The Dollar Store Can Cost You More

Updated on March 2, 2018
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Family Dollar or Dollar Tree. Are They the Same?

The "Big Daddy" of the The Dollar discount stores chain is Dollar Tree, Inc. Only the Dollar Tree is a true dollar store. While Family Dollar Stores boasts many items priced at $1 or less, it also has many more priced higher than $1 and even higher than $5.

All Dollar Stores are not equal. In fact, the Dollar Store can cost you more. You may have already found this out. The area I shop in boasts a large variety of Dollar Stores just waiting for your dollars. However, out of all of these stores available to the shopper - only one lives up to it's name and that is the Dollar Tree.

Every single item is exactly one dollar including top brand named foods. The ambience is relaxing, spotless and friendly, while clerks bag your treasures with a smile.

If you aren't lucky enough to find a store like this, you'd best be careful and watch the prices and quality of the products. Since I've had plenty of experience buying the wrong stuff at so-called Dollar Stores, I thought I'd help you out by doing some careful research. Hopefully you'll learn from my mistakes.

Good Buys At The Dollar Stores

What to buy at the Dollar Store.

  • Cleaning Supplies - Although some cleaners are slightly diluted, you'll like the price. Most Dollar Stores now carry name brands at 60-70% lower than supermarket prices.
  • Bath and Beauty items - Toothbrushes and floss (1$), Ivory bar soap(33 cents a bar), cotton balls (1$), lipstick (1$), Pregnancy Tests (1$), Shampoo (1$). Most bath and beauty items will save you some money, and many have the same ingredients as the more expensive brands.
  • Party and gift supplies - You'll love the savings on these items, which include cutlery paper plates and cups. And don't forget the inflated party balloons (1$ including the helium).
  • Seasonal and holiday items are a steal but you want to shop early as these favorites go very fast - especially Christmas, Valentines and Easter.
  • Containers for storage and baskets in a variety of sizes are 70% less than other stores.
  • I buy all my stickers for my young piano students at the Dollar Store as well as a good assortment of candles.
  • Snacks for lunches and such are name brands and can be anywhere from 35-50% cheaper than the super markets, especially the bags of candies. And this is the place to pick up goodies for a trip to your local movie theater. Talk about your savings (an arm and a leg, sometimes both legs at the theater.)
  • Cooking accessories like spatulas, ice cream scoops, flatware and wine glasses will give your wallet a smile too, including dinner plates, serving bowls and such.
  • I find all of my artificial flowers and trimmings at the Dollar Store, along with seeds for my vegetable garden in the spring and summer.
  • If you're tired of paying 4-5 dollars per greeting card, then you'll love the 1 dollar cards.

This list will give you a general idea of what to look for when you visit the Dollar Store.

But buyer beware. Not everything in the store is only 1 dollar as the name would indicate - some items are not even a good bargain.

Shop Smart in Dollar Stores

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Ripped Off at The Dollar Store

I am always up for saving a buck. It somehow gives me a feeling of superiority. I’ve done my time in the dollar store and its associate knock-offs, and learned through my own mistakes that not everything on the shelves is a bargain.

Just this week I made my shopping rounds and the dollar store was my first stop. One of the bargains I purchased was a regular size can of butter beans for only 1 dollar. My second and final stop was at my regular food chain. To my utter dismay, I found the same can of butter beans for 69 cents.

It was time for me to get smart and do some quick research. I wanted to know if a trip to the Dollar store was really a savings for me.

This is what I learned after doing my own research.

A Plan in Action

Now my plan was going to cost me some time and I realized that it would, going in. However, in the long run, it would prove to be cost-effective. Please take note - I am not cheap but I'm frugal. And I get a "rush" when I come across a good bargain.

I researched prices and size of items and food at a couple of the local discount stores. These stores include Walmart, Target and the Dollar Store. I also included the local Kroeger Market. I kept a record of everything. It wasn't long before I found out which Dollar Store products were a savings and which ones were not.

