Navigating the dollar store

The dollar store is one place I lose all self control... so many, many items that I didn't realize I needed, and all for one little dollar. I somehow leave there with a much bigger dent in my bank account than I'd originally planned,

But my years of perusing these bargain stores has taught me one very valuable lesson: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. What I mean is, if you find an item at the dollar store that's only a buck and you can't believe it, it's likely because it's of lower quality. 

When you're shopping at a dollar store, make sure you really check out what you're buying. If it has glass, like a photo frame, look closely at the glass to make sure there aren't any cracks or scuff marks. Really examine kitchen gadgets to make sure they work well, and check things like dish and glassware to ensure there aren't any chips.

Avoid impulse buying. As hard as it is to do, you don't need to fill your shopping cart to the brim. Keep in mind that most dollar stores have an "all sales are final" rule, meaning you can't reconsider your purchases later and return something. Once you've bought it, it's yours. Forever. And bring a shopping list with you so you're more inclined to stick with the items there, rather than the ones with flashy displays near the front of the store.

Thoroughly price compare, especially when it comes to food. A brightly coloured $1 sticker can make you automatically think you're getting a great deal on something, but it's not always necessarily true. Food is commonly overpriced at dollar stores as well. Check weights and sizes of food packages and compare them to other stores, like grocery stores, before stocking up on anything particular.

Leave your kids at home. Kids are magnets to dollar store products, from the toys and books to the games and snacks. And forget all that holiday stuff overflowing on the shelves. Dollar store shopping should be done solo at all times.

Melany xx