16 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store

Don't let that cheap price tempt you: Sometimes you really do get what you pay for.


VitaminsJinning Li/Shutterstock
While the $1 price may be appealing, you don't truly know exactly what you're getting in generic dollar store vitamin bottles. Vitamins and supplements might optimize your health if you take them correctly. Here's what you need to know about popping those pills safely.


Skip both perishable and non-perishable foods items. "With perishable and packaged foods (including candy and drinks), freshness and quality can be questionable, so proceed with caution," says Trae Bodge, a smart shopping expert at truetrae.com. Check out these 19 can't-miss tricks to saving at the supermarket.

Skin-care products

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Dollar store skin-care products are similar to dollar store vitamins—you don't know what's inside the packing. But that doesn't mean you need to spend a fortune to have good skin. Dermatologists agree, save your money and skip these expensive beauty supplies.


According to Bodge (and most skin-care experts), SPF degrades over time, and that dollar store tube might be expired. Or the package says SPF 30, but it's really SPF 15. "It's hard to tell how long these products have been sitting on the shelves, and it's not worth the risk," says Bodge. Follow these 7 rules when using sunscreen and you'll never have to deal with a burn again.

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Baby products

You want to provide your child with the best and safest products available on the market, which unfortunately means you should avoid the dollar store. Again, the issue is quality; you never know what you're getting. New to motherhood? Here are 9 bizarre facts about newborns that will amaze you.


ToysAfrica Studio/Shutterstock
Don't let the toy aisle tempt you or your kids—while a dollar store doll might look just like a Barbie, it's not the same. "Quality matters when you're dealing with toys, especially for babies and little kids who could choke on small or broken pieces of the toy," says Andrea Woroch, consumer finance expert. And always check for consumer recalls on any toys to ensure your child's safety, no matter where you purchased them from, she suggests.


knifeRoman Volkow/Shutterstock
Ninety-nine cent knives may seem like a steal, but considering they're dangerous to use and will most likely break after a few uses, they're better left on the shelves. "Some items in the kitchen section like food storage containers are a good buy," says Woroch. "However, when it comes to knives, it's a big no-no since these won't be sharp; dull knives can be very dangerous plus they won't get the job done!"

Pet food

Don't skimp on your furry friend. If you wouldn't buy your food at the dollar store, you probably shouldn't buy your pet's food at the dollar store either. Find out how much it really costs to own a dog.

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Our experts agree: $1 batteries probably won't last very long. If you want your batteries to last the advertised time, buy them from a reputable vendor. "Cheap batteries may leak and damage your gadgets," warns Woroch. "Save by purchasing these from the warehouse store for the best deal or use a coupon."


If you're looking for costume jewelry, then shop away, but if you're looking for pieces that will last, you probably won't find that for a $1. "Skip jewelry. The quality won't be there," Bodge says. In the market for a nice piece of jewelry? Here are 13 money-saving hacks your jeweler won't tell you.

Plastic cooking ware

Plastic-spoonsS Van Ha Conlon/Shutterstock
If you want to avoid plastic spoons melting into your soup or your kitchen mitts catching on fire, (and who doesn't?) your best bet is to spend a little extra on cooking ware that will last. "This is tricky category because we use heat with so many of these items, whether we are cooking with them or using them in the microwave or dishwasher," says Bodge. "Because the materials can be questionable, adding heat is a wild card because that's when toxins can be released."


Medicine and the dollar store should be words that never go together. Besides not knowing what exact pills are in that $1 bottle, the medicine could be expired and can make you even more sick. Good health is no joke. Here are 35 of the latest and greatest health tips to help you live your best life.

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Liquid detergent

sudsPetrovskii Ian/Shutterstock
You don't want to spend all day doing laundry only to realize that your detergent is expired, and your clothes still look dingy. "Skip liquid detergents, unless there is an expiration date," she warns. "Liquid detergents tend to lose their efficacy over time so if the product has been on the shelf for over a year, it won't be as effective." Be sure to avoid these other laundry mistakes.

Feminine products

Tampons, pads, panty liners, pregnancy tests, and feminine hygiene products, like washes, should all be purchased from a reputable store or pharmacy. You definitely don't want to put something in or on your body that is full of toxins. PSA: Your vagina wants you to know these 13 things.

Power cords

power-cordMrs ya/Shutterstock
Woroch recommends purchasing electronics, like chargers, HDMI cords, power strips, etc. from an electronic retailer or online for cheaper prices. "Always look for the UL label to ensure its safety, and skip the dollar store for such needs," she advises. "My father-in-law purchased a cheap cord for his laptop thinking he scored a deal. An hour later his laptop crashed!"


Scissors that aren't sharp enough to cut a piece of paper, a hammer that breaks after one hit, and nails that bend way too easily: These are just a few of the problems you may encounter with dollar store tools. Plus, you're less likely to find tool experts at the dollar store.

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