Things Not to Buy at The Dollar Store


Here's a quick list of items to stay away from:

  • Toys. Cheaply made and can contain lead.
  • Vitamins
  • Batteries
  • Aspirin, Tylenol and other medications.
  • Canned food
  • School Supplies
  • Electronics
  • Apparel
  • Dog Food
  • Toothpaste (fake colgate)
  • Beauty Creams

All Dollar Stores are not the same and prices can vary depending on the area. The biggest chains other than The Dollar Store are Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Dollar General and 99 cents only.

The Dollar Store - Savings or Ripoff?

Do some comparison shopping on prices before buying items at the Dollar Store.
Do some comparison shopping on prices before buying items at the Dollar Store. | Source

Re-Capping What We've Learned

Now you know which items best to buy at the Dollar Store chains. You've also learned which products to avoid. Whether you're on a budget or just like a good bargain, you will definitely save by shopping for the right items. The fun part is - you just never know what you will find. New products arrive every single day.

Just remember, the Dollar Store can cost you more. Print out the lists above and take them along with you.

"If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments "- anonymous

"I love to go to Washington, if only to be nearer my money" - Bob Hope

"Someone stole all my credit cards, but I won't be reporting it. The thief spends less than my wife did." - Henny Youngman

Thank you for reading and please remember to leave a comment.

Do You Shop At The Dollar Store?

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Questions & Answers

    © 2011 Audrey Hunt

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      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        19 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Happymommy

        Your comments are so helpful for others reading this article. Thanks for your help!

      • Happymommy2520 profile image

        Amy 

        23 months ago from East Coast

        Another helpful Hub. I just spent about $20 on sponges and cleaners at Walmart. I was second guessing myself when I walked out of the store. I will be shopping for these items at the dollar store from now on. Great article. Simple, beautifully written, and to the point.

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Jason Marovich - I'm so glad to see you here Jason. When I wrote this hub, I was so tired of being "ripped-off" by false advertising. When I go to a "bargain" store, I expect to see more bargains - not "barely any" bargains. It's a waste of my time and uses extra gas.

        I've found items that are a true bargain, so I now use the dollar store for certain items only. The poor quality items are mostly junk.

        Thanks for your comments.

      • Jlava73 profile image

        Jennifer Vasconcelos 

        6 years ago from Cyberspace and My Own World

        Great advice! I have done that before too - stings a bit when you realize the gotcha. As you mention some stuff is a true bargain and some items can even be dangerous or poor quality.

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        ThoughtSandwiches - You wrote: There is a dollar store up here that says "Dollar Store: Everything in the Store over a dollar."

        I found that very amusing...and honest. In most dollar stores you're lucky to find a handful of items priced at just one dollar. And you're not the only one who becomes so frustrated when shopping for bargains that do not exist, that you leave your shopping cart and fly out the door. I've done it too :)

        Thank you for your support!

      • Jools99 profile image

        Jools99 

        6 years ago from North-East UK

        Audrey, we have Pound (£) stores in the UK and they're the same as your stores in that some stuff really is a genuine bargain but you do need to be savvy about what is actually a bargain and what isn't. This is a very useful hub for the savvy shopper!

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        rajan jolly - Thank you for sharing your information. I actually stopped shopping at the dollar store. I found that my local supermarket actually have better buys and quality. We don't have a 99 cent store close by. I love your hubs rajan and look forward to reading more of them. Thankyou!

      • talfonso profile image

        talfonso 

        6 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

        Gosh, I need all that advice to take when going to the dollar store! Thanks for taking the time to write this - will consider printing it out and taking it there!

      • jasmith1 profile image

        Adrian Smith 

        6 years ago from UK

        I have noticed the same thing here in the UK. I think the supermarkets are getting so competitive with prices that they can offer a much better price. I think the dollar or pound stores will have to catch up, they used to be the first stop for a bargain but now people are realising they aren't always.

      • moonlake profile image

        moonlake 

        6 years ago from America

        Another thing I noticed at our Dollar General. I buy containers to put my quilt squares in, they were 4.50 at Dollar General where all the ladies were buying them. So I checked at Walmart they were 3.99 and better made. Voted Up on your hub.

      • RealHousewife profile image

        Kelly Umphenour 

        6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

        You did a lot of leg work on this one! Thank you and it is great information. I always wondered which place has the best price for most things like Wal-Mart vs. the grocery store...I usually buy my cleaning stuff from Wally world because it's kind of a one stop shop with the super centers now.

