Oh The Places You Will Go At The Dollar Store

In Man-day, Parenting by Jen42 Comments

Welcome to a special edition of Man-day that is being brought to you by both Jen’s Guy and Jen!

Jen’s Guy: The First Date that Jennifer and I went on, we spent some time at the dollar store while waiting for our movie.  We have previously talked about our unfortunate discovery of New York Seltzer there.  So, for date night we held hands and revisited our local version of a 99 cent store to find out what adventures could be had.

It was epic!

Dollar stores tend to get a bad rap because people think the food is probably past its due date.  I don’t know why anyone would get that impression:

I like pumpkin as much as the next guy, but I’m kind of thinking there should be a moratorium for it after Easter.

Jen: Honey…. You do remember how much I LOVE pumpkin, right? I think I have stated my position here and here….

Jen’s Guy: Noted, but I have calendar on this one.  I don’t remember seeing Christmas Mac & Cheese even when it WAS Christmas.  Because nothing brings Christmas cheer like Candy Cane shaped Macaroni and Cheese.  Additionally, isn’t the new stuff only 99 cents at the regular grocery store anyway?

Jen: I think I am going to buy it! That tag line ’tis the chees’n’ is just so cute!

Jen’s Guy: Walking to the next aisle.  Many toy stores are moving away from toy guns and weapons as they figure it may be contributing to children’s violence.  Except for the NERF guns, because those rake in serious cash.  However, the dollar store has no compunction about arming children with cheap plastic facsimiles of weapons.  See:

Some of these are priceless!  I love the orange tip on the flintlock musket because a lot of crimes are committed with flintlock muskets.  Freakin’ hipster pirate gangsters!  Also the Police Play Set set with binoculars, a radio, and two grenades.  Because, “Hey we are short on funding and you don’t get a sidearm.  Let’s see what you can do with these two grenades instead. . .”  I’m not going to lie, however, that Ninja set is legit.

Jen: Do you get the feeling that we are being followed?

Jen’s Guy: Yeah, look over there in the greeting card section. . .

Jen: I thought that “birthday girl” looked suspicious!

Jen:  And look over here at the girl’s section.  Tea Sets, Tutus, Tiaras and . . . frying pans?

Jen’s Guy: At 99 cents, you have completely priced out political correctness.

Jen: How do you know when your boy band has reached the peak of it’s career? When your dolls show up at a dollar store…

Jen’s Guy: This should probably be your tip off that you, individually, may not have a music career after your band breaks up.  If your doll is selling for less than a couple bucks, you aren’t the Ricky Martin in the Menudo. . .

Jen: Funny you should mention menudo, since we live so close to our neighbor country of Mexico, here are a few things you will only find in stores this close to the border.

Candles, starring your favorite religious icon! You pick, because we Hispanics like to light a candle for everything and dollar stores can keep us stocked for years!

We also have some very interesting candy choices, like fruit chews flavored with chili. Personally, I have never understood the whole dollop of brown colored candy on a plastic spoon.

Jen’s Guy:  That would be Tamarind, and it is nas-tee!  You know how watermelon candy doesn’t really taste much like watermelon?  Tamerind is kind of like that, but modeled off of what I assume artificially flavored candy beef jerky is supposed to taste like.  It looks bad and tastes even worse.  Look at the mascot on the package trying to sell the stuff for Pete’s sake. . .

Andrew Zimmern:  Dude, I don’t even eat that stuff!

Jen’s Guy:  I know, right?

Jen: Take a look at this honey! I can assemble my own plunger!!

Jen’s Guy:  That is just a scam to get you to pay two dollars for your plunger.

Moving on to the home goods aisle….

Jen’s Guy: Only at 99 cent stores can you still buy ash trays in bulk.

Jen: Or this Totally Awesome bleach!


Jens Guy:  Who knew bleach could be totally awesome?

Jen: Hello? Me.  Because I am a mom.

Jen’s Guy: I’m going to Aisle 7, “Health and beauty.” Just look at all of this awesome stuff! I can’t believe it is only 99 cents!

Jen: Don’t even go there!

Jen’s Guy: But it says “Fast action and pain free” with a “gentle touch spatula.”  Why would you EVER shave again?

