November #159 : Dollar Days - by Kellee Terrell

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Who Wants to Be an AIDS Advocate?

Let’s Get Ready to Rally!

When Pigs Fly

Just the Facts, Ma’am

Breath of Life?

Staying Alive

Medicine Chest

Need a Doctor? Call a Nurse.


Dollar Days

Booty Boost

Take Home Testing

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Show Us the Money

Acting Up

The Defense Rests

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Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

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Hepatitis & HIV

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November 2009

Dollar Days

by Kellee Terrell

POZ gives you the scoop on what to put in your cart—and what to throw back—at the 99 cents store.

The recession has forced many stores to file for bankruptcy, but discount and dollar stores still bring in the green. Their vast selections of low-priced items—from shower curtains to snacks to socks—entice penny-pinchers in droves. But not all steals are created equal. I hit up a few discount stores in New York City to sort the deals from the duds.

Pick up:
  • Kitchen and housing accessories. Silverware, spatulas, candleholders, pails and oven mitts are must-haves. Grab cartfulls of these items, especially dish-washing utensils and sponges.

  • Wrapping paper, gift bags and party favors. Last Christmas, I saved a lot of money on large bags—they were as decorative as those in more expensive stores.
Hair/clothing accessories. I stock up on dress socks, combs, ponytail holders, lint brushes and sewing kits.

Pass on:
  • Vitamins and over-the-counter medications. You can’t really be sure where they’re from or if they’ll work. To save money and ensure efficacy, buy a generic version at your local drug store.

  •  Cleaners. Many experts claim that they are a steal, but I say pass. Non-brand name products can be filled with harmful chemicals. For two or three more bucks, buy eco-friendly cleaners instead and breathe easy.

  • Electronics. Christmas lights and extension cords might be faulty and could possibly start a fire in your home. Dole out the extra cash for these. Safety first!                                        

HAND-ME-UPS: Need a new blazer for work, or looking for a deal on a polo shirt? Peruse secondhand shops such as Goodwill and Salvation Army. They are a good place to score some cheap finds, and you’ll also be helping those in need. I recently scooped up an Old Navy wrap sweater for $6, gold earrings for a few bucks and hardback books for a dollar apiece. Go to and to find a location in your city.

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