        I do have several Dollar stores in my area - the kids LOVE to go there! If I give them 5 bucks they think they are rich! haha!

        Great hub!

      • Janine Huldie profile image

        Janine Huldie 

        6 years ago from New York, New York

        Very comprehnensive list of what to buy and what not to buy at the dollar store. I do agree I loe going there for greeting cards, because I used to spend so much money at Hallmark for cards and seriously they are cards that people read and than throw away. Also, pregnancy tests, I did purchase from the dollar store when we were trying to conceive, they are a good buy, but did feel that they weren't as good quality as the brand names, like First Response. Again thanks for putting this list together and am voting up and sharing too.

      • Ron Hawkster profile image

        Ron Hawkster 

        6 years ago from United States of America

        Other things not to buy at dollar stores:

        - used cars

        - 2nd hand wives

        - dead pets.

        None of them works.

      • rebeccamealey profile image

        Rebecca Mealey 

        6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

        How cool that you found the beans cheaper at the market than Dollar Store. I will have to say though, I have had good luck with purchasing their school supplies. Thanks for sharing you r findings!

      • Victoria Lynn profile image

        Victoria Lynn 

        6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

        I am frugal, too, and I have learned the same thing about dollar stores. They are more expensive on many of their "only a dollar" items. And some things are just cheap. I love their greeting cards. At our local Deals (owned by Dollar Store), they're only 50 cents, and I actually like them better than what I see at Wal-Mart for 3 or 4 dollars! I buy similar things as what you just mentioned. Interesting hub. Everybody should read this who is interested in saving money. I'm sharing it. Thanks!

      • CrisSp profile image

        CrisSp 

        6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

        Definitely voting up! Our Dollar Store in Toronto is no longer a Dollar Store since recession hit us in 2009/2010. All items have been marked up by 25 cents except for some sweet snacks and candies. So, it's a $1.25 and some items are marked $2 plus of course the 13% tax. I guess, they should also change the store sign now. Having said that, I still love roaming around the Dollar Store only to pick up my 2 for a $ snicker bar chocolate. Awesome hub. Useful tips. Thanks for the sharing.

      • mary615 profile image

        Mary Hyatt 

        6 years ago from Florida

        I absolutely agree with everything you say here in this Hub. You have to be careful. I enjoy our Dollar Store very much for the things you mention.

        I voted this UP, and will share.

      • josh3418 profile image

        Joshua Zerbini 

        6 years ago from Pennsylvania

        Audrey,

        I love the Dollar Store and this hub is right on! There are definitely some things to avoid while shopping there! Thanks for the share! :)

      • Jason Marovich profile image

        Jason F Marovich 

        6 years ago from Detroit

        I'm inherently frugal, but I like your list of 'don't buys at the dollar store'. There are some items that are complete junk, when you need them to be reliable. Excellent concept for a subject that's always on our minds - spending less money.

      • ThoughtSandwiches profile image

        ThoughtSandwiches 

        6 years ago from Reno, Nevada

        Audrey,

        This is a very disciplined approach to shopping. I must confess to a complete lack of order and disarray in y shopping excursions. (I've actually been known to abandon my basket mid-aisle and exit the store when I decide I'd rather to the fast food across the parking lot).

        I am fully noting what to/and not to do at the local dollar store.

        Thanks,

        Thomas

        PS...There is a dollar store up here that says "Dollar Store: Everything in the Store over a dollar."

      • rajan jolly profile image

        Rajan Singh Jolly 

        6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

        Audrey, I agree many items should be avoided at the dollar store. for one everything is not priced at 1$ and for another, some of the things are inferior in quality.

        While I was at LA I used to frequent the 99c store. I believe they have better variety and everything is at under a $.

        You have some work making out a fine list so I'm sharing this hub for others to benefit from.

        Voted up & useful.

      • Rusticliving profile image

        Elizabeth Rayen 

        6 years ago from California

        Good Advice. I for the most part stay away from the Dollar stores. :)

      • tammyswallow profile image

        Tammy 

        6 years ago from North Carolina

        This is great advice. I would not buy the food either. It has probably been there a long time and shuffled from place to place. Good reading!

