Sunday, July 21

14 Dollar Store Finds That Aren’t Worth a Cent

Not ALL Dollar Store items are worth it…Find out why!

The dollar store is a great place to catch some fantastic deals when looking for a bargain. You might even be tempted to grab items that aren’t on your shopping list simply because they cost a buck. I get it…We all try to save money wherever we can.

And shopping at dollar store chains seems like a good way to achieve that goal. There’s just one problem, though. Some items on their shelves are a massive waste of money, regardless of how affordable. Others simply don’t do their jobs or might even be dangerous.

These stores have been under scrutiny for quite a while, with investigations questioning the quality of products sold. Environmental groups have even been looking into the chain’s possible health hazards.

Their research has shown that while some products have improved quality over the past few years, others still include “chemicals of concern,” according to a report from Campaign for Healthier Solutions.

So let’s find out which 14 Dollar Store items you should stay away from!

Dollar Store
Photo by Khairil Azhar Junos at Shutterstock

School Supplies

As good as $1 sounds, you might be able to find better deals at larger office supply stores. They’re more likely to have sales. In fact, keep an eye out for sales where you can usually get things for five cents.

Also, even when you’re spending more money for a bulk pack at bigger retailers, you’re ultimately getting a better value for each item in that package. And it’s probably better quality too.

Dollar Store school supplies tend to break and run out of ink more often. So unless you find brand names, the quality of writing utensils tends to be very low.

Hand Sanitizer

When the COVID pandemic was in full swing, hand sanitizer practically flew off the shelves. But at the Dollar Store, this might be a potentially dangerous product.

The FDA found several kinds of Dollar Tree’s hand sanitizers were tainted with methanol, which can be harmful when ingested or absorbed through the skin and can be life-threatening in some cases.

Some of the products have since been voluntarily recalled, but not all of them.


You know the saying: “you get what you pay for?” Well, it definitely applies to dollar store toys. Even though that $1 price tag seems like a great way of giving your child or grandchild a treat, don’t even bother.

These toys are not only poorly made, but they might also be safety hazards.

Many toys from these popular chains have been recalled in the past, including a remote control tank that would dangerously overheat, a toy gun that posed a choking hazard, and even a dart gun that provoked the deaths of two children!


Quality definitely matters when it comes to kitchen knives. And the ones at the dollar store won’t do the job as well as those from a well-known brand. A consumer and money-saving expert says that dull knives won’t even be sharp, and dull knives can be very hazardous.


A hammer that only costs a dollar might sound like a steal. But it probably won’t be a staple in your toolbox for very long.

Experts recommend against tools from the dollar store because of the possibility of poor manufacturing and the chance they could break and cause injury. They recommend buying a higher-quality kit that offers a warranty instead.

Vitamins And Herbal Supplements

Your health isn’t something you should mess around with. So for something like this, it’s best to just head to your local pharmacy.

And it turns out, Consumer Reports tested dollar-store multivitamins and found that some were even lacking the full dose of nutrients listed on the labels.

Even though the Food and Drug Administration requires that labels be correct, supplements are not subjected to the same strict review and approval process as pharmaceuticals.

Dollar Store
Photo by ZikG at Shutterstock


Not that I’m saying snacks are healthy, to begin with, but manufacturers of munchies at dollar store skimp on the quality of ingredients they use in order to keep their costs down. Items like cookies, chips, and crackers may include ingredients you’ve never even heard of.

So be sure to check the label before buying any snacks at this store. And for things like soda or gum, there’s usually a better deal on higher-quality products at your local grocery store.


In theory, dollar store makeup could save you tons of cash on beauty products. But buyer beware: people with sensitive skin could have an allergic reaction to the low-grade ingredients.

They have harsher alcohols or some of the materials used to package the makeup are made on a low budget, so they’re not great for your skin. If you MUST buy any makeup products from these stores, be sure to check the expiration date and ingredient list first.

Also, I recommend you first test it out on a small area of your skin to make sure you don’t break out or get dry skin.

Wedding Decor

We all know that weddings can be expensive. But the decor isn’t the best area to skimp. For instance, it might be tempting to buy 300 fabric rose petals for a buck. But unfortunately, they’ll also look cheap at that price.

The same idea goes for that 50-pack of plastic “silverware.”  It’s flimsy and will likely crack when your guests are eating. You wouldn’t want that to happen, would you?

Power Strips

Here’s something you might not have known: The electrical items at dollar stores usually have thinner wires that won’t be able to handle power loads, as well as the bigger brands. So, unfortunately, you could pay a SERIOUS price for that lack of quality.

Dollar store versions of power strips, extension cords, and anything else that’s electrical might be poorly made and consequently unsafe. This is one product where I strongly suggest you forget about the bargain and stay on the safe side.

You’re better off getting these items from your local hardware store.


Whenever you find over-the-counter medicine in dollar stores, you should keep this one thing in mind: They’re often getting close to, or might even be past, their use-by dates.

So if you want to save some cash, you’re better off going to your local drugstore and buying the generic version of what you’re looking for.

Paper Towels

Even though paper towels are less expensive at the dollar store, be sure to compare the thickness and the number of towels per roll in each pack. It might be a rip-off when you calculate the price.

While you might find five rolls for a dollar at one store, those rolls may only have 500ft of absorbable material. Other brands could have five rolls in a package for $2, but the total length could be over 1,000ft of absorbable material.

The more expensive paper towels will absorb more liquid, meaning that you use fewer sheets per spill. So they may actually last longer than an inexpensive brand.

Dollar Store
Photo by Billy F Blume Jr at Shutterstock

Liquid Detergent

You don’t want to spend your entire Saturday doing laundry only to realize that your clothes still look grimy, do you? Well, that’s what happens when you buy liquid detergents from the Dollar Store! Skip buying this product unless there’s an expiration date on the bottle.

Liquid detergents tend to lose their effectiveness over time. So if the product has been on the shelf for a long time, it won’t be as effective.

My recommendation for where to buy liquid detergent instead? Arm & Hammer, Tide, All …Amazon seems to have it ALL when it comes to this item.


According to most dermatologists, SPF devalues over time. And that dollar store tube you’ve been eyeing might be expired. Or the package might say SPF 30, but it’s actually SPF 15.

It’s really hard to tell how long these items have been sitting on the shelves, so it’s not worth the risk.

If you liked this article, we also recommend reading: 15 Sneaky Ways Target Gets You to Spend More Money

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