Oh the dollar store. As a kid, I would walk to the one on the corner to get all my Christmas gifts: creepy porcelain cats, a woven basket with a hole in the bottom, a pencil case.
I thought my dollar days were over until my sister made me go to Daiso, a Japanese-franchised dollar store in the “ID” (Psst, International District) here in Seattle. It’s other places too, so if you see one stop in and take a look around.
First off – there’s the whole look and feel. It’s bright. Everything is arranged nicely – no plastic bins filled with broken pencils and opened packages of expired crackers. It doesn’t even smell like a dollar store, meaning it doesn’t smell like someone peed in the corner and then misted the air with bad cologne.
Not only is everything gloriously cheap, oh-so-cheap, it’s useful. There are cool cooking items, including a green onion knife that cuts green onions into ribbons. Cherry blossom stickers. Beauty masks. Sure, the instructions and ingredients are in Japanese, but that makes it only more fun.
Cheap travel accessories:
- Silverware in individual cases. Other countries just don’t give plastic forks to just anyone like they do in the U.S. Bring silverware with you, secure in a case and you can avoid the awkward moment of asking for a fork in a second language.
- Bottles to fill with your 3 allotted ounces of shampoo/conditioner. You want to pay $3.99 somewhere else, go ahead.
- Toothbrush covers in neon colors.
- Bath sponges shaped like wide-eyed pandas. With attached ropes, so you can easily move it across your back and keep the backacne at bay.
- Vomit bags. So cheap you won’t even have to reuse them. Let’s hope they’re scented.
- Locks for your suitcases.
- Bands to keep your 10-year-old suitcase from opening and spilling all your dollar-store underwear onto the carousel.