Success at the Dollar Store – With One Exception

Every now and again, I find myself browsing the aisles of the Dollar Store. Sometimes out of necessity, sometimes just for fun. The other night, my EC needed to get some wrapping paper and bows, and I came along for the ride. Here are a few things I found which merit discussion, and one thing that DRIVES ME CRAZY. (In a bad way.)

Ooga Horns

These party horns have ooga-bulbs stuck on them so people don’t actually have to blow into them. I guess people with emphysema deserve to party just as hard as everyone else. Or, some people are too busy blowing their own horn to be bothered with blowing their own horn.

Home base

I so desperately wanted to shoplift this.  (If you don’t get it, wait a day and email me.)

Small fan

These little battery-powered fans were actually pretty cool – take it from someone who lives next to Hades in the summertime.  My idea?  Make them in white, and sell them to some women I know to take with them into the temple. I know – Genius.

Speaking of genius, some things are just not meant to be attempted, but these “geniuses” persist in creating abominations that should not exist. For example, I give you these:

lemonhead jellies M&Ms

You mess with Lemonheads, you violate my childhood. Reinforcing the maxim: Just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

Next up: Counting my blessings that I am a man. When it comes to choosing a fragrance, apparently women need to make their choices based on whichever characteristic they need to improve.

I had no idea that a knock-off perfume could improve posture. My recommendation? Use “Cautious” before buying.

Now the guys had some fragrances too:


“Jordache Men” seems innocuous enough, but when you read the fine print, you realize that it says that it is “Our Version of QUORUM.”  That’s right folks. They are impersonating Quorum, making them the first apostate fragrance I am aware of.


And finally, as we were walking out the door, I saw something that makes me crazy. A donation box. No, I am not anti-charity. I am anti “sneaky” charity.

Food drive

Allow me to explain:

See that box of granola bars on top? I’m guessing it cost a dollar. Some good soul donated it to help with the food drive. Now let’s walk this through, and do some math.

The box of granola bars probably cost the Dollar Store about 75¢. So when that Good Samaritan bought it, the Dollar Store instantly turned a 25% profit. That’s not so bad, and in most cases, it ends there.

But sometimes it gets better…

Next, SOME stores will donate the granola bar to some deserving food bank, and write-off $1.00 as THEIR charitable contribution, and get the corresponding tax break. For the sake of making it easy, let’s say they saved 25¢ in taxes.

What do we have? The store makes 25% on the sale, and saved 25% of their taxes, all because some good person spent $1.00 on the granola bars. They sell more stuff, and get a write-off. What is their skin in the game? Nothing.

So, if you want to donate money to help people, donate money to help people – take your own write-off. Don’t let some stores sucker you into funding their tax write-offs.  I would suggest Fast Offerings as a good place to put your donations.

See – I can’t even go to the Dollar Store without turning it into some kind of preach. Can you imagine being one of my kids?

If you want to look at earlier dollar store posts, here you go: Herehereherehere and here.)






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  1. Oh dollar stores, how I miss them. No dollar stores in the middle of nowhere.

    Now, having grown up in the shadow of the Mesa Temple, and knowing that it is actually Hades in the Valley during the summer, those fans … yes, those fans need to be at the clothing counter for rent. I almost fainted on my wedding day because it was so hot in the temple.

  2. Again — where is the LIKE button? As a temple ordinance worker, I can totally relate to the white fan idea, and I did get the home plate reference right away. Seems like a great authority said that ALL things testify of him, so good job finding a message to be “preached” in everything. Lucky kids!

  3. I am totally with you writing a blog instead of doing the things that need to be done.. I do that all the time..A friend of mine use to way ” What do you want to do Cook or Play” No brainer!

  4. The baseball thing! ? The cops would’ve had a good laugh doing the paperwork if you got caught!!

  5. This is my second ever disagreement with you, MMM. My thoughts:
    1. Businesses are in business to make a profit. I think its wonderful that they are willing to set aside any space to collect items for local food pantries. 2. Local pantries here in rural areas of the midwest are not funded or supported by Church funds. We rely on large and tiny donations from anyone/everyone. If someone send a check for a billion dollars to the church, that would be wonderful. But since we are a local food pantry, run by an all volunteer multi-denominational staff, we would receive none of it. And our clients would be hungrier.
    I fully support the church welfare system. But it is not the only need out there. And how else can Dollar Store sell good wrapping paper and bows for $1. Its a win-win, i think.

    1. IF the store does it on the up-n-up, I am OK with it. I just know, from experience, that some retail companies skirt tax laws by claiming donations as their own. I am even aware of one store with a coin collection box that would be returned to the register every night.

      I’m not saying don’t donate, but choose your charities wisely.

  6. I am still chuckling over the baseball thing. Too funny!!! And I will say “amen” to the donation thing. It is important to be generous and kind, we just need to be careful where and when. There are so many organizations that pay their execs huge money and a small percentage actually goes to those who are in need of support. That said there are many organizations that do so much good. Fast offerings and the Church Humanitarian Service are good places to start.

  7. After reading the last comment I finally got the baseball thing. So glad I didn’t have to wait a day or two! It was a “well, duh” moment for sure.

  8. So I don’t get the baseball thing-not a baseball person. My kids tell me the chili m&ms are pretty good but they sound awful. So here is my 2 cents on the donation things. Last Christmas a friend of mine had become friends with the manager of the dollar store she shopped at. She was buying things for our stake’s nativity festival and he thought that was so cool that he donated all the lights etc we needed. Then brought all his employees to the event. While there he happened to ask her (while I was standing there) if she knew of any group that could use toys for kids that struggled to find donations? As stake RS counselor I just looked at her and then at him and said heck yes!!! He got the other dollar stores in the area involved and for 2 weeks we were picking up boxes and boxes of things from baby to teens. We invited all the RS presidents in the stake to come and get what they needed. We were able to serve over 100 kids in our stake who otherwise wouldn’t have had the greatest Christmas. When I went back to thank the manager he just cried. Did they get a tax break-probably. Was it worth it-totally!!

    1. Awesome! My experience in retail was not not so heroic… You are going to have to stew about the baseball thing for a day or two.

Add your 2¢. (Be nice.)

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