Expensive doesn’t always mean better

Posted on August 13, 2014


Sure, if you shop at high end stores like Nordstrom’s and Tiffany’s, you expect good service, but you don’t have to break the bank to get this kind of service. My new favorite store is Ocean State Job Lot. These are like Dollar Stores, where everything is pretty cheap. I love this store almost as much as I love Trader Joe’s.

Why, you may ask?

Well because:

ocean state dumbbells

1. Cheap exercise stuff.

Why pay 3 times as much for dumbbells, when you can get the same, colorful neoprene coated dumbbells at Ocean State? I was so excited about this find, that I bought a whole second set of dumbbells for my office. My office is on our second floor and my workout room is in the basement. This way, I can do a quick YouTube workout without having to take time and get a series of dumbbells from downstairs.

ocean state oat bran

2. Oat bran.

Well, this isn’t as exciting as finding Peeps on sale, but it comes close. I love oat bran even more than I like oatmeal. The calories are the same, yet a serving of oat bran has 7 grams of fiber, vs. 5 grams of fiber in oatmeal. A bit plus is that oat bran as 5 grams of insoluble fiber vs. 2 grams of insoluble fiber in oatmeal.

ocean state fig bars

3. Fig newtons.

Well, technically these are fig bars, but they sure taste like fig newtons. I guess cookies are exactly considered a health food, but after all my exercise with my new dumbbells and my breakfast of oat bran, I need a treat. I try to ration them though, so I don’t eat half the package.

4. Friendly cashiers.

Every time I’ve gone to Ocean State, I ended up having an extended conversation with the cashier. We’ve spoken about fitness, eating healthy and life in general. It’s quite a pleasant experience.

5. A fun adventure.

I have no sense of direction. You would think that living where I do for the past 25 years, I would know my way around pretty well. Well, I kind of get lost every time I go to Ocean State, since I take back roads.

So my lessons learned from all of this:

* More expensive goods doesn’t necessarily translate into better customer service. Ocean State must be doing something right in hiring and training their staff.

*  You can find quality in the most unexpected places.

Fun and excitement can be found in the most mundane of tasks. Admittedly, food shopping isn’t the most exciting thing on the planet, but when I go to Ocean State I always have an enjoyable time.

A special thank you to my dear friend, Judi, for introducing me to the joys of Ocean State Job Lot. 🙂

Photographs are thanks to Mr. Ken, photographer extraordinaire.