Is the Dollar Store Really a Deal?

It seems that a dollar store can be a great place to buy a lot of different kinds of items. And with everything priced as low as they are there, it would seem like a grand bargain whatever you purchase.  But is it really a good deal?

Is the Dollar Store really a deal?

Is a Dollar Store Really a Deal?

Things to Purchase

Let’s face it; most things are perfectly okay to buy at a dollar store. These tend to be your standard household cleaning supplies, and when the brand name or type doesn’t factor into the overall effectiveness of the product.

So many times it is the truth: If the price is right and it’s close enough, it works!

Here is a list of things that fall into this category:

  • Art/School project supplies
  • Batteries (just make sure you still get alkaline)
  • Office supplies
  • Books
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Home decorations
  • Party decorations and door prizes
  • Stocking stuffers
  • Some beauty products (hair accessories, hair spray, shampoo, soap, cotton swabs, etc.)
  • Hostess gifts (bath & body lotion, wash, pretty scented items)

Things to Avoid

However, we have things that should probably not be on your list. In fact, they warrant a separate listing. These are products where the difference in quality could make them an utterly ineffective replacement.

In other words, these could be a waste of money when compared to the non-generic equivalent. In some instances you even get less for your money when you consider how many you get for a dollar:

  • Medicine (Here you can overpay when buying by the dollar)
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Cheap paper products (paper plates, cups, toilet paper, paper towels)
  • Most toys

Hidden Costs

Another thing to watch for is food items that cost more at the dollar store than your local grocery store. For example, a can of corn may cost $1 at the dollar store, but your local grocer has them on sale for 50 cents each.

Meat usually comes packaged for the single dollar sale. But when you consider that the dollar buys you 1/8 of a pound of ham, the price is $8 per pound.

You can beat this at the grocery store with a sale on a name brand, and even use a grocery pickup service.

The trick is to consider the volume you get for a dollar, and do a little math to see how much it costs you elsewhere. You may be surprised to find that sometimes the dollar store is nowhere close to a bargain on many items.

It’s easy to get blinded by the low prices at your local dollar store…

Is the Dollar Store really a deal?

And many times they are an excellent place to buy standard household supplies and items. However, you may find that the dollar store deal isn’t always a deal.

You can save money at a dollar store, but like so many other things when it comes to money, you just have to be smart about it.