some estimates, you can save up to 70 percent by using party supplies from a dollar store. Get plastic tablecloths, paper plates and cups, streamers and favors from the dollar store and save a bundle. Don’t forget to look for Mylar/foil balloons too. These are an absolute bargain and can easily sell for five times as much elsewhere.
3. Gift bags, boxes and wrapping paper
While you’re getting your party supplies, look for gift bags and wrapping paper too. You could end up paying two or three times more for gift bags and boxes at other stores. In addition, wrapping paper can be a steal. You might not get the same thickness of expensive paper, but for something that’s going to end up in the trash, why pay more?
4. Seasonal décor
From extra ornaments for your Christmas tree to a scarecrow to stake in your front yard for the fall, dollar stores can have a surprisingly robust selection of seasonal décor. Pick up some bargain-priced items to decorate your house for less. But stay away from holiday lights, which have a poor track record of safety at discount stores.
5. Reading glasses
As we age, we often lose elasticity in our eyes and that makes it more difficult to focus on close objects. In many cases, a simple pair of reading glasses is all you need, and the reading glasses at dollar stores are as good as those found in other stores. However, if you have trouble seeing at a distance, it may be time to schedule an eye exam and see about getting a prescription pair.
6. Hair accessories
From elastic bands to bobby pins to headbands, you can find hair accessories at a fraction of the price at dollar stores. Combs and brushes can be a bargain too.
7. Pregnancy tests
Grocery store pregnancy tests will set you back $10 to $15, but you can find them at some dollar stores for only a buck. You might be wondering whether a $1 pregnancy test is going to be accurate. That’s a good question and, according to this news report, the answer is yes.
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8. Vases and decorative bowls
Don’t bother with other stores for vases and decorative bowls. The dollar store probably carries a number of styles at a price that can’t be beat. You can use vases to skip the florist and make your own, much cheaper arrangements. Or spruce up decorative glass bowls to make inexpensive gifts for family or friends.
9. Mugs and glasses
Like vases and bowls, mugs and glasses are also a good buy at dollar stores. The quality is comparable to what you might get at Walmart or other mass merchandisers. As a bonus, you can typically buy only the items you need rather than being forced to purchase a set.
Dollar stores also often have a nice selection of open stock dishware. This isn’t going to be top-of-the-line quality, but they’re perfectly serviceable pieces. For those with little kids, dollar store dishes can be just what you need to get you through that phase of life when something seems to get broken in the kitchen on a weekly basis.
11. Storage containers
Plastic storage containers also get a thumbs up when it comes to great dollar store buys. In the grocery store, you can easily pay up to $5 for disposable containers. Get them for a buck at the dollar store instead. You can also find some great deals on storage bags, but be wary of off-brands that may not seal correctly.
12. Picture frames
If you’re crafty, dollar store picture frames are an excellent buy. With a little paint or other decoration, bargain frames can look as nice on your walls as their more expensive counterparts. However, quality can vary widely. Check the joints to make sure they are secure and look for stray glue that may be difficult to remove.
13. Bagged or boxed candy
Checkout lane candy will likely be just as cheap, if not cheaper, at the grocery store, but movie theater-style boxed candy and bagged candy can be a bargain at the dollar store. Next Halloween, head there for your treats rather than paying supermarket prices.
Much of the clothing you find at dollar stores is of an inferior quality and not worth the money. One exception may be socks. Dollar store socks can be as good as department store varieties if you buy the right type. Look for ones made with acrylic or spandex for a comfy fit.
15. Washcloths and dish towels
Finally, the price of washcloths and dish towels at the dollar store can’t be beat. You need to be careful with some towels that won’t be absorbent enough to dry dishes. However, even those work great as cleaning rags.
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