ice cream making and ranting

Monday, April 25, 2005

Cynthia's things-that-cost-about-$1 guide

I have my final paper that I haven't even started due in less than 2 weeks. expect a lot of procrastination posts

Marukai 98 and More! : as you well know, the marukai 98 cent store used to be my favorite thing on the planet. I was already planning my wedding using 98 cent dishware and snacks. the only thing this store couldn't offer was the alcohol. that has all changed, of course. since the start of this year they've all switched over to 98 and stores more. Previously you could buy all sorts of wonderous items that brought nothing but joy and goodness to all the land. And, it all cost 98 cents. Currently this store just makes me sad. I can no longer recommend it.

99 cent only stores : This is my replacement for the 98 cent store. The absolute best stuff they sell doesn't compete with the absolute best stuff Marukai used to sell. But going there makes me happier than going to the current marukai. and, according to the website, they're in MOCA.
I used to snub my nose at the 99 cent stores. They were dirty crappy places that dirty, crappy people shopped at. But recently this has changed. Nice, shiny, new stores have popped up in better areas. I very much like the one right near campus in fullerton. They are very good at filling my random snacking needs, and pretty ok about filling my random crap needs. spice girls video for $.99! absolutely, I need one! but if it cost .25 more, never in a million years! This weekend I bought 4 pairs of fishnet stockings, in various colors. do i need them? absolutely not. will i even wear them? probably not. are they a steal at .99? yes, yes yes! sometimes, they even have alcohol, not that i've tried it, but sometimes an impressive array of malt beverages are available.

and unlike the 98 cent store, you can buy useful things at the 99 cent store. I was very wary about the grocery section at first. but slowly i've been warming up to it. it started off with some bagged salad and some ranch dip-- didn't die. then fresh produce, tomatos, strawberries--didn't die. today, i've given my ultimate trust to them and i'm going to try the 3/.99 yoplait yogurt. if i don't die, it'll be a fantastic purchase. the baked goods are decent. I haven't tried loaf bread and crossaint things, but i regularly eat the bagels (5 in a bag) and sometimes the english muffins. that's an entire week's breakfast for .99!

all of this, and they haven't raised prices since they opened in 1982

Target's $1 section: when they first started this section i was still in love with the 98 cent store, and I wasn't going to pay 2 cents extra for stuff that wasn't as good. but the quality of the section has increased, and (obviously) marukai's quality has decreased, and you can find some fun junk there. they seem to cycle the stuff in and out of there pretty quickly. i don't go to target that often, but every time i do they have different stuff. currently there's a line of girls night out plastics. with everything from ugly little men to hang off your glass to plastic cups and shot glasses to a plastic tray, that i was able to talk myself out of last minute that reads "gin and bear it" there are also some gardening things, and a plethora of crappy software titles.
Also at target, you can buy a small icee for about $1.20. that's the best deal in town, ever since they stopped selling them at sam's club. unfortunately, target is one of the stores that sells the promotional flavors rather than the traditional red and blue. so, some days you're stuck with candy cane or lemon-lime, and the value for your $1 lowers signifigantly.

ebay : you can buy any number of fantastic things for about $1 (plus any amount of shipping from $.37 to as high as you can count). the possibilities are endless with ebay. think that $.99 happy meal toy is a steal? better make sure they're not charging $8 to ship something that most likely can be shipped for $.50. jerks!

McDonalds $1 menu: an array of wonderfully unhealthy fried and fatty things can be purchased for about $1, and also a side salad. My favorite was $1 tuesdays when you could get the chicken nuggets. but alas, no more. fries however, still $1 and still really good.

Costco: seeing how I work not to far from a costco, people often go there for the super cheap, super fast, lunch foods. for $1.50 you can get a hot dog and a drink. because I try to avoid hot dogs, and don't particularly like soda on a regular basis, this has very little appeal to me. but you can get giant churro for $1. GIANT. If Spats (is that the one?) makes you feel like a giant, then this churro will make you feel like a lilliputian. if they sold this thing at disneyland they would probably charge $8 for it. and depending on the day, sometimes it actually tastes good too.

$1 store in the Albertson's plaza on artesia and western: mostly party supplies, crappy kitchen utinsels and things i don't care about. I did escape, somehow without buying dolphin shaped ice trays. I haven't been in a while. there's could be more stuff.

$1ish store by Lydia and Zack: kinda grungy and rundown, like the neighborhood. but, last time we checked, chock full of hilarious Jesus material that's not meant to be funny at all.

dollar days/dayz/daze bins at the grocery store: just say no. nothing good can come of these. ever. except sometimes, sidewalk chalk, if that's the sort of thing you need.

$1 store on redondo beach blvd and hawthorne: I haven't been yet. it's an inconvienent location to leave the parking lot. but, who knows what treasures may abound?

adopting a starving child in a third world country: according to the commercial for about $1 a day, less than the price of your morning coffee, you can feed, clothe and keep immunized from horrible 3rd world diseases your very own child. in return they send you a picture of the little brat, and force it to write you letters that will make you feel like a horrible person until you sell all your possesions and give all your money to chairty. I don't recommend this option as it will give you nothing that is cute, pink, plastic, from japan, or candy. and i'd bet the letters will be written in better english than half the 98 cent store stuff.


  • At April 26, 2005 8:45 AM, Blogger Sarah the Hussy said…

    Lydia, you must take me to this dollar store full of Jesus kitsch! My friend Sara ( collects it. There's a cheap (but not one-dollar) store a few miles north of me where I got our Katamari Kostume bowls for $2 each. They also had shoes that would go great with my costume, but they were $5, and that seems like a ripoff. I would pay $2, maybe $2.50. I wonder if I can haggle.

    I want to go to Ikea for lunch now. Soda, two hot dogs, and a largish bag of chips for $2.50. Not great, but better than most places around here.

  • At April 26, 2005 9:43 AM, Blogger lydia said…

    Sarah, I'll take you to the store next weekend, but I warn you, as Cynth has warned all of us, the stuff isn't meant to be funny. I mean, heck, if it was Jesus like Penny Arcade Jesus, I'd have bought it too.

  • At April 26, 2005 3:27 PM, Blogger Meli said…

    Cynthia, we need you to do some recon work for us at my job. Once a month the people who have submitted negative urinary analyses (ie, have clean drug tests) get to choose from a grab bag of crap that the clinic director gets from the dollar store. It's stuff like toothbrush kits and headphones, nothing cool. At the same time, alternative gifts would have to be non-alcohol or drug related. Think you're up to the task?

  • At April 27, 2005 5:02 PM, Blogger Kenny said…

    I was halfway through this before I realized this was your entry in the "Guide to Buying Things" series.

  • At May 13, 2005 2:34 AM, Blogger Elizabeth said…

    Hey, I noticed this weekend Mervyn's in the Galleria has recently added a $1 section on the second floor near the down escalator. I didn't check it out but might be worth investigating. I know they used to have a $1 section in the downstairs area, which is where I got all Ryan's poker cups, bowls, toothpicks. It was decent.

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