Thursday, June 17, 2010

T3T: Paper or Plastic?

Bienvenidos, bienvenue and welcome, one and all, to the illustrious, the lovely, the fancy...Top 3 Thursday: Retail Outlet Edition.

Disclaimer: This week’s selection truly demonstrates what a frugal, distracted biddy I am. If you’re looking for highbrow this week, I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong place. Feel free to click on.

Yeah, you heard me right. I love the Dollar General. I love that everything you buy there will come with a fluorescent yellow price tag built into the product. There’s no hiding that you shopped there. You must wear those consumer products proud, and oh do I. Sadly, since the move to the big city (heh), there are fewer and fewer DGs to be seen. So far I’ve only been to one in town and it was a little on the, um, dingy side. Hands down, Tuscaloosa had the best Dollar Generals. Troy’s was good, but lacked the selection. Birmingham, like I said…a little cramped. A little brown. A little sticky. But oh the selection of stuff. And I use that word with love, “stuff.” Discounted “As Seen on TV” products as far as the eye can see. On one aisle, cotton balls. Turn around and you’ve got the dehydrated noodle dishes. And truly, one of my favorite DG discoveries are the Girl Scout cookie knock-offs. They’ve got their version of Thin Mints, Samoas (the best) and Tag-a-longs. At about 1/15th of the price. Winner, winner.

About a month ago I noticed a vacant building in a shopping center right down the street from me sport a “Big Lots Coming Soon” banner, and oh, my heart was just filled to the brim with excitement. I’ve missed Big Lots so much the past few months. When I was still living in Tuscaloosa I would make an afternoon of wandering around Hobby Lobby and then hitting up the BL. Yes, my social events were impressive, I know. Be jealous. Again, another establishment chock full of wonderful, wonderful stuff. Discounted make up, $3 movies (come on, that’s just awesome) and tubs of caramel corn for a penny. (Ok, maybe not that cheap, but it was close.)

Sister was actually with me in my first trip to my new, local, fancy Big Lots. Ok, ok, she was just on the phone with me, but it felt like she was there. I actually happen to show up on grand opening day…On a Wednesday, I believe. Which seems strange. This should have been an event. With balloons and clowns and live radio remotes. Come on, Big Lots; know your worth! I digress. Anywho, Sister was there for each of my purchases that day, and spent a lot of time trying to talk me down off of my buying ledge. “Sister. Do you really need that little fan? Are you still walking around with that door mat? There is absolutely no more space on your wall. You don’t need that mirror. Your walls are going to be giant clusters.” Ok, ok, I get her point. But all of this stuff is under $10. It’s almost physically impossible to say no to it. And to answer her questions, yes I need that little fan. I get hot when I sleep. No I’m not walking around with that doormat, I finally got a buggy. And yeah you’re right about the mirror…Fine! And before you ask, no, you can’t stop me from digging through the movie bin. They’re three bucks and I want all of them. Mmmm Big Lots.

I complain that I have a throw-away wardrobe. Nothing of any real value or sustenance. But it’s my own fault because I shop at Ross. And. I. Love. It. I bought three dresses just last week. And yeah, they may fall apart after three washings, but until that time I will love them. Sus came down to visit last week to have a lazy weekend and hit up the Miss Alabama Pageant. In true Mellie-Susie tradition she flipped through my closet for anything new (and bless it, she always gets the short end of the stick. Her closet is always way better than mine.), and the conversation went something like this. “Mel, where’s this dress from?” “Ross.” “What about this one?” “Ross.” “And this one?” “Ro—oh to hell with it, they’re all from Ross.”

Anyway, besides the clothes, I love that once you’ve made your selections you can wander around the rest of the store for other odds and ends like cheap Nine West purses, Ed Hardy hand mirrors, dining room chairs, lime curd and funky lamps. (And I’ve bought four out of five of those items in the past two months. And if you’re thinking one of the four is anything Ed Hardy, I don’t think we can be friends. Freaky Lisa Frank knock offs.)

And there we have it: My favorite budgetary conscious, delightfully stuff-filled stores of wonder. Shop, drop and roll, people.


Katie said...

You are your mother's daughter.

Mellie said...

True. I'm cheap. You're guilty. It's just who we are.