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Frugal mamas: Do you shop at the Dollar Tree (or dollar stores)?


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If you are a frugal shopper, do you shop at the Dollar tree or Dollar General (or .99 store). What sorts of items do you think are a good deal there?

 

I bought some Silkience conditioner for the girls there today and they said it stinks (doesn't work well) :( Do you stick to name brands you recognize or do you buy the off brands?

 

I'm trying to go through our household list to see where I can cut corners (cleaners/personal/household) Thanks :tongue_smilie:

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If you are a frugal shopper, do you shop at the Dollar tree or Dollar General (or .99 store). What sorts of items do you think are a good deal there?

 

I bought some Silkience conditioner for the girls there today and they said it stinks (doesn't work well) :( Do you stick to name brands you recognize or do you buy the off brands?

 

I'm trying to go through our household list to see where I can cut corners (cleaners/personal/household) Thanks :tongue_smilie:

 

I buy a certain cleanser (household) and paper products, i.e scratch paper and actually found a potato masher that works fine. I would never buy food there because it looks like it's been on the shelf for years and usually the ingredients are not what I want in my food/snacks. I also have never bought personal care products there.

But I save a bundle on things like wrapping paper and gift bags.

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I have bought a few cleaners dish soap, (ok) glass cleaner, (worked better for counter cleaning than for windows), and some type of pine smelling cleaner for floor (good).

 

I buy tooth brushes, dental picks, and I am picky about shampoo and the likes so I haven't tried any.

 

For the food I like the trail mixes,(most of the time they are good, sometimes not), some of the junk food is a hit and miss.

 

My favorite things to buy at the Dollar tree is the crafts supplies, wrapping, coloring books, teacher section(they get some great stuff in) and I confess I am a plastic container junkie:tongue_smilie: and most of it comes from there.

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My favorite things to buy at the Dollar tree is the crafts supplies, wrapping, coloring books, teacher section(they get some great stuff in) and I confess I am a plastic container junkie:tongue_smilie: and most of it comes from there.

 

This is what I buy. I never buy food or anything that is put on the body or is intended for ingestion by humans or animals because I don't trust the ingredients. I also do not trust that name brand items sold there are not counterfeits.

 

Here's what was sold at the Dollar Plus Store:

 

Consumers were advised yesterday to discard all toothpaste made in China after federal health officials said they found Chinese-made toothpaste containing a poison used in some antifreeze in three locations: Miami, the Port of Los Angeles and Puerto Rico.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/02/us/02toothpaste.html

 

However, the News2Houston Investigators discovered many of the toothpaste products showing up at discount stores across Houston do not meet government regulations. Some of the products should not even be in our country.

 

http://www.click2houston.com/news/2852732/detail.html

 

Another article about what not to buy at dollar stores: Vitamins, toys, electrical products, off-brands, lunchboxes:

 

http://www.wtopnews.com/index.php?nid=25&sid=1198450

 

If you Google "dangerous dollar store products", there are lots of news articles. Some say not to buy batteries because of the increased danger that they will leak.

Edited by RoughCollie
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If you are a frugal shopper, do you shop at the Dollar tree or Dollar General (or .99 store). What sorts of items do you think are a good deal there?

 

I bought some Silkience conditioner for the girls there today and they said it stinks (doesn't work well) :( Do you stick to name brands you recognize or do you buy the off brands?

 

I'm trying to go through our household list to see where I can cut corners (cleaners/personal/household) Thanks :tongue_smilie:

 

LA's Totally Awesome Cleaner!!! I discovered this about a year ago and it is amazing stuff. It works very, very well. You can use it on just about everything, from bathrooms, to kitchens, to floors, even fabric! It's only $1, and that is for the concentrate-- which I dilute with water in another spray bottle according to the directions on the bottle, 1 part cleaner to 10 parts water for general cleaning. So I get 10 full sized spray bottles of cleaner for $1!

 

I use it together with microfiber cleaning cloths that I bought at Gabriel Brothers (the ones in the $1 aren't that great) and that really works well. I just throw the cloths in with my laundry as I need to, and now I don't need to buy paper towels anymore either.

 

Here is a link to more reviews of it, and a picture so you can see which one it is-- you want the one in a clear bottle with red writing. The Dollar Store sells other varieties of LA's Totally Awesome, but this is the one that I have used and recommend.

 

http://www.viewpoints.com/L-A-Totally-Awesome-Cleaner-reviews

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I never buy food or beauty products there. But I do buy crafts supplies, gift wrap and bows. Paper products, baskets and containers, I have picked up books and puzzle books before. Glow sticks at Halloween time (although they don't always work)...balloons and scotch tape on occasion.

