Dollars and Surprises

Next to coffee, dark chocolate and doughnuts, I like dollar stores.  Do you have them? Victoria seems to have a plethora of them and these stores proliferate like a—well a     dollar epidemic.

My hometown has different versions of dollar stores and their names would denote how organized they would be:  Dollar Store, Dollarama, Amazing $$$ and Dollar Bin to name a few.

I grew up with Woolworth and Kresge. That’s what dollar stores remind me of.

I prefer the small dollar stores. These are stores where the aisles, if any, have a certain method in their maddening, maze-like meandering. That’s when a person, with no purpose in mind and lots of time, may find a treasure or two. The super huge dollar stores are extremely organized. There are signs at each aisle, clearly stating what can be found down its long, neat-n-tidy lanes–no surprises along those pathways.  I like surprises.

Few people ever admit that they found any bargains or treasures or bought stuff in a dollar store, but heck, who doesn’t love a bargain?  I have bought mailing envelopes, file folders and notepads at a fraction of prices found in stationary stores–same brands too.  When I was doing my beading workshops, I found some fabulous beads and leather cords for a pittance, compared to the prices for the exact same thing at a bead and accessory store. Paper crafts are an on-going project and I often found unique stickers, paints and colourful stick-ons–again, for a fraction of the costs at a regular craft store. Party decorations, all-occasion cards, gift bags and wraps are all worthy of buying at you-know-where.

You can’t be anonymous when you venture into a dollar store because you’re bound to meet up with someone who knows you. Having an attitude helps. You know the one—the “yes-I-shop-here-and-I’m-so-happy-you-discover-this-too” works every time.

Hmm-mm, it looks like there’s another new place opening. With a name like “Dazzling Dave’s Dollars,” I bet it may be a larger and more organized store. But then again, it may be one of those smaller ones with treasures packed in every nook and cranny. I think Dazzling Dave should be checked out and maybe, I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

10 thoughts on “Dollars and Surprises

  1. We shop at dollar stores for all those things you mention, as well as lab books and pens for writing. Alongside Kresge’s and Woolworth’s, we shopped at G.C. Murphy’s, and W.T. Grant’s. Those stores were called five-and-dimes. Now we go to dollar stores. Inflation, hey?

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  2. And retro too—just like nylons with seams (eek!), pencil skirts and Volkswagen bugs. We didn’t have any G.C.Murphy’s or W.T.Grant’s, but they sound like they would have been fun stores to explore too!

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  3. I love cruising dollar stores and, in the past, those Michael mentioned (Woolworth’s Five and Dime, Kresge’s, G.C. Murphy’s) as well as others (Spain’s in Richwood, Ohio–it was one of a kind!). I also love checking out clearance racks and shelves and am proud to say where I purchased an item especially if a real bargain).

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    1. Different dollar stores offer different stuff, but it’s all great fun to explore the nooks and crannies of the smaller ones–even the super huge stores may offer something too. . . .

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