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Best thing you've found at a 99¢ Only Store?

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Let's see, some gems I've found include Silk Organic Soymilk, Roland Truffle Oil, Lindt 90% Dark Chocolate, and bionaturae Organic Whole Wheat Pasta.

But the best thing I think I've found was probably a 6-pack of Spam (12 ounce cans).

You?

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  1. We have $1.00 stores here. A couple years ago I bought a glass disposable pepper grinder filled with a nice blend of peppercorns. I put it in our camping kitchen gear. Have been very happy with it. I also find really peppery Ginger Snaps there.

    1. half pint Cream, dozen eggs, 8 oz pepper jack cheese, quart of oj, dozen bananas, bottle of 300 aspirin, sudoku book, 12 oz bag of Lay's potato chips, dozen eggs, 1 quart milk, Greeting cards. The 99 cent store is a boon for poor people.

      s

      5 Replies
      1. re: dratlover

        see what you have is a really nice 99 cents store. Ours doesnt even have a fridge!

        1. re: girlwholovestoeat

          Gosh, that means you don't have things like eggs and ice cream at your store?

          1. re: ipsedixit

            nope...all we have are birthday hats, potato crisps, and crappy toys. Occasionally godiva truffles. but they aren't even 99 cents...:/

            1. re: girlwholovestoeat

              I found out recently that there are different dollar stores. Some like our Dollar Tree store sell only items for $1.00 and then there is Family Dollar store and they have no refrigerator sections with some thngs well over $1.00.

              I'm in the Northeast, so I guess it would depend on your area. Perhaps you may look into what names the real dollar store goes under in your area.

              www.saffron215.blogspot.com

              1. re: mcel215

                Family Dollar is not a dollar store

      2. Nature valley fruit twists, omg, they are awesome, First time I ever seen them was in the local dollar store, and I can't find them anywhere else, except online and they are usually sold out.

        1. • Jumex liter cartons of guava nectar. I'm addicted to guava. (Though now I'm buying the vastly superior Dewlands brand from S. Africa for 2x the price at Grocery Outlet while it lasts.)
          • Coated wire trays that fit everywhere, including as shelf trays for my spice jars
          • Quarts (?) of UHT whole milk, better for emergencies and the earthquake kit than powdered milk
          • Windmill cookies
          • Real Green Giant niblets corn, 2/$1
          • 20 oz. glass jars of Del Monte-brand sliced peaches and mixed fruit
          • Scrub Buddies kitchen sponges

          Dollar Tree isn't nearly as good as the 99¢ Only stores. :(

          1. Folks, a reminder: we are a food site, so please keep your responses focused on food products you've found at the 99¢ Only Store (http://99only.com). If there are foods you've found at other discount stores such as Dollar Tree, it might be best to start a new thread for that store as well.

            2 Replies
            1. re: The Chowhound Team

              I would understand this thread to be about, generically, all "dollar stores" although they go by different names. Did anyone understand the OP's query differently? Just the way we used to refer to "dime stores" whether they were Woolworth's, Kresge's, Newberry's, or whatever?

              And, as an example, my best food find at a dollar store was cans of cherries of the Montmorency variety (sour, for pie) canned in Michigan, within date, for a dollar at Dollar Tree when the identical brand was being sold at a fancy Chicago supermarket for $4.59 a can. I bought two dozen cans.

              1. re: Querencia

                http://www.99only.com

                A chain, located in California, Nevada, Texas, Arizona.

                Just as the post you responded to mentioned.

            2. We don't have 99¢ Only stores in Minnesota. I have shopped at them in Arizona. I really like the assortment of Hispanic good items available. I know that even if we did have these stores they would not have the same merchandise but I do like them better than other 'dollar' type stores. Most of the Dollar Tree stores we have up are are dumps. Family Dollar stores are clean, but don't interest me all that much.

              1. Ipse, maybe you should report your thread to the mods and ask them to change the title to
                "dollar" stores, since there are several national chains that have the same format but different names.

                I've never bought comestibles in such a store, figuring they might be there because of sub-optimal storage, or being past expiration dates. Nice to know they are not questionable. The only times I've gone into these stores is to get cheap storage containers/totes but I will definitely give them a more thorough look!

                3 Replies
                1. re: greygarious

                  Ipse, maybe you should report your thread to the mods and ask them to change the title to
                  "dollar" stores, since there are several national chains that have the same format but different names.
                  _________________________________________________

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8416...