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I don't.

 

I make my own cleaning supplies, including laundry soap, so I don't buy any.

 

I buy Kirkland TP and paper towels at Costco. Shampoo for DH and the boys is Kirkland brand (64 ounces for $6 and lasts a few months).

 

Someone on TV did a study of items at the dollar store and found that per item, it was MORE expensive on some items than buying at a regular store.

 

Dawn

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I mainly get wrapping paper/gift bags/tissue paper from the Dollar Store. They have a really nice selection. If I'm there, I'll browse the toiletries section. I usually stick to name brands, so if I see something I'd regularly buy, I will get it for $1. I also get things like mailers, tape, and teaching supplies there (stickers, flashcards, etc). One thing I got recently that I was particularly excited about was 9 baskets for our bathroom shelving in the perfect color green to match our decor. I saved a bundle getting them there.

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what is in this product...I try to use stuff that is safe for my kids to be around and use if they are doing the cleaning.

 

This is what it says on their website:

 

 

Why aren't the ingredients listed on the label?

LA’s Totally Awesome All Purpose Cleaner ® is non-toxic. Therefore, the listing of ingredients on the label is not required by law. LA’s Totally Awesome All Purpose Cleaner ® unique formula is protected under the US Trade Secrecy Act and has been extensively tested to verify the product's credentials. LA’s Totally Awesome All Purpose Cleaner ® complies with all current labeling requirements for ingredient disclosure on cleaning products. If you have an allergy, medical reason, or technical reason for wanting to know if LA’s Totally Awesome All Purpose Cleaner ® contains a particular item, please contact us at 800-482-2875 and we will help you as best we can.

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I buy: gift bags, greeting cards, tissue paper for gift bags, candles (made in usa only), toothbrushes (made in usa), seasonal candy, batteries. I have bought knit gloves, knit hats and socks in the past. When I used V05 and Suave, I would buy them there.

 

I have bought name brand foods that have not expired there as well, I just make sure the package is not damaged: Progresso soups, pretzels, crackers, and gingersnaps.

 

I also confess to buying bags of cheap plastic army guys. :-)

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When the dc were little, we would go there once in awhile so they could get a pack of stickers.

 

Sometimes I've gotten batteries there (prefer to stick to any name brands they have vs. off brands).

 

These days, I never go there. I think it's a waste of money. And, I've decided that for me, I don't like supporting the 'buy a lot of cheap stuff from China' mentality. I'm trying to make a lighter footprint on the world, not a heavier one. (Sorry for my slight digression. :tongue_smilie:)

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I'm with everyone else. Gift cards, gift bags, bows, wrapping paper and tissue, tape. And back to school time brings notepads and other goodies. I hate cheapo pencils and pens so don't usually get those there.

 

I've also gotten the off brand pine cleaner and a few other cleaners there. Sometimes it is a waste of money because you use more product than you would of a concentrated name brand. I found a Lysol cleaner there I like pretty well. Sometimes I can grab a pack of cheap dish cloths to use as rags. Even the plastic containers seem flimsy and the lids don't often fit right.

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I bought $10 worth of Christmas Tree decorations so my sick dh wouldn't have to drag down all the decorations out of the attic (he is well now, just had the flu). I buy drawing pads for the kids or gift bags. Most of the time I walk around and don't find anything worth buying.

 

I do have a rant. My dc's G-Grandmother takes my dc into the dollar store and tells them to pick 5 toys every time they see her!!!!!! 3dc x 5 toys =15 toys!!!! They never pick a toy that is a single item, they always pick toys that come with many parts! They toys last for a day before they break and she wonders why I throw them away. Because of this my dc constantly ask if I'm going to throw their toys away!:willy_nilly:

 

Honestly, I'm not very fond of dollar stores.

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This is what it says on their website:

 

 

Why aren't the ingredients listed on the label?

LA’s Totally Awesome All Purpose Cleaner ® is non-toxic. Therefore, the listing of ingredients on the label is not required by law. LA’s Totally Awesome All Purpose Cleaner ® unique formula is protected under the US Trade Secrecy Act and has been extensively tested to verify the product's credentials. LA’s Totally Awesome All Purpose Cleaner ® complies with all current labeling requirements for ingredient disclosure on cleaning products. If you have an allergy, medical reason, or technical reason for wanting to know if LA’s Totally Awesome All Purpose Cleaner ® contains a particular item, please contact us at 800-482-2875 and we will help you as best we can.

