I grew up listening to my grandma and my parents telling me stories about shopping at the "five and dime" or buying "penny candy." I doubt a 5 or a dime buys much of anything these days and penny candy seems relegated to fairy tales. No, Aster, will have to listen to me talk to her someday about the dollar stores that once proliferated. I am sure by the time she is an adult she'll be seeing "$20 Depots" around or something like that. There's a lot of dollar drama going on right now as the "big three" - Dollar Tree, Dollar General, and Family Dollar - try to become the "big two."
There are three dollar stores within, literally, a 5 minute drive of where I live. I will occasionally run in for batteries, drain cleaner, or sundries, something we might have missed at our weekly grocery shopping trip. But I guess I have two questions: how many dollar stores does your hometown have? Does mine just have more than most, or is this the norm everywhere? And who shops in them and what do you buy? How do these stores compare to say, Costco, or even Wal-Mart?
3 Dollar General Stores
3 Family Dollars
1 Big Lots
1 Grandview Weekend Outlet
In a city the size of mine - 42,000 - that is approximately one dollar store for every 4600 people.
Expand beyond the city limits just slightly and several more Dollar Generals enter the mix. And we also have a Wal-Mart. All of this brings me back to the question: is this in the norm? How many dollar stores do you have near where you live?
By the way, I did put Aldi's into the mix above but they are sort of a different animal from the usual dollar store. My town also has a Salvation Army store and a Goodwill Store, but those aren't true discount shops. We also have a Wal-Mart here which also seems to be a bit different of a beast.
In a population of 60,000 we have either 4 or 5 Dollar General stores. A new one opened close to one of the older ones so I'm not sure if the older one is still open. We also have a Family Dollar and 2 Dollar Tree stores along with 2 Walmart Supercenters and a Target. All of the smaller towns, and I'm talking really small, some just crossroads mostly around here, have a Dollar General. I never pass one of these that there aren't several cars in the lot. I guess you can't have too many dollar stores, at least where I live.
I do shop Dollar General at least once a month. I find it easier to run in and get what I need and get out without the hassle of going to a store like Walmart. I also seem to save money by doing that. They are a great place to get soap, cleaning supplies and greeting cards.
They are always getting in new stuff so sometimes if I have time I make a longer stop just to look around and see what they have that's new.
I live in Palm Beach County Florida which is very large so we have more Dollar Trees than other areas. I like them a lot. I get paper goods, school supplies and some hair products mostly. I have gotten some food products but am very careful about that type of stuff. In my opinion Dollar Trees are very good with most of the merchandise as far as quality. They do have some brand name items that are much higher priced in other stores. We have a Family Dollar close by but I do not shop there. I am not close to any Dollar General stores at all. Dollar Tree seems to be the only dollar store that survives here in South Florida. Many others dollar stores have opened and closed within months here.
Interesting, here in Ohio, Dollar Trees are few and far between but Dollar Generals are EVERYWHERE!
We live in a town of about 12000 people and we have 2 dollar stores and one Dollar General. If you drive about 29 miles to another town smaller than ours you will find another Dollar store. We also have a super Wal-Mart that is open 24 hours a day. We use the Wal-Mart much more than the Dollar stores. But the Dollar stores are very handy when you just need a couple of items.
I shop Dollar Tree - stock up on plastic bags, i.e. sandwich, garbage, etc. LOVE the fifty cent cards - nice quality paper & wonderful messages, & tissues. Dangerous place however, have to watch or I am spending tooo much! Dollar General and Family Dollar not so much..Love Aldi's, took a while to trust their brand but with a double guarantee, don't find it elsewhere. Sign of the times when Wal-mart is "up-scale"! xxxo
Linda from KY
I live in the suburbs of one of the largest towns in Northern Kentucky. I can go into one of the neighborhoods of the town where I live and shop at a Dollar Tree on one side of the street and Dollar General on the other. Five minutes from there is a Wal-Mart. I shop at Dollar Tree, but I don't ever go to Dollar General. At the Dollar Tree everything really is $1. At Family Dollar or Dollar General that isn't the case. I like to go to the Dollar Tree for gift wrap and gift bags and greeting cards, primarily. My kids like to go there to get snacks. Sometimes I even shop for groceries there, keeping in mind that the reason they only cost $1 is because the package sizes are smaller.
That is awesome that everything at DT really is a dollar! There aren't any around my town, but I will check one out sometime!
Linda from KY
When your baby gets old enough for kid parties, DT is also a great place for party favors. I've saved lots of money buying the party favors there instead of Wal-Mart.