      • mljdgulley354 profile image

        mljdgulley354 

        6 years ago

        Great hub. I found out the same thing. I was excited to find an actual dollar store. There were other ones that weren't dollar stores and they were more expensive than walmart,kmart or target.

      • Sunshine625 profile image

        Linda Bilyeu 

        6 years ago from Orlando, FL

        The Dollar Store serves it's purpose for some items but not enough. I tried to suggest more items to buy from there but you have the list covered:) Voted UP!

      • Millionaire Tips profile image

        Shasta Matova 

        6 years ago from USA

        This is a very useful hub. Voted up. That happened to me - I thought I was getting such a great bargain only to find that I had been ripped off. It does pay to know the price of things.

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Peg - Hahahaha! Yes, ma'm...I sure do remember the 5 and 10 stores. And some of them even featured a lunch counter which I visited when I had some spare change. Seems like a lifetime ago. You gave me a welcomed laugh, Peg, my friend! Thanks.

      • PegCole17 profile image

        Peg Cole 

        6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

        I love shopping at the Dollar Store and you are absolutely right about watching the values. At our Dollar General, bread is higher and so is milk, but the TP and cleaning products are a good deal. Their greeting cards are a steal at 2 for a dollar and some are really beautiful cards. At Dollar Tree I love to find spices and wrapping paper and as you noted, the serving dishes and paper items like foil and baggies are good deals.

        What a great idea for a hub. Good one! PS. Do you remember when it was called the Five and Dime?

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Wow! Billrrr, thanks for the history lesson on Eric Esch.

        I am in the process of writing a hub on the Butterbean (just for you:) They are one of my favorite beans.

        So, keep an eye "peeled" for my next hub, because your name will be mentioned in it. See what you have done?

        Thanks for the comment and for the great idea for my next hub! I am laughing and delighted.

        vocalcoach~

      • Billrrrr profile image

        Bill Russo 

        6 years ago from Cape Cod

        The only Butterbean I ever heard of is a man named Eric Esch who fights under the Butterbean moniker. Butterbean is called the King of the Four Rounders and has appeared dozens of times on nationwide televised bouts. He has a cult following of many thousands.

        I know they didn't can Eric, so what is in a can of Butterbeans? We do not have these in the Northeastern United States. I know we are a bit food challenged. So what am i missing?

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        carcro - Well, I'm so glad to see you. Thanks for liking my hub and watch your money :)

        Dee - You are absolutely right. The books are a great buy and I have found several to add to my library. Take care and many blessings to you.

        Denise - Hi, my friend. I am once again, joining the 30 hubs in 30 days challenge. I hope to make it this time. In any case, you are the wonderful person who inspired me to do this the first time.

        Just want to thank you for that and thanks for commenting here. :)

      • Denise Handlon profile image

        Denise Handlon 

        7 years ago from North Carolina

        Good points, Audrey. I also compare shopping between the 'value stores'. I love stationary, so I go for that many times. Interesting hub.

      • Dee aka Nonna profile image

        Dee aka Nonna 

        7 years ago

        Oh, I totally agree with you. I too learned a valuable lesson. My favorite is Dollar Tree or simular where every thing is $1.00. I agree with you list and for me the only thing I will add is books. Paying $1 for a hardback book is great. You will not find the NYtimes bestsellers but I have found some wonderful gems that I've enjoyed very, very much. Voted up and useful. People should print them one out and use as a guide.

      • carcro profile image

        Paul Cronin 

        7 years ago from Winnipeg

        Bang on, you are so right! Excellent tips, thanks for the info.

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        dallas - You don't waste anytime and certainly make the most of every minute. And, good luck on your book!

        pamela - Gift bags and party supplies are great items to buy at the dollar store. When I shop there, I know exactly what I'm going for and stick to that. Thanks.

        TheListlady - I'm so glad you mentioned light bulbs. I forgot about those. And yes, how can it be called the dollar store when the majority of goods are way more than 1 dollar? Thank you for your input. :)

        CountryCityWoman - I wonder - if the dollar store ever did charge just 1 dollar for everything in the store? :)

        If so, I missed it along the way. Thanks for visiting.