 

Oh No!!! I am so disappointed! I decided to look a little more into the ingredients of LA's Totally Awesome Cleaner, and it's bad. :crying: It contains

2-butoxyethanol, which when you google it, has all kinds of health warnings, including causing tumors in lab rats. I'm so disappointed-- I really loved that cleaner. I'm not the most cautious person around when it comes to being organic, green, etc., but even I can't justify using a cleaner that contains a known carcinogen! I'm glad I know though, so thanks for asking about the ingredients. I might never have known otherwise.

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Nothing. I used to shop there and thought I was saving a bundle, then I realized that for gift bags and such, it was cheaper to buy at Walmart.

 

coloring books, craft supplies, you will be surprised if you check prices. Walmart or JoAnn's is cheaper.

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Nothing. I used to shop there and thought I was saving a bundle, then I realized that for gift bags and such, it was cheaper to buy at Walmart.

 

coloring books, craft supplies, you will be surprised if you check prices. Walmart or JoAnn's is cheaper.

 

You really have to check prices, that is for sure... Dollar Tree has the added convenience for me of being really close to home!

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I have to admit I get bread at the .99cent store. For a dollar I get a better bread than I can afford at other stores (I wish I was ready to make my own bread).

 

I will occasionaly get spices and canned good, but only after doing a bit of research and checking labels.

 

Otherwise it's mainly craft, some cleaners and supplies.

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I can't find the type of cleaners that work there most of the time and so avoid it for those. I do check them out for school supplies, gift bags, reading lights, and sometimes I will scan the book and colouring book section. Oh, and pregnancy tests! I won't need those anymore though :)

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I don't.

Someone on TV did a study of items at the dollar store and found that per item, it was MORE expensive on some items than buying at a regular store.

Dawn

 

I don't find it saves me any money on most things. I consider them more cheap than frugal. Sometimes I am most frugal when I actually pay more and get a better product. Couponing and Costco beat the dollar stores all the time!

 

Except for....

This may sound weird, but pregnancy tests. The ones from Dollar Tree (I forget the brand name at the moment) are just as effective as the pricey ones.

Way cheap pg tests - which I no longer need to buy. But if I did. I would go there. (Online is really the cheapest, but if you just need a couple dollar store rocks!)

 

And journals/notebooks. Sometimes they have the nicest $1 journals or notebooks - great for the kids.

 

I only go into the dollar store when I need something no other store carries locally and I can't get to town.

 

Or sometimes I take the kids there to get something.

 

 

It used to be that you could get some great deals - dh got all his dishes at the 99 cent store 20+ years ago. And they great quality! I recently gave away the remaining pieces. But in the last 15 years or so dollar stores are just mostly cheap overpriced junk.

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I do shop at the DollarTree (and no, not all Dollar stores are created equal). Since I do my regular shopping at Walmart and Costco, I have a pretty good idea of what "good" prices for things are.

 

I buy candy ocassionally, coloring books are awesome and so are puzzles for my puzzle boy, craft supplies like glitter glue and acrylic paint, I've bought dry erase markers and planners there when they have them. I've bought hairbrushes for the girls. I've also bought cleaner, plastic baggies and rubber gloves and straws.

 

I think you have to KNOW that something is cheaper than (or equal in both price and quality) places like Walmart. There are also things I haven't seen other places (like superhero washcloths).

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I'm another one who typically won't buy any kind of food, anything for the body, or cleaning products there unless it's a name brand that I trust and the price truly is good. My Dollar Tree occasionally has Pear's Soap in stock, and I'll buy that because it works so well for my face. I try to stick to natural products for the other things, or I'm brand loyal.

 

Otherwise, I do buy some school/office/mailing supplies, cards/gift bags, have bought pregnancy tests (hopefully won't need to do that too often :lol:), and I bought a great weekly pill organizer with both AM and PM boxes there, which I was thrilled about. I thought it would come apart right away, but it's even held up through being dropped repeatedly (yes, by me *sigh*).

 

With the brands of things that I do buy, I've found that if I'm careful, with coupons I can stockpile at better prices by shopping at regular stores. It takes more work, but saves more money. Often, the sizes of name-brand things I see at the Dollar Stores are smaller, so the price-per-unit is higher, but many people who shop there don't pay attention to that.

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I hate to stop in Dollar Tree for just one item, but they do sell the Sunday paper with coupons for $1.00. The normal price is $1.50 or so. That would make a difference if you stock up on Sunday papers for coupons.

