10 Things You Should NOT Buy At The Dollar Store

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I love shopping at the dollar store to save money, but there are times when you do NOT want to buy things at the dollar store.

You think you’re saving money, but you’re not since many items are marked $1 when at other stores they’re marked even cheaper. 

Brand-name items that may seem like a bargain come in much smaller quantities at the dollar store, making it seem like you got a deal but didn’t. 

Not only that, cheaper items are filled with chemicals and can be harmful to your body, so I’ll be sharing some of those today, too. 

When you are shopping at the dollar store, here are 2 extra ways to save even more money on your shopping trip.

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Ibotta is a free app that gives you cash back for making purchases on things like groceries, clothes, toiletries, and much more. Recently, Ibotta even added a new feature that gives you cash back when you purchase in the app. It’s such an easy way to save money! I’ve been using Ibotta for years. I use Ibotta for mostly fresh vegetable and house hold items like toilet paper and cleaning supplies. If you sign up now, you can get $10 in your account by using my link here.

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Here are 10 things you should NOT buy at the dollar store.


1. Car maintenance 

The dollar store often sells car maintenance items that can be helpful, but there are certain things you shouldn’t buy, like the low-rated power steeling fluid, driver’s choice auto wipes, or the windshield wiper antifreeze. Reviewers have noted these items have messed up their cars, clogging hoses and causing them to get new hoses. 

What to buy instead: When you’re buying car maintenance tools, use higher-quality items like this highly rated complete car kit. It’s worth spending the extra money on items as valuable as your vehicle. You don’t want to mess anything up with something cheap from the dollar store.

2. Pet food

Dollar store pet food has tons of terrible reviews online, stating that the pet food has made their pets sick. Pet food is already filled with so many fillers and processed junk, that you really want to be careful, especially if you love your pets.

It’s worth spending the extra few dollars for higher quality pet food. 

What to buy instead: Buying your pet high-quality pet food helps decrease the chances of them getting sick while keeping them nice and healthy. This means fewer vet visits. Buy a higher quality pet food, like Blue Buffalo Wilderness

3. Cleaning supplies

Another product to be cautious about at the dollar store is cleaning supplies. Cleaning supplies can be filled with a ton of toxic chemicals. Once you spray that all around your house, you end up breathing all of that, which can cause some people to feel sick. 

What to buy instead: This set of Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning supplies is great for cleaning your house and doesn’t cause any damage to the environment as other toxic cleaning supplies do. 

4. Candles

Reviews have stated that the candles at the dollar store have no smell at all, create a mess, and are more for decoration, which defeats the purpose of a candle at all. 

What to buy instead: These candles are paraben-free and made with eco-friendly soy wax. They have a long-lasting burn (reviews say they last about 40 hours), making it a great candle that is safe for the house. 

5. Wrapping paper

I bought wrapping paper at the dollar store thinking I was getting a crazy good deal, but once I unraveled the wrapping paper, there was only enough for ONE average sized gift. 

What to buy instead: Get this wrapping paper set of 3 that has 120 sq feet total. 

6. Vitamins and Supplements 

Vitamins and supplements are often in the news for using filler and not having the actual vitamin/supplement in the bottle. This is why you need to be very careful with what you buy at the dollar store. 

What to buy instead: Do research first and read reviews from others before buying any vitamins and supplements. Ask your doctor what they recommend for a certain vitamin or supplement you’re looking for. 

7. Food

The dollar store has a ton of good options for food, but there are certain food items that you’re better off buying at a regular grocery store. 

When I price compare at my local dollar store versus regular grocery store, canned foods, noodles, and pantry items are sometimes more expensive than at the regular grocery store. 

Frozen food options at the dollar store are amazing, so I always make sure to check that area first for food. 

What to buy instead: Compare prices on food at what you buy at the dollar store versus a regular grocery store. 

8. Electronics

Electronics are usually a miss at the dollar store, especially items like earbuds, phone chargers, and electrical cords. All of these items have low ratings and are known to break easily and not withstand the time electronics should last. 

What to buy instead: Buy earbuds, phone chargers, and electrical cords that have high ratings. 

9. Kitchenware 

I buy a lot of kitchen items from the dollar store, but there are certain items I stay away from. I love buying glass items like cups, plates, and bowls at the dollar store, but I don’t purchase items like cooking utensils, spatulas, and related items because they’re made of a material that scratches really easily. Anything that scratches off ends up in food.

What to buy instead: A stainless steel cooking set with non-scratch protection that’ll last years to come. 

10. Toys

Most toys at the dollar store are flimsy and do not last long enough to play around with, ending up in the garbage. 

What to buy instead: You can buy toys with high ratings and made with high-quality material instead. 

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What do you buy at the dollar store to save money?

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