Shopping at Daiso and 100 Yen stores can be addictive. At only RM5 per item its hard to resist filling up your basket because we tend to throw things in without thinking until we reach the cashier. The question is, is everything there really worth RM5? Yes and no.
If you think about it, some items may cost dollar while others do not. To the retailer, it’s their way of averaging the value in order to profit and you impulse purchase help them acheive that. Here’s a list of items that we think are of value and what we think you should skip the next time you’re shopping at these budget stores.
Most cleaning products are made out of the same ingredients and Daiso has a wide selection from Baking Soda detergent for cleaning kitchen sinks to Toilet bowl cleaners and even if they’re slightly diluted, we really do think its worth the price because for a similar amount you may have to up three times the price! You can also buy sponges and lint rollers for cheap without compromising on quality and functionality.
Toys wear and tear very quickly with rough play especially the ones you get at these RM5 stores so unless you’re willing to fork out money to replace your children’s toys frequently, skip these cheapo toys.
We’re pretty sure you’ve heard horror stories involving leaking batteries and some that explode. Good batteries don’t come cheap so you’ve got to wonder how long these batteries really do last. Most generic batteries that you purchase from nightmarkets or ringgit stores are made of carbon zinc and are prone to leakage which can result in damaging your electronics.
Scrapbook material can be quite pricey but at Daiso, you can get stamp pads, markers, fancy design tapes, stickers, ribbons and felt fabric in all colors and textures for your little masterpiece. We won’t recommend the markers or pens though because you can get those for as cheap as RM2 or RM3 at bookstores.
You can also get photoframes for cheap and spruce them up by decorating them using sequins, stones or even by giving it a good coat of paint.
Clothing and wearables
Neckties, bathroom slippers, aprons, socks, pantyhose, scarves and underwear, these are some of the clothing items that one can purchase from these RM5 stores and they’re just as good as those you purchase from proper stores. Of course, don’t expect the quality to be spectacular.
Avoid wet tissues or toilet paper because they’re way overpriced and are ridiculously thin. Read: single ply. In fact, the wet tissues seem to have dried up on the way from the manufacturers. Opt to purchase from your usual hypermarkets or pharmacies for better value. However we find their cotton swabs and cotton pads to be rather reasonable in quality and uniquely padded for exfoliation purposes.
Food and beverages
Unless you’re really craving for a little taste of Japan, RM5 for a little bottle of tea or tiny bag of Japanese chips is simply not worth it. The portions are tiny and you can get a proper meal instead.
Pet collars, litter box liners and food bowls are relatively cheap compared to those found at pet stores. There are also corrugated box scratch boards but those are filmsy and not well made. We also don’t recommend getting them those cheap snacks because at that price, you never know what goes in it. You’re better off preparing a fresh meal for kitty.
You can’t go wrong with hairbands to combs to mirrors, so don’t worry about stocking up on hair accessories from these places. They also offer a ton of unique items from face brushes and silicon pads (for exfoliating), hand creams, bath gels, pumice stones and face towels.
We haven’t tried microwaving containers from Daiso yet but they’re pretty durable so far and come in all shapes and sizes. They also carry a wide array of cutleries, kitchen utensils, plates, glasses and mugs so if you’re looking to fill up your new home for cheap, here’s the place to go. Do invest in better quality knives though because the ones that you get for RM5 require frequent sharpening and are pretty bendy.
You know what they say about skincare and makeup products, don’t be cheap on them if you can. You can get cheap makeup tools from brushes to sponges to eyelash curlers. Makeup products like eyeliner and eyeshadow can appear rather opaque and sheer whilst the eyeliner isn’t as pigmented as we’d like them to be plus there’s a lot of fallout form the shadows. Skip the makeup bases, foundation and blushes because cheap products can cause skin problems and you don’t want to spend more money fixing your skin later on.
In conclusion, these RM5 Japanese stores are great value for money but not everything is worth the price you pay and the attractive price can result in you dropping more stuff in your shopping basket than you really need. Just because it’s RM5, doesn’t mean it’s a great deal.
Make a list of what you need at home before heading out and set yourself a budget and stick to it. It’s okay to be cheap, but be smart about it!