10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store

The dollar store is a great place to buy a lot of things. It’s certainly a wonderful place to buy small home decor items and supplies for DIY projects! But you do have to be careful when shopping at the dollar store because thanks to the low prices, not everything is of a decent quality. To help you avoid a bad experience with your dollar store purchases, read through this list of 10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store!


10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store! Check this list before you think you're getting a deal at the dollar store!


10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store



  1. Pet Food and Treats- If you’re a pet owner, you’ve probably heard this before: paying more for quality food now will save you in healthcare costs when your pet is older. And it’s totally true! Which is why you should skip the pet food and pet treats available in the dollar store. On top of that, the treats in the dollar store are often from lower-quality brands that wind up having recalls because of dangerous additives. For example, Purina Waggin’ Train is a brand of dog treats sold in Dollar General, and in 2012 over 350 dogs died from eating the treats before Purina issued a recall.
  2. Electronics- Remember, everything in the dollar store is only at most a few dollars (at Dollar Tree, everything is one dollar or less!). While this sounds great, you have to remember that if something is being sold to you for a dollar, that means it only cost pennies to make. So if you buy a phone charger from the dollar store, don’t expect it to last long!
  3. Toys- The toys at the dollar store aren’t usually worth the money. Due to their low price, they’re often very low quality and can’t hold up to being played with for too long. Which means they break easily. Which means kids could swallow parts or otherwise hurt themselves. And even if that doesn’t happen, dollar store toys are often made with harmful materials and when tested have high levels of dangerous chemicals and carcinogens.
  4. Batteries- Something you should never buy at the dollar store is batteries! With many items, it’s fine to get off-brand versions, but with batteries, brand matters. The batteries sold at the dollar store don’t last long at all, and potentially have a higher chance of leaking. So save yourself a headache and just pay a bit more for brand-name batteries in a different store!
  5. School Supplies- While it may seem wise to go back-to-school shopping at the dollar store, paper, pencils, and other school supplies are actually things you should never buy at the dollar store. That’s because while the quality is good enough, the price actually isn’t competitive. You can get better deals at office supply stores, Target, and Walmart if you just wait for the back-to-school sales.
  6. Makeup- If there’s anything to steer clear of at the dollar store, it’s makeup! Dollar stores don’t often check to see if the makeup they have is expired. On top of that, since the makeup is so cheap, you know it’s made with really cheap ingredients. Which means it could apply poorly or make you have an allergic reaction. And it may even contain carcinogens!
  7. Medicine and Vitamins- While dollar stores do carry basic over-the-counter medicines and basic vitamins, they’re really not worth your money. The vitamins often contain additives and not enough of the actual vitamin to make a difference in your health. Similarly, the medicines may contain extra additives or be missing active ingredients, causing them to not work as well as they should. You can save money and improve your health more by getting your medicines and vitamins somewhere else.
  8. Tools- If you’re doing a home improvement project, the last thing you want is to have your tools break! But this could easily happen if you’re buying tools at the dollar store. Their cheap tools aren’t built to last, so you may find your screwdriver snapping while tightening a screw, or the head of the hammer might fly off (which could be very dangerous!).
  9. Cleaning Supplies- Even though you may be happy to find cheap bottled cleaners, cleaning supplies are actually something you should never buy at the dollar store. They’re often largely diluted, making them very ineffective. If you want to save money on cleaners, you could make your own DIY cleaners for very little cost (and they wouldn’t contain any harmful chemicals!).
  10. Gum- Just because gum is cheap in the dollar store doesn’t mean it’s a good deal! The packages of gum in the dollar store are actually smaller than in other stores, so if you enjoy gum and want more bang for your buck, buy your gum elsewhere!


What do you avoid buying at the dollar store?

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  1. I totally disagree with your opinion. I buy a LOT of those items and buy them often. The OTC meds are a great deal and do a good job, matter of fact, my doc reccommends to her patients to get their OTC aspirin, laxatives, antacids & vitamins there as long as the dates are good which they are. The toys are perfect for stuffing easter baskets and given out as party favors. I totally DISAGREE with you.

    1. Thanks for your input! I definitely buy toys from time to time for the kids, knowing that they won’t last long. I’m about to publish a post on things you should always buy at the Dollar Store. I’d love to hear your thoughts on that post! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Most of these products I don’t buy at the dollar store. I do from time to time grab batteries or if the kids are bugging for a toy. But I do know the toy will not last long but I’m ok with that, it makes them happy for the moment.

  3. I agree with you on most – would never purchase Medicine and Vitamins, pet food & makeup – oh my 🙁
    Other stuff on your list I go elsewhere for sure.
    I get batteries & they last pretty good with clocks & converters

  4. This is very helpful. Sometimes I do buy batteries when I’m in a hurry and don’t wish to drive across town.

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