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Five Things You Shouldn’t Buy at the Dollar Store, and Five You Should – As Heard on Mike and Tricia

MONEY MATTERS: With the economy still what it is and the holidays upon us, dollar stores are a good place to save money on stocking stuffers and everyday household items.  But there are also some dollar store deals that aren’t a good buy no matter the price. Here are five things consumer savings experts say you shouldn’t buy at the dollar store, and five things you should.


Let’s start with the SHOULDN’T buy:

#1.)  Don’t Buy Toys. Since they’re cheap, they’ll break, and you’ll just end up having to buy another toy. The one exception is coloring books.  They’re usually half as expensive as other stores.

#2.)  Don’t Buy Batteries. A lot of generic batteries are made with carbon zinc, not lithium, which is why they don’t last as long.  They’re also more likely to leak and damage electronics.

#3.)  Don’t Buy Vitamins. Consumer Reports found that multi-vitamins at dollar stores don’t always have the same amount of nutrients listed on the label.

#4.)  Don’t Buy Aluminum Foil. Dollar stores usually sell 25-foot rolls for one dollar each, so to get 300 feet at the dollar store, you have to spend TWELVE dollars. You can get more for less at Sams or Costco. Plus, generic aluminum foil — and plastic wraps for that matter — are never as good.

#5.)  Don’t Buy Extension Cords or Power Strips. Like batteries, they’re not made well, and can damage electronics.

Now here are five things you SHOULD buy at the dollar store:

#1.) Buy Shampoo. You can save up to $2 a bottle. And according to Consumer Reports, expensive shampoos don’t make your hair look better anyway.

#2.) Buy Cleaning Products. Sometimes they’re diluted, and you’ll need to use more, but the ingredients are basically the same.

#3.) Buy Greeting Cards. The paper stock won’t be as good, but cost less than the three to five dollar cards at a Wal-Green’s or Hallmark.

#4.) Buy Spices. They probably won’t have as wide a selection, but basics like cinnamon, parsley, and pepper are a lot cheaper than they are at the grocery store. Just make sure you check the expiration dates.

#5.) Buy Socks. Generic white socks are a pretty good deal. They cost at least $2.50-a-pair at regular stores.


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