SAN ANTONIO – If there seems to be a dollar store on every corner, it’s no wonder. Four in 10 store openings this year are expected to be dollar stores.
“Believe it or not, dollar stores outnumber Starbucks and McDonald’s combined, and more are on the way,” said Brian Vines of Consumer Reports.
Credit their popularity. According to a Consumer Reports survey, 88% of Americans polled said they shop at dollar stores at least a few times.
Why? They are inexpensive and practical were the most common reasons.
But, are they really savers?
Consumer Reports did a lot of shopping for six months and found the answer to be yes, but with a caveat.
“In our survey, dollar stores, compared to neighboring grocery stores, were indeed the cheapest for a full purchase for each of our shoppers,” Vines said. “But, while you can save more money at a dollar store, your options for each item can be quite limited.”
So it pays to be flexible and shop strategically, knowing what to buy and what to ignore.
“Few dollar stores sell fresh fruits and vegetables, but they often carry frozen versions of each, which can be just as nutritious,” Vines said.
In the over-the-counter drug aisle, he advises skipping brands like Advil and Tylenol and going generics. Always check expiration dates no matter where you shop.
Consumer Reports has found that you may be able to get many cheaper dollar store products in bulk at big box stores. But, in a pinch, or if you just need a little, Consumer Reports has found that dollar store deals are generally a good bet.
Supply chain issues affecting so many businesses are also having an impact on dollar stores. So don’t be surprised to see random empty spaces on the shelves.
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