If you're not a regular dollar store shopper, you might be surprised to learn that there are many items in store that were not made in China. In one short visit, I found many products that were made in America, passing over any item with the phrase "distributed by" prefacing a U.S. company and choosing only the ones that declared themselves to be manufactured by an American company in a U.S. state.
I'm not going to comment on quality here, because the whole idea is to refute the myth that all dollar stores sell is "junk from China." You will notice, however, that many of the following products carry a brand name. I picked out more than 26 "Made in America" items at random on a recent visit to my local dollar store and only just scratched the surface. Here's a sample of what I found:
In the party supplies aisle, while most of the paper products were from China. There were some napkins and paper plates that bore the Made In America label, most notably Hefty "Elegant Ware" paper plates.
The stationery aisle yielded a couple of 3M products, including mounting tape and Scotch Brand smart mailer envelopes. I also saw a plastic desk organizer that was made in America.
The dollar store I visited has only a small selection of food items, yet I still found Wylers jello and pudding mixes, Loretta Rich 'n Moist layer cake mixes and Chef Boyardee canned pastas. Candy made in America included Georgia's chocolaty covered pretzels and Mike and Ike boxed candies.
Personal care products included Tag body spray, Nexcare bandages, Almay facial bar soap and Irish Spring bar soap. Sadly an old favorite, Ivory soap, seems to be manufactured out of the country.
After going up and down six aisles worth of products, I started picking out things at random. I discovered that the coffee filters I use are made in the U.S. and so is the Palmolive dish detergent, Terrifik brand steel wool soap pads, Comet cleanser and the Spic and Span liquid cleaner all of which my dollar store stocks on a regular basis.
U.S.-based Handi-foil baking products can be found at the dollar store and I also saw a Woods brand electrical landscape cord, Margarita glasses, plastic hangers and a product called Goo Gone that all bore a Made In America label.
I'd like to hear your story. What American-made products have you found in a Dollar Tree or 99-cent Only Store recently?
Marlene Alexander is a freelance writer and dollar store diva. She writes tips and ideas for home decor using only items from the dollar store.