From budget-friendly bargains at the dollar store to luxurious escapes along the stunning shores of Costalegre in Mexico, Sue's list is a captivating compilation of diverse experiences. Whether you're seeking thrifty finds or tropical paradise, Sue has you covered.
Dollar Stores: Where Savings Meet Surprises
Move over, big-name brands! Dollar stores are taking the retail world by storm, with their numbers steadily increasing and surpassing the combined total of McDonald's, Starbucks, Target, and Walmart locations in the United States. These discount havens are not only attracting new customers but also catching the attention of major household brands. Let's dive into the statistics and see how these brands are dialing in to cater to the dollar store trend.
Between 2019 and 2023, the number of dollar store chain storefronts experienced an impressive surge, reaching over 34,000 locations across the country last year. This growth has left retail experts in awe, as dollar stores have become one of the fastest-growing channels in the industry. With loads of new stores popping up and an increasing share of the consumer wallet, dollar stores are rewriting the rules of retail.
Household brands have recognized the potential of dollar store shelves and are capitalizing on the opportunity. From razor blades to coffee, peanut butter, and pet food, these brands are strategically positioning their products in dollar stores, even if their prices exceed the one-dollar mark. Razor manufacturer Edgewell Personal Care, for instance, has teamed up with dollar store retailers to customize products and cater to their specific customer base. And guess what? Millennials, a key consumer group, are getting more invested in the dollar store channel, according to Eric O'Toole, president of Edgewell's North America division.
The J.M. Smucker Company has observed that consumers are purchasing more than just the essentials at discount stores. To meet these evolving demands, they are bringing seasonal flavors of their packaged Dunkin' coffee to dollar store shelves.
Kraft Heinz, another major player in the food and beverage industry, has set its sights on developing meal solutions that stretch the dollar further. They've even reconstructed Lunchables specifically for discount stores, selling them at $1.25. To change the perception that dollar stores only offer snacks and drinks, they're marketing themed meal options like "Taco Tuesday" with their Taco Bell-branded products or "Italian night" with Classico pasta sauce.
Dollar stores have experienced phenomenal growth, with Dollar Tree and Dollar General leading the charge. Dollar Tree, which acquired Family Dollar, opened over 460 stores last year, while Dollar General added more than 1,000 locations to its ever-expanding empire. Together, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar boast a whopping 16,000 locations, and Dollar General dominates with over 19,000 stores.
But let's keep things in perspective. While dollar stores are on the rise, they still represent only a small fraction (2.1% in 2020) of national household food purchases, according to a study by Tufts University. Some communities are also raising concerns about the growth of dollar stores, citing potential negative effects on job creation, economic growth, and food security. However, these efforts to restrict the expansion of dollar stores have faced challenges, as the popularity of these stores continues to soar.
So, whether you're a fan of dollar stores or a skeptic, there's no denying their impact on the retail landscape. Major household brands are adapting to this trend, offering products tailored to the savvy shoppers who frequent these stores. Dollar stores have become a playground for savings and surprises, where you can find everything from the essentials to unexpected gems. Who knows what delightful bargains await you.
Cottage Cheese: Grandma's Secret Weapon Makes a Hip Comeback
Get ready to welcome cottage cheese with open arms! The dairy dish that has long been associated with grandma's house and diets is experiencing a trendy revitalization, thanks to unique recipes popularized on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. Cottage cheese is making a splash after living in the shadows of yogurt for far too long.
Let's take a trip down memory lane. Cottage cheese was the top diet food fad of the 1950s, reaching its peak popularity in the '70s. Fun fact: On the day of Nixon's resignation in 1974, he enjoyed a meal of pineapple and cottage cheese before leaving office. Back then, the average American consumed about five pounds of cottage cheese per year. However, NPR reports that this number has now been reduced to about half.
But fear not! Cottage cheese is making a comeback, and it's not just your grandma's dish anymore. Unique recipes like cottage cheese ice cream and cottage cheese toast are captivating the interest of younger generations. Beyond being a nostalgic treat, cottage cheese is gaining momentum as a health food. It provides an inexpensive way to incorporate lean protein into your diet, appealing to those seeking a nutritious and budget-friendly option.