 

Other than that, there's nothing I buy there, but I have set $1.00 as my maximum price for cleaning/HBA items. I figure if I was out of something and couldn't get it on sale and/or with a coupon, I could get it from Dollar Tree. Of course, spending $1.50 on a 24 oz. bottle would be less per ounce than $1.00 on a 12 oz. bottle, but if I only had $1.00 to spend, the larger bottle wouldn't do me much good.

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Yeah, you have to know your prices at other stores to know whether you're getting a good deal at Dollar Tree.

 

You can't beat their greeting cards at 2 for a dollar! They also have a line of really pretty scrapbook-looking cards that are a buck. I always go there first for cards.

 

What I look for: teacher resources, workbooks for the kids, books, stickers, gift bags, deals on name-brand foods. Stocking/pinata stuffer type candy. Cheap holiday decor to use outside.

 

It's one of the few places I can find nice big cellophane bags to cover the gift baskets I make at Christmas.

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I only go to Dollar Tree (or similar store) for decorating stuff or containers. Oh, and I once got a really neat microfiber duster there that I love (and my DS thinks is the greatest toy in the world... he loves to dust for me, lol!). Buying food there just gives me the heebie-jeebies and we wouldn't be able to use any of the cleaners, soaps etc because we all have very sensitive skin.

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I shop a lot at a Dollar General and feel it's very different than Dollar Tree when it comes to it's food and household goods. They have a lot of familiar brands that I'm quite comfortable with. They also have their generic "Clover Valley" label that is pretty decent too. I buy a lot at Dollar General that I would've bought at Wal-Mart or on sale at our local gorcery store. Here's a list:

 

-Cream of mushroom and chicken soups $.60

-Starkist and generic tuna $.60-$.75

-packg of 3 Hanes t-shirts for my boys $5.00

-marshmallows $1

-maraschino cherries $1.50

-chocolate chips (Nestles??)$2.50

-Suave shampoo/cond. -depends on size-comparable to Wal-Mart

-toothbrushes-various brands and prices

-Glad quick tie garbage bags, 30 gallon, 60 count $5.00

-GE light bulbs $1+ depending on what kind you get

-Bounce-$5 for the biggest box (160??)

-Coke-2 liters $1.25 (or close to that)

-Oreo cookies $2.50

-Dawn dish soap $1.00-$2.50 depending on size

-N.Y.C. makeup (they have other brands too)-$1.00+

-Tampons and pads-I buy the generic pads, but the brand name prices are comparable or better than Wal-Mart (Always and Stayfree)

-Saltine type crackers $1

-generic Triscuit and Wheat Thins that taste very good (some dollar store foods like that taste funny or gross. Nothing at $ General has ever tasted bad.) $1.50.

 

Anyhow, I would definately try Dollar General. But I'd agree with the others on Dollar Tree-it's more junky, not sure what's in their food stuff.

 

I also buy paper plates, ketchup, pickles, olives, coconut ($1), office supplies, laundry stain removers, car fresheners, some candles, toilet paper and paper towels, some clothes, socks, underwear, almonds, cookies, crackers, etc.

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Dollar Tree:

School supplies ours has some great teacher resources stuff as well

Art supplies

Books

Balloons

Gift bags

Cards

Wrapping paper

Party supplies

Plastic containers

Batteries

Spin and Span Kitchen Cleaner

Glass Cleaner

small tools and hardware type things

Holiday decorations

6 pkg of toothbrushes

Edited by ClassicCole
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The Dollar Tree used to have some decent stuff, but anymore it is total junk. Every year we get a ton of crap funneled to us from the military, and the toys go directly in the trash.

 

The only thing our Dollar Tree is good for is people watching. :tongue_smilie: Oh, and bagged candy. :lol:

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I'm not averse to buying food products at Dollar Tree. So, here's what I get:

 

*tortilla chips

*bags of frozen fruit (strawberries, mixed berries, peaches, blueberries)

*chicken fries

*pizza rolls

*breadsticks

*frozen chicken parts

*frozen waffles

*frozen french toast sticks

*liquid creamer (hazelnut, vanilla)

*sugar-free syrups for cooking or coffee (caramel, hazelnut, vanilla)

*Nature's Own breads

*bottled apple cider or prune juice

*peel-n-eat frozen shrimp (these are so good!)

