Monday, November 12, 2012

A review of discount stores

     Whenever possible, I try to buy American made products.  I confess if I am facing a choice of an import or a twenty mile drive, I choose the import.  I will not drive here and there wasting gas if the item is not available locally. 

     With that said, I feel for people who are remotely located and do not have access to the same stores I do for their beginning preps.  I have shopped Family Dollar and Dollar General Stores and offer a review.

     Canned goods from Dollar General Store are a good value and a good product.  Their store brand name is Clover Valley.  Clover Valley young peas taste like LeSeur baby peas.  They cost less than one-third of LeSeur.  The dehydrated potato products are shelved next to a name brand at a lower price.  I have found them to be equal in quality.  I like the freshness dates.  They appear to be longer than the name brands on the shelf.  This is a fine fresh product not a closeout near expiration.

    As a full time housekeeper, I use the cleaning chemicals of both name brand and DG brand. As a prepper with hurricane survivor experience I can tell you that cleaning products are important, too. In a short term disaster, while you are waiting on FEMA, you might want to kill some time cleaning your house.  Long term disaster and you definitely need to keep clean to live.  I would like to sing the praise of a one dollar DG brand product.  The purple colored DG brand glass and surface cleaner is a jewel.  It is ammonia free and safe for granite and marble counter tops.  It gives great shine and if it leaves a residue, I can’t see it.  It is great for polishing a mirror.  They have a $5 swivel mop that uses the high priced wet or dry disposable mopping cloths, but I use the terry cloth towels and wash them to re-use.  It will last you years with regular use, one mop will last me about 13-14 months and I always have a backup.  The name brand wobbles and breaks. 

      I never buy a bulk quantity of an item until I give it a test try.  I suggest you do the same.  My tastes may differ from yours in many ways.  I don’t like artificial strawberry flavoring.  I like lavender and bleach, but I do not like lavender scented bleach.  So, we will like different products.  Test them one at a time.  Make notes and add quality items to your prepping lists.

     The Family Dollar store is similar in products and pricing to the Dollar General Store and I have noticed the corporation is expanding.  They are growing across the country and may be close to you.  They have a few more electronic devices than Dollar General but I don’t prep for a disaster that includes a shortage of electronic gadgets.  Most preppers agree that eventually any disaster will suffer power outages or a complete grid down situation.  Gadgets can be clutter if not dual powered or dual purposed.  

     Again, at this store, you can buy good quality name brand and/or generic products if you prefer. They have a clothing department better than Dollar General, but they sell out fast at back to school and the holidays. Cleaning products are well stocked and this store is a source for large storage containers.  I have also organized a craft room with their three drawer plastic dresser type containers with casters optional.  They come with casters but you don’t have to use them.  They have a nice seasonal selection of containers that are shipped in to their stores after Christmas.  They are rarely on sale so compare to the Wal-Mart or Target stores and shop well prepared with knowledge.  

     With both stores, seasonal items are seasonal.  If you wait till the end of season for a discount the item may be gone. They have what they have until it is gone or your neighbor’s beat you to it. 

     MOM ADVICE; Check the tags of clothing for country of origin.  Buy USA if you can.  Buy quality always.  But if you just have to have a trinket or a cute fashion treat, buy cheap.  Don’t waste your good money on disposable items.  Check sell by dates and remember they sell storage containers here, too.

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