Best, worst deals at dollar stores

Posted on July 13th, 2009 – 10:06 AM
By John Ewoldt

Now that dollar stores are “hot” again in this economy, someone needs to burst the bubble that all the deals at dollar stores are good ones. They’re not. The worst deals at dollar stores tend to be kids’ party favors and toys with small parts. Watch out for items such as bubble blowing liquid in containers that do not identify the liquid in case a child drinks it, said Consumer Reports. Other bad deals include electrical products such as extension cords and lamps with fake UL labels, medication including aspirin and other meds past expiration dates, vitamins, and kids jewelry that may contain lead, even though the items were recalled years ago. In my own price comparisons, I have found that facial tissue, plastic storage bags, brand name household cleaners and brand name bar soap can usually be found for less at discounters such as Target or Wal-Mart or clearance stores such as Brand Name Deals in Fridley.

The best deals, said Consumer Reports in its September issue of ShopSmart, are heavy duty aluminum foil, gift wrap (but not tissue paper), cotton rounds for removing makeup and party supplies such as gift bags, ribbon, greeting cards, decorations and balloons.

 Comparison shoppers, what best or worst deals have you found at dollar stores?

6 Responses to "Best, worst deals at dollar stores"

siracuss says:

July 13th, 2009 at 11:03 am

Dollar store pregnancy tests are a great deal! Much cheaper than the name-brands for $3-5 at Target etc., and just as accurate.

Carrie Rocha says:

July 13th, 2009 at 7:42 pm

I love the Sunday paper where I get an extra set of coupon inserts and helium balloons for birthdays and other special occassions. The balloons don’t last quite as long as others, but for $1 they are well worth the price.

Judy from Richfield says:

July 15th, 2009 at 10:56 am

I like to buy “cheater glasses: for a dollar. Sometimes you can’t find your strength, but stop by again and they may have them. Also eye shadow and toothpaste is a great deal!

mike says:

July 15th, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Things I buy at the dollar store when I need them: Super Glue, light bulbs, shaving cream. I can often find as good of a deal on light bulbs or shaving cream elsewhere, and I try to stock up on cheap shaving cream. But when I need either in a pinch, I go directly to the Dollar Tree. I have found most kitchen items from dollar stores are rather weak, so I try to avoid buying cooking utensils, etc., for a buck because they usually don’t hold up.

Tara says:

July 16th, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Hair clips are a great deal. Also safety pins. Not every dollar store carries them, but if you can find them they’re a great buy. I sometimes buy scrapbooking stickers and paper at the dollar store too.

susan allard says:

August 12th, 2009 at 6:59 am

i work at dollar tree and ty for all the comments