                  :-)

                  1. re: greygarious

                    Or, greygarious, maybe the whole thing should be moved to Food Quests.

                    1. re: greygarious

                      I find that usually the food items are El Cheapo but name brands do occasionally appear. Just check the date.

                    2. I purchase cases of pumpkin at $.98 each that is fed to my dogs. The corn flakes ( I know) are pretty darn good, have a quick turn over and are $1.10 for a large box.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: mzsnowhite

                        We feed our dogs pumpkin, also - thanks for the tip!!

                      2. We bought the store's entire supply of spicy bread 'n butter pickle slices. Several clerks still recognize us as the "pickle people." Sadly, haven't seen 'em since, and we long ago ate the last pickles.

                        1. I've scored on 3 pack of portobella mushrooms..
                          El Pato enchi sauce..the large can..sells for over $4+
                          Bag of Fuji apples

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Beach Chick

                            Fuji apples ... that reminds me I once found a bag of golden kiwis.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              They have Kiwi's too but I'm not a fan...

                              Uncle Ben's wild rice and brown rice
                              Lindt Cacao bars
                              10pk of Reese's peanut butter cups...score!

                          2. bionaturae - very nice find in a 99 cent store.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Shanna

                              Yeah, no kidding!

                            2. I once found 1 pound bags of imported frozen ricotta cavatelli. What a deal. Totally stocked up on those.

                              1. My fav find was bags of Bertolli frozen pasta - raviolis and such. Really great tasty stuff that retailed for $8! Haven't seen those in a while : (

                                Got half gallons of minute maid orange juice - awesome.
                                9 oz. trays of Oscar meyer deli fresh turkey.
                                one pound tubs of smart balance margarine.
                                a 5 pound tub of pillsbury sugar cookie dough
                                greek yogurt, 3 6oz containers fro $1
                                Oh and a few times I've gotten the three pound tubs of knudsen cottage cheese. Yum!

                                But oh those bertollis...

                                1. They used to sell 4-packs of Frappucino knockoffs, which I liked a lot. A previous poster referred to the Hispanic foods - that may be the best thing about the place. I still get cans of halfway decent menudo, 2 for $.99. The hot sauce selection is surprisingly decent.

                                  I like going up there because I never know what I'll find. Now that I live back East, I go to Ocean State Job Lot for the same sort of serendipity - last time I was in that place, I found dried wood-ear mushrooms that I used in a pasta dish the same night. You don't go to a dollar store with a purpose in mind, just the idea that you'll find something you can use.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: caravan70

                                    Caravan - the 28 oz. cans of the El Pato products ARE awesome indeed. And I forgot, I have gotten 28 cans of diced green chilies there as well. When that happens I feel quite rich...!

                                    The serendipity is quite fun. Many times, if I do not know what to cook for dinner that night and I'm near a 99¢, I'll drop by and see what inspires me : )

                                    1. re: happybaker

                                      Can you freeze those green chilies? Wasn't sure if they'd turn to mush, albeit flavorful mush.

                                      1. re: pine time

                                        I think you can. And somewhere in my tiny mind I think I once portioned out a can for the freezer.

                                        As for the much factor - they are basically cooked peppers. And as cooked peppers freeze pretty decently, I think these would too.

                                        But generally if I get a can, I just go whole hog and make a big batch of green chile chili - then freeze THAT : )

                                  2. At the local dollar store (Cheap Jack's in NYC), I've bought pancetta, among other things. Also spotted some Kerrygold Irish butter and lots of "fancy" goods like specialty oil and vinegars.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: janethepain

                                      KERRYGOLD?!!!!!!!!!

                                      Oh be still my heart.

                                      1. re: happybaker

                                        +99!

                                        1. re: happybaker

                                          Yeah! Though I think they were slightly cheaper at Trader Joe's anyway.

                                      2. i had no idea that one could consume the dollar store food -- that said, i just passed up some cheap easter eggy things (like jelly beans) only to find the same packaging - eggsactly (sorry) same - at the major western chain grocery store ... what else - oh, peeps, the classic easter candy. But think how TJ's started --- wasn't it (and still is?) discount food with very little selection? (geez, how could i say anything against tj's). Amazing how a marketing twist can give one a whole different perspective. I say that mainly to myself.

