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Dollar Stores: What to Buy & What to Avoid

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Dollar Stores: What to Buy & What to Avoid


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.

Also Check Out: What Would You Do If You Won The Lottery?

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Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.


+ add your own
6:38AM PDT on Mar 28, 2013

thank you

4:58PM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

Thanks for the info! Will definately keep it in mind the next time I'm at the Dollar Store!

8:43AM PDT on Jul 9, 2012

Good to know. I've a friend who loves! the dollar store. Nice to know what things may be wise to avoid purchasing there.

9:04PM PDT on Jul 6, 2012


11:16AM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

Agree about discretion at the dollar store but am so grateful for a lot of what they sell.

10:34AM PDT on May 29, 2012

Buy a lot of stuff in dollar store only exceptions kids toys from china because of the warnings of lead paint.Same with food stuffs as well & cosmetics.But paper products,Bd cards,ect I buy.Save me a lot of money.

8:46AM PDT on May 29, 2012

dollar stores can be a teacher's best friend! as with everything one buys, a shopper must be diligent and selective.
there are name brand items in my store along with some i have gotten to trust over time. some items are not well made or can be bought at a grocery/wholesale store much cheaper if you check the unit pricing. we buy our magnifing glasses, or "cheaters" as my husband calls them, because i want a pair in every room! bags of candy turn over quickly and are a good buy, as are wine glases to personalize and paint, gift bags, and one-time use pool party items. i also have always been lucky with the batteries.
avoid most cosmetics, pet items, baggies of all sizes,some cleaning products (watered down), and some plastic products that are very cheaply made.
some items are just a matter of personal choice; such as toiletries.

just about everyone i know has a budget and shop where they can to live within their means, especially when on a fixed income. no one should crticize their choices until they understand the situation others may be facing on a daily basis. actually, some of those i know who are quite well-off shop at $ stores because they like to save money too!
thanks for article

12:37AM PDT on May 29, 2012

We in Ireland call them Euro shops, I love them, like a kid in a sweetshop..

5:48PM PDT on May 20, 2012

Dollars store aren't bad for many things, no reason for people to get snarky

8:49PM PDT on May 17, 2012

I also buy here. Cleaning supplies, shampoos, but not edible items, although I see families buying can goods, cereal, frozen foods,snacks, cookies, etc. The family in front of me at the checkout spent over $50. To each his own.....Live and let live!

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