So you all know I love to thrift shop. What I may not have blathered on about as much is my love of discount stores. Part of both loves, of course, come from the thrill of low prices, but that's not the entirety of it. There is also the joy I get from shopping at a store I can't count on to stock any particular thing at any particular time. The treasure hunt, to see what new great items are available. Often, these are things I'd buy anyway at another store. Sometimes, they are things that I never even knew existed. But they always make me happy to find.
I've mentioned this love to friends before and been met with looks of skepticism. "What," I've been asked, "can you possibly be buying at Big Lots?" So, today, I thought I'd show you. There is no such things as a "typical" Big Lots trip, because the shelves are always stocked with different stuff. But this is what jumped into my cart last night:
What you see here is:
-three 32-oz shelf-stable boxes of Wolfgang Puck Free-Range Roasted Chicken Stock, $1.50 each (typical price $3.50-$4)
-two 32-oz shelf-stable boxes of Wolfgang Puck Organic Vegetable Broth, $1.50 each (typical price $3.50-$4)
-two boxes of Double Stuf Oreo Cakesters, $1.80 each (typical price $3.75-$4)
-two bags of Ghiradelli All-Natural Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, 2/$5 (typical price $4 each)
-two bags of Ghiradelli All-Natural Milk Chocolate Chips, 2/$5 (typical price $4 each)
-two tubes of Toms of Maine Anti-Plaque Toothpaste in Spearmint, $2.50 each (typical price $4.50-$5.50)
-package of 100 Royal 100% cotton rounds, $.80 (typical price $1-$1.50)
-two rolls of 2" x 1600" USPS packing tape, $3 each (typical price $4.50-$5.50)
-one package of SomaDream sleep capsules, $2 (typical price $2)
-one package of Seven Moons Udon Noodles, $1.50 (typical price $3.50-$4 for similar)
-one package of Seven Moons Soba Noodle, $1.50 (typical price $3.50-$4 for similar)
As you can see, nearly everything I bought was at a substantial discount from what I'd have paid regularly, unless the item happened to be on sale (I don't coupon, I just am not organized enough). And most of it was even at a similar price to a BOGO sale or similar, which is about as good as regular sales and coupons get. Now, were these all things we needed, or at least things I would have bought anyway? With the exception of the SomaDream capsules, yes--each of these items was something on my regular shopping list, that I would have picked up at Target or the grocery store had I not seen them in Big Lots. It's not always that way--sometimes most of what I come home with falls into the bizarre category, rather than the necessary one, but usually it's more like this.
While I was browsing Big Lots (I totally go down every aisle, I find it mesmerizing), I saw several other things at high discounts that I personally don't need, but I know others would find useful. Boxes of Green Mountain coffee pods were $4 (regular price around $10). Condensed soups were $.50/can (regular price around $1). There is always a wide variety of pet products (I often buy cat toys there, and occasionally they have our brand of litter at a substantial discount).
This post is not intended as a Big Lots sale's pitch--they aren't paying me. I just think it's an interesting and often really money-saving experience to shop discount stores. It helps, of course, if you are willing to take a chance on some products that might suck, but if you go often, you'll likely find a few of your regular purchases every time. Plus, it's a lot of fun (well, it is if you're me, anyway).