                                        i also like Daiso for the dinnerware / etc. lots of basic white.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Georgia Strait

                                          Why of course you can eat it. You can even be a 99-cent chef and blog about it:

                                          http://the99centchef.blogspot.com/

                                        2. Oops. I didn't realize this was limited to the 99 cent only stores...

                                          1. Dannon pure yogurts tub or 6 pack
                                            6 pack jello puddings
                                            6 pack kozy shack puddings
                                            bertolli family sized pasta dinners
                                            large tub of organic mixed greens (same as costco tub)
                                            melons
                                            persian cukes
                                            buitoni fresh pastas and sauces
                                            larabars 3 for 99
                                            gogurt boxes

                                            1. I like the microwave popcorn -- usually at least $3 in the supers. My last trip they had Act II, but I think I liked the offbrand (kettle style) better.

                                              1. I recently moved to California from Florida, where I was a fan of The Dollar Tree but I have discovered the "99¢ Only Stores" and I *LOVE* them! They are apparently located only in California, Texas, Nevada and Arizona. What they have that the Dollar Tree doesn't is FRESH PRODUCE. I've gotten bags of organic lettuce or plastic bins of mixed greens for, yes, 99¢! They usually carry strawberries, mushrooms, cukes, HUGE bell peppers (usually at 2 for 99¢) plastic containers of tomatoes (regular and plum!), various bags of lettuce (romaine, ice berg, shredded ice berg for tacos, etc.), potatoes, bananas, enormous artichokes, bunches of asparagus, and more.

                                                Other items I've found:

                                                Bags of English muffins
                                                Banquet frozen breakfast sausages
                                                Barbecue sauces (Open Pit and other brands)
                                                Sun dried tomatoes
                                                Crystal light type drink mixes
                                                Bottles of various spices (and then I refill them with 59¢-79¢ bags of spices I get at FoodsCo, another great store)

                                                (I also saw a five foot high pallet of Wolfgang Pucks' spaghetti sauces - Did not try/buy.)

                                                Not food but kitchen related: Betty Crocker brand rubber spatulas, small cutting boards, measuring spoons and measuring cups, parchment paper, disposable aluminum baking pans and freezer bags.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: MysticYoYo

                                                  They are my go to source for canned clams - perfect for a fast chowder or linguine with clam sauce. They used to carry Snows, which was lovely. But now they have a new brand, Cape May, that I think I actually like more! Sustainably harvested and very fresh and sweet tasting.

                                                  My other recent find there was Smart Balance sticks. Great for baking, sautéing and pie crusts, they've even better at $1 a pound versus $3.50 or $4.

                                                  FYI, I HAVE purchased the Wolfgang Puck sauces and they are tasty. Not too sweet.

                                                  Oh and they now have pallets of Progresso Soups (and 32oz cartons of generic broth) that are mighty handy as we head towards "winter".

                                                  Keep your eyes open for the Barbara Dee Winter MInts, they should be appearing about now. When you freeze them they are just like the Girl Scouts Thin Mints. Yum!

                                                  1. re: happybaker

                                                    On the Wolfgang Puck spaghetti sauce: it was buy 2, get 1 free at my 99 cent store yesterday. Yeah, the expiration date was next week, but the stuff freezes just fine.

                                                    1. re: pine time

                                                      I just used that this week when I made meatball subs. It's a decent sauce, a little sweet, which I liked.

                                                  2. re: MysticYoYo

                                                    They don't all have fresh produce. I think only the bigger locations. You're lucky; the one I went to yesterday didn't have produce.

                                                  3. I recently scored on the single powder mixes that you pour into a water bottle. Snapple! Diet Peach!! My favorite drink in the world!! 6 singles in a box for 99 cents! I bought all I could find. (Sorry, fellow Reseda dwellers. I cleaned out the stock from the store on Sherman Way and Lindley.) I rarely buy Diet Peach Snapple in the bottles because I feel the packaging is so wasteful. So to find the powder singles was like my birthday and Xmas all rolled into one. And it tastes exactly like the bottle drink.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Jelly71

                                                      Oh yes I love those Snapple Singles. So yummy and such a great deal!

                                                      They've also had the crystal light singles that have protein and fiber. The strawberry banana is REALLY tasty and does indeed help you get through a mid day snack period without being too naughty.

                                                      http://www.amazon.com/Crystal-Light-S...

                                                      1. re: happybaker

                                                        Good to know. I saw those Crystal Light ones and debated buying it. I thought it would either be really tasty or really gross. But I was so focused on my Snapple hunt (enjoying one right now, actually!) that I didn't get the CL. I will get it next time I go.

                                                        Also, back to Snapple - the stores in the West Valley have other flavors - Lemon, Raspberry and Green Tea, all Diet, I believe.

