Monday, December 14, 2015

For a Fistful of Dollars

Welcome to the new Dollar Tree of Marshalltown, Iowa. 'Bucky' the Dollar Tree mascot was at the Grand Opening on Thursday.

  The Long John Silver’s restaurant in Marshalltown closed last year. The building remained abandoned until this summer when it was demolished. The lot was repaved, a new foundation was poured, and a new building quickly started taking shape. I was hoping it would be an Olive Garden but we soon found out the new building was going to be the new home of the Dollar Tree which was going to be moving from its current tiny location buried next to the closed Staples store, the closed Econo Foods store, and a nail salon.

  I love all dollar stores and the Dollar Tree is the best of class in that particular department. It has a steady supply of closeouts, bargains, not so top quality merchandise, and top quality merchandise in tiny portions. Two months ago the old Dollar Tree stopped restocking their shelves and moving their remaining inventory to the front of the store. I went there to get some dollar store items as bribes for my chess club at St. Francis and the pickings were getting pretty slim. The Dollar Tree clerks told me that the new store was going to open in December and they were running a skeleton staff until then.

  Last week the grand opening of the new Dollar Tree was announced for Thursday December 10th. I happened to have the day off in order to get some warranty work done on my car so Kathy and I took a trip to the new Dollar Tree. The parking lot was so full that we had to park in the bank across the street but the new Dollar Tree was so roomy that once we were inside it didn’t seem crowded at all.

  The old Dollar Tree was very tiny with five aisles with a counter with two registers. The new store was massive by comparison with five registers, ten aisles, and coolers for cold and frozen food. Kathy and I inspected each aisle. There was the same Dollar Tree merchandise just a lot more of it. One entire wall consisted of gift bags with different holiday sayings in different holiday colors. While the old store had room for a few cans of vegetables the new store has an entire section of canned vegetables.

In addition to name brand cereal knock-offs, the new Dollar Tree has an impressive selection of canned vegetables at 79 cents a can which may or may not be a bargain.

  The vegetables highlight one of the things to keep in mind when Dollar Tree shopping – just because an item is a dollar or less doesn’t mean it’s a bargain. A can of Libby’s green beans may seem like a great price at 79 cents a can but many supermarkets regularly beat that price. The other thing to keep in mind is that there are a lot of name brand imitations. A cursory glance found a ‘Just For Men’ knockoff as well as items purporting to be cheese and sour cream but were really fakes made of mostly vegetable oil. I saw a can of what looked like frozen orange juice. Closer inspection revealed that it contained ‘10% juice when properly reconstituted’.

The Dollar Tree has it's share of knockoffs some of which are disguised more than others. On the left is just FOR MEN hair color not JUST FOR MEN. The item in the center looks like cheese but is really 'sandwich slices'. At least the SOURCREME on the right is clearly labeled as UNREAL...

  While the savvy shopper needs to be aware of ripoffs at the Dollar Tree there are plenty of bargains. A tube of name brand toothpaste for a buck is a good deal. I also saw brooms for a dollar which could only be bad if it snapped in half on the first use.

There is some top quality merchandise at The Dollar Tree. The toothpaste for a buck seems like a bargain and would be especially useful if you fail the marijuana test.

  Kathy and I did most of our shopping in the new frozen and cold food section of the Dollar Tree. There were plenty of frozen dinners for a dollar as well as overpriced chicken pot pies. I noticed that eggs were a dollar for a half dozen. I got a meatball hot pocket and a berry pot pie and Kathy got a box of six frozen pretzels.

The new Dollar Tree has room for cold and frozen food in addition to the normal fare of candy, cookies, and other junk food but the Broken Pawn does not condone the battering of mushrooms or any other fruit, vegetable, meat, fish, or poultry and strongly condemn any such actions!

  After a few impulse buys that included a pack of five basketball cards we quickly checked out and were on our way. We got home and I fired up my meatball HotPocket in the microwave while Kathy put the frozen pretzels in the oven. I’ve never had a HotPocket before and I thought it was a disgusting blend of tasteless dough, tiny tasteless meatballs, and the grossest kind of SpaghettiO's tomato sauce. I can’t imagine why they are so popular. On the other hand Kathy’s pretzels were outstanding. They were crispy on the outside, doughy on the inside and had just the right amount of salt. I had mine with mustard while Kathy had one with cheese and one with peanut butter and she liked them both. The frozen berry pie is still in the freezer and will break the food tie between the pretzels and disgusting meatball HotPocket.

After selecting our purchases we were able to quickly checkout and were on our way!

  Despite the dubious nature of the meatball HotPocket I had a great time at the new Dollar Tree. I We only spent $7.21 for our seven items and my five basketball cards included all-stars Chris Bosh, Draymond Green, and Demarre Carroll. Visiting the Dollar Tree isn't going to be on my weekly to-do list but I will be a more frequent visitor to the new store than the old one.

  My 3-2 mark in NBA games on Friday netted me $80 which would have made for a nice Dollar Tree spending spree. I got extremely lucky when Pelicans missed a last second free throw to allow the Wizards to cover the spread and was very unlucky when the Timberwolves blew a second half 16 point lead against the Nuggets. Friday's result puts my record at 18-12-1 with $480 in mythical winnings. As usual, tonight's picks will be using the lines as listed on the Yahoo Sports page for entertainment purposes only with mythical wagers of $110 per game to win $100.

My computer likes four of tonight's 10 games. I will take the Pistons getting 2 at home against the Clippers, the visiting Raptors getting 5 at the struggling Indiana Pacers, the Wizards getting 4 on the road against the Memphis Grizzlies (who played in Miami last night), and the Trailblazers getting three in New Orleans against the Pelicans.

1 comment:

Hank Anzis said...

Congratulations to the BrokenPawnphiles who noticed that the TrailBlazers were home and giving three points to the Pelicans and not getting three on the road. The bet stands and the TrailBlazers won by four to give me my sole win on the day.