As much as I love the dollar store, there are some items you probably shouldn’t bother with, as the value doesn’t quite stand up. A relative term, for sure… it’s $2.50 someplace else, a dollar here, but it’s probably only worth 79 cents. Are you actually going to make a trip back to return it? You will spend more on gas!
Nevertheless, value is value, so let’s take a look at items to avoid, as listed by Wisebread.com…
Dollar Store Don’ts…
- Anything With a Plug: forging that “UL Approved” label is not unheard of. About the only electrical thing I buy here is lightbulbs.
- Food Storage Bags, Aluminum Foil, and Cling Wrap: Sometimes you have to buy 4 boxes to get as many bags or feet of wrap as you would at Walmart, so you aren’t really saving.
- Kitchen Utensils: For a college dorm or your niece’s first apartment, maybe. For regular grownups, no.
- Vitamins and other drugs: Not dangerous, but sometimes lacking ingredients, sometimes past their expiration and, again, there may be very few in the bottle compared to the grocery store or pharmacy
- Toys: There are so many safety regulations for toys, and some of the dollar-store kind come from far, far away, if you know what I mean.
- Tools: Been there. Planning to use that screwdriver exactly once? Buy it at the dollar store!
A general note, courtesy of Me: Along the lines of “how many aspirin are in the dollar bottle?” I often consider how much they had to shrink the product to make it possible to sell for a dollar. If you have to buy 3 or 4 of them, are you saving? (I’m asking!)
Also, I am generally wary of anything in the store that costs UNDER a dollar. I think “One Dollar” is a powerful psychological cue. If everything else in your basket costs a dollar, then you won’t mind (or even notice) that the can of peas you are paying 85 cents for is actually 60 cents at Walmart!
So, that’s the lowdown. Again, I LOVE the dollar store. But if you shop it smarter, you can enjoy it even more! What are YOUR dollar store do’s and don’ts? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!