                                                    2. The better half and I live near a well-stocked 99 Cents Only Store, so we shop at ours at least once a week. I have fond memories of picking up these finds:

                                                      * White asparagus (fresh)
                                                      * Green "regular" asparagus (fresh)
                                                      * Grape tomatoes (6-ounce boxes)
                                                      * Portabello mushrooms (fresh)
                                                      * Avocadoes (many ripe, ready for guacamole)
                                                      * Artisan salsa (refrigerated)
                                                      * Russet potatoes (five-pound bag)
                                                      * Gala apples (six-pack bag)
                                                      * Pears (six-pack bag)
                                                      * Plums (six-pack bag)
                                                      * Strawberries, fresh (16-ounce box)
                                                      * Blackberries, fresh (four-ounce box)
                                                      * Blueberries, fresh (four-ounce box)
                                                      * Raspberries, fresh (four-ounce box)
                                                      * "Personal" watermelons, some as large as five pounds
                                                      * Canary melons
                                                      * Honeydews
                                                      * Green grapes (16-ounce bag)
                                                      * Cantaloupes
                                                      * Pomegranates
                                                      * Mom's Best Instant Oatmeal (16 ounces)
                                                      * Harvest Best Breadcrumbs (16 ounces)
                                                      * Terra Vita Extra-Virgin Olive Oil/Canola Oil (eight ounces)
                                                      * Zacky Sliced Turkey, different varieties (five ounces per packages, I think)
                                                      * Italpasta Oven-Ready Dry Lasagna Noodles (13.25 ounces)
                                                      * Italpasta Whole-Wheat Penne Pasta (12 ounces)
                                                      * Wolfgang Puck Arrabbiata Pasta Sauce (16 ounces), per happybaker's find ;-)
                                                      * Encore Premium Paprika (3.35 ounces)
                                                      * A wide array of Santa Paula seasonings, with granulated garlic our favorite (2.1 ounces)
                                                      * Anderson's split pea soup
                                                      * Many varieties of frozen vegetable mixes (all 16 ounces each)
                                                      * Regular, reduced-fat and fat-free milk (1 pint)
                                                      * AA eggs (one dozen)
                                                      * Tapatio hot sauce, five-ounce bottle (59 cents)
                                                      * Toblerone chocolate

                                                      Small wonder that the Placentia 99 Cents Only store draws shoppers from all economic walks of life -- my husband and I can't count how many times we've found late-model Lexuses and BMWs parked next to our cars. Even though I realize that this is Chowhound and not Servicehound, I'll add that the staffers at this 99 Cents Only are consistently friendly and helpful; they totally blow away the surly and inattentive crew (mostly kids, I'm sorry to say) at the nearby Yorba Linda Stater Brothers.

                                                      It'll be great meeting my fellow OC Hounders at the Placentia 99 soon. ;-D

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: Dornfelder

                                                        I can't begin to tell you how jealous that price makes me. No such animal in NJ. 99 cent stores in NJ sell crap...and they smell god awful.

                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                          I dunno.. I go to Dollar Tree a lot, and I'm in NJ. Best finds at the one near me: Kendale Farm Chicken and Beef Broths, a quart for $1.00. It's got better ingredients than most of the crap I find in the grocery store, and for a lot less. Taste is decent, AND it's made in the USA. Picked up 2 chicken and 1 beef tonight.

                                                          Other good deals: Wegman's has their "own" brand of premium ice cream. Found the same packaging, but it was marked "Meijer", which I think is a Midwest brand. They had pints of raspberry sorbet and Jamocha Almond Fudge. Yes, for a dollar each.

                                                          Also bags of mango chunks, frozen pineapple, etc. BUT, I'm very careful about what I buy. If it says "Product of China", I most likely won't buy it. Sorry, I just don't trust much of the food that comes from China.

                                                          Lots of other good deals as well. 2 frozen chicken thighs for a dollar.. 4 frozen drumsticks.. etc. You can even get a ribeye steak! (albeit a very thin one!)

                                                          AND, none of the Dollar Trees I've been in smell bad. :)

                                                          1. re: MarlboroMan

                                                            Then you've been fortunate. I've been totally turned off.

                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                              I haven't changed my opinion of food stuffs found at .99 stores but I also have come to realize that Aldi serves the same purpose. Not always .99 but some terrific deals nonetheless.

