Dollar stores are a great resource for shoppers on a budget — most of the time. There are a number of great deals to be found on items that are on par quality-wise with regular stores, but there are also some products that really aren’t worth the risk. Moreover, sometimes the prices at dollar stores aren’t even cheaper than at your local supermarket!
Do you have any tips and tricks about navigating the dollar store? Let us know in the comments section!
Click through for tips on what to buy and what to steer clear of at the dollar store.
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What to Buy
Cleaning Supplies The fact of the matter is, dollar store cleaning supplies are generally the same quality as at the grocery store, but with a way cheaper price tag.
Shampoo The same goes for shampoo as goes for cleaning supplies. In general, price doesn’t affect quality.
Paper products Paper towels and napkins are usually cheaper at the dollar store. One caveat, however — sometimes the cost per unit can be cheaper at the grocery store, particularly when the product is on sale. Do a little research before switching to dollar store paper products.
Greeting Cards and Wrapping Paper If you’re not as concerned about the quality of the paper stock, gift wrap and greeting cards are a steal.
Socks Why bother paying more for socks when you’re bound to lose one or both? Skip the department store socks and stock up at the dollar store!
Coloring Books Because paper quality isn’t as much of an issue here, you can find coloring books for a few dollars off.
What Not to Buy
Food Without an Expiration Date Don’t ever buy food without an expiration date, particularly from the dollar store — you don’t know where it’s coming from, and how long it’s been sitting on the shelf.
Vitamins & Medicine Same principle applies here. In addition, vitamins may not have as many nutrients as advertised; medicines may not list where they were manufactured. Pass!
Pens & Pencils The poor quality of dollar store pens and pencils makes them totally not worth it. Wait until the Back to School stuff goes on sale to score great deals on pens, pencils, and other school supplies!
Toys They’re made cheaply and sometimes have questionable materials, so you’ll want to steer clear of dollar store toys.
Aluminum Foil If you’ve ever used cheap tin foil, you’ll know that it’s totally not worth the savings. It’s far too thin and tears way too easily.
Batteries Run away from cheap dollar store batteries. They’re usually not made with lithium, and thus won’t last as long. Not. Worth. It!