Getting The Bang For Your 99 Cents

I’m a fan of the 99 cent store and I’m not ashamed to say so. Before the great recession, admitting that you shopped at the 99 cent store was not something that many people did, but now it’s chic to be frugal and cheap. But before you go shopping for Christmas gifts in your local 99 cent store, print my handy, dandy shopping guide to make sure that you get the most bang for your almost buck.

  1. Watch The Price
    Just because it’s in a 99 cent store, doesn’t mean that it’s 99 cents.  In order to survive the recession and rising costs, maybe of these stores no longer set 99 cent as their price ceiling.  Be sure to check the price of the product before getting to the counter.
  2. Check the Expiration Date
    Yeah, that one doesn’t need an explanation.  That’s especially true of food and perishable items. Look for those dates!
  3. Has It Been Recalled?
    This one is a bit harder since you don’t walk in with that knowledge beforehand, but I find this true of electronics and food items.
  4. Is the Item Authentic?
    We realized this when toothpaste was recalled a few years ago. People were getting sick from Chinese made fakes that were contaminated.  A good number of these fakes were sold in 99 cent stores.
  5. Be Careful With Children’s Items
    If it can go into your child’s mouth, be careful with it.  These items can be contaminated with lead or may pose a choking hazard to your child.

But before you go running in the opposite direction, there are some great things to be found in your local store.  If you have not heard of this blogger, the 99 cent chef, you should visit his site now.  Go on, I’ll wait.  He makes delicious looking meals where each of the components cost no more than 99 cents.  He often gets the ingredients from his local 99 cent store; which looks nothing like mine.

You can get some decently priced school supplies from your local store. Notebooks, pencils and pens for my little sister’s school year were all purchased from my local store. My mom saved a ton of money by shopping here, especially since my sister is great at losing pens.

Thanksgiving is coming. We don’t have enough plates for all the people that like to invite themselves over. I like to pop into my local store and purchase enough disposable, shall we say, dinnerware, to accommodate the large herd of family members that we are not expecting that will invite themselves over for Thanksgiving dinner.

I won’t admit to getting much more from the 99 cent store, but let’s just say that I’m on a first name basis with Sanjeep behind the counter.

This post was an editor’s pick in the Festival of Frugality #257 hosted by Squirrelers.  Thank you!

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2 thoughts on “Getting The Bang For Your 99 Cents

  • I think my best purchase at a dollar store is when I bought a one dollar umbrella and also two pairs of little knit gloves!

    I only go there a couple times a year, but it always fun to browse around.

  • I purchased goody bag supplies for my son’s birthday at the dollar store, and it worked out to about $1.50 per kiddo. I also noticed some pretty nice wrapping paper when I was there, which might be worth checking out for the Holidays.

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