                                                      2. A metal spatula that's as big as a salad plate. I can use it as a small pizza peel. I haven't yet, but I could.
                                                        Square cannisters that hold 5lbs of flour or sugar, and stack very nicely. I have like 6 of them. I use them for rice and dry beans too.
                                                        Wire waste baskets. I gave 2 away, wish I hadn't.

                                                        1. I wish there was a good well-stocked 99cent store near me. Last one I went to had big clamshells of organic tri-colored mini peppers. They were sweet and crisp.

                                                          1. I was there last week and scored 6 pack's of those chinese takeout-like container in holiday prints-perfect for gifting treats. I also found metal tins in holiday prints, about the size of those shortbread cookie tins you see this time of year, two for dollars. Perfect for gifting cookies.

                                                            I also found bags of chocolate gelt and other cute stucking stuffers.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: foodieX2

                                                              What?! The take out containers? ARGH! I dropped $25 dollars there yesterday and didn't see those.

                                                              I got tons of non-food items (things that wold be $6 elsewhere and just a dollar there), but my fav finds were food. 24 oz containers of cottage cheese (yay! cheap noodle kugel, here I come!) and veggie patch mini corn dogs.

                                                              Now I have to go back and look for those containers. But maybe I'd better leave my wallet in the car...

                                                            2. The best was a jar of Almond Butter for .99c.
                                                              I bought two and I still have them here to stare at. I love looking at that separated oil ...
                                                              it looks like land and sea in those jars. Makes me wanna throw in a piece of coral sometimes.

                                                              1. Every so often, my local 99 Cents Only store has some lovely pork egg rolls made by a small company in the Los Angeles area. They are truly delicious and I check for them every time I use that particular store.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: laskiblue

                                                                  Wow! I will look for those!

                                                                2. Ginger snaps. Cliff Bars, apple/raspberry apple sauce w/o sugar, sloppy joe sauce, olive oil, sea salt w/ dried herbs (nice for making pizza dough), Good and Plenty, organic flax seed. cashew pieces and frozen soft pretzel pieces (makes a great alternative to croutons). Oh yeah, and screaming yellow zonkers.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                                                                    Back at my local 99 Cents Only location:

                                                                    * SunBelle blackberries, fresh (4.4 ounces)
                                                                    * Seedless watermelons, many topping five pounds)
                                                                    * Fresh pomegranate halves

                                                                  2. Sigh. I wish the 99 Cents Only chain in LA (well, mostly in LA) was in Chicago! Too many things to list!

                                                                    The Dollar Tree stores that are here are mostly a ripoff if you do the math. Yes, it looks like they have some fresh, generic foodstuffs for a dollar but the packages are so small, that it actually works out to more per ounce than if you bought it at a regular grocery store! Boo to that. The 99 Cents Only chain never, (well, I never caught an instance) did that.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Violatp

                                                                      According to 99 Cents Only's website, Violato, the chain has stores throughout four western states: California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas:

                                                                      http://www.99only.com/

                                                                      Over the years, I've noticed that 99 Cents' most significant improvement has been in its fresh produce, especially what's available from the late fall through the early spring. Case in point: When my husband and I first visited the La Mirada (read: southeast Whittier) location in early 1994, the closest thing to a fresh vegetable there was a greenosh-brown eucalyptus leaf on the store's welcome mat.

                                                                      Re. 99 Cents' produce (bulk-only buys): http://www.99only.com/club99/fruits-v...

                                                                      I doubt any of us CHers are pining for 99's BODs (Bad Old Days).

                                                                      1. re: Violatp

                                                                        Chicago? See my post on the cans of Montmorency cherries I found at Dollar Tree when they were $4.59 at Treasure Island. Another one: Aldi's, which exists to sell the cheapest foodstuffs, and I don't mean that in a nice way, is owned by Germans and sometimes a few German products appear on Aldi's shelves---I found a big bag of Spaetzle when it cost five times as much at TI, and Aldi's German chocolate is always reliable. You never know.

                                                                      2. I buy a lot of my spices there. Best scores were the Bertolli frozen pastas and Carr's water crackers. I regularly buy canned tomatoes there for stews.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: granadafan

                                                                          I buy sea salt.

                                                                          The other thing I hate to buy almost anywhere else is coconut water. They usually have several brands, and sometimes they're even less than 99 cents.

                                                                        2. I was there again yesterday and got a bottle of St. Paula brand black peppercorns, and two enormous red bell peppers. The peppers were two for 99¢.

