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Dollar store picks
Old 01-04-2013, 06:16 PM   #1
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Dollar store picks

I've made a couple of easy New Years resolutions--nothing hard, I hope! One is to drink some water every day, at least a cup. Doable!
Second is to try to carve a little bit off our food expenditures. Thought I'd try checking out the dollar stores--but which do those of you who frequent them find best? Dollar General, Family Dollar, or other?
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:25 PM   #2
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The 99 cents only stores sometimes have some good deals on food. The 99 cents only store near me is right next to an Aldi's grocery store (which has even lower prices than Walmart) so I usually check out the 99 cents only store first and get any bargains I can find and then buy the rest of my groceries at Aldi's. The produce at the 99 cents only store is hit or miss...sometimes they have produce that is very fresh while at other times it looks like it should have been sold several days ago. So I don't rely on it for anything but get what bargains I can find that are in good condition. Also, they occasionally sell items that were obviously some sort of overstock item from another grocery chain because when they're gone, they're gone and they rarely restock those items. On those items, I've found some very good deals.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:55 PM   #3
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Funny to see all the Aldi references in this forum... our dauther lives in Germany and we DO shop at Aldi when over THERE. None here in our neck of the woods yet.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:02 PM   #4
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I like Dollar Tree, thought I rarely buy food there. Good for greeting cards (2/$1), reading glasses, and craft supplies.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:24 PM   #5
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Wife does Dollar General, Aldi's and Wal-Mart in that order every two weeks. She has it down to a science. All I have to do is to unload it and consume it.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:37 PM   #6
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I like Dollar Tree, thought I rarely buy food there. Good for greeting cards (2/$1), reading glasses, and craft supplies.
And AA batteries, watch batteries.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:45 PM   #7
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Here, it's Dollar Tree, Aldi's, and for the expensive stuff, Walmart.
The newest Dollar Trees have frozen food sections. Single serving items. They also have expanded the "pharmacy" ... especially good for small quantity items that cost much more in drug stores.

Don't know if it's nation wide, or our area is a test area for Aldi's (near to headquarters in Batavia, Il) but they have more than doubled the number of items (SKU's) in stock, with upgrade items. If this were a public company, I'd buy in, with my every last dollar. Smart people.

We have observed a great increase in traffic for both Aldi's and Dollar Tree... perhaps double what it was just a year ago in both stores. Just from casual observation, I'd say that the Dollar Tree is seeing and average ticket of $10 to $15... Not bad for a business where the top price is $1.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:53 PM   #8
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I love Aldi's - and Dollar store for select mostly non food items. You do have to watch - sometimes a dollar it too much- sale price & coupon is a better deal

DH like Big Lots for snacks he takes to w&%k. Some items for the home are a good deal too.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:18 PM   #9
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Dollar Tree is my favorite dollar place also.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:26 PM   #10
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Dollar Tree, only because it is near by. Reading glasses are the primary thing we get there. Much of the stuff they sell is not a great bargain when you compare the size/weight of what they are selling vs what you can get at wal mart or some other retailer. We do buy LA Awsome cleaner there, can't seem to find it anywhere else.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:31 PM   #11
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And AA batteries, watch batteries.
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.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:43 PM   #12
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If I were you, I'd skip the dollar stores (for food shopping), as there is not much real food to be found there (a lot of processed junk, mostly). I save on food expenses by: 1) growing a big vegetable garden; 2) buying veggies and meat in larger quantities when it's on sale at the grocery store or farmers market (we have a big freezer); 3) cooking enough for several meals on the weekend (or whenever you have time), and then freezing some of it for later meals during the week; 4) cutting down on food waste (it's surprising how much food some people throw out, because they are not good at meal planning, resulting in stuff getting tossed because it sat in the frig for too long). If you do those things, you'll be surprised how your food bill comes down, without sacrificing any quality in what you eat.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:43 PM   #13
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I frequent Dollar General for some specific items but I don't shop there as a rule. When we run low on chicken or beef stock, I head to Dollar General. I just looked at a box and it is 32 oz. for $1. I'll get a dozen if they have them. While I'm in there I might stock up on some good cookie brands for $1 a package.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:59 PM   #14
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We buy 90% of our groceries at a military commissary. Only rarely do we stop in at a regular grocery store for anything. I think we save fairly well by shopping there, although it's a pain sometimes due to the big crowds on the weekends when we go. Once retired, I imagine we'll try to do the shopping during the middle of the week.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:10 PM   #15
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I have found its what you are willing to do for food that can save big bucks. I switched to bone in skin on chicken thighs instead of boneless skinless chicken breasts which cut costs by about 75%
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:38 PM   #16
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Dollar General is great for cleaning supplies, tp and personal stuff like toothpaste and deodorant. Much less than the drugstore or grocery store for those items.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:56 PM   #17
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I've found that for many items the dollar stores sell smaller sizes, which turn out to be more expensive on a per ounce cost. DG does have some good prices on things watching their sale ad, DG, DT, BigLots and Freds for paper products, toiletries, cleaning supplies.

Hard to beat Walmart around here for canned goods, boxed items. Gotten used to store brand products for a lot of items.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:17 PM   #18
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The two 99 cent stores in my town are both in pretty crummy areas that are nowhere near where I live, so I don't go there.

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.

After finding that I was compromising my health by buying cheap food from discount stores, I now do most of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe's. They are cheaper than Whole Foods and unlike the big grocery chains, don't have all those annoying sales. I know some people like playing the sales, but it bugs me no end having to play them at their game in order to try and get the better of them. Trader Joe's is an enjoyable place to shop with a nice atmosphere and fun employees. On top of that they have quality merchandise at fair prices and no sales - the same prices every day.

I do buy bathroom tissue and cat food from Target though.

No dollar stores for me I'm afraid.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:50 PM   #19
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Dollar General is great for cleaning supplies, tp and personal stuff like toothpaste and deodorant. Much less than the drugstore or grocery store for those items.
I use DG as well. Usually a pretty quick way to shop.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:47 AM   #20
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I would stay clear of dollar stores in general for food - it's all processed stuff!
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