10 Items You Should Not Buy at the Dollar Store

Almost 75 percent of Americans live within five miles of a Dollar General, Dollar Tree, or Family Dollar. These stores are invaluable in rural areas where access to shopping near homes can be difficult.

These stores boast a low-cost convenience-store shopping experience, but sometimes, the low price tag is attached to low-quality items. Sometimes, it’s better to prioritize product longevity and quality over sticker cost.

In these cases, you would be better off spending a few extra bucks on certain items instead of getting the dollar store version. Here are the top ten items you shouldn’t get from a dollar store and why. 

1. Kitchen Tools

Kitchen cooking utensils
Image Credit: Anika’s DIY Life

Kitchen tools from dollar stores are often made with lower-quality materials and craftsmanship. This can result in tools that break easily, have sharp edges, or are generally less durable than those from reputable kitchenware brands. Don’t throw good money after bad. Splurge for quality when it comes to kitchen utensils.

2. Batteries

Display of batteries
Image Credit: Anika’s DIY Life

Dollar stores often carry battery brands manufactured with lower-quality materials, resulting in reduced performance and shorter lifespan compared to batteries from reputable brands. They may not provide the same level of power or longevity, which can lead to more frequent replacements, which are not exactly budget-friendly in the long run.

3. Makeup 

makeup for sale at the dollar store
Image Credit: Anika’s DIY Life

Dollar store makeup products may have lower-quality ingredients than reputable brands. Cheaper formulations might contain irritants or allergens that can harm your skin. Additionally, the pigmentation and longevity of the products may not be as reliable as those from well-known brands. Plus, you may end up with expired or old stock.

4. Toys

generic barbie clothes
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Toys are expensive, and kids have short attention spans, so getting cheap stuff from the dollar store sounds like a good idea. Off-brand toys that resemble the real thing won’t last as long and will cost you more money to replace. Be selective of the toys you buy at the dollar store.

5. Paintbrushes

paint brushes and rollers
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Paintbrushes and rollers from dollar stores are often made with lower-quality materials and may not be as durable or reliable as those from reputable hardware stores. They won’t be reusable, so spend the money and get good-quality paintbrushes if you want to use them again on another project.

6. Crafting Tools

craft paint and glue at the dollar store
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Getting craft paint and other craft supplies cheap may sound like a good idea, but buyer beware. Craft paints and glues may be old, and their consistency is not like it should be, making them unusable. Just avoid this section at your local dollar store.

7. Any Food Except Canned Food

boxed foods at the dollar store
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Dollar stores may carry products close to their expiration dates or that have been sitting on shelves for an extended period. The quality and freshness of these items may be compromised, leading to potential health risks. Be sure to check the expiration dates before you buy.

8. Plastic Food Containers

plastic food storage containers
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Dollar Store plastic storage containers may not be BPA-free. That puts you and your family at risk of toxins leaching into your food when you reheat it. Be sure to check and make sure they are BPA-free before you buy.

9. Detergents 

generic brand laundry detergent
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Generic brand laundry detergent may be cheap to buy, but this is a case of you get what you pay for. They may not be HE-rated for newer machines and may not get your clothes as clean as more well-known brands. You’re better off spending a little more to ensure your machine stays in good repair and your clothes get clean.

10. Envelopes and Mailers

boxes of envelopes and mailers
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Saving a buck on envelopes and mailers may sound like a good idea until you try to use them, and the sticking seal isn’t sticky anymore. Save the headache and buy them from a reputable retailer to save money in the long run.

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Outside of a Dollar Tree Store
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Jars painted to make vases
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