Not From a Dollar Store
Hello There. VivBounty here to bring you some items I would not buy from a dollar store again. This is a metal grater. Notice the small rust spot inside the top right. For one thing we have no idea what metal this is, but more importantly the rust is dangerous if you are cut with the grater. Diseases like tetanus can be dangerous when not treated properly. The previous one rusted much sooner and so I stopped using this one at the first sign of rust. I now have one, which is guaranteed for 15 years, with a rubber rim around the base and a rubber-coated handle to prevent it slipping on the plate or tray or my the slipping. I've had it for 6 months now and no sign of rust.
I bought several of these silicone spatulas with the plastic handles at dollar stores. The silicone part doesn't burn provided you are stirring and using in motion. If you leave sitting in a pan on a hot plate, the edge can burn, going a dark brown but not melting as such. The handle, however does melt. Notice the spot in the middle of the handle which is slightly indented where it melted on the edge of the saucepan I inadvertently left it in for almost a minute. Also after several hand washings in warm dish water the glue disappears and the silicone part slides off the handle. Food particles and moisture can get caught in between the handle and the silicone part where nasty bacteria can grow,
The metal strainer also rusts. I would not buy one of questionable quality again and let's face it; who knows what sort of metal a strainer in the dollar store is made of? I have read that there isn't much danger in ingesting rust but I don't like what it does to the flavour of my ginger tea.
As for silicone tongs on a plastic handle, again the silicone holds up fine but the glue doesn't. I found after several hand washings in warm soapy water the glue melts away leaving space for moisture, food particles and formation of bacteria. Like the silicone spatula, the plastic handle melts when it touches the side of a pan for seconds which is even quicker. In addition when I put it in the dish rack to dry, I like to pull the tab at the top which keep the tongs closed for storage. Pulling it again releases the tongs for pinching to pick up food. Unfortunately, these break with very little pressure. Also a piece of the tongs right near the sprung hinge pin broke leaving nothing for the clip to rest against preventing closure.
The final one, I had to discard from my kitchen and could not find another one to buy in a dollar store or elsewhere is the flip or rotating spatula come tongs. Again the plastic and the glue lets this gadget down. These were promoted on television and then moved to local dollar stores and super drug stores in the "As seen on T.V." aisles and displays. The plastic portion cracked causing the metal spatula part to fall out. The one side flips so that you can hold a fish fillet flat in between the metal parts or flipped once again forms a larger space like cupped hands to hold a larger piece of meat or chicken. This is easier said than done and I have struggled until I've dropped food or pinched my finger in the parts. A third problem as you will notice from the picture is that the plastic hook between the tongs easily breaks preventing you from clipping the tongs closed for placing on the draining board or storing. I would buy another one of these as they last about a year before falling apart, but I just can't find them anywhere .
Now having pointed these few items out that I would not buy again from dollar stores, there are items I buy regularly from them simply because I have seen the identical items in higher priced department stores for 4 to 10 times the price.
Here are some items I do buy at dollar stores:
- Plastic DVD cases
- Battery operated press lamps for closets
- Bathtub and sink drain strainers
- Plastic bath and shower caps to keep hair dry
- Plastic storage bins and boxes
- Notebooks and diaries
- Doggy waste bags
- Micro fleece cleaning cloths
There is a myriad of things too many to name here. I must also add that I carried the rotating/flipping spatula/tongs I was using and bought new ones, knowing their lack of quality, to pack along with me from USA to Spain and back and kept using them until they absolutely fell apart.
It's funny how you get used to using certain utensils and cooking a certain way and then when you don't have that tool, it's a whole new learning curve. In Spain there were little stores like dollar stores called Todo (Spanish for everything) shops where most things were sold for a Euro or two. Their kitchen garbage bags were excellent quality and along with rubber gloves and plastic report covers for filing were my favourite things to buy in the Todo shop.
My kitchen drawer in Spain was the 6th in as many homes I've lived in of my own and the mind does play tricks on you. I would open a drawer in Spain fully expecting to see the utensils in my kitchen drawer in Pittsburgh, convinced I'd misplaced this or that utensil, just as now in Canada I open my kitchen drawers and expect to see stuff I had in Spain, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Seattle, etc. Fortunately, we shipped most of my favourite kitchen things from Spain so I'm not usually missing much, except my marbles or memory, she says with a smile.
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