                                                                           
                                                                          1. Latest treasure trove at the beloved .99 cent store. .

                                                                            Lindt dark chocolate 87% cacao bars
                                                                            Campbell's Red Bell Pepper and Gouda soup..its $3.99 in the stores.
                                                                            Perrier
                                                                            Asparagus
                                                                            Blackberries
                                                                            2 large artichokes
                                                                            Creamery butter 4pk
                                                                            Oscar Mayer Turkey hot dogs
                                                                            Portobello mushrooms..4pk
                                                                            Fingerling pots
                                                                            Sargento cheese sticks and Mozzarella and Sharp cheddar.
                                                                            Snyder's 8pk pretzels
                                                                            Bag of Fuji apples
                                                                            Jello pudding..French Silk
                                                                            Fig Newtons

                                                                            Love love love these stores!

                                                                            1. I remember buying bags of mesquite and hickory wood chips that cost $4 or $5 elsewhere.

                                                                              1. They were out of one of my new favorite things from there - and just got more back in!

                                                                                A large canister of panko bread crumbs. So handy, they bake up really well for breading and, can't beat the price!

                                                                                I've been getting Mio (the flavor drops) for water there as well, 99¢ versus $3 or $4. And I just picked up some really nice fresh asparagus.

                                                                                I've seen the pouch campbell soups there, had no idea their retail price was so high!

                                                                                And one other recent fab find? Full size boxes of Ritz crackers, 4 sleeves in each box. Yum!

                                                                                Drat, I forgot to mention the pound and a half pouches of raw turbinado sugar. Perfect as a finishing sugar for baking (on top of pies and cookies), fabulous in coffee and the price? 75% less than the supermarket!

                                                                                Gosh I love that place.

                                                                                1. ... $1 Gullon chocolate wafer cookies

                                                                                  Tasty treat ... http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/subzi-...

                                                                                  1. Most interesting was a bottle of Bob Dylan wine. NOT interesting as wine at all, but we kept the bottle.

                                                                                    The best was a five-pound bag of White Lily Self-Rising flour, my go-to flour when we lived in Nashville. What I should have realized was that this signalled the exit of White Lily from the West Coast market. It was also the last of the real White Lily from the original mill and the carefully-chosen list of wheat suppliers.

                                                                                    1. They usually have some coconut water that's a good deal.

                                                                                      On a food-related note, I don't know if they always have them, but around the holidays they have stuffing bags.

                                                                                      1. Violet Crumble full sized bars for $.25 each back when it was almost impossible to find them in the US. The packaging was changed was the only reason I could see why they were dumped. They all tasted fresh. I bought out their entire stock of three and a half boxes. Asked the manager to look in the back for more.

                                                                                        Called up my friends and started handing them out to everyone hoarding one box for myself.

                                                                                        1. I can always get grape or cherry tomatoes 16oz, baseball hats, triscuits, batteries for my food scale, celery and various veggies, I also get lots of hygene stuff, soap, tooth paste etc that we make in to kits to give to the homeless. Really enjoy the 99 cent/dollar stores.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: treb

                                                                                            'I also get lots of hygene stuff, soap, tooth paste etc that we make in to kits to give to the homeless.'

                                                                                            ; )

                                                                                          2. Albanese Gummi Bears!!! These are the Cadillac of gummis and usually a bit pricey. But they are delicious and taste like fruit juice in the best way. This might be the find of the year for me.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: Jelly71

                                                                                              Hee hee...I once performed in a community theater production with a member of the Albanese family...he used to show up to rehearsals with bags and bags of various gummis. :D

                                                                                            2. 1 pound bags of Blue Diamond dark chocolate almonds...

                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                Where? WHERE?!!!!!

                                                                                                I got 11 oz. bag of blue diamond coconut covered almonds at the 99 cents store in Santa Barbara on State Street. That store always has great surprises.

                                                                                                1. re: happybaker

                                                                                                  San Diego store. .
                                                                                                  I bought one of the Blue Diamond Coconut almonds but haven't opened them yet..it was a smaller bag.

                                                                                                  Where is the .99Cent store on State in SB...up State in the center with Renauds?

                                                                                                  Will you have a calamari picatta for me at the Chase..
                                                                                                  Best damn calamari that they prepare just like abalone!

                                                                                                  1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                    San Diego. Sigh. I have friends down there, maybe I could drop them a line and ask them to look... : )

                                                                                                    I'm actually in LA, but whenever we spend time in SB, or are driving through, I have to bop into the 99 cents store there, as it's such a good one!

