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13 Things You Should Probably Skip at the Dollar Store

You're at the dollar store for a quick purchase when you come across what seems like a good deal—but looks can be deceiving

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LITTLETON,COLORADO-May 12, 2004-The Dollar Tree store in Littleton is a popular place to shop. Everything costs $1.00. These $1.00 coffee mugs have an American flag and "God Bless the USA" printed under the flag. (DENVER POST PHOTO BY LYN ALWEIS) 8601 W.
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You get what you pay for

Simply with their name, dollar stores suggest they’re the go-to places for dirt-cheap prices. And in many cases, they are, and you’ll regret paying more for something you really could have gotten for a buck. In fact, these are the things you should always buy at the dollar store. But there are also plenty of items you should thinking twice about before buying, either because of the quality or because, surprisingly enough, you can get a better deal somewhere else. Here’s what you might want to skip on your next visit to the dollar store.

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Medicine and vitamins

Those packages of painkillers may seem like a good deal, but when it comes to your health, stick to name brands for medicine and vitamins, from stores you know and trust. Those sold at dollar stores may be counterfeit or expired. You can also buy vitamins from reputable brands like Nature Made on Amazon. Before you check out, take a look at these other Amazon bestsellers too.

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Kitchen knives

When it comes to buying kitchen knives, it’s best to choose quality over price. Many dollar store knives are cheaply made and dull, which may lead to cut fingers and hands. Stick to well-known brands from reputable retailers to ensure you get what you need. The best knives will get the job done efficiently, saving you time and energy, as well as last for years, so they’re definitely worth it. Here are some other things dollar store employees won’t tell you.

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That $1 pair of pliers isn’t going to hold up well. If you’re an avid DIYer, avoid buying tools at the dollar store, as they are often cheaply made, which means they will break or, even worse, may result in injuries. Instead, stick to a trusted tool retailer like Home Depot. Speaking of which, here are some things you haven’t been buying from Home Depot, but should.

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Baby food

While most baby food sold at the dollar store is just fine, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so just skip it. Some may be expired, and it’s generally not much cheaper than the baby food sold at well-known retailers like Target. In case you were wondering, this is how dollar stores make money.

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Toys sold at the dollar store often break easily and may contain hazardous materials. Plus, the flimsy design may mean broken pieces, which could easily be swallowed. Don’t take the chance. It’s easy enough to comparison-shop online to make sure you’re getting a great deal. Just don’t fall for these sneaky ways stores trick you into spending more.

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If you’re buying batteries in bulk, you won’t get the best deal if you buy them from the dollar store. Instead, you can find better deals on large quantities of name-brand batteries at retailers like Walmart or Amazon. Here’s more on why you probably shouldn’t buy batteries from the dollar store.

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Pet food and toys

Pet food sold at the dollar store may seem like a bargain, but it may lack the nutritional value found in popular name brands, or it may even contain harmful ingredients. Pet toys at discount chains may also be made from inferior materials and contain chemicals that could be hazardous to your pet. Instead, Amazon has plenty of excellent options for pet food and dog toys your fur babies will love.

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Don’t let the candy aisle distract you. If you’re looking for larger quantities of candy, you’ll likely get a better deal at a larger retailer. Plus, double-check the expiration date, as food sold at dollar stores may be expired.

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Disposable plates, napkins and cups

If you’re getting ready for a party, you probably won’t get the best deal possible on disposable plates, napkins, cups or cutlery at the dollar store. Not only are the prices often higher than other retailers, but the quantity also isn’t always as high as you’d like. We think this bamboo disposable cutlery set on Amazon is a great deal. And even better, it isn’t made with plastic!

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Bottled water

Skip the bulk packages of bottled water at the dollar store. When comparing prices, you’ll often find you pay more per bottle at the dollar store than you would at other retailers. Instead, opt for the safest bottled water you can buy.

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Extension cords

Extension cords sold at dollar stores are often low-quality, which mean they could short out and even cause a fire. Stick to extension cords made by reputable companies and sold at retailers like Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Amazon.

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Take a closer look at that discounted tube of toothpaste. It may seem like a good deal, but dollar stores often sell smaller toothpaste tube sizes than you’ll find at other stores, so the deal is probably too good to be true. Stock up on toothpaste at the drugstore, especially if you use a coupon. Here are some more things you should always buy at the drugstore.

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Sandwich bags

Dollar stores often sell boxes of plastic sandwich bags in smaller quantities than other retailers. So in the long run, you’ll end up paying more per sandwich bag when purchasing them from the dollar store. Next, to maximize your savings, find out the things you can buy on Amazon for less than a dollar.

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The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman