Cheap Thrills

For anyone who really knows me, they know I am a dollar store fanatic. I love a good deal. I have been this way since I was little when my stepmom would take me to the 99 cent store near our home. She always had the philosophy that I could have a bunch of stuff or one nice thing. I have always been a quantity kind of girl, so I loved dollar stores and bargain stores like Ross, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx. 

Well I am all grown up now (sort of) and I still love my 99 cent stores and bargain shops. They are my go to source for parties, gag gifts, and treats. 

When we moved to California I discovered something crazy here. The 99 cent only store (the chain kind) has endless name brand items along with an entire produce, frozen food, and refrigerated food section. JACKPOT! For all the cooking and baking I do these days I often need specific ingredients that can add up very quickly. But the 99 cent store has been a lifesaver for smaller quantities or cheaper versions of good stuff. This is the place to look for:
Let me show you what you are missing if you have not visited your local store.
Aisles of canned food including pasta sauce, mushrooms, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chicken broth, etc. all for 99 cents. This store legitimately only charges 99 cents for everything, or even less, but never more. 
My particular favorite thing about the CA stores is the produce section. Again, tons of food for only 99 cents. 

I can get 3 bell peppers for 99 cents, whereas normal grocery stores usually charges 99 cents per bell pepper! They have had red, green, and yellow since I have lived here. They have full bags of potatoes, onions, hot peppers, green beans, sweet potatoes, apples, you name it for only a buck. 

And my next favorite find are these cuties:
Great spices for only 99 cents. Normal brand spices will cost you 3-4 bucks! I found ground ginger, cilantro, sesame seeds and paprika for a buck! Every other time I go, I pick up one of these to slowly grow my collection. A great find for those obscure spices that one recipe calls for. 

I could seriously go on and on because I just love it and never go a week without visiting this place. I always get some holiday decorations here and its a great cheap place for themed nights. Sometimes I like to have Mexican drinks for Mexican night, etc. 

Also, our stores have milk, eggs, even meats (although even I am not that adventurous) and they have a small bakery section too where I have bought english muffins and pita bread. Such deals! 

Each store may carry slightly different things but its worth a few trips and a few stores to check it out! And I almost forgot, a chef who got laid off even wrote a cookbook using only ingredients from the 99 cent store. It costs $9.99 (sadly not 99 cents) although I am looking for a cheaper copy on Amazon. Read the story & see the cookbook here to start trying out some recipes!

This post was in fact NOT sponsored by the 99 cent only store. lol. 
***Sadly, I looked up their locations and they are only in CA, AZ, TX, & NV. Visit website here

Let me know how your trip goes!


  1. Wow I cannot wait to live near a dollar store! Those spices alone cost like $8 each anywhere within an hour of where I live. Ugh!

  2. I love how enthusiastic you are about a good deal!

  3. Amen sister! Number one thing I'm going to miss when we move back to UT? 99 cent store for sure!

  4. Ah hopefully there's one in Irvine! I can't wait to get down there :)


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