So, get ready to embrace the cottage cheese revival! Whether you enjoy it in traditional ways or venture into exciting new recipes, this versatile dairy delight is reclaiming its place in the hearts and refrigerators of the hip and health-conscious. It's time to give cottage cheese the recognition it deserves as a versatile, protein-packed powerhouse in the dairy world. Grandma would be proud! I tried and must say I just cannot eat it….don’t know why….just not for me.
Unveiling the Hidden Gem: Costalegre in Mexico!
If there's ever a place that screams "rental car adventure," it's Costalegre. This enchanting destination begs to be explored, with hidden coves, charming towns, and picturesque villages waiting to be discovered along the coast. Embrace the spirit of wanderlust by cruising along Highway 200, hugging the mountainside and experiencing the magic of this area at your own pace. Choose your stops along the way, share the driving duties, and let the daylight hours guide you as you unravel hidden treasures and uncover a tropical paradise like no other.
Looking to get pampered? Prepare to be pampered in style! Costalegre is renowned for its exclusive luxury retreats, offering a lavish escape along the coastline. Indulge in the finest accommodations and amenities, immersing yourself in the lap of luxury. And let's not forget the icing on the cake: the excellent spas available at these resorts. Treat yourself to a magnificent spa experience that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and blissful.
Looking to go fishing? Costalegre holds one of Mexico's best-kept sports fishing secrets. Get your angling gear ready and embark on an unforgettable sports fishing experience. Discover the thrill of reeling in the big catch against the backdrop of this breathtaking coastline. The upscale resorts in the area are well-equipped to arrange fishing excursions, ensuring you have a fantastic day out on the water.
Looking for rustic bliss?
Just three miles apart, Barra de Navidad and Melaque welcome travelers seeking a tranquil retreat away from the modern chaos of the 21st century. These rustic villages offer a quiet and inexpensive escape, allowing you to unwind amidst a laid-back, easy-going atmosphere. So, are you ready to ditch the frills and dive into the charm of local village life? Barra de Navidad should be your top choice. With its good restaurants, tree-lined streets, and relaxed ambiance, it strikes the perfect balance between comfort and authenticity. Don't miss the Grand Bay Hotel and Resort (technically in Manzanillo) with its renowned golf course and luxurious amenities that will make you feel like royalty without any of the touristy tackiness.
Melaque, on the other hand, may be less leafy but offers its own unique appeal. With a few restaurants and a simple vibe, it's a great option if you're looking for a low-cost base to explore the surrounding areas. Soak in the laid-back atmosphere and let the charm of these villages capture your heart.
Nestled just north of Melaque and Barra de Navidad, La Manzanilla is a small fishing village perched on the Pacific coast. Prepare to be enchanted by its natural beauty and rich biodiversity. Explore the Bay of Tenacatita, where fishing opportunities and safe bathing spots await you. Keep your eyes peeled for incredible marine and bird life, including the largest population of American crocodiles in North America. Take a leisurely walk through the croc-filled lagoon (for a small fee, of course) and arrange boat tours to explore the area further. And don't forget the frequent seasonal whale sightings that will leave you in awe.
Costalegre is definitely on my bucket list!
For Small Peeps
Kids Half Mile Run in Greenwich on Memorial Day
Lace up your running shoes and get ready for a dash of Memorial Day fun in Greenwich! It's time for the 59th running of the Greenwich Memorial Day races, and the excitement is building. Whether you're a seasoned athlete or just looking for some family-friendly fun, this event has something for everyone.
Online registration is now open for both the 5K Race and the Kids Half Mile Fun Run on Monday, May 29. So, mark your calendars and prepare for a day of adrenaline-pumping action.
The Kids Half Mile Fun Run follows the 5K race, starting and finishing on the track. It's a chance for the little ones to showcase their speed and endurance, all while basking in the contagious spirit of the event. Let them feel the thrill of the race and cheer them on as they conquer their own mini marathon.
Now, let's talk logistics. For all the nitty-gritty details on fees, awards, number pick-up, and more, make sure to check the flyer on the hyperlink below. It's your guide to everything you need to know to make the most of this exciting day.
So, gather your family, friends, and running buddies, and join in the Memorial Day racing extravaganza. It's time to embrace the spirit of competition, celebrate the community, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Get ready to hit the pavement, make your mark, and bask in the glory of the Greenwich Memorial Day races. Let the countdown to race day begin!
Thanks for reading the entire list.
See you next Tuesday!
Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.