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Dollar Stores:What to Buy, What Not to Buy

I saw an interesting article recently from Shop Smart Magazine.  It was all about what to buy and what not to buy from dollar stores like Dollar Tree. The authors shopped at dollar stores, supermarkets, WalMart, Target, Walgreens & CVS, then compared prices. Because you cannot use coupons at most dollar stores they did not consider coupon prices.

Dollar Store Buys
Aluminum Foil
Gift Wrap
Cotton Rounds

Dollar Store Ties(These were compared per unit price.)
Birthday Candle
Napkins
Foam Plates
Envelopes
Plastic Cups

Dollar Store Do NOT Buy
(They gave their reasons after each product. Some were expiration dates, ingredients, lead.)
Tissue Paper (for gifts. It was way cheaper at Walmart)
Foods
Vitamins
Medicines
Electrical products
Batteries (the ones they bought leaked)

Guess what store was the most expensive – CVS! That is right CVS was 3 times as expensive as all the others. (Again this was done without coupons)

I am interested to hear you thoughts on the article. Do you shop at dollar stores? What do you think are good dollar store buys?

Comments

  1. Alice W Gold says:

    The absolute best two things to buy at the Dollar Tree are Pregnancy Tests and Diaper Disposable Bags. Two things we use a lot of at this house. Pregnancy test for a dollar…and they work. I am always floored to find packages that have been opened and stolen (I assume) at our store…really, you can’t pay a dollar for a pregnancy test?? How sad for the kid if their parent was the one who had to steal the test from the dollar tree.

  2. My husband and I are trying to get pregnant. We spend $15 for a box of two ClearBlue pregnancy tests. The ovulation tests cost even more and don’t work as well. I can’t believe you can get a pregnancy test for a dollar. Maybe you can’t take it until you actually miss your period, but I’m always afraid of testing too early and I wait so as not to get my hopes up, even with the fancy tests.

  3. Honeysmith says:

    Interesting. I do not shop very often at the dollar general or family dollar. Occasionally they will have something like the free lightbulbs I got last year or the recent laundry detergent that is too good to pass up. And I have found ethnic food items (like cheap coconut milk) there. And, for me, these two stores are closer to get to than Walmart (and I try to stay away from Walmart when possible:) Now, Dollar Tree is a fun store! But sometimes you have to realize the $1 item is a smaller package and thus ends up being the same unit price as at other stores-you’re just getting less for paying less. But I do like it for snacks, school supplies, gift bags, hair accessories, Christmas items. And sometimes things like brandname toothbrushes, cleaning supplies, make-up, etc can be found there. As for CVS being more-that’s what enables us cheap people to get the deals:)

  4. I don’t usually shop at Dollar stores because I don’t think most items are a good value. Things I do like to buy at the Dollar Tree: helium mylar balloons, gift bags, and coloring/work books for the kids. The Dollar tree also sometimes has Natures Own Whole wheat bread which I like, but i don’t live close enough to make it worth going very often. I’ve seen the $1 pregnancy tests! I wondered if they were accurate. I’m not sure I would completely trust the results! The Dollar Tree is a fun store, but it can be easy to spend too much.

  5. I don’t usually shop at Dollar stores because I don’t think most items are a good value. Things I do like to buy at the Dollar Tree: helium mylar balloons, gift bags, and coloring/work books for the kids. The Dollar tree also sometimes has Natures Own Whole wheat bread which I like, but i don’t live close enough to make it worth going very often. I’ve seen the $1 pregnancy tests! I wondered if they were accurate. I’m not sure I would completely trust the results! The Dollar Tree is a fun store, but it can be easy to spend too much.

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