Delighted with dollar stores

By Jody Rohlena on July 16, 2012 06:00:00 pm

Dollar-storesI wouldn’t have said that a few months ago. I’d associated dollar stores with the cramped dusty ones near my house, including the one where our safety pro and I found unsafe toys and expired meds a few years back. Those stores are fun to poke around, but I never thought of them as a viable place to do much of my everyday shopping. But my opinion totally changed when I hit a Dollar General about an hour away. The store was bright and clean and organized—a real pleasure to shop. I snapped up some bubble bath, rubbing alcohol, toilet paper, cereal, laundry detergent, and a bunch of other stuff I needed—all in a lot less time than I would have spent at the supermarket. Plus, the prices seemed right. A few items were $1 and the others seemed like a good deal.

Now I’m sure I got a good deal. For our story “Dollar store deals” in the September issue, on newsstands now, we sent our secret shoppers out to price a typical grocery list of everyday items. Of the 38 items we priced, Dollar General had the lowest prices on five, and both Dollar General and Family Dollar were a close second on many others. The best deals of all? Dollar stores’ store brands. We saved as much as 38 percent over national brands, with an average savings of 29 percent, even more than you’ll save on private-label items at Walmart and Target.

In our story, we also reported on what’s new at the dollar stores and came up with five big surprises. And we asked women what they like to buy at dollar stores and what they typically avoid, as well as how often they shopped there. What did they like to buy? Paper or plastic goods such as napkins, cups, and flatware; cleaning supplies; party supplies such as balloons, favors, and tablecloths; toiletries such as soap and toothpaste; and storage products.

Seventy-six percent said they’d shopped at a dollar store in the past year. Have you? If you haven’t, our story may just make you feel like you’re missing out!

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Jody Rohlena

Jody Rohlena

Posted at 06:00:00 PM in
Bargains | Money | Sales | Saving money | Shopping

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Lovee

08:12:29 PM on Thu Jul 19 2012

I have not shopped in a dollar store in over a year. I use to think the food was rejected items that did not work in regular supermarkets. If the brands are the same with significant savings, I will have to start giving the dollar stores a visit. Thanks for the info.

Martha

10:59:45 PM on Tue Jul 24 2012

I shop at Dollar General at least once a week. This morning I bought 2 gallons of milk, priced at $3.24/gallon with an expiration day that is over a week away!

Bob

01:39:57 AM on Fri Aug 3 2012

A good dollar store to go to, if it in your area is Dollar Tree. Everything is $1.00 or less. Like many dollar stores, the exact brand you want may or may not be there, but you will find lots there either way.

Lynn

09:05:50 AM on Sun Aug 12 2012

I personally don't care for Dollar General. I think the place to go is Dollar Tree. I have found some of the no-name products are better than you can find in the store. Look for a cleaner called Awesome. It's awesome!

Tanya Paul

05:57:06 PM on Mon Aug 20 2012

I have also used the "Awesome" cleaner in the green and it is very good and has a clean light fragrance. The price is right and it does a very good job.

Jan

09:17:24 AM on Tue Aug 21 2012

I have found so many good bargains. I get school supplies, cleaning supplies, paper goods and office supplies for work.
I shop at least weekly and have for several years. It also is so much quicker than the big stores and the prices are lower than the store brands with excellent quality.

Michael Levine

07:01:38 PM on Tue Sep 18 2012

I do most of my food shopping at $.99 The Limit in Sheepshead Bay They carry Peppridge Farms breads at $1.09 that sell retail from $3.49 to $4.29. The truck makes a delivery every day unloading 3 to 4 palettes stacked 8 high daily. The bread pull dates are generally 5 days from the delivery date. They recently sold Perdue Perfect Portions chicken breast at $1.99/pkg of 5. At prices that can average 20 to 50% less than retail, it's a no brainer. For Passover they sell Manischewitz and Goodman's products at 30% less than the supermarkets' sale prices. You do have to check the expiration dates. Many will expire from a few days to a week, but if it can be frozen should be good for 6 months.

Vanessa

09:04:28 PM on Wed Dec 5 2012

I find the dollar stores mostly unsatisfactory. My experience has been that yes, their products are cheaper, but are also low in quality. I shopped the Dollar General store near me and the produce not only was not fresh but was not bargain-priced at all.

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