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The 20 Worst Things You Can Buy at Dollar Store

Dollar general

If you're looking for a bargain, the dollar store is the place to go. However, not everything at the dollar store is a good deal. There are quite a few things that you should avoid buying if you want to get your money's worth. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the worst things to buy at the dollar store. Stay away from these items and you'll be able to save yourself some money.

20. Canned vegetables

Canned vegetables are often old and past their expiration date. They may also be of lower quality than what you would find at the grocery store. Save your money and skip the canned vegetables at the dollar store. The risk of canned vegetables from a dollar store is expiration, which can cause botulism. Stick to fresh or frozen veggies instead. In some cases, the regular grocery store may have lower prices on some items than the dollar store.

19. Pet food

The pet food at the dollar store is often of lower quality than what you would find at a pet store or the grocery store. It may not have all of the nutrients that your pet needs and could even make them sick. According to Readers Digest, most of these pet food is made of filler ingredients that provide little to no nutritional value. Never risk the well-being of your beloved pet by feeding them dollar-store pet food. So, it’s best to avoid buying pet food at the dollar store. Experts warn about the lack of quality standards in non-name brand pet food in dollar stores.

18. Batteries

Dollar store batteries are deceiving. Often, they are of lower quality and may not last as long as name-brand batteries. If you need batteries, it's better to spend a few extra dollars and get brand-name batteries at hardware near you. According to SLICE, the short life of the dollar store batteries means you need to buy more to keep running your device. The high cost of a brand-name battery is worth its quality and life. Furthermore, the dollar store batteries may not always run the intended item. It is wise to skip it from the shopping list while shopping at a dollar store.

17. Toys

Dollar store toys are often made with cheaper materials that can easily break. In addition, they are usually lower-quality imitations of name-brand toys. If you're looking for a toy for your child, it's better to buy it from a department or toy store. The higher quality and durability are worth the extra cost. Some people may argue that you can buy your kids as many toys as you can from the local dollar store to make them happy. But, can you stand the disappointment on a child when the toy breaks on their first time of play?

16. Tools

Tools are a must-have in a house, to take care of the minor repairs that may occur. The frustration of having a tool that cannot handle your repair work when most needed is unbearable. Dollar store tools are not going to last you very long. They are made with cheaper materials and are not as durable as the tools you would find at a hardware store. The last thing you want is your tool to break in the middle of a repair job. So save yourself the headache and frustration, and do not buy tools at dollar stores. Invest in quality tools that will last you a long and make your repair jobs easier.

15. School supplies

Dollar stores are tempting when restocking school supplies for your kids. However, you are not getting the best quality products when you purchase them there. According to MoneyTalkNews, the paper is often thinner and of lower quality, meaning it won’t last as long. The same goes for notebooks, pens, and pencils. They may be cheaper upfront, but they will need to be replaced more often. It’s better to invest in higher quality school supplies that will last longer and won’t need replacement as often. Your kids will also be happier with better-quality supplies. The best deal is to buy a bulk pack at a warehouse store or wait for a sale at an office supply store.

14. Vitamins

Vitamins are an important part of keeping your body healthy and functioning. However, you should not buy vitamins at dollar stores. The quality of the vitamins is often lower and, they may not be as effective. In some cases, dollar store vitamins are contaminated with heavy metals. Look for a medical store that is registered with the state pharmacy board or the US Pharmacopeia. These stores are more likely to sell high-quality vitamins that are effective and safe. As much as the dollar store sells at very low prices, there is nothing compared to your health.

13. Plastic wraps and aluminum foil

The quality of plastic wraps and aluminum foil at dollar stores is often lower than the quality you would find at a grocery store. the foils are thinner while the plastic wrap has no cling. This means that your food will not be as well protected and may spoil more quickly. For you to protect your food well using these wraps, you will have plenty of them, meaning you will spend more. It’s better to invest in higher quality plastic wrap and aluminum foil that will last longer and do a better job of protecting your food.

12. Power cord

There are different types of power cords in dollar stores. The universal ones are not always compatible with your devices. The ones that are specific to certain devices, often don’t fit well and can be a safety hazard. According to Kiplinger, these power codes sometimes may have breakages risking both your device and you. In case you need a phone charger, extension, or power stripes, a dollar store is not the place to buy them. It is better to go to an electronics store where you are sure to find the right cord for your device.

