10 items to buy in stock stores

I really love shopping in stock stores - by which I mean low-cost stores such as Max StockHastock, or the Anglo-oriented Big Deal chain. They remind me of Dollar stores abroad, and carry much of the same merchandise your typical dollar store in the old country would. You may remember once upon a time (like 5-10 years ago), there were lots of "Hakol B'Dollar" stores around the country, in which everything really did cost $1 (+VAT; this was when the dollar was worth about NIS 5). The chain still exists (for example, this branch in Dizengoff Center), but the items no longer really cost $1 or whereabouts, though their prices are still quite cheap, and the chain falls into the category of stores I'm talking about.

This type of store will often carry either many items imported from China at a very low price, and/or overstocks bought from other retailers and sold close to cost (Big Deal stores tend to have US-made products of this sort as well). Thus, their merchandise is very variable, seasonal and you never really know what you'll find in advance. Which is pretty cool, in my book.

I typically walk into this type of store for things I need at the moment, but almost always stay longer than I intend to, ogling all the stuff I might need one day and maybe I really should buy it before it runs out, or would have bought years ago when my kids were smaller had the store been around then...and which I feel are really good value for your money in this type of store. So if you have yet to visit such a store, or before ordering similarly cheap items from China directly, here are 10 items I consider most worthwhile to buy in such stores.

If you have other items to suggest, feel free to do so in the comments!

*Baby & small child clothing. Max Stock often has basic baby and toddler clothing - onesies, dresses, even coats during the winter - for as low as NIS 10 an item. The brands are not fancy, but the clothes are warm, well-sewn, and look colorfast. I wish we had these around when my kids were little!

*Specific items of clothing for the rest of the family. Underpants, socks, pajamas, flipflops, hats, gloves. Nowhere else will you get better value for your money, and if your child loses a glove or you get a hole in your sock, they're easily and cheaply replaced. You can even find shirts for yourself if your taste in clothing runs to basic pieces, as does mine. I got some of the colorful "long-sleeved winter undershirts" for NIS 15 each last year; they are great for layering and can be dressed up or down, and they're still holding up great over a year and multiple washings later.

*Lock & Lock - type food storage boxes. These cost quite a bit in stores specializing in kitchenware, but in stock stores you can get them for much cheaper, and they hold up just as well, in my experience. (Well, Okay, they're not quite Tupperware, but those really do cost a pile). Great for storing leftovers in the fridge, taking food to school/work, or instead of canisters for dry foods. (The photo above is of a present I made for neighbors who were hosting our guests at a family simcha in their houses. The box and ribbons were from a stock store, and inside were yummy chocolates).

*Cleaning supplies. Most stock stores I've been to don't stock cleaning solutions as a rule, though you can get those cheaply enough during supermarket sales. I'm referring to latex gloves, scouring pads, Magic Sponge blocks, squeegees, mops, brooms and the like. Those often cost significantly more at other stores, often for the same exact Chinese-made product.

*CFL bulbs. Both an economical way to light up your house and a better price to buy them at. I've bought brand-name CFL's at hardware or lighting stores (e.g., ACE, Machsanei Teura), only to have them burn out far faster than the no-names I got in stock stores for half the price (I know this because I write the date the bulb was replaced on the base of the bulb with a pencil).

*Everyday kitchenware. Nothing from a stock store will ever replace your grandmother's silverware or the fine china set you received as a wedding gift. But when regular china mugs, glass plates, and plain stainless steel cutlery will do (which is most weekdays in our house), stock stores are the place to get them.

*Kitchen gadgets. Thanks to stock stores, you can now own just about any labor-saving, non-electronic kitchen gadget without spending a fortune or waiting a month or more for it to arrive from China. Julienne peeler? Silicone baking tins in an array of shapes? That shpritzer thingy you screw into a lemon to make a lemon juice sprayer? No problem, and not too much money, either. And if the gadget turns out to be not the highest quality, well, you're only out a few Shekels.

*School supplies. While these stores, like most, have the largest stock of school-related items around the beginning of the school year (see my post on how best to time your purchases as well), they will usually have basic school supplies such as notebooks, Cellotape, glue and writing implements all year round. Don't spend your money at stationery stores when you can buy the same items for less in a stock store!

*Craft supplies. While their products will probably not be good enough for the serious craftperson, there is a wealth of art supplies in such stores to delight the amateur, or even just a busy mother looking to occupy her kids with something other than a screen - beads, clay, canvases, wooden items you can paint or decorate...the sky, and your sense of creativity, is the limit.

*Disposable tableware. If you're hosting an affair at home, or just don't like doing the dishes all that much, the best place to find disposables is not necessarily at a Chad Pe'ami store, but at a stock store. The variety of colors and styles may be smaller, but if you're flexible about those, you'll do well. Ditto for disposable aluminum baking pans.

So if you have yet to shop in a stock store, I urge you to give it a try. Remember - once the item is in your house, no one will know (or care) which store it came from, and it'll probably be just as nice and useful as any other product.

Happy Shopping!


  1. I got some good quality pillows made by Fried and nice fleece coverlets at Maxstock a couple months ago. I really love that store.