Dollar store shopping: What to buy, what to skip

Category: Shopping


If you’re shopping on a budget, the dollar store can be a great place to find a lot of things you’ve been looking for. But sometimes, you get what you pay for. Even though you might think you have nothing to lose by spending just one dollar, these small purchases can add up, and there are some things you may just want to avoid purchasing altogether. These dollar store shopping tips can help point you in the direction of what to buy, and what you may be better off skipping:


What to buy


Gift supplies

Whether you’re just looking for a greeting card or you need wrapping paper and/or gift bags, the dollar store can be a great place to shop for gift supplies. The quality is usually good and the prices are just a fraction of what drugstores typically sell gift supplies for.

Party supplies

Skip party supply shops and stock up for your next party at the dollar store. You’ll find pretty much anything you need, from decorations to paper plates, all at the same quality at the pricier stores.


Office supplies

Whether it’s time to go back-to-school shopping or you need to stock up on your office supplies, the dollar store offers a great selection for the money. Basics such as paper, pencils, and folders can be found at much cheaper prices than other stores, without sacrificing quality.


What to avoid


Canned foods

Not that there is anything wrong with them, but you actually might be overpaying by purchasing at the dollar store. Bargain department stores, such as Wal-Mart, frequently sell the same canned goods for less than 70 cents, or you might be able to find two-for-one offers at your local grocery store.


According to Consumer Reports, the vitamins found at dollar stores might not offer the same nutrients that they claim on the packaging. Don’t skimp on purchases when your health is involved.


When you’re purchasing toys, especially for younger children, you want toys that will be both durable and safe. When you’re purchasing non-brand name toys, you may have to worry about certain things, like choking hazards or lead paint. The toys from dollar stores also tend to fall apart easier, so you’ll usually get more bang for your buck by shelling out the extra cash for toys that are safer and higher quality.

Before you head to the dollar store for your next shopping trip, be sure to check out our other tips for shopping at the dollar store.

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Nothing above is meant to provide financial or tax advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.

Tags: back to school, budget shopping, coupons

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