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Old 01-06-2013, 12:19 PM   #21
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There is a Dollar General a couple of blocks from my office. I walk there about once a week at lunch mostly to stretch my legs from sitting at a desk and to get some fresh air. I purchase staples like dish liquid, Kleenex, saran wrap, toothbrushes that I can drop off at my car on the way back. I suppose I am saving a few cents. I also get munchies for the office... V-8 juice, unsalted and dry-roasted peanuts, little boxes of raisins.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:48 PM   #22
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I would stay clear of dollar stores in general for food - it's all processed stuff!
Au contraire, sorta. While I certainly agree it's mostly processed stuff, I've been buying our Bob's Red Mill Steel Cut Oats at the local Big Lots for less than 50 on the dollar for a while now. And though I wouldn't go there weekly or even monthly, I've selectively bought some decent name brand stuff at our local Big Lots.

Dollar stores et al are a good place to buy some perishables IMO, but if you want quality durable goods, you may be out of luck.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:02 PM   #23
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I do most grocery shopping at Aldis, but Dollar General has some items at the best price such as cleaning supplies. When I do shop at DG, I always use the $5 off coupon that they almost always post on their website. You must use the coupon on Saturdays and you must buy at least $25. If you buy exactly $25, the coupon represents a 20% savings. When you check out, your receipt will include another $5 off coupon for the next Saturday.
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:19 PM   #24
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There is a chain of discount grocery stores in my area called Grocery Outlet, and one is close to my house. I go there occasionally, but they don't have a lot of what I want. They have a lot of processed foods, and the quality of the fresh produce is a little variable.
I go to Grocery Outlet once a week. I'm a big fan. Sometimes I get only a few items. Other times I stock up. Since their products frequently change and they get new items all the time, it's a game of anticipation to see what they will have next. Yes, their fresh produce is of mixed quality, although I often get banana's and fresh broccoli when I shop. They also have big bags of frozen mixed vegetables that are pretty good ($3.99 for a 4 pound bag). The store in my town is managed very well. Rarely is there a significant wait at the checkout counter.

There is a Dollar Tree near the Grocery Outlet, although I don't shop their very often. The checkout time at that particular Dollar Tree always seems to be excessive (how hard can it be - everything is a dollar - just count the number of items).
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:31 PM   #25
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Honestly, I don't think the cleaning supplies I've picked up a the Dollar Store and Big Lots are very good. The "fake" Windex is pretty much worthless and the detergent won't get your clothes clean. I go to Wal-Mart and buy real Windex and Tide with a coupon. I get food items at Publix which isn't cheap, but the quality is good. I am trying to eliminate the impulse buys @ Publix in order to lower costs.
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:20 PM   #26
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IMHO, the Dollar Store is great for greeting cards but not much else. If you really want to save money and eat healthier, go with less processed food. Fresh meat and fish, veggies and fruit. Lots of salads. Long cooking rice and dried beans. Yeah, we all want some convenience foods and snacks - Trader Joe's is where I go for those items. Decent price, good quality and healthy. Love TJs.
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:36 PM   #27
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...... Love TJs.
Me, too. I like their dried fruit and nuts, which make great, healthy snacks. Also their chocolate is very good, especially with hazel nuts.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:12 PM   #28
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We occasionally stop by the 99c store in the area. It's a few miles from home, so we do not go often, but have found some good deals on produce. For example, a pack of two big yellow squash for $1, or a bundle of asparagus, or two big red or yellow bell peppers. Are these substandard veggie that would cause us health problems later?

And then, some canned food such as tomato sauce look like the same brand carried by other stores. Are they fake? I don't think so. And when I need some spices, the $1 price is about right.
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:13 PM   #29
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Me, too. I like their dried fruit and nuts, which make great, healthy snacks. Also their chocolate is very good, especially with hazel nuts.
I like almost everything at TJ's. It's my main market.
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:16 PM   #30
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We have a dollar tree very close by, I get several household and healthcare items there routinely, and sometimes purchase greeting cards there too. Their prices beat anywhere else for the same item.

