Three things you might not expect to find at a dollar store

For me, the dollar store is full of surprises. You just never know what you may find that you thought you'd have to pay a whole lot more than a $1.00 for. Here are three of my favorites:

1) Basic tools like screwdrivers, pliers and a small claw hammer. These are good, solid metal tools that are perfect for all of those little odd jobs around the house.

2) Photo paper for your home copier, quality CD's and specialty printer labels like jewel case inserts.

3) Electronics. That's right, you can even find electronics at the dollar store and they work! I recently bought a hand-held game system that runs on two AAA batteries. It comes with four game cartridges that store in the bottom of the unit. Each cartridge contains two games with multiple levels and multiple speeds. The games are in black and white but it's still a pretty good deal for a buck and would do to keep the kids amused in the back seat on long trips, especially if you don't want to shell out for one of those expensive hand-held game systems.

I also found a micro data bank on a key chain that has several functions including home time, world time, phone book, stop watch and alarm modes. It's also equipped with an LED light. And, for those who haven't fully embraced the digital age, how about a 35mm film camera from Vivitar. I would say it's at least as good a quality as the single use cameras.

What have you found at a dollar store that surprised you?

Marlene Alexander is a freelance writer and dollar store diva. She writes about decorating using items from the dollar store on her web site www.dollarstorestyle.com.

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