You Don’t Always Get The Best Deal At The Dollar Store

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Photograph Courtesy Of Alex Pankratz
Photograph Courtesy Of Alex Pankratz

Since the beginning of the Great Recession, many more people have been shopping at dollar stores and taking advantage of the low prices. Dollar stores used to price most of their items at $1 or less, but now these stores carry a wider variety of merchandise and grocery items that can cost up to $20. While many shoppers see these prices as bargains, you do not always get the best deal at the dollar store. Here are some items that you might be better off buying somewhere else.

Branded Food Items

Many dollar stores carry numerous different types of branded food items on their shelves, making it convenient for their customers to do some of their grocery shopping there as well. Unfortunately, this convenience comes at a price. The price of similarly sized branded items are typically the same between grocery stores and dollar stores, meaning that you are not saving any money by buying them at the dollar store. In some cases, the price is lower, but the unit size is significantly smaller, which actually means you are paying more per unit for the items by not purchasing them at a grocery store. Grocery stores also have loyalty discounts and accept coupons, which will lower the cost of purchasing the item even more.

Chemical Based Cleaners

Another commonly purchased item at dollar stores is chemical based cleaners for the home. Glass cleaners, laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and dishwashing liquids that are typically found in grocery stores can also be found on the shelves of the dollar store, but often in smaller packages that contain less. You can get more for your money by switching from name brand cleaners to purchasing store branded cleaners from your local grocery store. You can compare the ingredients in both products to ensure you are getting something that will be comparably effective at cleaning your home.

Beauty Products

While most dollar stores have a wide array of cheap beauty products made with inexpensive ingredients, they also carry well-known beauty brands that are sold nationally. A local dollar store in my neighborhood carries a national makeup brand that I typically purchase items from at my local grocery store. Imagine my surprise to find that it would cost me about 25% more to purchase those same items at the dollar store. When shopping at a dollar store, pay close attention to the prices and quantities of the items that you purchase. You may find that you are not getting such a great deal after all.

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  1. Some things are cheaper at the dollar store but of such low quality that it’s not worth it. You can always find a four pack of batteries, which is cheaper than just about anywhere else you’ll ever find them, but they don’t last. Over time I would bet that more expensive batteries would cost less based on the number of times you’d have to replace those from the dollar store.

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