I agree that you have to look at the price per quantity. Also, I am cautious about using anything that is ingested from that store. All of their branded products come from China, which is notorius for not caring about quality and also counterfeiting products. I won't even buy toothpaste since they could be counterfeiting an American brand and how would I know? I wouldn't think of buying medicines there!

I have been to the local Aldi's (20 minutes away) a few times. When we first went there, we tried lots of different food products. There are a handful of items we really liked, did not like alot of others. So I only go there if I am in the area and buy the items we liked.

We also go to Trader Joes about once a month, the prices are reasonable and they have some things that we don't see elsewhere.
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:30 PM   #31
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I use Dollar Tree for gift bags, wrapping paper, greeting cards, picture frames, and sometimes kids activity books.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:01 PM   #32
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And AA batteries, watch batteries.
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I've found their AA batteries to be a poor value compared to Costco's Kirkland brand alkalines. I'll have to look for watch batteries.
I never would have thought about DollarTree for batteries, but I looked on-line and they sell a 4-pack of AA or AAA alkalines for (wait for it...) a buck. I labeled the box from the last batch I bought at Costco, and they were 43 cents each, almost 2x.

travelover - I wonder if you picked up the cheaper "Super Heavy Duty" batteries (8/$1)? The term "Super Heavy Duty" is really misleading, it was used back in the 50's to differentiate the 'new improved' zinc-chloride batteries from the then common zinc-carbon batteries. But then along came alkalines, which are far superior to 'Super Heavy Duty'. I guess they didn't want to call alkalines 'Super-Duper-Mega-Heavy-Duty'.

I'm pretty sure that any alkaline battery is going to perform about as well as any other. These things are mass produced, and only the labeling is different. I know someone who toured a factory, and saw the same batteries get routed for different labeling. IIRC, Consumer Reports tests show very little difference between brands, probably within mfg tolerances.

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Old 01-06-2013, 08:01 PM   #33
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I now do most of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe's.
I would LOVE to have a Trader Joe's nearby. I actually looked to see if they are a franchise so I could open one (they aren't) ... I love Trader Joe's ... really miss them
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:44 PM   #34
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I never would have thought about DollarTree for batteries, but I looked on-line and they sell a 4-pack of AA or AAA alkalines for (wait for it...) a buck. I labeled the box from the last batch I bought at Costco, and they were 43 cents each, almost 2x.
Recently, the $1 stores in my area often have alkaline batteries for $1 per a 2-pack. And then, they also have the 4-pack for $1, but they are "Heavy Duty". The 4-packs of alkaline are getting scarce.

The 4-pack of alkaline is of course a much better deal, but then I thought that some other places could also match it now, or come close. For example, IKEA sells 10-packs for $3.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:56 PM   #35
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Another vote for Aldi's. Isn't Trader Joe's related to Aldi's?
I get most of my alkaline batteries from Harbor Freight. Just bought some coin-type batteries and had to use ebay to get a decent price.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:53 AM   #36
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We use these batteries wherever possible. Higher initial cost, but much lower life cycle cost, and this particular brand is far superior to the other name rechargeable batteries (last longer, and hold idle charge much better).

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Old 01-07-2013, 12:46 PM   #37
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Glad to hear the positive comments about Aldi. A store just opened about 5 miles from my house. I'll have to check it out.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:47 PM   #38
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Over the last two years I've switched much of my grocery shopping to Aldis. The quality is great, the selection just fine for one person, and the prices can't be beat. I've slowly been testing their non-food items like scot towels, kitchen garbage bags, paper products, cleaners, etc. and have been pleasantly surprised at the quality--no difference at all from Target or the local big groceries. Very glad I was converted to Aldi.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:37 PM   #39
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Another vote for Aldi's. Isn't Trader Joe's related to Aldi's?
I get most of my alkaline batteries from Harbor Freight. Just bought some coin-type batteries and had to use ebay to get a decent price.
Aldi owns (indirectly) Trader Joe's
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:55 PM   #40
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I love Trader Joe's. my daughter and I have made many 6 hour trips with coolers to shop there.
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