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        slappywalker - Thanks for the good info on the spices at the dollar store. Sticking to a list of items when shopping instead of browsing around really saves money.

        Enjoy your day (and shopping). :)

        hotwebideas - Very glad you stopped by. And...I think your hubs on web info are great! Thanks.

        WillStar - Absolutely! I seem to buy less and less at the dollar store. But those .99 cent greeting cards are tempting, altho I recently discovered greeting cards at my supermarket for .99 too. :)

        timorous - You are right on the money! Being selective and using the dollar store for specific items only is the key to smart shopping and safety. Thanks, my friend!

        Mentalist acer - Thanks for the great info about baggies at the dollar store. I'm on my way to pick some up. :)

        Dahoglund - I recently started doing "thin" when I buy TP. Big savings there. Thanks!

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Sylvia - I haven't been to the .95 + store...and like you point out, the dollar store is turning into the 20 dollar store :) And to think that only a few yrs ago, I would stick up my little nose at the thought of the dollar store.!

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        happyboomernurse - I wonder how much longer the dollar store will be in business with the hike in food prices. I noticed that our local dollar store jacked up prices on most of the food - however the prices are still below the super market on most items. Thanks!

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Micky, marvelous one! I am keeping fairly cool by hiding out inside the house with the help of the AC. It sure is hot here in Tennessee. Take care, my friend and blessings to you. :)

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Eiddwen - You always manage to put a smile on my face. I love seeing your name come up in my comments. Thank you for your support and for reading and the wonderful rating. Hope your day is marvelous - just like you!

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        b. Malin - Thanks for adding the brand canned soups. Something else to look for at the dollar store. I hope your day is as pleasant as you are, my friend. :)

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        always exploring - thanks for the tip on fab laundry detergent. It sure pays to compare prices. Have a good day.

      • CountryCityWoman profile image

        CountryCityWoman 

        7 years ago from From New York City to North Carolina

        So true - we see the word 'dollar' and just assume, great bargains galore. I am usually better off going into the supermarkets. But yes, for party supplies and light bulbs for all the weird lamps I have which are probably so outdated.

        Thanks for the list. Yay!

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Suzie - I have to agree with you that wal mart has better bargains on most food. I save a lot of money on Clanceys (my dog) milk bones and pupperoni too. Thanks for your comments and enjoy your day, Suzie :)

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        drbj - You have a 5 dollar store near you? Unbelievable. But, as you have pointed out, the way things are going, we may be seeing the final days of the dollar store. Thanks, my friend and have a million dollar day!

      • TheListLady profile image

        TheListLady 

        7 years ago from New York City

        Really good tips about what not to buy as well. Isn't it interesting how they are still called dollar stores while charging more.

        Since I live here in the City with a million supermarkets around me - I can always get a better deal in the supermarkets - but for light bulbs - it is the dollar store.

        We have to remember to always be educated consumers.

        Rated up!

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Ladywriter - So glad to see you! I noticed yesterday while visiting the dollar store that the sizes are smaller but that is also true in the super market. Urggggh. I stuck to my own list and only spent 6 dollars. :)

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Chatkath - I made a quick trip to the dollar store today and even followed my own advice :) But today, everything looked way to low-quality and I'm having second thoughts about going back. :) Thank you, Kathy for your on-going support. They just don't make them any better than you!

      • Pamela N Red profile image

        Pamela N Red 

        7 years ago from Oklahoma

        Good advice, Vocal. You can get bargains there but you have to watch. I get gift bags, wrapping paper and some party goods there like paper plates.

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        allpurposeguru - (love the username). So nice to receive your comments. I normally never go out of my way to shop the dollar store and confine my cart to a couple of cleaning products, extra toothbrushes and greeting cards.

        Thanks for taking time to check out my hub. :)

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Kate - Comparative shopping can take some time, but for me, I save money in the long run. I rarely shop at the dollar store anymore. The quality of most merchandise seems to have taken a turn for the worst. Thanks so much for your comments. :)

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        breakfastpop - Hahaha! This made me laugh, because it is mostly so true. Love it. :)

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        prasetio - Hello, my friend. I can hardly believe you have a .50 cent store. Would be helpful to have one here.

