I recently read an article that said that the Dollar General now has 9800 stores nationwide, making it the largest retailer for the US based on number of stores (Walmart is largest based on sales). And they are building more stores every year. There is a buying trend in the US right now and that is the dollar store trend. However, I want to talk about the real cost. People have been going to Dollar General and other dollar stores because of their 'cheap' prices or the everything is a dollar type promotion. But when you get down to brass tacks it's not really that cheap.
Dollar General and other dollar stores cannot compete head to head with big box stores like Walmart or Target on every item they sell. In fact, I would venture to guess they cannot compete on most items they sell. They appear to be cheaper than the big box retailer because of the pricing games they play. The big one is smaller quantities. The big suppliers of our name brand products, like Proctor and Gamble, will cater to dollar stores by decreasing the ounce size of most products they want. So what I'm saying is... You aren't saving money. Next time you visit your local dollar store check out the ounce price on what their selling. You may look a little like the coupon fanatics on TV, but when it comes to really saving yourself money, what's the harm in looking a little crazy.
The other area they save big money is going the private label route with a lesser quality product. If you are trying to take a $2.00 product at Walmart and make it $1.00, you will have to start cutting costs from making the product. With a lot of products it really doesn't matter, for instance bleach, I haven't found any difference between any off brands and on brands when it comes to bleach. However, if you are talking about chocolate, it makes a huge difference. I think everyone has experience the terrible cheap chocolates you get around the holidays. So when it comes to cutting costs on quality, you win some you lose some.
I am not terribly surprised that this is the new buying trend. People want to think they are saving money nowadays. I just hope you all are educated enough to know that you need to dig a little deeper. If it seems to good to be true, it just might be.