Woman Shopping in Dollar Store

15 Items to Never Buy at Dollar Stores

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Dollar stores have a great reputation among bargain seekers. They’re ideal to get various household items without spending a lot of money. Most items cost just one dollar but are they worth it? Some discounts are really good if you have a tight budget. However, many things should never be purchased at dollar stores because of poor quality. When you’re browsing the dollar store, it’s important to remember that it’s like searching for hidden treasure. You can’t realistically expect every bargain to be worth the purchase.

If you want to be more selective and spend your money smartly, check out the items that you should never buy at dollar stores.

1. Knives

Packaged Knife at Dollar Store

A good quality knife needs a sharp blade to be reliable at its job. The knives you can get at dollar stores are typically way too dull to be useful. The poor build quality can also affect your safety. Cheap knives often feature poorly-designed handles that can let the blade slide out after many uses. It’s better to invest in a well-built knife with a sharp blade to minimize the risk of injuries.

2. Snacks

Snacks at Dollar Store

Junk food is usually unhealthy everywhere but the snacks are dollar stores can be even worse. Aside from the multitude of preservatives and dubious additives, cheap snacks could be really disappointing in terms of taste. Consider visiting regular stores and searching for snack discounts there if you’re on a budget. Some treats like soda might be more expensive at dollar stores.

3. Paper Products

Toilet Paper at Dollar Store

Whether we’re talking about paper towels or toilet paper, these products can be quite disappointing when purchased from the dollar store. The paper is typically very sheer and flimsy making it difficult to use properly. The low cost can be deceiving. You might end up spending more per roll when taking into account the extra product required to compensate for the low-quality construction.

4. Batteries


Batteries lose charge the longer they sit on the shelf. There’s always a small risk of purchasing a bad batch of batteries from general retailers. However, this becomes a big problem with batteries bought from dollar stores. That small cost is attractive but this is the kind of deal that probably looks too good to be true. Dollar stores can often order old batteries from regular stores to keep the cost to a minimum. Even if they’re brand new, many cheap batteries can be poorly made and susceptible to leaking.

5. Baking Soda

Baking Soda

There’s usually no reason to buy baking soda at the dollar store. This is already an inexpensive item you can find at most general stores. You don’t really save any money by getting this versatile household product from a dollar store. Instead, you might end up with poor-quality baking soda.

6. Oven Mitts

Cheaply Made Oven Mitt

When it comes to oven mitts, construction quality can make a significant difference to minimize the risk of getting burned. If you buy an oven mitt from the dollar store, you will likely have to compromise on heat protection. It’s not recommended to get a cheap pair of oven mitts, especially if you’re frequently baking or using heated cookware. Flimsy mitts can be really dangerous.

7. Toys

Toys at Dollar Store

Most toys found at dollar stores are built very cheaply and will often compromise on safety. This is a considerable problem if you have small children because flimsy plastic pieces can break too easily. Dollar store toys may have attractive prices but they’re not worth it when you consider how little they last.

8. Vitamins and Supplements

Vitamins and Supplements at Dollar Store

Name-brand wellness products such as vitamins can get quite expensive. Many people see the affordable alternatives from dollar stores thinking they’re getting a great deal. It’s important to be aware of the potential drawback involving the purchase of cheap, generic vitamins and supplements. They may not respect safety regulations as thoroughly as their pricier counterparts. Some products lack the supposed active ingredients so there’s a real risk of ending up with placebo pills.

9. School Supplies

School Supplies at Dollar Store

If you’re a parent whose kid needs to return to school, you’re probably familiar with the ever-increasing list of school supplies needed. The dollar store can appear quite tempting to reduce the strain on your budget. However, it’s not a good idea to purchase school supplies from this kind of store. Many products show signs of poor quality control, especially items such as mechanical pencils or pens. It’s recommended to get your hands on bulk packs from more reputable stores to get superior value for your money.

10. Pet Food

Pet Food at Dollar Store

The health of your pet is important. It’s not recommended to compromise on the quality of pet food by opting for dollar stores products. They’re often improperly formulated and won’t be able to meet the nutritional requirements of your dog or cat. Consider buying pet food only from specialized stores. The range of products is larger and you will likely find a good deal without having to worry about quality ingredients.

11. Wedding Décor

Wedding Decorations at Dollar Store

It’s no secret that weddings are pretty costly to organize. If you’re looking to save some money on décor, it’s probably not a great idea to visit dollar stores. Many products can be flimsy and not attractive enough to work as wedding décor. Avoid the cheap look created by mass-produced fabric petals or other decorations found at dollar stores. A slightly larger investment will pay off to obtain the desired wedding look.

12. Makeup

Makeup at Dollar Store

Beauty products from famous brands are not exactly cheap. Anyone looking for alternatives might consider using dollar store makeup items. The reason why this isn’t recommended is that such products can pose multiple safety concerns. Cheap makeup relies on poor quality ingredients that might cause issues such as allergies or skin irritations. Keep in mind that makeup is used on your skin directly so you should think twice about getting very cheap products.

13. Sunscreen

Sunscreen at Dollar Store

Sunscreen is an essential accessory to grab during your summer vacation. A reliable product has to provide a solid SPF protective rating. This is where many dollar store sunscreens fail to meet expectations. The ingredients in sunscreen are quite vulnerable to long-term degradation. You need to be careful because many cheap products have such low costs because they’ve been sitting on the shelves for quite some time. That’s why buying sunscreen from the dollar store is not recommended.

14. Tools

Tools and Utensils at Dollar Store

Whether you need a new hammer, screwdriver, or any other tool, the dollar store isn’t the best place to get it. Tools have to be durable to handle various household jobs. Cheap products use low-quality materials and feature poor designs. Even though it looks like a steal, that dollar store tool will likely have to be replaced pretty soon. This means you’re not making any money savings but only increase your frustration.

15. Electronic Accessories

Phone Accessories at Dollar Store

Name-brand phone chargers are not cheap, but you might be worse off by purchasing generic dollar store alternatives. The lower cost is often explained by cutting some corners on construction quality and safety tests. Don’t shop at dollar stores for electronic accessories like phone chargers and power strips. You might put your expensive gadgets at risk by using low-quality accessories.


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