        Thank you for reading my hub and for the wonderful rating you have given to me. That is so nice of you. But then, you are the nicest man in all of hubland! Big hugs to you, dear Pras. :)

      • prasetio30 profile image

        prasetio30 

        7 years ago from malang-indonesia

        Nice information, my friend. You open my eyes about what happened outside, including this store. Actually there's a store with the same scheme in my home town. We called this "50 cents store". Everything were sold with 50 cents price. It looks affordable for us, but there's other section which sold things above this price. I really entertained with this hub. Again, you wrote this very well. I push "useful, awesome, beautiful and interesting" . I give this special for you. Keep it up! Cheers...

        Blessing and hugs,

      • Chatkath profile image

        Kathy 

        7 years ago from California

        What a great hub idea Audrey! I go all the time and always wonder if some of the stuff is even worth $1. This little guide is most helpful! There are good deals to be had but you must do your homework -- Or read Audrey's Hub!!!!LOL

        Bookmarked - Rated up and useful mu friend....

      • Eiddwen profile image

        Eiddwen 

        7 years ago from Wales

        A brilliant hub and thank you for sharing vocalcoach.

        Here's to many more to share.

        Take care my friend and I vote this one up all the way as I always do with yours.

        Take care my dear friend,

        Eiddwen.

      • Micky Dee profile image

        Micky Dee 

        7 years ago

        Great advice dear vocalcoach. Be well and stay cool this summer.

      • dallas93444 profile image

        Dallas W Thompson 

        7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

        Thanks! Completed a cabin cruiser restoration and update... Now back to getting my book published!

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        dallas - Wonderful to see you again. Thanks a lot for your comments. Take care and watch your dollars :)

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        hyphenbird - I bet I could learn a lot from you. :) Being mentally prepared and aware are the best tools to take with you at any store. Thanks for your contribution.

      • dallas93444 profile image

        Dallas W Thompson 

        7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

        Thanks for the information. Great article! Awesome.

      • breakfastpop profile image

        breakfastpop 

        7 years ago

        I have been in dollar stores and have never seen a thing I thought was worth more than 10 cents.

      • LadyWriter profile image

        LadyWriter 

        7 years ago from UK

        Same here in the UK; Pound (£) stores are great for the things you mention, cleaning products, paper table items etc - they cost far more at the supermarket. They do sell a lot of tat though!

      • profile image

        Kate 

        7 years ago

        I so agree with you, You have to know your costs before shopping at Dollar stores as you can so easily get stung.

        i found that buying things like paracetamol was one to watch out for. It is so much cheaper at a super market.

        Also things like chocolate and other snacks can also cost you more at the Dollar store.

      • Hyphenbird profile image

        Brenda Barnes 

        7 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

        I go to the dollar stores for some items. Thankfully I have a great memory and can "see" in my mind prices from other stores when I shop. We are minimalists and that keeps us from buying junk from anywhere, like toys and minutia. Thanks for a great Hub.

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Lyn.Stewart - Oh yes, not that much seems to change. So glad you liked the hub. Hope all is well in your part of the world. :) vocalcoach

      • Happyboomernurse profile image

        Gail Sobotkin 

        7 years ago from South Carolina

        Great hub and a good reminder of the things not to buy at the Dollar Store, especially the children's toys that may contain lead or have flimsy parts that break and present a choking hazard.

        I do swear by the Dollar Store for basically all the items on your "what to buy" list.

      • drbj profile image

        drbj and sherry 

        7 years ago from south Florida

        Excellent Dollar Store recommendations, Audrey. It's still one of the best places to find a bargain as you pointed out. I expect, however, that before long, the way prices are rising, our favorite dollar stores may soon become two, three and five dollar stores. We have one of those in my neighborhood.

        Voted up.

      • profile image

        SusieQ42 

        7 years ago

        Yes, I love saving money while shopping. I find some great deals at flea markets too. And Walmart is cheaper than our grocery store, Winn Dixie. Winn Dixie has great sales on meat- buy 1 get 1 free, but everything else is priced way up! Nice hub. Thank you.

      • dahoglund profile image

        Don A. Hoglund 

        7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

        It has been going on for quite awhile. How much is in a 3 lb can of coffee. Toilet tissue i find impossible to make comparisons on.I do thin it is deceptive packaging.

