Dollar Store Grocery Shopping

by Lauren Romano

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I never thought of going grocery shopping in a dollar store. Then one day a few months ago, I walked into a dollar store near my home and figured that I would pick up a few food items that I needed. As I walked through the store and threw items in the hand basket, I calculated the amount of money I was saving if I had purchased the items in a grocery store.

I'm not going to lie. I was incredibly leery about eating the food items. I double-checked the expiration dates and was even a little hesitant to take the first bite of the food as it was on my plate. It's from a dollar store, so how good could the food be? My favorite brand of pickles is now from my local dollar store as opposed to the other pickles I spent $3.50 for in a grocery store and didn't like half as much. I no longer buy candy from the grocery store. I pick up my favorite brands of candy at the dollar store and spend a third of the cost that I used to spend. Two bags of chips and two jars of salsa cost me $4, which is a little more than the cost of one bag of chips at the grocery store.

What about actual food that can make up a meal? Obviously, you can't find fresh fruits, breads and vegetables there, but you can find a good amount of other items. I can pick up some frozen sausage and vegetables and make enough for two to three meals. For dessert, I pick up a pound cake, a bag of frozen strawberries and whipped cream, which also will last for several days. You want juice, cereal, French toast and turkey sausage for breakfast? Yes, they have that too. People have the misconception that the food expires days after you buy it or that it's rotten when you buy it. The products have the expiration dates that you would find on products in a grocery store. These are not products that expire days later, at least not on the foods at the dollar stores that I visit.

While I have nothing against shopping in a grocery store, I now much prefer to do a lot of my grocery shopping in a dollar store. Some people don't understand why I do this; dollar store grocery store shopping isn't for everyone. When you're trying to save money as well as attempt to thrive in a currently rotten economy, it definitely helps to pay less for food products that you use on a daily basis. Food prices have been going up and still continue to do so, but I can still find the products in the dollar store for the same price. None of those prices have gone up. While every dollar store is not created equal, it is best to double-check the condition of the food you're going to buy as well as the expiration dates for your own safety. It has to be a dollar store that you can trust and that has a good reputation. Also be aware that not all dollar stores accept credit cards, some only take cash.

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