11. Plastic bags

You have probably been told to avoid using plastic bags because they’re bad for the environment. But did you know that dollar store plastic bags are of lower quality and more likely to tear? This means that they’re not only bad for the environment, but they’re also not very good at doing their job. If you need a plastic bag, it’s better to go for branded quality bags. This includes garbage bags, reusable bags, and recycling bags.

10. Plastic cookware

Dollar store plastic cookware is of lower quality and can melt or warp more easily. This means that your food will not be cooked evenly and can stick to the pan. The handles can also break more easily, making it difficult to use the cookware. Research has shown that some plastic cooking utensils may contain chemicals that cause health problems. It is not worth the risk. Invest in quality stainless steel cookware instead.

9. Liquid detergents

The last you want is doing laundry all day only to notice your clothes are still dirty. Dollar store liquid detergents often don’t work as well as name brand detergents. They may not remove stains as well or leave your clothes smelling fresh. Liquid detergents lose their potency over time. You may need to use more of the product to get the same results, which means you will go through it faster and end up spending more money in the long run.

8. Oven mitt

An oven mitt is an important tool in the kitchen because it protects your hands from burns. But dollar store oven mitts are often made of thin fabric that doesn’t provide much insulation. This means that your hands are more likely to be burned when you use them. It’s better to invest in a quality oven mitt that will provide better protection for your hands.

7. Mac and cheese

Mac and cheese is classic comfort food that many people love. But the dollar store version is often made with lower quality cheese and noodles. According to Inspiring savings, mac and cheese from dollar stores does not taste as good as the name-brand mac and cheese. Additionally, mac and cheese are affordable at your local grocery store while they are on sale. Always take advantage of such offers.

6. Paper products

When you are in a dollar store, it is easy to be attracted to picking a few paper towels or toilet papers. Think again. As with most things in a dollar store, paper products are of lower quality. They may not be as absorbent or durable as name-brand products. In other cases, the rolls are smaller than the regular ones. You end up using more paper and spending more money on low-quality products.

5. Feminine products

Women use various feminine products such as pads, tampons, and panty liners every month. According to GoBankingGrates, these products are highly sensitive and need to be of good quality to avoid infections. However, dollar store feminine products are often made with lower-quality materials. This means that they’re more likely to cause irritation or infection. Who wants to wear something because it's cheap and then end up in a hospital? It’s better to invest in quality feminine products that will keep you healthy and comfortable.

4. Deodorants

Deodorants are an important part of many people’s daily routines. They help to control body odor and keep you feeling fresh all day. But dollar store deodorants are often made with lower quality ingredients. This means that they’re not as effective at controlling body odor. Additionally, some deodorants may contain harmful chemicals that can cause health problems. Although some of them may be labeled brand names, this is one of the products to skip in a dollar store. Look at the size and note that even a bigger version is accessible at your local drug store and you are sure of its quality.

3. Beauty products

The beauty standards are diverse and raising each day. As most people want to feel comfortable and beautiful with their bodies, beauty products are in high demand. Things like makeup, hair products, and skincare items are common purchases. However, you should avoid buying beauty products at dollar stores. This is because they’re often made with lower-quality ingredients. Additionally, some beauty products may be counterfeit or expired. This means that they can cause skin irritation or other health problems. It’s better to buy beauty products from a reputable store where you can be sure of the quality.

2. Electronics

You should never buy electronics at a dollar store. The quality is not as good, and they often don’t work as well as the name-brand versions. Even if you are just looking for a cheap, temporary replacement, it’s better to spend a few extra dollars on a quality product. Additionally, electronics from dollar stores are more likely to break and may not have a warranty. Even if you have luck purchasing at a dollar store, you'll end up disappointed plus, the risk of an electric fire breaking into your house.

1. Knives

Knives are one of the most popular items purchased at dollar stores. In the kitchen, quality and those sold at dollar stores don’t compare. The blades are often made of lower-quality metal that dulls quickly. This means that you have to replace your knives more often. Additionally, the handles are often made of poor materials that can break easily. If you’re looking for a good kitchen knife, it’s better to buy one from a reputable store.


So these are some of the products you should avoid buying at dollar stores. Although they may be cheap, they’re often made with lower-quality materials. This means that they’re not as effective or durable as name-brand products. In some cases, they may even be dangerous to your health. It’s better to spend a few extra dollars on a quality product that will last.

Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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