3 Thing You Should Never Buy From Dollar Stores

The problem with dollar stores, besides the cheap merchandise and food that is days or years off their freshness dates, is they allow people to assume bargains are aplenty instead of comparison shopping.

The managers behind dollar stores know you will assume their products are a bargain.

Or, they know you will conveniently shop there so you don’t have to comparison shop elsewhere for basics.

Please don’t buy food in dollar stores. It probably isn’t fresh or was sourced from wholesalers who couldn’t sell to supermarkets. You will probably find better food cheaper in the supermarket too.

You’ll probably find freezers and mini-aisles with food there. It’s not the same thing.

Most of the products sold in dollar stores are cheap and overpriced or shoddily manufactured. You’re just throwing away money when you can buy better and cheaper products elsewhere.

Here are 3 examples.

Chewing Gum

You are literally getting nickeled and dimed when you buy dollar store gum. Over months and years, you are going to overpay by tens or hundreds of dollars on chewing gum and never realize it.

A $1 pack of gum with 4-packs, 5-sticks each, is basically 25 cents per pack. Or, 4 cents per stick of gum.

The retail price for a 5-stick pack of Wrigley Doublemint gum is 35 cents or 7 cents per stick.

Sounds like a steal, right? (If we count the dollar store stealing from YOU, then yes.)

The problem with the dollar store is that people don’t comparison shop and just assume they are getting a deal.

Just go to Amazon or a bulk store. Amazon sells a 40-pack of Doublemint, exactly 200 pieces, for $7.48. That rounds out to 4 cents per stick.

That $1 gum pack with 20-pieces adds up to $10 for 200 pieces over 10 purchases. So, you’ve overpaid by $2.52.

If you buy $1 gum every other day, that is going to add up to a lot of wasted money over a few years.

Grooming Products

Buy your shampoo, conditioners, and lotion at the supermarket, online, or in bulk stores.

You will find they are of higher quality than such products found at the dollar store. They will probably be cheaper too.

You will find grooming products in “travel,” and, “fun,” sizes repackaged into discount packs in dollar stores. These discount packs are marked up to optimize profit and make you pay more for less relatively by volume.

Most of the grooming products in dollar stores are not allergy tested. They may also contain chemicals not FDA approved that could be rough on your hair and skin.


Every time you buy $1 or $2 batteries at the dollar store, you are being ripped off on quality.

Dollar store batteries feature off-brand names for a reason. Most brand-name batteries, like Duracell or Energizer, are alkaline batteries.

Alkaline batteries are quality made and provide energy for long periods of time.

Dollar store batteries are made from carbon-zinc. Carbon-zinc batteries are cheaply made and are prone to leaking and exploding.

Carbon-zinc batteries are suitable for low-drain devices like remotes or clock radios. If you use carbon-zinc batteries for high-energy drain devices, then you will need to buy more of them more often.  It’s easier to literally burn money instead.

Instead, start buying rechargeable batteries.

You can probably buy stationery, writing and back-to-school supplies, and towels for a bargain at the dollar store.

Still, you may even find those items even cheaper elsewhere.

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