*seafood cocktail sauce

*jars of pizza sauce

*individual pizza crusts (2 in a pkg)

*salt or garlic and salt or pepper grinders

*plastic wrap, sandwich bags, garbage bags

*bleach, Awesome laundry stain remover, dish washing liquid

*poster board, dry-erase markers

*Feta cheese

*eggs

*pound cake and marbled pound cake (good with fresh strawberries)

 

I guess you can see that I'm okay with buying lots of things from Dollar Tree. I'm going to leave this world when it's time, so using some of these things is okay with me (and my family too). Your mileage may vary...

 

Editing to add...My dh and I recently had a discussion about how much you could get for $100 from Dollar Tree to use over a month's time or so, food wise and supply wise. I'm intrigued by the possibilities.

Edited by Poke Salad Annie
more rambling thoughts
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Thought of some more----

 

*bags of banana chips, dried cranberries, sesame sticks, and toffee peanuts to mix all together and make the snack mix similar to $$$ type

*boxed quarts of Minute Maid apple juice and lemonade

*boxed quarts of 2% and whole milk (use this for emergencies instead of running out to store--we find it has a very creamy taste!)

*bags of Lowrey's beef jerkey

*olive oil

*small travel-sized jars of mayonnaise

 

I guess you could say that a trip to Dollar Tree is like a field trip for us! :D

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The Dollar Tree used to have some decent stuff, but anymore it is total junk. Every year we get a ton of crap funneled to us from the military, and the toys go directly in the trash.

 

The only thing our Dollar Tree is good for is people watching. :tongue_smilie: Oh, and bagged candy. :lol:

 

Slightly off topic, I always wondered if the recipients actually wanted the stuff the store was trying to guilt me in to buying and donating. Now I will feel less guilty about saying "no, not today"

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One dollar store near me (in which I once bought a fantastically giant and durable plastic tub useful for bathing small children, for a dollar) went out of business. I've still got the tub!

 

Ones near me don't sell food. There is a Big Lots that sells food (not particularly for a dollar). It's not a store I end up at often, though. Honestly the stores I shop at have inexpensive food that I am more comfortable buying. I don't buy much prepared food, though.

 

I don't find many items at the dollar store because I am trying not to accumulate a lot of "stuff." But I saw a 2 pack of playing cards there! What a bargain.

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cards

wrapping paper

dish brushes

toothbrushes

:iagree: We buy tp, paper towels, dish soap, sponges, ziploc baggies, batteries, & trash bags monthly -- $15 once a month buys a lot there -- it fits our budget!! ;)

Edited by tex-mex
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I consider myself very frugal, but I don't shop there. I can't split my trips up that much. I don't trust their food and body products, many of them end up on recall lists. I also know that if I wait, standard brands will go on sale at stores I have more confidence in and will match or beat their price.

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Oh No!!! I am so disappointed! I decided to look a little more into the ingredients of LA's Totally Awesome Cleaner, and it's bad. :crying: It contains

2-butoxyethanol, which when you google it, has all kinds of health warnings, including causing tumors in lab rats. I'm so disappointed-- I really loved that cleaner. I'm not the most cautious person around when it comes to being organic, green, etc., but even I can't justify using a cleaner that contains a known carcinogen! I'm glad I know though, so thanks for asking about the ingredients. I might never have known otherwise.

 

I have used and loved the same cleanser. In fact, I still have half a bottle under the sink.

It was the only thing that took the grease off the stovetop...

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If you are a frugal shopper, do you shop at the Dollar tree or Dollar General (or .99 store). What sorts of items do you think are a good deal there?

 

I bought some Silkience conditioner for the girls there today and they said it stinks (doesn't work well) :( Do you stick to name brands you recognize or do you buy the off brands?

 

I'm trying to go through our household list to see where I can cut corners (cleaners/personal/household) Thanks :tongue_smilie:

 

I use the dollar stores for craft supplies, seasonal decorations, pretty containers (like little decorative tins that I can put homemade truffles in), wrapping paper and gift supplies, room fragrances and everyday candles (I make my own Witch candles), and sometimes for the odd piece of kitchen or home equipment (ex. I recently needed a new corkscrew and picked one up at the dollar store). I don't buy commerical cleaning products, but I will buy ammonia, vinegar, bleach and baking soda there sometimes, as I make my own cleaning products from those in conjunction with essential oils.

 

I don't buy food products or body care products there. I have noticed that they're nearly all imported from China and I'm a little wary of putting things in or on my body that are chinese imports since there have been several news-making incidents about the irregularity of ingredients in some imported products. FTR, I am not anti-Chinese products, but if it's going in or on me, I'm just a little cautious about what I'll buy.

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