Over on theEtsy forums there was a furor over shopping at the 99c stores. I contributed:
"The 99 cent store is just this generation's Five & Dime"
Taking our allowance, or coins from earning chores, to the Five & Dime gave use the 'buying power' life lesson. Didn't you get the feeling of directing your own destiny buying whatever you could with your own money? (Of course I think we mostly bought candy and little toys!)
I let my kids take their dollar(s) to the 99c store for the same lesson. They learn if something is a good choice and lasts, or how to save longer for a higher quality product if it doesn't last.
Of course they still try to buy candy, but I only let them get sugarless gum!