                                                                                                    It's located at 424 State Street, so not near Renauds BUT - thanks heaps for the Calamari Picatta rec! My husband is a huge calamari fan and you've just given us a new place to check out when we are there. Thank you!

                                                                                                    1. re: happybaker

                                                                                                      I'll be up in SB this summer and I'll check it out..
                                                                                                      Thrift stores in SB are a huge treasure trove of high end goodness.

                                                                                                      The Chase on State is one of my all time fave's besides Plow and Angel at San Ysidro Ranch.
                                                                                                      Calamari Piccata is sublime and your husband will love it.

                                                                                                      Hit up the Nugget in Summerland for a spicy bloody and a Patty Melt on the way home to LA..

                                                                                                      1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                        Beach Chick -

                                                                                                        Wow, I did not have good luck at all with the Thrift Shops in SB my last visit. The only good one I have found out there is the Assistance League one, which is way too far from the 99 cents store : )

                                                                                                        The Chase and the Nugget are going into my database ASAP!

                                                                                                        Oh and the 11oz. coconut almonds trip? Also 12 pack bags of Pirates Booty.

                                                                                                        Why oh why did I not buy more? Nada in LA.

                                                                                              2. Progresso soup!

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                  It's hit-or-miss but, sometimes I see various Nabisco products on shelves. One time they had Wheat Thins.

                                                                                                2. The exit. ;-).

                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                    Most foods from these type of stores seem to be of poor quality or expired. With media reports of these type of stores carrying counterfeit brand name goods, I'm not willing to take a chance for the small savings involved. If the goods are counterfeit, the supplier doesn't care what they put in it.

                                                                                                    Most of the non-food cookware items and gadgets are poorly designed and poorly built of inferior materials. They probably are broken after the first few uses and end up filling our landfills. Another false bargain.

                                                                                                    In the end the cheaper comes out more expensive when it has to be prematurely replaced after it proves to be worthless.

                                                                                                    1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                      I am happy to disagree.

                                                                                                      While I know there are questionable discount stores out there (and I've walked out of a few in protest!) the 99 cents store on the west coast is pretty consistent.

                                                                                                      Would I buy my cookware there? No.

                                                                                                      But for milk, spices, frozen treats, bread and more - it's awfully handy.

                                                                                                      And I just got a killer spray on sunscreen that retailed (when it first came out) for $13 - for 99 this week. And it's two years until it's expired.

                                                                                                      So there are still great finds out there.

                                                                                                      1. re: happybaker

                                                                                                        From ConsumerAffairs 06/02/2007
                                                                                                        http://www.consumeraffairs.com/chines...

                                                                                                        "FDA Warns Chinese Toothpaste May Be Contaminated
                                                                                                        Consumers Should Discard All Toothpaste from China, Feds Warn..."

                                                                                                        "...The U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers to throw out all toothpaste made in China after finding a poison commonly used in anti-freeze in toothpaste it checked in three U.S. cities.

                                                                                                        As ConsumerAffairs.com reported on May 22, tubes of toothpaste from foreign lands are routinely sold in dollar-discount stores and neighborhood bodegas, even though the importation and sale of such products is illegal..."

                                                                                                        1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                          Curious, I didn't see where the article mentioned anything about 99cent/dollar stores. Also the article was from '07 and the amount distributed was under 500 tubes. Appears to be a isolated incident.

                                                                                                      2. re: Antilope

                                                                                                        I completely disagree with your assessment that most is of poor quality..
                                                                                                        You do have to be cognizant of expiration dates.
                                                                                                        Concur, that some of their stuff is Chinese made crap.

                                                                                                        1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                          There is a reason it's 99¢. Enough said.

                                                                                                          1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                            There's Chinese crap in the regular stores too though.

                                                                                                      3. Very appropriate to this discussion. :)

                                                                                                        http://www.cracked.com/blog/10-ways-t...

                                                                                                        1. Jalapeno hot sauce in 12 oz plastic bottles - decent sauce that I use to marinate wings and then grill.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: Maggie19

                                                                                                            Is the sauce green? I ask because I like to drink jalapeno sauce.

                                                                                                          2. Here, there is no 99 cent stores, most of it is between $1.50 to $20.00 :(

                                                                                                            1. Ben and Jerry's Pints (usually flavors that are being discontinued)
                                                                                                              Lindt Bars
                                                                                                              Milka Chocolate Bars
                                                                                                              Full packs of Oreos/Chips Ahoy/Ritz/Etc.
                                                                                                              Toll House/Nestle Cookie Dough
                                                                                                              Philadelphia Cream Cheese in many flavors
                                                                                                              PopChips
                                                                                                              And most importantly: MEXICAN CANDY

                                                                                                              1. Tallarico's Hot Hoagie Spread...outstanding!
                                                                                                                Its like sambal and cherry peppers got down with their bad self and produced this sweet mother of God spread.

