Five fun gadgets from the dollar store

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When you think of electronics, you don't normally think of the dollar store but I found five cool gadgets that impressed me, considering that each one was only a buck. Well, maybe I'm easy to impress. See what you think.

  • Hand-held game system with eight different games. The games have blocky black and white graphics but it would serve to entertain a kid in the backseat of the car on a long trip and it's better than shelling out up to $130 for a Nintendo DS or $170 for a PSP.
  • Folding travel clock/calculator with 16 different time zones. Okay, so our cell phones do everything but serve lunch but this is still a neat little gadget for a buck. It makes a great desk accessory.

  • Emerson battery-operated cell phone charger. This is a neat little gizmo that lets you charge on the run using one AA battery. It comes in two different models, one that powers most Sprint, Samsung, Sanyo and LG phones and one that powers most Motorola and Nokia phones. Each one comes with four different adapters and you can try each of the different plugs from the back of the package before you plunk down your dollar bill. I've used one for my LG and can tell you that it charges very rapidly, but don't trust the battery that comes with it to last very long. Even hubby's Blackberry Curve can be charged on one of these. The closest thing I could find online was the Nokia or LG Cellboost at a cost of $9.49.
  • Laser pointer key chain. Staples sells laser pointers for $19 and up. They're larger, of course but, in the end, the dollar store find performs the same function. It runs on three button batteries, included.
  • Lighted tweezers with magnifier. Batteries included. The dollar store model isn't as compact as the one Avon sells for $10.00 but it works. As well as using it for its original purpose, this would be a great tool to have around for removing splinters.

Now it's your turn. What electronics have you been surprised to find in a dollar store?

Marlene Alexander is a freelance writer and dollar store diva. She writes about budget decorating using only items from the dollar store.

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