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Welcome to “300 Seconds with Eduardo Soliz.” This is episode number 108, “Why I Love The Dollar Store,” so let the 300 Seconds begin!
With one notable exception, I like going shopping, especially for groceries. Walking up and down the aisles, checking out new products, comparing items, checking off my list, and buying twice as many things as I had intended to always makes for a good time. The fact that I can’t go as often as I used to, thanks to the coronavirus, makes me now want to squeeze as much enjoyment as I possibly can out of each shopping trip…but that’s a topic for another time. The point I’m trying to make here is that I really like looking for stuff to buy.
Before I move on, I should mention the one exception to my “I like shopping” rule: shoes. I’ll just say that finding a size 13 wide is easier said than done.
Over the years, I have grown to become quite fond of dollar stores. Whereas grocery stores are vast wonderlands of commerce, dollar stores are smaller and have a quirkiness to them that I really enjoy. I even have some practical reasons for enjoying the dollar store.
To begin with, because they’re smaller, dollar stores can sometimes be less crowded, especially if you find one that’s a little out of the way. Even before the coronavirus made staying away from other people standard operating procedure, I have never been a fan on overly crowded places. As much as I like shopping, I try to do it when there will be fewer people around. I’m a nerd, it’s kind of what we do. The downside of this is when there’s only one register open and the line gets crazy long. Granted, that’s an issue that can come up at any store, but it’s an acceptable risk as far as I’m concerned.
Secondly, the sheer variety of things you can find at the dollar store makes for plenty of opportunities to browse. Food, office supplies, dishes, party supplies, hardware; there’s just all kinds of stuff to look at. Granted, this also has the unintended side effect of there being more stuff to just randomly buy, but hey, I’m at the dollar store! I also like the sheer variety of oddball things that you can find, especially in the candy aisle. Dollar stores often have weirdo candies that I just don’t see very often in South Texas. Stuff like Charleston Chew, Zagnut bars, Clark Bars, and Mallo Cups. I can’t say I’ve tried all of those, but if I ever get an inkling to, the opportunity is there.
Also, I live by myself, so I have to shop and cook for one. Dollar stores tend to have things in smaller sizes, which works our perfectly. Maybe it’s just me, but I think the sizes of the boxes of cereal at the grocery stores are starting to get a little out of hand. As much as I like Raisin Bran, I don’t need a two-pound box of it. At the dollar store, I can find a normal sized box of cereal. In addition, there are packages of baking mix that will only make six muffins or a dozen cookies. If you live alone like I do, or you’re just trying to eat less, which I’m also trying to do, those smaller sizes are pretty darn nice. I do also feel obligated to mention that they have peanut butter crackers that come in packages of four instead of six, which is pretty darned awesome.
One does have to exercise caution in the midst of all this convenience, however. Of course, I’m talking about Brand X. Maybe I’m being a little paranoid, but sometimes the amount of stuff that you get for the price feels is just a little too good to be true, you know what I mean? That said, the temptation to try something new is easier to give in to when the item is smaller and less expensive. And yes, I know that brand-name products aren’t necessarily less expensive at the dollar store, but I’m okay with paying an extra nickel or dime here and there for the convenience.
So yeah, I love dollar stores, they’re just the thing for when I want to pick up a few items and I don’t feel like dealing with the madness at the nearby HEB or Wal-Mart…or maybe I just want a box of Charleston Chew.
This has been 300 Seconds! The next episode will be posted after I go to the dollar store to pick up a few things. For more wonderfully weird words written by me, visit Eduardo Soliz dot com, and I thank you for listening! Be Good, Take Care, and God Bless.