                                                                                                                Kicks serious ass. .

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                  Sounds awesome!

                                                                                                                  I will look for it!

                                                                                                                2. They had the 16oz packages of California grown blueberries again today ($1.99 but still an awesome deal.)

                                                                                                                  Tanimura and Antile red onions (3 pound bag, California grown)

                                                                                                                  Lifeway Greek style frozen kefir fro-yo, Blood Orange Swirl, pint

                                                                                                                  5 pound bag of Idaho potatoes

                                                                                                                  I went late (after stocking hours,) so I'm sure I missed out on a lot of good stuff but I mostly just went for a couple of bags of ice (7 pounds for 99 cents is by far the best price for ice around here.)

                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                    I missed the blueberries bur saw the Lifeway frozen keifer. Did you buy it? How was it?

                                                                                                                    My steal that day was 8oz tubs of Temptee whipped cream cheese. Their expiration dates were in two weeks so they were marked down, two tubs for a dollar.

                                                                                                                    As I know they freeze and thaw very well, I was a happy camper and nabbed two : )

                                                                                                                    1. re: happybaker

                                                                                                                      The fro-yo is very good!

                                                                                                                      1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                        Good to know!

                                                                                                                        And now - darn it! That I didn't buy it!

                                                                                                                        We got the blood orange/vanilla swirl frozen yogurt from Caio bella as we'd had, and LOVED their sorbet pops. Sadly the vanilla part of the frozen yogurt was really bland. Shoulda, woulda gotten the fro-yo.

                                                                                                                        I did buy a pint of Caio Bella's expresso frozen greek yogurt and I am happy to say that that is awfully tasty.

                                                                                                                        Okay, if I see that fro-yo again I am nabbing it. Thanks!

                                                                                                                  2. I was at the 99 cent store in Santa Ana, California yesterday and found a selection of Falize chocolate bars. They had dark chocolate with sea salt, dark mint chocolate, and milk chocolate. I'm eating the dark chocolate with sea salt now and it's so yummy. Glad I did not buy a lot.

                                                                                                                    I saw a cool single egg pan there too. I had bought something like that at Walmart for $7 but it wasn't as good as the 99 cent store one. Sigh.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: choctastic

                                                                                                                      I'll have to look at Dollar Tree to see if they have something similar. A single egg pan could be useful in a number of ways.

                                                                                                                    2. Heirloom purple, yellow and orange baby tomt's.
                                                                                                                      Makes for a fab gazpacho.

                                                                                                                      Artichokes
                                                                                                                      Mini orange, yellow bell peppers from Maui
                                                                                                                      Tazo tea 2 for $1
                                                                                                                      1 pound Turbonado sugar
                                                                                                                      Bag of huge delicious plums

                                                                                                                      1. A couple years ago when I was visiting my father in Arizona I found hickory and oak wood chips for .99¢ (duh) at the .99¢ Only store. I bought six bags and stuffed them behind the back seat in his SUV for the trip home. On subsequent visits, I never saw them again. Over the weekend I ran out of wood chips and paid $6 for a bag. I do most of my meat smoking at our cabin. I'm going to have to put some branches through the wood chipper and bring it home.

                                                                                                                        1. Hefty zip lock bags..all sizes to house those food items.
                                                                                                                          They have the Reynolds aluminum foil sheets that are great too.

                                                                                                                          1. I went the other day, I don't usually go to the 99 cent store. BUT…holy crap was there some great finds! Clamshell of cherry tomatos, bag of tiny sweet peppers (prob 12 or so peppers) gorgeous strawberries, perfectly ripe..tons of assorted candy, those Chinese almond cookies in the pink box, Granny Goose chips in BBQ and Sour Cream and Onion (which I haven't had since I was a kid, but I got to say, the BBQ were outstanding! Haven't gotten to the SC&O yet) and more candy. (I had a crazy sweet tooth while I was there). I also got a bow-tie for my dog. And a can of Progresso minestrone. Score!

                                                                                                                            1. Big boxes of Chewy Lemonheads and Friends

                                                                                                                              1. I found some heirloom mini tomatoes, really sweet.