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10 Items to Avoid at Dollar Stores: Save Money and Stay Safe

Dollar stores have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their seemingly unbeatable prices. However, not all items at these stores are created equal, and it’s important to know what to buy at the dollar store and what to avoid.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the pricing structures of dollar stores and identify specific items that are more expensive at these stores.

Pricing Structure of Dollar Stores

Dollar stores typically offer a wide variety of products at prices that seem almost too good to be true. One of the main reasons these stores can price their items so low is due to their purchasing power.

Companies like Dollar Tree, Dollar General, and Family Dollar are massive retailers with a significant amount of buying power. They can negotiate bulk discounts from their suppliers and pass these savings on to their customers.

However, it’s essential to understand that not all products at dollar stores are priced the same. Some items are priced at one dollar, while others may have a range of prices.

This is because the price of items at dollar stores can vary depending on the size, brand, and even the location of the store.

Items That Are More Expensive at Dollar Stores

While many items at dollar stores are a great deal, some products may actually be more expensive than their counterparts at other retailers. Below are some items that you should avoid purchasing at dollar stores:

Batteries: Dollar store batteries may seem like a great deal, but they’re often of lower quality than name-brand batteries.

Additionally, they tend to have a shorter lifespan, so you’ll end up replacing them more frequently. A price comparison between Dollar Tree and Target showed that Panasonic batteries were actually cheaper at Target when you calculate the price per battery.

Aspirin: Dollar stores often sell generic versions of aspirin, which may not be as effective as name-brand options. Additionally, some of these aspirins are coated with sugar that could harm your health.

With the price difference being so minimal, it’s better to spend a few more cents to ensure the quality of the aspirin. Tampons: The low prices for feminine hygiene products make them irresistible to some customers.

However, dollar store brands are made with inferior materials and lack the same quality control standards as name-brand products, making them less effective and potentially more uncomfortable to use. Alka-Seltzer: The dollar store version of Alka-Seltzer may contain a lower concentration of the active ingredient than the name-brand version, making it less effective.

Additionally, it may not taste as good, which can make it harder to swallow. Pet food: Pet owners should also be wary of buying pet food at dollar stores.

Some of the brands sold may contain fillers and additives that have no nutritional value. Plus, the quality of meat used in some products may be subpar, making them potentially harmful to your pets’ health.

Name-brand cereal: While dollar stores sell name-brand cereals, they often charge a higher price than other retailers. You may be better off shopping for cereal during a sale at your local grocery store.

Toothpaste: Dollar store toothpaste may not contain the same ingredients as name-brand toothpaste. Additionally, the packaging may be damaged, which could allow air to enter the toothpaste, leading it to dry out.

Face masks: While you can get cheap face masks at dollar stores, the quality of the materials is often poor. They may not provide the level of protection you need, which could leave you vulnerable to airborne illnesses.

Sunscreen: The effectiveness of dollar store sunscreen is often questionable. It may contain a lower SPF than what’s advertised, be expired, or simply not protect as well as name-brand products.

Colored pencils: The lead in dollar store colored pencils may not adhere as well to paper as higher-quality brands. Additionally, they may be prone to breaking, which can be frustrating for anyone using them for a project.

Travel-sized items: You may think that buying travel-sized items at the dollar store is a great deal; however, these products are often marked up higher than their regular-sized counterparts. Mac and Cheese: although high on demand you may find that some options have an inconsistent taste and lower quality ingredients.

Conclusion

While dollar stores can be a great option for shoppers, understanding the pricing structure and identifying which items are more expensive at these stores than other retailers can help you make more informed choices. It’s essential to balance cost with quality, particularly when buying products for your health or that of your pets.

For anything else, it’s always worth doing a quick price comparison before making a purchase. By shopping wisely, you’ll walk away with great deals and better-quality products.

3) Aspirin

Aspirin is a commonly used medication for reducing pain, fever, and inflammation. It’s an over-the-counter medication that’s available at many retailers, including dollar stores.

Valuhealth is the Dollar Tree brand that sells aspirin, among many other health products. However, just because it’s inexpensive doesn’t always mean it’s the best option.

Here, we’ll compare the pricing of Valuhealth aspirin to the up & up brand at Target.

Low Dose Aspirin

Low dose aspirin is commonly used to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. For this reason, it’s important to choose a reliable brand that contains the correct dosage.

Valuhealth sells 81mg Enteric Coated Aspirin Tablets for $1 per bottle, while up & up sells the same tablets for $2.29 at Target. While the price difference might seem significant, the up & up brand is a better value considering it contains the same amount of aspirin tablets as Valuhealth, at a higher dose.

Extra Strength Acetaminophen Aspirin Pills

Extra Strength Acetaminophen Aspirin Pills are used for reducing fever and relieve minor aches and pains. A bottle of 50 tablets of this medication is sold under Valuhealth’s line of pain relief products for $1, while Target’s up & up brand sells a bottle of 100 tablets for $5.99.

That means you get twice as many tablets for only $4.99 more. It’s a great value for those who use this medication often.

Overall, while Valuhealth tablets may be cheaper, choosing the up & up brand at Target may offer better value and quality.

4) Tampons

Tampons are essential for many women, and they can be expensive if bought in large quantities or frequently. While dollar stores are a convenient option for buying tampons, they may not always be the least expensive option.

Tampax Pocket Radiant Tampons are a popular brand sold at both Dollar Tree and Target.

