Dollar Store Buys--Good and Not So Good

An absolutely best price is laundry detergent products, unless you need to wash very dirty, muddy clothes, then reach for the Tide.

Watch prices for dishwashing liquid, usually a smaller size.  A better value, in a larger size can be gotten at Walmart, Costco or Sam's.

Always a good buy is dishes and glassware.  You can buy three glasses or five plates.

Nail grooming tools such as emery boards, nail files are a good buy.  Be leary of cuticle scissors and nail clippers.  They may be of poor quality and will not hold a sharp edge.  These are good for traveling, useful in a pinch.

Picture frames, storage bins and plastic garbage cans are a good value at a dollar store.

Holiday decorations can be a good buy.  Watch for electrical lights and such.  May not last and may get too hot next to a wall or on a tree.

Dollar store socks are great and can be compared to department store brands.

Baby food, not so much.  Some recalled baby foods show up on the shelves in dollar stores--not to their knowledge, mind you.  Some baby foods can be packaged in foreign countries and not conform to the same FDA standards.  I would not take the chance with a baby.

Bagged candies can be a better value and quantity at Walmart, Costco or Sam's.  If you want one bag, fine, the price is good.

Batteries, the same.  If you want 2 or 4, the dollar store is a good value.  If you want more than that, I would go to Radio Shack or Sam's.

Bottled water usually sold in a pack of 4 is cheap at the dollar store. Other discount stores sell similarily sized bottles in quantity for much less.  It depends upon if you want 4 or 24.

Children's toys (cheap ones) at a dollar store can easily break and may not last.  Some are made outside of the US and may contain lead paint.  Name brands, at a dollar store, are a safe buy.

Disposable plates, napkins and cups are cheaper in quantity at Walmart.  If you only need 10, great value.

I would not suggest purchasing extension cords at a dollar store.  Even if they have the UL label, I have seen them short out and just stop working.

Pet foods and toys.  Pet food can be from an obscure manufacturer and contain who knows what.  Better to buy pet collars and other products that won't be in their mouths.

Resealable bags are a great value if you want 10.  Larger quantities are available for less at Walmart, Costco or Sam's.

Toothpaste, even if it is your brand, check the box and see where it is manufactured or packaged.  I bought my favorite brand at a dollar store, opened the package and the label was in Spanish.  I did not use the tube.

Seasonal items are a super value at a dollar store for decorations.  Just be sure it is not anything you put in your mouth or next to your skin.  May contain lead paint. 

Vitamins and over the counter meds are taking a chance.  Dollar store brand meds may not be regulated, can be foreign made and may not contain the amount of ingredients listed on the label.  Stick to your brand, and check the expiration date.

Plastic wrap and aluminum foil are good buys in small quantities.  For a larger roll, go to Walmart, Costco or Sam's.

Chewing gum is a good buy at the dollar store if you only want one pack.

For general purpose, pliers, claw hammers and other tools are a good value.  Be sure to apply some petroleum lubricant during the winter storage time.

Aluminum pans and platters are a great value at a dollar store.

School supplies are super at a dollar store.  Notebooks, pencils, erasers, rulers, pencil boxes and spiral notebooks are comparable to a department stores.

Toilet paper, tissues and paper towels are usually a good buy.  Look out for smaller size rolls or smaller quantities rolls, and sometimes single ply.

Most dollar stores, per Snopes.Com fall into these catagories:

-Items purchased in large quantities from warehouses

-overstocked items

-smaller, less known brands

-foreign brands

Reading glasses are a super value at a dollar store.

Mylar balloons rock at a dollar store.  You can get three for what you pay for one at a department store.  The selection may not be as good, but the value is great.

Gift wrap, tissue paper, ribbon and gift bags are a super value at a dollar store.  The selection is fantastic.

Spices are a good value at the dollar store.  Just check the expiration dates.

Hard bound books and CD's are a great value at the dollar store.  I have found recent titles of books there.  Also dictionaries and cookbooks.

I would not suggest purchasing scissors or knives at a dollar store.  The metal is just not good enough to hold a good edge for long. 

Pool toys such as noodles and diving rings are a great value at the dollar store.  I have also purchased resin chairs that have lasted for years.

Yard lights--I would not suggest.  They may be of poor quality and will be prone to overhear or just stop working.  Even with the UL label.

Toothbrushes for children are a good value.  For adults, buy your regular brand.

Razors just don't measure up to Walmart, Costco or Sam's.  Disposable ones, in quantity, are better at a discount store.

Baskets for making a special gift for someone are a super value at the dollar store.  The selection is very good and the price is great.

The Dollar store brand called "Totally Awesome Cleaner" is just what it says.  It will clean what it says it will clean and is a good value in price.

Measuring cups and spoons are a great value at a dollar store.

Pre-cut foil is a fabulous buy at a dollar store.

Diaper size trash bags are a super deal.  You can get 75 for a dollar.  This size is also good for trash containers in your car and for daily kitchen use.

Craft items such as glue sticks, craft paint, foam pieces, cotton balls, felt pieces, faux fruit, plastic flowes and vines are a great value at the dollar store.  Just wish they sold yarn !

A great value at dollar stores is kids coloring books, hard back books, glow sticks, puzzles, puzzle books and kites. 

Shampoos and conditioners are best when you buy your brand. 

Drinking glasses, wine glasses and coffee mugs are a great value at a dollar store.

Cake mixes and cereals seems a good value but are usually smaller sizes.

Hamburger Helper, Velveeta shells and cheese and Knorr side dishes are a good value at the dollar store.  Watch sizes of bottled items like pickles, ketchup and salad dressings.

Brooms and mops are a good buy if you are going to use them in the garage or the back yard.  Some handles are coated with a plastic that cracks with use.

Copywriter: Karen B. Cardwell 2012.   Email me at: cradwell.kc@Gmail.Com 

 Tweet me at: Karen Cardwell@blairie12.

 Original Artwork Images by Tom Wilson.