Everyone at some point in their life has gone to one. Some more than others. When Dave was in graduate school one of his group projects consisted of doing a Case Study on the 99 Cent Store. Ultimately they reported that this business model was not sustainable because of inflation. It seems weird that decades later we still have items that have stayed a dollar.
I have a love/hate relationship with the dollar store because I have saved money shopping there, but it has also cost me money (and dignity) by shopping there. Before I get to that, I will go over the pros and cons of shopping at a dollar store.
- The items are cheap
- They have a wide variety
- You you can buy 50 items for 50 dollars!
- I buy my freezer meal trays there (they cost a fortune at the grocery store)
- The items are perfect for holidays, teacher gifts, etc.
- If the product is not good you are only out a dollar
-You get to see funny items like lunch bags from the 1988 Winter Olympics or bags from random company conferences
- Sometimes the clientele is shady
- Customer Service is not always up to par
- Sometimes the junk is overwhelming
- Some of the food items look scary
I think this post came to my mind because my grandmother loved dollar stores and half of her hoarding house was filled with dollar store junk. I'll admit, all of us Skelly girls have been guilty of leaving a dollar store with a bill of over one hundred dollars. Yikes!
One of my first embarrassing dollar store memories was of my mom buying Christa and I our first training bras at the dollar store. Buying/wearing a bra for the first time is traumatic enough, but having them come from the dollar store is weird, gross, and embarrassing. They were white, cheap, and itchy. I can't remember if we even wore them.
The next traumatic (embarrassing) dollar store memory came at a point in my life when I was barely twenty-one, just graduated with a high school social studies degree, and was teaching Algebra to a group of ninth graders. For some reason I thought it was a good idea to buy panty hose from the dollar store (a long time ago when women wore panty hose to work). It was my first day of work and I wore a dress and panty hose. I was at the front of the class when I started noticing that my panty hose seemed like they were getting looser and looser. I played it "cool" and snuck in a few snugs to lift them up. Five minutes later when I had my back to the class writing on the board, my dollar store panty hose fell to the ground. Literally, all at once. What do you do??? I was mortified and kids were laughing. This was yet another lesson that there are some things you just don't buy at the dollar store.
A few years later when I was older and wiser (haha), I made the same mistake. I was new to Houston and thought it would be a good idea to buy a pack of tampons from the dollar store (you know where this is going, right).
WARNING..the following may be TMI for you:) I went to use one and the string didn't work. I threw it away and tried another, and then another. By the fourth I managed to make it work, but it got lost. (Sorry if it is tmi). I knew the second it happened it was lost. I tried to retrieve it to no avail. Imagine my embarrassment having to call my male gynecologist and tell him I needed to make an appointment for that day for him to retrieve my dollar store tampon (of course I didn't mention dollar store). Long story short he couldn't find it at first, asked if I was sure it was there, and then finally he found it. Good times:) Side note, apparently this is something they see on a regular basis:)
I guess the lesson that I had to learn the hard way was that one should be careful when purchasing items at the dollar store; you might get what you pay. Overall I enjoy the dollar store. I found out I was pregnant with Isabella using a pregnancy test from the dollar store. As long as there are people like me, my sisters, mom, and grandmother, they will always stay in business:)