Jen:  You notice how they don’t sell that stuff for men’s faces?  Yeah, I’m not putting it on my legs, gentle touch spatula or no.

Jen’s Guy: Well, there is also this.

Jen: Oh my gosh, no!! A gentle touch spatula won’t help here either.

But take a look at this rather large assortment of “family planning” options that can be purchased for only 99 cents!

After seeing this display, Jen’s Guy and I are both intrigued by the quantity of “family planning” items that are available at 99 cent stores. Please consider filling out our completely anonymous survey below.

Create your own user feedback survey 

We will get back to all of you with the results of our little survey soon!

Jen’s Guy:  You have been kind of edgy on your blog lately, I had a guy at church ask me about your pole dancing. . .

Jen: Yes, I’m planning on taking his wife with me the next time I go.  Also, my male readership on the blog is up 25% over two weeks ago.

Jen’s Guy: [Sigh. . .]

Jen: Tell you what, how about we go home and I cook you a nice bowl of Ramen noodles?  Which of these 387 flavors would you like?


Jen’s Guy: Anything but the Tamarind. . .

Stay Happy! Stay Informed!



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  1. This is hilarious, Jen! I bet there is a lot of laughter that goes on at your house. I haven’t been to a dollar store in ages. Oddly enough, this has made me want to go visit one :). That picture of your sweet daughter is absolutely adorable. She always makes me smile. I’m going to have to agree with your hubby on the pumpkin issue though. We really shouldn’t have to see pumpkin pop-tarts year round :).
    Candace recently posted…Women of JoyMy Profile

    1. To be honest, I’m not sure that pumpkin pop tarts should be encouraged even in November. We left one of the best parts out. In front of that particular store is one of those coin op merry go rounds with like two pint size horses. It was broken that day. There were tears, and anger, then joyous acceptance once we hit the toy aisle and she found a bouncy ball with some cartoon character on it that I had never heard of. . .

  2. How fun. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a Dollar Store. If I go now I think this post will pop into my head. I’m pretty sure it will.

    I had to laugh about the candles and living so close to the border. I live in central California and there are more people from Mexico here than citizens of the U.S. Those candles are everywhere.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺
    Comedy Plus recently posted…Project MascotMy Profile

    1. Oh, there are definitely things that you can get in a dollar store that make it worth the trip. How’s the Tamarind in Central California? The great thing about the dollar store here is that it is a great place to start your hot sauce collection. They have about a dozen different brands for a dollar. Hot Sauce doesn’t go bad, it just gets better.

  3. I laughed the whole way through. This reminds me of trips to the Dollar Store with my husband and it really is just a scam to get you to pay 2 dollars for the plunger but also save them hourly pay for not having to have someone else put them together. :)
    becka recently posted…Adventures in Sidewalk ChalkMy Profile

    1. I mean you would think that they would at least have different heads or different sized handles, right? But, no, 500 hundred of each exactly alike. I’ll bet there are people that buy them, use them once, then throw them in the dumpster rather than dream about cleaning them.

  4. That must be one HUGE dollar store! I’ve never seen so many icon candles or Ramen in one spot…and to think they’re both in the same store at the same time!
    Leslie recently posted…Pray for BaltimoreMy Profile

    1. It is oversized. It also has produce which really isn’t that common. We get cucumbers and bell peppers there quite often. Also, not EVERTYTHING is a dollar. The milk, for instance, is two dollars. I’m probably too much of a snob to buy milk there though. . .

  5. Wow, can you imagine getting a week’s worth of groceries (and family planning) at the dollar store, and then actually eating it? Why haven’t they made that documentary yet?
    Tamara recently posted…Losing My Cape.My Profile

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      Not so sure on the family planning items, but last summer in between a very rough patch when several of our clients declared bankruptcy, I did just that! I bought an entire week’s worth of groceries for a family of 6 at the Dollar store. It was a one of a kind of experience. I did pretty good too! We still ate vegetables and fruit, just some ones my kids had never tried before. It’s an experience everyone should try and I was grateful for for the food that kept us going.
      Jen recently posted…Oh The Places You Will Go At The Dollar StoreMy Profile

    1. Author

      Thank you, she is pretty cute. That is lucky for her, because it has helped to help get her back into good graces during some of her most terrible toddler moments. You know, right??

