When Dollar Deals Go Wrong

Dollar store deals are a great idea…sometimes. Other times they’re a waste of, well, dollars. And, dollars add up. Here are a few things you should absolutely avoid on your next visit.

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Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store

BPA Plastic

Dollar stores are well-known for their inexpensive plastic containers, and if you’re using them for storage, great! If you plan to eat out of them, however, you better do some checking.

You want to make sure they are BPA-free. By now I’m sure you’ve heard the horrors of plastic with BPA. If not, read about it here. Then make certain to check all of your plastic purchases from here on out.

I will say, though, that I’ve noticed many of the food containers available at our local Dollar Tree have been BPA-free. And, if it doesn’t say it’s BPA-free, it’s not. So, if you can’t find the label or symbol, just purchase something else.

Kitchen Utensils

Again, check for BPA. You also want to make sure the parts and pieces are secure. I snagged up a silicone spatula only to have the handle come off. I thought I could salvage it, but it just kept getting gross inside.

That spatula is gone now.

Just because it's a good price, doesn't mean it's a good deal. There are a few things you should avoid when shopping at the dollar store.

Plastic Cutlery

I used to purchase plastic cutlery from dollar stores for mass gatherings and special events, but over the years, it seems that cutlery gets a little more flimsy with each subsequent purchase.

Spend a few quarters more at a big box retailer to get some cutlery that holds up. Your guests will thank you!

Soaps & Detergents

This sort of goes along with the BPA rule. Generic soaps and detergents are usually full of unknown man-made chemicals. Now, they may not be all bad, but chances are, if you can’t pronounce the ingredients, you’re better off purchasing something else.

Expired Foods

Always check the dates on your food purchases. This is a reminder for all stores, not just dollar store deals. While most people are accustomed to checking dates on milk, bread and eggs, you should check your snack foods, too. They may be perfectly fine for the next week or so, but you don’t want to purchase them, with plans to eat them in the next month, only to find out they expired a week after you bought them.

(Some) Toys

We purchase a lot of little toys at dollar stores. They make great potty training presents, but not all of them are safe to give to your children. Sure, if you call poison control, they’ll tell you they are fine. But, come on, let’s be safe here.

Some of their toys have dyes and those dyes will come off, perchance in your child’s mouth. And we all know, at a certain age, everything goes in their mouth.

Be safe, rather than sorry and purchase toys that are safe for teething.

Dry Erase Boards

These seem like a good idea, and they are, if you don’t want to fully erase whatever you’re going to put on the board. I’ve not had any luck getting the boards back to clean after using them. And if you’re not planning to ever erase what you write, just purchase another type of board to write on.


Unless you can find Crayola crayons, avoid them. They just don’t hold up well enough.

You could also buy up crayons in bulk when school supply season hits. We just bought a 24-pack for $0.50.

Just because it's a good price, doesn't mean it's a good deal. There are a few things you should avoid when shopping at the dollar store.

Acrylic Paints

Dollar stores are carrying more and more craft items everyday, but one thing to skip on are the acrylic paints. I haven’t tried them, so I can’t attest to the quality, but I do know you can buy acrylic paints at craft stores for $0.44 each. Stick to that deal.

Other Recommendations to Avoid

I had some input on these next two.

My SIL says to avoid the flip flops, as they don’t hold up. You should spend a little more on your footwear anyway. Your feet will thank you!

And the Main Mom’s Mom says to skip the reading glasses, as they’ll break quickly, too.

Do you have anything to add to the Dollar Deals Gone Wrong list? Tell me in the comments.

Just because it's a good price, doesn't mean it's a good deal. There are a few things you should avoid when shopping at the dollar store.

Bonus: Things You Should Always Buy at the Dollar Store

Dollar deals aren’t all bad. There are a few things I only purchase from the local dollar stores. They include:

Sandwich bags, pregnancy tests, puzzles, glow sticks, movie candy, organization tubs, frames, planters, and party supplies.

©2020 Mom of the Moment

3 thoughts on “When Dollar Deals Go Wrong

  1. This was very informative. I was cracking up reading this list bcuz yes those utensils are the worst. I always check food expiration I almost bought candy from a wholesaler that had outdated Reese’s cup. I always buy the birthday, special occasion cards (2 for $1) always a steal. Thanks for sharing

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