Through personal trial and error as well as others trial and errors, I have found that you can either get some really good steals and deals that can put more coin back in your pocket. But if you are not smart about your purchases, you could end up paying more with inferior products.
Hygiene and Cleaning Deals and Steals
Body Soap and Body Wash
They generally carry some nice name brands such as Dove, Zest and Irish Springs in body bars and Yardley’s English Bars are also there on a regular basis. At 99 cent a piece, you can save anywhere from $0.50 to $1.50 or more per bar. Occasionally they do carry brand name body wash as well such as Power Stick. Their generic body wash is OK but it is more watered down so you will use more per use.
Generally they also carry Kid’s Suave Body Wash. I have found that Suave is usually a great money saving brand anyways. When you can get it for less than a dollar, it’s a real steal. The same would apply to their shampoo as well.
Shampoo and Conditioner
My son has dry scalp on occasion so having a good dandruff shampoo on hand is important but it can be costly. So I checked their generic brand and compared it with Albertson’s generic and Head and Shoulders active ingredients and the were the same strength. It seemed to work well for my son so I give it my steal and deal seal.
There is a BIG difference in good nail polish and cheap nail polish. There is a difference in thickness, dry time, chip resistance, and more. However, if you are looking for some polishes for fun techniques or looks like galaxy effects or gradients, invest in a good base coat like OPI, Zoya or Essie. Head to the 99 Cent Store for the LA Colors brand for the fun polishes to add the effects.
Hair Brushes, Bobby Pins, Hair Elastics, Hair Clips and Combs
As long as you are buying the appropriate bobby pins, hair clips or hair elastics that meet the needs of your hair type and color, then these are a definite steal. Just make sure you are getting what works best for you. All their standard, rat tail and even wide tooth combs seem to work well, especially if you have nice and easy normal hair. Hair brushes are little trickier. You need to know your hair and what it can handle and what it needs. If you have normal hair, then these are perfect. But if you have dry hair, fine hair, coarse hair or even extensions, make sure you are buying the appropriate hair brush for your hair. Not all hair types are going to find a brush at the 99 Cent Store.
Besides the name brands like Tylenol and Advil, they do carry generics that are pretty good. The most important thing is to check the strength. I have found that some are stronger than others and that makes all the difference in price and value. Those are equal in strength to the Tylenol are generally about 500mg. If the pill is 250mg in the generic 99 Cent Store brand, then you are having to take 2 for 1 to get the same strength. That being the case, it may not be worth it. However getting a bottle of 20 pills at 500mg for 99 cent is a way better buy than 40 pills at $6 or more a bottle.
The same applies to their cough medicine and mucus relief liquids. I have found that they generally have the same strength and work well. Why pay more money for the same thing.
First Aid Items
BandAids are essentially the same. The major difference is the material – fabric or plastic – and they carry both. Plus they come in a wide variety as well as variety packs. They also have a variety pack of gauze sizes and set size packages varying from 2 inch to 5 inch. I was also impressed that the carried self heating and cooling packs with ace bandages and individual ace bandages. Waterproof tape, tapeless or self sticking wraps and splints are almost always available too. All of these items are great for first aid kits.
I generally would pay about three to even four dollars for toothbrushes, dental floss and flosses as well as toothpaste. The best I ever did was $2.50 for toothpaste so when I discovered the buys at the 99 Cent store I was thrilled. Not only was I impressed with the fact I could get Aim and Colgate full sized toothpaste and occasional Crest but 4-packs of toothbrushes for less than a dollar, I just about jumped for joy. In my house, toothbrushes are not just for cleaning your teeth. They work well for household cleaning, jewelry cleaning and even arts and crafts…obviously I would need a different toothbrush for each task. Their flossing swords and flosser tools like the Reach contraption with the replaceable head work great as well and are well worth the buy.
Household Cleaning Supplies
If you can get a name brand, then these are most definitely a steal. Generally speaking, I can get AJAX or Comet scrub cleaners, Palmolive, Dawn and AJAX dish soap and even LimeAway toilet bowl cleaner. These happen to be some of my standards anyways, so definitely worth a $1.
Zote Pretreat Bar is a fun little product a friend taught me about a long time ago. She pointed out it can even get blood out! Generally $2 to $3 in stores, the 99 cent store buy is a deal in my mind.
Cling dryer sheets and Totally Awesome version of Oxiclean are my too exceptions from Stay Aways below. I have found the dryer sheets works as well as Bounce dryer sheets and I have been pleased with the generic Oxiclean.
Disposable and Dish Washing Gloves
I use disposable gloves when my little yorkies get a full cleaning. If you wash your dog fully or you are a groomer, then you know what I mean by a full clean and why gloves might be necessary. If you don’t, then count yourself lucky. However, I digress. Generally, the 99 Cent Store carries Spic and Span disposable non-latex gloves – a 10 pack. Personally, I find these awesome as they are the thicker kind and since they come in multiple sizes, you can find the ones that fit you best.
As you will see in a little bit, I am not a fan of the Rinso brand. However, their dish gloves are the exception. They come in sizes ranging from Small to X-large and are a thicker material to help prevent tears or punctures.
Hygiene and Cleaning Stay Aways
Nail Polish Decals
Okay, I confess, I tried these. And they are a definite stay away. First they are too thick and have a difficult time staying. They also do not have a wide variety of sizes so there may not be enough in the packet to cover all your nails. Lastly, they peel really, really, really fast. In fact, you would be lucky enough to have them last the night. The name brands such as Kiss, Essie and Sally Hanson claim and do generally last up to a full week. Definitely pass.
Okay, I will admit I am a makeup snob BUT that does not mean I do not have valid reasons. First, not all make up is made equal and there is a major difference in quality. Now that does not need to mean expensive but it does mean there is a difference. Makeup should go on easily as if gliding on and you should not need major amounts. Plus, it should have good staying power and intensity of color without having to add multiple layers of the same color. Depending on the milling, you could also find that you will get a caked and “greasy” shine stiff spot in your compacts. This is a good sign of a bad product and unfortunately this is what I have heard from the generic brand at the 99 Cent Store. If you are throwing an eye shadow away after one month when it should last you anywhere from 4 months to a year, then the money saved isn’t really saved then.
Medicinal Alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide
Sadly these are a Stay Away. They are only 50% concentration of the standard alcohol and hydrogen peroxide so that alone means no for me – I want proper strength when it comes to products designed to clean a wound. But you can also get larger and full standard concentration bottles of both for about a $1 on sale at most major grocery stores.
Household Cleaning Supplies
I have found both from my use since and my husband’s use pre-marriage, that the Rinso brand and Totally Awesome brand that are found at the 99 Cent Store are generally speaking a pass. For the most part, be it glass cleaner or toilet bowl cleaner, laundry detergent or dish soap, these two brands are watered down so you need to use way more to get the same results as the brands found at grocery stores such as Tide or Armor Hammer.
Unless it is Scotch or a similar brand that they got a supply of, stay away from the sponges. They will only last you about one wash before they start to breakdown.
I hope this helps you find the best deals and get more for you money. I have been impressed on the amount of groceries I buy there as compared to the scrawny amount I buy at Vons or Albertsons for the same amount of coin. Keeps me going back each week. Next post I’ll take a peak at the food deals and stay aways.
*Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with 99 Cent Store in anyway. I am only a patron who has found that shopping there has aided my budget and I am passing on my experiences and opinion. The statements above are my opinion and my opinion only and is based on my experiences and/or those directly related to me by others. You may find different results or find you do not agree with my opinions.