Chris and I are trying to live the "simple life" -- also known as the "economy plan."
One major component of life on the economy plan is the occasional visit to the Dollar Store (or the 99 Cent Store). If you haven't been to one lately, you really need to check them out. While (let's face it) alot of the stuff in there is crap -- there is also increasingly lots and lots of good quality items, including fresh produce.
I have friends and family who sniff their noses and raise their hands in a "thanks, but no thanks" gesture to the mere thought of darkening the door of a Dollar Store.
This is a bit foolish, in my opinion. I pop in at least once a month and stock up on pasta, brand name toiletries, canned goods, paper/stationary products, wrapping paper, and the aforementioned fruits and vegetables that are just as good as those at conventional stores, for a fraction of the price.
Having said that, though, there are certain items that you probably should not buy at the Dollar Store.
10) "Table Spread"
The science is clear: butter is still bad but worse yet is margarine. This mystery product "Table Spread" is probably at the bottom of the barrel. If you buy this it is pretty much guaranteed someone in your family will have a major heart attack in the next week. Don't do it.
9) Pregnancy Test
This definitely falls under the category of things you don't want to scrimp on. The pharmaceuticals at the Dollar Store have often passed their expiration dates. Anyway, I'm not sure which would be worse: a false positive or a false negative. I suppose it depends on your specific situation. Regardless -- you don't want to screw around in this department. Head on over to Walgreens instead.
8) Mystery meat processed foods
I don't know what this is. "Jamaican-style chicken patties." Whatever it is, it's not food, and I'm pretty sure Jamaicans should be offended. Take a look at that photo. Bleck. Seriously. Drop the box and keep on walking.
7) Motor Oil/Transmission Fluid
Now, I'm just a girl, and cars and car maintenance are all Greek to lil' ol' me...HOWEVER. It seems to me that generic, plain wrap motor oil may not be the way to go. Imagine if you took the plunge and poured the gallon of 99 cent motor oil into your car's thirsty engine, and the next morning your Mercedes keels over and dies. Coincidence? You'll never know, but it's best not to take the risk.
6) Cat Food
The same principle goes for the cat and dog food. Imagine if you gave your loving little feline some 99 cent kibble and the next morning they keel over and die. Coincidence? Again...you'll never know (well, let's face it -- you WOULD know, now, wouldn't you?). So -- it's best not to take the risk.
5) "Grape Spread"
This falls under the same category as "Table Spread." I'm not sure what "Grape Spread" is, but it's not Grape Jam and it's not Grape Jelly. And I'm pretty sure the #1 ingredient is High Fructose Corn Syrup -- but I was too scared to actually look at the label. Stick with Smuckers.
4) Hair Color
Again, here is an area where you really don't want to screw around. Home coloring is daunting enough as it is. Also, as a rule I don't use hair color products that play around with the spelling of the word "Easy" as in this "ColorEazy." This is not a game, people. This is hair color. It's as serious as a heart attack and definitely not "Eazy."
Anyway, this product may be perfectly fine, but for obvious reasons I will never spend the 99 cents to find out.
3) Diet Pills
I don't know. We probably shouldn't be buying diet pills anyway, because they never work, and they're always a rip-off. So diet pills that have passed their expiration date (which is what you would get at the 99 cent store) are not even worth the 99 cents you pay for them. I'd just stick with diet and exercise.
2) Snack Cakes
Seriously, people. They call them "Devil Squares" for a reason -- and that "Little Debbie?" She is not your friend, and she is trying to kill you. This crap is trans-fat/high fructose corn syrup heaven. Don't do it. Keep on walkin.'
1) Egg Salad Sandwiches
Yeesh! 'Nuff said. :-/