Things to Buy (And To Avoid Buying) From a $2 Shop
Knowing the right things to buy from a $2 ($3, $5) store can be a simple and easy way for you to save a few dollars in just one shopping trip. However, the stuff you end up with may vary in quality , so we have come up with examples of things to buy and to avoid. (Please note, this is based on my own experiences with particular items from dollar shops)
Costumes and party supplies – be it for Halloween, birthday bash, hens night or any other themed occasion, a $2 shop can offer great value and usually good quality. Often you can buy a pretty cool costume for $10-$15. If you have any other party needs like balloons, signs, props, they can also be purchased for a reasonable price.
Seasonal decorations can be included in this category, too – be it for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter or Halloween.
Greeting cards, gift boxes and wrapping paper – it is ridiculous how much traditional shops can sometime charge for things that are designed to be seen for 5 seconds before they are thrown in the rubbish bin. If you absolutely need to wrap your present and have a card to accompany it, a dollar shop can offer great value. I have often found cards for $1-$2 – when one from a well-known book shop can cost up to $7. Same goes for gift boxes (which you can also use as handy storage boxes) and wrapping paper, especially when you buy it on sale after Christmas and Valentine’s Day!
Hair accessories: hair ties, bows, bobby pins, headbands, hair combs and brushes – we all know how quickly those things get lost; and to be honest, the quality of such items is probably comparable both at a dollar shop and a supermarket, where you would pay at least twice the price.
Pretty cool and good quality mugs and glasses can also be bought for a very reasonable price.
Disposable tableware & foil baking tins from a dollar shop are usually pretty cheap and of good quality – and give you less reasons to feel guilty about throwing them away after using the items just for a few hours.
Stationery – I have only ever bought folders, notepads and paperclips and they were pretty good, and way cheaper than similar items from a stationery shop.
Things I wouldn’t buy
Kitchen utensils – I have previously bought a can opener and a spatula from a $2 shop and neither of them lasted a month.
Beauty and personal care products: toothpaste, make-up, feminine products, deodorants, hair dyes, moisturisers, or pretty much anything else you put on your face, hair or body, because much of what we put on our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream. We don’t know what is in those products, and there must be a reason why they are so cheap (although, I must confess, I do buy my nail polish remover from the $2 shop nearby).
Another thing I would personally avoid is toys. Lots of products even from traditional toy shops are not of the best quality; but I have often come across very low quality toys at $2 shops and they just looked like they could be made of unknown materials that did not necessarily meet current safety regulations. Young babies and little kids often explore their world by putting things (including toys) in their mouths, so personally, I wouldn’t trust anything that is not sold at a well-established specialised shop. You can find more information about toy safety in New Zealand here.