15 Things To Buy And 15 To Avoid In Dollar Stores

A trip to a dollar store sometimes feels like a treasure hunt. Some items are worth much more than their price tag, but for others, you should really invest a bit more in quality alternatives. Here are the 15 things you should buy at a dollar store and the 15 you should avoid!

1. TO BUY: HAIR ACCESSORIES

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Bobby pins, headbands and all sorts of hair accessories always get lost somewhere at some point, not to mention they won't last long anyway. Then, why not save some cash and stock up from the dollar store? 

2. TO BUY: GREETING CARDS

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It is always the message that people value the most, not the greeting cards themselves. Stop spending pointless money on fancy cards, since it may not be appreciated any more than a thoughtful greeting. 

3. TO BUY: PARTY SUPPLIES

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Disposable plates, straws, cups, balloons, napkins and more are must-haves for parties. Dollar stores have huge party selections, all for a buck per pack. You can save more than 70% on those one-time items. 

4. TO BUY: CLEANING SUPPLIES

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You can usually find popular cleaning product brands like Tide and Clorox, as well as all sorts of rubber gloves, sponges and plastic buckets in dollar stores. Spending less money on those items you will regularly use is a great idea!

5. TO BUY: DISPOSABLE BAKING PANS & BAKING SHEETS

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Disposable baking pans and baking sheets can not only be used for regular baking, but also for picnics, BBQs or for other creative uses in the kitchen. Next time try to buy those from dollar stores, saving you both money and energy.

6. TO BUY: PUZZLES & BOARD GAMES

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Puzzles and board games are prone to breaking easily, especially when you have kids. At the end of the day, the main reason for buying them is having fun with your friends and family, so there's no need to buy expensive ones.

7. TO BUY: SEASONAL DECOR

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Seasonal decorative items will only be put on display for a few weeks each year, so it is not worth spending a lot of money. What if you want new ones every year? It is a good deal to shop in dollar stores for all those kinds of decorations. 

8. TO BUY: GIFT WRAP

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Wrapping paper will be torn off the gift right away anyways, so why not save some money and buy cheaper paper? There are many options when it comes to cute gift wrap in dollar stores throughout the year. 

9. TO BUY: DISH TOWELS & WASHCLOTHS 

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Dish towels and washcloths will get stained or burnt eventually, so it is convenient to stock up on some backup ones. Thus, dollar stores are the best place to get these items, they’re cheap but still get the job done!

10. TO BUY: DISHWARE

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Cheap dishware serves its purpose well enough. For those on a tight budget or even if you’re a bit clumsy, you can save a lot of money going for the cheaper stuff. You may even be surprised by the range of choices you can find in dollar stores!

11. TO BUY: COFFEE FILTERS

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For most people, coffee is essential in life. No matter if it's in the office or at home, coffee filters can be frequently used for making coffee and even more things. Since it's disposable items, choosing dollar store ones will save you a lot of money. 

12. TO BUY: PICTURE FRAMES

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It's sweet to put family photos out there, but sometimes, you may get sick of the frames easily after a while. If you buy expensive ones, it would be a tough choice to change them into new ones. So go buy those from dollar stores, and you won't feel too bad when you want some new changes at home.

13. TO BUY: COTTON SWABS & PADS

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Many consumers consider that cotton swabs and pads in dollar stores don't really have much of a difference from branded ones. If you use them a lot for daily makeup, it would save you some cash. 

14. TO BUY: TOTE BAGS

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Reusable tote bags come in handy for achieving environmentally-friendly goals. There are a variety of reusable bags made of different fabrics for you to choose in dollar stores. They are great options to use for grocery shopping, school, and work. 

15. TO BUY: VASES

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Vases are not only for keeping flowers alive but more for decorative purposes, which means you may get bored of them after a while. When it comes to decorative things, dollar stores have so many pretty choices for different occasions. You don't have to feel wasteful when changing them.

16. NOT TO BUY: ELECTRONICS

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Electronics, including headphones, HDMI cords, and USB chargers, you really should invest a bit more instead of getting them from dollar stores. Typically, cheap ones won't survive daily use, and can even lead to safety issues. 

17. NOT TO BUY: MEDICATIONS/SUPPLEMENTS

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Medications or supplements definitely show up on the "don't buy" list for dollar stores, since they are typically less trustworthy than those from pharmacies or supermarkets. That’s of course unless they’re well-known brands. Also be careful, as you may end up paying more for fewer pills without realizing it.  

18. NOT TO BUY: FOOD CONTAINERS

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Maybe storage containers, but food containers are must-not-buys for sure. When dealing with everything around food, you should be extra careful about the materials and ingredients. According to certain reports, there are possible harmful chemicals in dollar store items. 

19. NOT TO BUY: TOYS

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As for toys, you get what you pay for. Cheap toys are easier to break, which can cause choking hazards when kids accidentally swallow some pieces. Investing a bit more in toys is usually a sensible decision since they can be donated or given away when they're no longer needed. 

20. NOT TO BUY: SCHOOL SUPPLIES

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Apart from the possibility of a leaking pen that won't survive frequent use for students, there are a lot better offers in supermarkets with bigger packs on sale around school seasons. You'll end up saving more money and taking home better products. 

21. NOT TO BUY: KNIVES

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Buy knives in dollar stores only if you don't need to use them frequently. However, if you plan to cook regularly, it would be more than worth it while investing in a good set of knives. Cheap ones may be dull and difficult to use, or even worse, they can be poorly made and dangerous. 

22. NOT TO BUY: DEODORANT

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Although you may find a variety of familiar brands for deodorant and body spray, they may actually be smaller in size than the regular-sized ones in supermarkets. If you don't pay extra attention to it and buy the smaller version, and you may lose out on better offers from elsewhere. 

23. NOT TO BUY: TOOLS

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You typically expect your tools to last for years so that they'll be ready and reliable when you have an emergency. Thus, cheap ones should not be your first choice when shopping for tools, not to mention they can cause injury if they break. 

24. NOT TO BUY: PLASTIC COOKING UTENSILS

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Plastic cooking utensils from dollar stores might contain bromine, which is also known as BFRs. This harmful element is linked to cancer, birth defects, and brain issues. Thus, try to avoid buying those and get proper steel ones instead.

25. NOT TO BUY: PET FOOD/TREATS

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You may want to avoid buying pet food and treats from dollar stores since they may contain certain ingredients that aren’t good for your pet. Besides, you need to pay extra attention to the expiration dates. After all the effort, you may still discover better deals at regular stores. 

26. NOT TO BUY: BATTERIES

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Although batteries in dollar stores can be branded ones, they tend to be poorly manufactured and empty quickly, or worse, they would leak. Thus, you should always buy batteries from brands you trust and don't go for cheap ones. 

27. NOT TO BUY: STEAKS

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Getting steaks from dollar stores is not specifically a good idea because they are either close to expire date or lack of taste and quality. For your own health, don’t go for cheap food options.

28. NOT TO BUY: CONDIMENTS

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You may not tell a big difference by looking at ketchup and mustard in dollar stores from regular ones, but they're not the same. Believe it or not, the same product actually costs more at dollar stores. 

29. NOT TO BUY: MAKEUP PRODUCTS

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You may want to avoid buying makeup products at dollar stores. They probably contain harmful chemicals or already pass the best before date. Don't risk your face for only a few bucks cheaper.

30. NOT TO BUY: GUM

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Don't panic if you are a frequent gum buyer at dollar stores. There is nothing wrong about the gum itself, but if you are a big gum chewer, you may want to buy it from regular stores because they cost less than dollar store ones.

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