The Price Is Right

Ron Wayne

DOLLAR STORES ARE currently booming in popularity, but I’ve patronized them for many years. It never made sense to me to pay more for household goods elsewhere. Yes, the quality isn’t always great—but you can’t complain about the price.

I never buy food at Dollar General on my weekly visits. That’s partly because I go on to ALDI and Trader Joe’s immediately afterwards. I also wouldn’t want anything to spoil in the Florida heat.

The canned goods would likely be fine. Yet I hesitate, fearing they’re inferior products. That might be an unfair bias on my part.

My shopping list frequently includes toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, dish soap, Drano, baking soda, bathroom cleaner, sponges, air spray, candles, plastic wrap, foil, sandwich bags, trash bags, toothbrushes, toothpaste and mouthwash.

For a few years, I had a roommate who hated the paper goods I purchased. He supplied the house with his preferred toilet paper and paper towels. I’m simply not fussy about such items.

One of the greatest finds, for those of us who have had cataracts removed, is their reading glasses. I’ve worn glasses since I was 13, and then bifocals since my 40s. With the cataracts gone, I can now see distances but not up close.

My eye doctor suggested that I could probably correct my near vision with over-the-counter reading glasses. After spending literally thousands of dollars for prescription glasses over the decades, this sounded like a good idea.

It takes a bit of trial and error to find the right strength, and Dollar Tree provides a variety—for just $1. A few pairs of glasses have broken easily. But the ones I bought elsewhere for $10 didn’t hold up, either.

I don’t like the idea of more disposable plastic. But I’m even less eager to spend hundreds of dollars for a prescription pair of reading glasses.

I also like the idea of uniform pricing. Too often, items are priced wrong in other stores, including leading supermarkets. There’s a simplicity to shopping when you know everything is $1—though that, alas, is changing because of the supply chain problems.

Dollar stores benefit many lower-income people, including retirees like me. They’re often located in poorer parts of cities and remote rural areas. That means they meet at least some needs in so-called food deserts. I’m happy to keep patronizing them.

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1 year ago

I tend to distrust the off brands at these stores. But if a name brand fell off a truck and was on sale there, I load up – even if it´s a repackaged version of the product.

K Lacey
K Lacey
1 year ago

The very few times I was dragged into a dollar store they seem to look messy and cheap, sort of like a yard sale. Not my cup of tea. I find it easier to make extra money trading than try to “save” my way to wealth.

1 year ago

Dollar Stores are not always a deal. TP for instance, is not only wrapped much looser, but also has a larger tube it’s wrapped around. It may be “cheaper”, but that’s because it’s “cheaper”.

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