Homeschool Mom's family gives nine reasons they love the 99 Cents store.
1. The Produce
The most magical discovery of the whole 99 Cent Only Store Adventure was the produce. You can find really good deals: beautiful, tasty vegetables and fruit. They are an amazing bargain and because they were the best thing in the store, we ate much more of all of them.
2. Saving a Buck
It was fun to feel like I was beating the system. I was able to use things people might cast off as refuse, and therefore, I was saving money and not wasting resources.
3. Helping Others Get Over the Ick Factor
Many people were surprised that I was so enthusiastic about the produce at the 99 Cent store. Because my kids are such good sports and try unusual things and don't complain about the food, it gives other people incentive to try to shop there as well. I think off-brand, foreign-made foods make some people cringe. My kids liked the peanut butter from India and it had the same ingredients as Skippy. Maybe we helped squelch some of the ick factor. It was easier for me when we found a clean store with well-stocked shelves and a lot of turnover, so things weren't sitting around gathering fruit flies. Even the men asking for change were nicer. They wore starched white shirts and gave all the money to Missions.
4. The Crappy Toys
I have a love-hate relationship with the crappy toys. On the one hand, they are a nuisance and potentially dangerous. On the other hand, they are an incentive to drive all the way to the store and to be patient while we shop. Besides, they had hula hoops for 99 cents, and a friend told me they were five dollars a piece at Target.
5. The Treasures
You can find treasures at the 99 Cent store. We found six-packs of Yoplait Yogurt and Dannon Dora Drinkable Yogurts. They were 99 cents, of course, and the expiration dates were in June. I am still looking for the mythical can of clams with which to make linguini and clams that my dad assures me is somewhere in the store.
6. The People
There are not as many families at the 99 Cent store as you might assume. I think the biggest demographic represented were the elderly. I did not see many families with children at all. In fact, my kids were usually the only ones running up and down the aisles arguing. The elderly people were quiet and patient. Very different from Trader Joe's, where all the kids together, running up and down the aisles, make for a great cacophony and pandemonium.
7. Lentils and Rice
My kids love lentils and rice. It is a new favorite, as well as the pasta salad. It's great because those were two of my cheapest meals. We found that you don't have to have the fanciest ingredients to have a great meal.
8. Losing Weight
Since there were not always a lot of my favorite foods, I ate more yogurt and fruits and vegetables. I lost a couple of pounds. Luckily, my kids ate away as usual.
9. Fun as a Family
Making a commitment and keeping it together was fun. We all held each other accountable. My husband and my kids were great sports and we had some good laughs. The octopus I bought just to take pictures of to illustrate the types of things that were icky to me, my husband put on his salad, covered them with ranch dressing, and ate them. Each of the kids even tasted them just to be daring. I felt like I was on Fear Factor.
Check back on Tuesday for the continued adventures of Pam and family!
|Homeschool Mom: Pam Heilman is a California Credentialed Teacher who once won some body lotion in a raffle at the Y. She is currently residing in Southern California with her husband Eric, and homeschools their three children.|
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