If you’re looking to save on every day items the dollar store is a great place to start but…they don’t always have the best deals. When comparing sizes and quality of products there are times where your dollar can go further elsewhere. Here’s our list of items to avoid at the dollar store.
10 Items Not to Buy at the Dollar Store
Or, go here to see our list of 67 things you SHOULD buy at the dollar store.
Canned Goods – My kitchen pantry is stocked with canned goods, because we buy them when they’re on sale. Often you can score canned goods for half off on sales at the grocery store where they can be as low as $0.25!
Soda – Dollar Stores typically charge $1 for a 1 liter bottle of soda. This is not a good deal because you can score a 2 liter bottle for $1 at the grocery store when it goes on sale. I’ve even seen name brand soda such as Coke and Sprite on sale for $1.
Pens – At Walmart you can score a pack of 15 ball point pens for $0.74 while the Dollar Tree has a 10 ct. pack selling for $1.That’s a difference of $.05 per pen! Buying pens at the dollar store is actually more expensive, especially when you’re choosing between generic brands.
Dog Food – Dollar General has Purina Prime Cut dog food for $.80 per 13.2 oz can but you can get the exact same product for only $0.59 at Stop & Shop. If you’re looking to score deals on pet food you’re better off visiting bulk stores such as Costco or looking for coupons at local pet supply stores. The Dollar Store usually doesn’t have a great selection OR the best price.
Chewing Gum – 20 sticks of gum for $1 ($.05 per stick) or 54 sticks for $2.24 ($.04 per stick)? It’s only one cent difference but you’re still score a better deal when you buy gum in bulk at the store. The dollar store advertises that they’re selling 4 packs of gum but these packs only contain 5 pieces each! Being able to have a larger pack of gum (usually 18 pieces) and not carry four at a time would be worth buying the larger packs at the store.
Folders – The dollar store offers a good deal on two-pocket folders with a 3-pack costing only $1 but you can often find better deals elsewhere. Right now, you can score Office Max Brand two pocket folders for $0.1 each! That’s $.03 for three folders compared to $1! While you can’t always find 1 cent folders you can score better deals elsewhere. I grew up with 3 brothers and sisters so my mom would always buy us plain colored folders in bulk. You can get 25 two-pocket folders for just $3.75 at Staples which works out to about $0.15 per folder. That’s less than half of the dollar store’s price of $0.33 per folder. If you’re looking to buy in bulk the dollar store is not your best bet.
Toothpaste – While $1 for a tube of toothpaste may seem like a great deal, you might not be getting the most for your money. The Dollar Tree sells a 3.5 oz tube of anti-cavity Crest toothpaste for $1 ($0.28 oz.) BUT you can get three 6.4 oz tubes of the same brand at Walmart for $5 ($0.26 oz.). If you go for the cheaper brand of Aims toothpaste the difference is a little greater. The Dollar Tree sells a 6 oz. tube of Aims for $1 BUT you can get a 4 pack of the same brand for $3.40 which equals $0.85 a tube.
Dry Pasta – Generic Brand pasta at the grocery store is often on sale for two for $1 making them half price compared to dollar store brands. Even when it’s not on sale though, generic pasta at the store is under $1 (my store’s brand is normally $.89).
Toothbrushes – At Stop & Shop you can score six toothbrushes for $2.79 ($0.47 each) while at the Dollar Tree they are 2 for $1 ($0.50 each).
Sandwich Bags – The Dollar Tree has 20 ct. packs of sandwich bags for $1 but you can score a 50 ct. pack from Stop & Shop for only $1.69. That’s more than double the amount of bags for only $0.69 more! This comes out to a $0.5 or $0.3 per bag. Buying more is ultimately the better deal.
Seeing a $1 price tag makes it hard to believe that there could be a better deal out there, but sometimes there are indeed greater bargains at other retailers. When buying items at the dollar store it’s important to consider quantity and quality instead of just the price tag. What products do you avoid at the dollar store?