13 Items to 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. Whether it’s a sale item or an everyday low-price deal, looks can be deceiving.

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Medicine and vitamins
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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. Those sold at dollar stores may be counterfeit or expired. See how a magnetic strip can transform your medicine cabinet.

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Kitchen knives
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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 are dull which may lead to cut fingers and hands. Stick to well-known brands from a reputable retailer. Sharpen your knives with this simple technique.

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Shutterstock / Lisa S.


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. These are the five fantastic tools all DIYers should own.

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Baby food
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Baby Food

While most baby food sold at the dollar store is just fine, just skip it. Some may be expired and it’s generally not much cheaper than the baby food sold at well-known retailers. No pantry? No problem! Here are no-pantry solutions for those on a budget.

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Shutterstock / Benoit Daoust


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. Check out this awesome DIY toddler busy board.

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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 larger retailers. This is the proper way to dispose of old batteries.

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Dog treats
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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. Here are the perfect pet projects to show your pet some love.

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Candy aisle
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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. If you celebrate Sweetest Day, check out this collection of Sweetest Day gifts for DIYers.

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Disposable plates
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Disposable Plates, Napkins, Cups

If you’re getting ready for a party, you won’t get the best deal on disposable plates, napkins, cups or cutlery at the dollar store. Not only are the prices often higher than other retailers, but the quantity isn’t always what you’d hope for. These tips will help you plan the ultimate backyard barbecue.

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Bottled water
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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. Check out these nifty ways to reuse plastic jugs and bottles at home.

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Extension cord
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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 reputable retailers. This is how you repair a cut extension cord.

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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. Here are some things you never knew you could do with toothpaste.

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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. This DIY ice pack is perfect for your lunch box.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman