Being Cheap

I first purchased stuff from the Dollar Tree in 2003. It was my first time in the US, and my teammates and I — from the 2003 National Geographic World Championship — were shopping at the University Mall in Tampa, Florida. I honestly didn’t know what to buy, but the fact that I was in a store where everything went for a dollar thrilled me.

I bought a lot of junk — $50 worth of junk, or 50 junk items — and when I emerged with about a hundred shopping bags clearly marked ‘Dollar Tree’, my teammates rolled their eyes at me. They later went in. Girls.

I haven’t been in there for quite a while, but a month ago, very broke (total assets: $8) and needing some stuff, my firends S–, E– and I walked into the Dollar Tree next to Walmart. I have very oily skin, excluding my hands and feet which turn white even in summer. Nothing I’ve used has helped, but I decided to try some $1 moisturizer, as well as some liquid bath soap.

“Are you sure you should be getting those?” E– looked very skeptical. “That stuff’ll probably burn holes in you.”

I’ve never been one of those who believe you get what you pay for. Cheap rules, or so I thought.

Two days after using my wonder moisturizer and soap, I started to notice lesions on my hands. My skin peeled off in places, and there was even some raw flesh on my palm. Okay, that’s not true.

They had the opposite effect. I got whiter hands and feet, and the soap even dried off my face (in winter I used to walk around with a shiny face). I convinced myself I just wasn’t using enough, and when it worsened, had to admit to myself that I’d been wrong. Not that E–‘ll ever know. πŸ˜€ .

So here I am broke again, and I think I know not to buy some things even if they’re just a dollar, but do I really?


  1. Guess I’ve learned the hard way that was you pay for is what u get…. Landed this land and had to start preparing for the cold blast when it came.. Bought some 1 pound gloves that ended up getting ripped apart at the seams within weeks of usage… Swore to myself I wuldn’t buy anything there any more tho……

  2. Confessions of a London Gal says:

    Lol! I love me the Β£1 shops here…I mean i know i shouldnt buy ‘some’ things there, but i too like awoof! With the credit crunch these days sef, me thinks i will be buyin my xmas decorations there! lol!

  3. LOL strange thing is something similar happened to me this week except mine was some expensive johnson and johnson advanced technology facial wash, girl the next morning my face was all swelled up I had a rash and had red welts as if i had been beaten up. I went to the a and e and they said it might be an allergic reaction. Wrote to the fools at J and J and they havent replied yet.

  4. Buki says:

    Buying cheap can be fun but sometimes these things have zero lifespan…though I have bought things for 1euro and they lasted longer than the regular price items.

  5. Buki says:

    Never buy pharmaceutical or cosmetic products from cheap stores, most of them are items that did not pass quality control tests in factories, which means their PH Balance is faulty and they’ll cause reactions. How is your skin?

  6. Jaycee says:

    Lolll…there is indeed an extent to which one can be “cheap.”

  7. Lizzy says:

    lol… I Honestly love family dollar, Dollar tree and every other dollar stores out there.

    The best lip gloss I’ve used was bought at the dollar store. My Goodness was that Lip gloss good or what?! And I still buy lip glosses from the dollar store.. (bite me somebody!)

    I Like buying cheap and I think I’m the queen of cheap. But don’t get it twisted, I still buy expensive once in a while…

    Most of the things I’ve bought at the dollar store always prove to be better than the expensive ones….

  8. This post is so so funny.. cheap cream cream equals, nasty

    but you know what you don’t have to go to dollar shop to find cheap stuff, wait for the sales, and look around, you’ll find some bargains lol..

    you’ve really entertained me this afternoon.

  9. oh my! so, sorry.

    I love the Dollar store myself but never by skin products from there. The product you got probably had too much alcohol in it and thus dried out your skin.

    When you get some money, buy some Eucerin. Are you in the MD area? I would give you an extra bottle (I buy in bulk from BJ’s what with the large family I have, lol!)

    Anyway, take care and thanks for your recent comment at Nigerian Curiosity.

  10. Don’t give up! Keeeeep tryin’. It’s always ”probability”.. remember? lol

  11. FlareKnight says:

    But ouch sorry about the bad experience with the skin products. Sometimes go to those Dollar Stores but usually not for things I’ll put on my body :). Maybe a cheap glass or something when I really don’t have cash.

    Sometimes buying cheap works. Other times you really do get what you pay for. Sadly there isn’t a universal rule to these things.

  12. Azuka says:


    London Gal
    Yeah, those are some things I definitely would get from a dollar store.

    Miss Definitely Maybe
    Expensive, doesn’t work, cheap sucks, so what works?

    Thanks for asking. Skin is back to normal.


    Are you sure nothing has happened to your lips (confirm with bf)? Lol.

    Life of a stranger
    Which reminds me — I haven’t been to the mall in ages…

    My skin’s okay now — my friend recommended a vaseline lotion. I’ll give Nivea a try though — when I’m not broke.

    I’m not going to gamble with my body again πŸ˜‰ .

    It’s a convoluted world.

  13. archiwiz says:

    I did a similar thing when I was extremely broke – as in, I spent a total of $2 on 2 bottles of bath wash and moisturizer. I suffered from extremely dry skin and subsequently exczema which I’m still treating. Cheap, for what I’ll put on my skin, is now definitely a no-no.

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