MADISON (WKOW)--Americans have been struggling to find ways to stretch their paychecks.
Some, like Parris Oseguera, depend on the neighborhood dollar store to help.
"Comparing to the prices in supermarkets, this is a bargain. You can't beat it."
Dollar stores sell everything from household supplies to dairy products. But which products give you the best bang for your buck?
The Good Housekeeping Research Institute says there are definite dos and don't to follow when shopping at a dollar store. Items like paper goods earn a solid 'do'.
"Paper plates were twice as expensive in a regular grocery store as they were in the dollar store. If you are willing to buy generic paper goods, you can find them at a quarter of the price," says Miriam Arond, Director of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute.
Crackers, cereal, and soda all get the go ahead. But if the item or box looks opened or tampered with, don't buy it.
"We bought this product and the seal was broken. These raisins are probably fine, except there is this raisin exposed before we've opened the seal."
Cosmetics from a name brand can be a steal, but if the packaging doesn't look familiar, do not buy it; it maybe a fake.
Good Housekeeping's experts found savings up to $4 on name-brand cleaning products, so stock up at the dollar store.
Experts also found a savings up to $3 on name-brand foods, like Cheerios and Wheat Thins.