With such a curious title, I'm expecting to discover something straight out of Harry Potter or mythological folklore.
But surely the green and white shop that sandwiches Sports Soccer and Cash Converters is about as secretive as Kerry Katona's love life.
My guilty secret
I frequent all of the pound and discount stores. Poundland, Poundworld, 99p Stores, Everything's a Pound and Poundstretcher (don't be fooled by this last one, most items are actually more than £1).
|Bound for Poundland|
But these days it's socially acceptable to come out of the checkout isn't it?
The first shops created a refreshing change. Less sophisticated than Wilko/s or Woolies (how I miss you, and Big W).
But cheap as Iceland chips.
Eventually Mom stopped asking how much items were.
Now these stores are everywhere. Poundland's End-on-sea. Although, they're always a little more civilised when you're on holiday.
Sound as a pound
Poundshops are common. Sense. Their prices are kind to my pocket and why pay more?
These stores have catered to my every need, through various chapters of my life and special occasions.
Pregnancy (a Spiderman rubber ring), babies (branded wet wipes), Valentine's (you can't go wrong with an 'I heart you' Toblerone, even on February 15th) and Mother's Day (2 cards for £1, that's both Moms covered).
The knack is knowing what to buy and when to go.
Oh, and taking a hessian shopper, if you don't want to be seen with a Poundland bag...
Have you got the time?
Only the brave would venture into this foreign land at peak time.
Pensioners aimlessly strolling around, examining the shortbread and tinned ham.
The cries of children begging for just one more packet of Scampi Fries for lunch.
Go of a morning, while Jeremy Kyle is still conducting a live DNA test.
Or late afternoon, while the kids are washing down kebabs with full fat coke.
A different class
It's supposed to bring no shame, but when I see a Mom from school we do have an awkward moment near the Simon Webbe autobiographies.
I pray that she doesn't think I feed my kids on Skips and Pink Panther wafers.
This array of artificial edibles is clearly my husband's lunch.
Pound shops have become socially acceptable. In the same way as Primark (Primarni, Primarche) is now: "Totes cool" in a pisstaking (sorry, ironic) way, babes. More cute and kitsch than necessity.
My John Lewis loving Aunt finds pound shops very "gauche" (she means cheap) and waits outside while I run in for a jumbo roll of kitchen towel.
However, I swear one birthday she bought the boys teddies from that very store. I bet she made the cashier's day trying to pay with her House of Fraser card.
What to buy
The thrill of a bargain. There is such a diverse range.
I usually visit for specific items. Generally, branded goods.
They're also great for seasonal decorations, arts and crafts, stocking fillers and so much more.
Recently, I bought a pair of sunglasses. Not sure if they are UV protected, but who cares? They were £1, baby.
Sometimes you reach the till and realise it is even more of a bargain. Three for £1 (Diet Coke) or four (Pepsi Max - less superior than Coke? I never did pass the taste test challenge).
So what if the customers behind want to maim you?
Go back and grab that extra pouch of Felix.
"It's only a pound"
Six carrier bags threaten my circulation.
"It's only a pound." So I buy 'essentials' like a scalp massager, pasta measurer and the best of 911 CD 'At your service'.
I'm not stupid. I don't buy my entire shop here, otherwise we really would be living off Curly Wurlies and Fray Bentos pies (my husband is not averse to this mental image).
I whizz past the bleach and air fresheners. Remember, they are only 79 pence in Lidl while Tesco are doing 3 for 2 at the moment.
And their economy brands: Basics or Savers. My own brand: Struggling
Sometimes it's soul destroying to buy an item in a 'proper shop' only to see it in a pound store.
Once I bought my friend's daughter a book for Christmas from TK Maxx only to see it in Poundland a week later.
Maybe that's why she bought us an 'Images of inner city Birmingham - the 1990s' calendar the following year.
What not to buy
Plastic fantastic tat that falls apart, including the unofficial kids merchandise like Thunder Mcking, Cretaceous Age 3 and Mushi Monstrocities.
Short sell by dates are a dicey game, as are jumbo sized bottles of well known products. Including the washing up liquid that I can't imagine Nanette Newman endorsing.
Pregnancy testing kits, contraception, hair dyes, skincare (fake tan) and medicine are among the items I may not buy, after the incident with the rash. I'm not saying it was related to the product, it's just I could not translate the Slovak.
But I know what to expect. I have my eyes wide open.
The queues can be scary, but they move faster than a Chav at a Bright House sale.
One man pays in pennies and another tries to pay for one can of Lynx by Switch.
Meanwhile, the assistants try to interest you in a mass clearance buy of Easter Eggs - even though it's September.
They do returns too. One shopper brought back a can of WD40 because she had seen it for less at the 99p store. In the end, they price matched it.
The price we pay
How do they do it? Where did they come from? Who made them? Is it encouraging the disposable generation and is it quality verses cost?
I'm not sure, but many depend on these stores. They still represent good VFM in these credit crunching times.
I suspect tonight's expose will investigate all of the above and reveal that somebody is being exploited.
Is that the secret?
Or will they discover checkout 9 and 3/4 and find that a goblin in a green and white outfit with a penchant for multi pack Picnic bars runs the store?