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        chspublish - Before I got wise to how the Dollar Store works, I was spending money left and right. I really wasn't paying much attention to cost back then. I imagine many people do the same. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy every moment! Vocalcoach

      • chspublish profile image

        chspublish 

        7 years ago from Ireland

        Well done. You've had the effect of making me re-think my dollar/euro store approach. You're right, it's best to shop further and check what other stores may be offering.

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        lisa, my sweet friend - So happy to see you as always. And as for being frugal, I am always open to additional tips, so keep me in mind. :) vc

      • always exploring profile image

        Ruby Jean Richert 

        7 years ago from Southern Illinois

        I shop at the Dollar Store, but i'm careful. I use Fab laundry detergent, and found that it was cheaper at Walmart. Thank's for the tips.

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        dahogland - Speaking of smaller packaging, I have a real problem with super markets reducing the size of food products, then raising the prices. I suppose that is a sign of the times. Thank you for your comments.

      • b. Malin profile image

        b. Malin 

        7 years ago

        I do have to say, I sometimes have found (with good dates stamped on them) cans of Brand Soups. I agree on all of your Things to Buy at the $1.00 Store and find they are Fun to visit as long as we know our limitations. Good Hub as Usual, Vocalcoach. LOL.

      • allpurposeguru profile image

        David Guion 

        7 years ago from North Carolina

        Your lists should help lots of people. Alas, most of the categories of stuff to buy there are things I don't often buy at all. I don't go there very often, but I'll check it out the next time I do a snack run or want greeting cards.

      • Sylvia's Thoughts profile image

        Sylvia Van Peebles 

        7 years ago from Southern California

        This was great! I always thought the name should be changed to the "Twenty Dollar Store" because I always seem to spend at least that! Have you ever been to the 95+ Cents Stores? Everything is plus. I don't think I found anything for .95!

      • Mentalist acer profile image

        Mentalist acer 

        7 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

        Baggies at my dollar store are a good buy...thanks for sharing vocalcoach.;)

      • WillStarr profile image

        WillStarr 

        7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

        True. Many things are actually higher at the Dollar Store, so shop carefully.

      • timorous profile image

        Tim Nichol 

        7 years ago from Me to You

        You're quite right Audrey, you can save a bundle at the dollar store. However, you still need to be 'smart' shopper. Many of the items are of rather cheap quality (you get what you pay for), and are not a good value in the long run..filling up landfill sites with broken can openers, etc.

        I'm also leery of any food items, and personal hygeine items, unless they're the same name brands as the supermarkets.

        I find the real bargains are plates, bowls and glasses, which are perfectly good quality and often quite substantial (as long as they don't have lead in them..who knows).

      • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Hunt 

        7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        Esmeowl - Its always fun to shop here and easy to get "carried away" - not something we want to do when every dollar counts. Thanks for visiting and I hope to see you soon. On my way to read your profile and a hub or 2. :)

      • hotwebideas profile image

        Bruce Chamoff 

        7 years ago from New York

        Great information and thanks! V-Up!

      • slappywalker profile image

        Kieron Walker 

        7 years ago from Saratoga Springs, NY

        Good list. I still get mad at myself when I walk in the Dollar Store and realize that I just overpaid for an item at another store. One of the things that I always forget is that the dollar store sometimes has basic dry spices in the cooking section. Nothing fancy, but it can save a little money.

      • Lyn.Stewart profile image

        Lyn.Stewart 

        7 years ago from Auckland, New Zealand

        Brilliant ...thank you. I have noticed a similar thing here in New Zealand. some things are the same all around the world arnt they.

      • lisabeaman profile image

        lisabeaman 

        7 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

        Great points Audrey! I love being frugal!

      • dahoglund profile image

        Don A. Hoglund 

        7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

        I don't get to the dollar stores too often but I have noticed that some products are smaller than at other stores, that is have less product.

      • Esmeowl12 profile image

        Cindy A Johnson 

        7 years ago from Sevierville, TN

        Very good points. I love the dollar store but you do have to shop carefully. Thanks for the tips. Voted up and useful.

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