Everybody keeps telling us how great the economy is doing, I don't know about you, but I need to keep pinching pennies and all over the country one of the best places to do that is at a Dollar Store (or Dollar Tree). It's also a great spot if you're feeling “crafty”. But before you make that next trip to your dollar store. There are a few things you might want to think twice about getting. 

I know $1.25 sounds like a great deal. But according to several major publications that is not quite the case. Here are 11 items you might want to avoid. The next time you go to the dollar store. 


Medical capsule with fruit and vegetables. Vitamins and supplements. Different fruit in capsule. Flat style, vector illustration.

One of the things you need to remember when you're looking at vitamins versus medications is that vitamins are considered a supplement. So, they don't go through the kind of review process you might expect. Many sources including Reader’s Digest and USA Today, suggest that you should be skeptical. About what is contained in those pills. It's been a few years, but Consumer Reports did their tests and found that. Of brand dollar store vitamins labels weren't accurate. 

Laundry Soap 

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You don't even need to be looking at off brand laundry detergent. Here's an example. The Dollar Store has tied clean and fresh. 10 oz. Bottle.  a $1.25. At Walmart, you can find a 31 oz. Bottle. Of the same detergent. For $3.44. About. If you do the math, the Walmart purchase is $0.02 an ounce cheaper. 


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At the dollar store you will see generic brand batteries for the most part made with carbon zinc. Unfortunately, they don't last very long. If you do find name brand batteries, watch out. Reader’s Digest says that Dollar Stores frequently end up with batteries from bigger stores that have been on the shelves too long and don't meet their standards anymore. by the time you get to them they're probably too close to their expiration date. 

Canned Foods 

Set of various canned foods in tin cans on kitchen table, non-perishable, long shelf life food for survival in emergency conditions concept

Much like detergents, Now that dollar stores have raised their prices to $1.25. You will find similar products at cheaper prices at Walmart or your favorite grocery store. Keep a close look at the expiration date as well. 


Electronic Accessories 

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I can't even count the number of USB cables I've purchased over the years. And if it's a cable going to an Apple device, be very careful. The cables you find as replacements at a dollar store. The cables you find as replacements at a dollar store are manufactured cheaply with thinner wire and cheap insulation. Those types of cables can be easily overloaded and even cause fire. Most off-brand cables for Apple devices won't even work.  

Oven Mitts 

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I honestly can't remember the last time I bought oven mitts. Oven mitts at the Dollar Tree are made from thinner material and makes it easier to burn your hands. spend a little more money in be safer. 


Woman hand holding kitchen knife. Isolated on white background.

Bob Vila’s website says that the blades on dollar store knives are usually dull and dull blades lead to more cooking accidents. Something else you might notice is that with a low-grade steel these knives won't take an edge. 


Dry wholegrain cheerios in a cereal bowl

Normally you'll see a fairly large selection of name brand cereals on the shelf at dollar stores. but pay attention to the size of the containers. A 3.1 oz bag for $1.25 when you cost it out per oz. could these eighteen cents an ounce more expensive than the same serial from a larger container at your favorite store. 

Toilet Paper 

Stack of white tissue paper rolls.
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Think about this, Life is too short to buy cheap one ply toilet paper. You'll go through way more sheets and you're behind will not thank you. Yes, you can go to the dollar store and buy Charmin Essentials for $1.25 A roll but if you go to your favorite grocery store, you could save up to 33 cents a roll buying in quantity. 


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OK, here's another one I haven't purchased in a while. Notebooks weren’t a great value at the dollar store before and now that the price is to $1.25, they’re really not a great value. You can get the same basic one-subject notebook at any area Walmart for just $.97. 


Sunscreen on orange background. Plastic bottle of sun protection and white sun-shaped cream.

When you're making your way up to Lake Chelan. It's easy to stop by the dollar store and pick up some sunscreen. You might want to go to Albertsons or Safeway instead. Bob Vila’s website says that some SPF levels have been mislabeled. Sometimes name brand products might not be such a great value. The 1 oz. Banana Boat Sport sunscreen Dollar Tree has for $1.25 can be found for as low as $.97 at Walmart during the peak of the summer. 

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Well, that's our list of 11. But you know what? I bet you could find a few more items that might be cheaper buying in larger volumes. Spend your money wisely. And save where you can. 

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