      I have never really looked at that section before and was amazed at how huge it was!! Is that because it doesn’t sell or that the demand is so high they have to keep it stocked?? The more you know…
      Jen recently posted…Oh The Places You Will Go At The Dollar StoreMy Profile

  6. I love love love this post. Seriously, why can’t the dollar store sell bananas and apples for a dollar rather than old expired mac-n-cheese and pop-tarts? I did mention in a recent post about my former love of ramen noodles. I lived on them in my early 20’s. And while I think there’s merit in having our kids go to a cheap toy store so they are excited to select a toy and we don’t break the band, the choice of toys is pretty scary.
    Caryn recently posted…How to Make Cauliflower Rice, Healthy Tip of the WeekMy Profile

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      I remember that post! I had a college roommate who excelled at cooking with Ramen, she had quite the arsenal of recipes going! I myself, have never been a big fan of the stuff. This 99 cent store actually does have a pretty huge produce section, it is off the hook! I pick up whole bags of bell peppers there for .99 cents.
      Jen recently posted…Mommy Reality #35: Your NemesisMy Profile

  7. I’m laughing so hard, I just snorted. Snorted!

    We go to the dollar store for kid craft supplies and I’ve never even gone down the food aisle. I’m not gonna lie – it’s scary, so very scary now that you’ve shown me a wall of ramen…

    A wall of ramen – I think that’s my next nightmare. Oh and “Freakin’ hipster pirate gangsters!” —- this totally applies here in Seattle. Hipster pirate gangsters are everywhere!
    Sarah Nenni Daher recently posted…5 Reasons CoSchedule is WorthyMy Profile

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      See I will tell Jen’s Guy he DOES need to be scared! He should probably pick up that ninja set, just in case. Because obviously the plastic grenade set will help very little against the pirate gangsters….

      Yes, a wall of Ramen Noodles is definitely something to behold!
      Jen recently posted…Oh The Places You Will Go At The Dollar StoreMy Profile

    1. Author

      Thanks! The Dollar store gives me unending amounts of shopping pleasure! Each time when I shop there it is like a treasure hunt to find the good :) No boring old shopping lists, it’s a look and find kind of adventure!
      Jen recently posted…Mommy Reality #35: Your NemesisMy Profile

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      Agreed! My Abuelita (grandma) had this little neighborhood tealito (shrine) next to her house where people would light and leave candles. At night the light would come through the bedroom window and it was kind of spooky!
      Jen recently posted…Mommy Reality #35: Your NemesisMy Profile

  8. Hi Jen, we have 1 Euro shops here, half the stuff in them is not 1 Euro and is still nasty (husband loves them!!).

    Now would a dollar hair remover remove more skin than hair? And do people really have home enema days? (They probably do now at the bargain price of 1 Dollar per head! [immature sniggering as I tap at the keys]).

    As for family planning for a Dollar…Really?

    Debbie recently posted…ARGH!My Profile

    1. Author

      Oh we very gleefully and immaturely snigger and laugh as we peruse our dollar store, but somehow our cart always ends up full!! What does that say about us :) P.S.I have never bought the enema solution or the hair remover. Not sure I would either, even for a Jen “NAILS IT” challenge!
      Jen recently posted…Mommy Reality #35: Your NemesisMy Profile

  9. I feel like I was walking alongside you two. LOL. Jen’s Guy, I love how after you two walked through the family planning, Jen’s pole dancing came to mind!!! Which seamlessly led to seducing her with a romantic ramen dinner. I will say, both the family planning and ramen had quite a large selection. Maybe, just maybe your on to something…

  10. Oh my gosh you guys had way to much fun.

    A few thoughts….
    * those rows of candle kind of freak me out.
    * Hair remover, I bet it takes the skin off too.
    * My dollar store only sales pregnancy tests… maybe if they sold condoms they would sell less of them.
    * Ash trays in bulk, keepin it classy
    * I totally want to go look around the dollar store here now.

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