Tampax Pocket Radiant Tampons

Tampax Pocket Radiant Tampons are sold in a variety of sizes, including regular, super, and super plus. Dollar Tree sells a 3 pack of the regular tampons for $1, while Target sells a 32 count of the same size for $6.99.

This means that Target’s price per tampon is around $0.22, while Dollar Tree’s price per tampon is about $0.33. While ten cents may not seem like a big difference, it adds up over time.

Moreover, Target often offers discounts and deals when you buy more tampons. Regularly buying in bulk can help you save a considerable amount of money in the long run.

Additionally, Target has a subscription service for tampons that can save you even more. You can choose a delivery frequency and the number of boxes you need, and the tampons will be delivered right to your doorstep at a discounted price.

When it comes to

Tampax Pocket Radiant Tampons, Dollar Tree may seem like a good option, but Target offers better value in terms of pricing and subscription services. Overall, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of buying tampons or any other health products at dollar stores.

It’s worth considering other retailers and the quality of the product before making a purchase. By doing so, you can save money in the long run while ensuring that you get the best products for your health.

5) Alka-Seltzer

Alka-Seltzer is a popular antacid medication used to relieve heartburn, indigestion, and acid reflux. It’s an over-the-counter medication that’s available at various retailers, including dollar stores such as Dollar Tree.

However, the pricing of Alka-Seltzer may differ from store to store. In this article, we’ll compare the prices of Alka-Seltzer tablets between Dollar Tree and Target.

Alka-Seltzer Tablets

Dollar Tree offers Alka-Seltzer Effervescent Tablets in original flavor, citrus, and cherry. It sells a package of 12 tablets for $1, making each tablet cost approximately $0.08.

On the other hand, Target offers a pack of 36 Alka-Seltzer Original Antacid and Pain Relief Effervescent Tablets for $5.29, which makes the cost of each tablet approximately $0.15. While it may seem like a better deal to buy Alka-Seltzer tablets at Dollar Tree, it’s essential to check the dose.

Dollar Tree sells tablets with a weight of 265mg per tablet, while Target offers tablets with 325mg per tablet. That means Target’s tablets contain more of the active ingredient, making them a better option if you need a higher dosage.

When considering the price per tablet and the quality, it’s a better value to buy Alka-Seltzer tablets at Target.

6) Pet Food

Pet owners are always on the lookout for the most affordable pet food options. Dollar stores like Dollar Tree offer various pet food brands such as Purina, but are they the best option?

In this article, we’ll compare the pricing of Purina Kit & Kaboodle Dry Cat Food and

Purina Beneful Healthy Weight Chicken Flavored Dog Food between Dollar Tree and Target. Purina Kit & Kaboodle Dry Cat Food

Purina Kit & Kaboodle is a popular brand of dry cat food.

Dollar Tree sells a 4-ounce package for $1, which translates to approximately $0.25 per ounce. Target, on the other hand, sells a 16-pound package for $12.99, which comes out to approximately $0.05 per ounce.

It’s easy to see that buying Purina Kit & Kaboodle in bulk at Target’s price is a much better value.

Purina Beneful Healthy Weight Chicken Flavored Dog Food

Purina Beneful Healthy Weight Chicken Flavored Dog Food is designed for dogs that need to lose weight. Dollar Tree offers a 4.5-ounce package for $1, which makes the cost approximately $0.22 per ounce.

Target sells a 15.5-pound bag for $13.99, which makes the cost approximately $0.06 per ounce. Once again, buying in bulk at Target offers much better value for

Purina Beneful Healthy Weight Chicken Flavored Dog Food.

Additionally, pet food sold at dollar stores may not always be the best quality. If you’re looking for high-quality pet food that contains healthy ingredients, it may be best to look for other retailers with more premium brands.

Conclusion

While dollar stores can be an option for buying pet food and health products, it’s essential to compare the prices and quality of items. It’s important to remember that lower cost may ultimately turn out to be more expensive if the quality is questionable.

Buying from retailers such as Target at a lower cost per ounce or getting discounts for buying in bulk can offer better value while ensuring a high quality of the products.

7) Name Brand Cereal

Cereal is a breakfast staple for many families. While dollar stores like Dollar Tree may offer popular name brands like

Lucky Charms and

Cinnamon Toast Crunch, they may not always be the most affordable option.

In this article, we’ll compare the prices of these cereals between Dollar Tree and Walmart.

Lucky Charms

Dollar Tree offers a box of 1.1 ounces of

Lucky Charms cereal for $1, making the cost approximately $0.91 per ounce. Walmart, on the other hand, sells a 19.3-ounce box for $3.64, which results in a cost of roughly $0.19 per ounce.

It’s clear that Walmart offers a better deal per ounce, as you will be getting more cereal for less money.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Cinnamon Toast Crunch is another popular cereal brand. Dollar Tree sells it for $1 for a 2.64-ounce box, making the cost approximately $0.38 per ounce.

Walmart has a 19.3-ounce box for $3.64, resulting in a cost of roughly $0.19 per ounce. Once again, Walmart provides a better value than Dollar Tree for

Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

When it comes to

Lucky Charms and

Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Walmart offers a better value for buying these name-brand cereals in bulk.

8) Toothpaste

Toothpaste is an essential item for maintaining good oral hygiene. Dollar stores like Dollar Tree offer options for name-brand toothpaste like Colgate Cavity Protection.

However, while it may be cheap, it might not always be the best option. Here, we’ll compare the pricing of Colgate Cavity Protection toothpaste between Dollar Tree and Walmart.

Colgate Cavity Protection Toothpaste

Dollar Tree sells Colgate Cavity Protection toothpaste for $1 for a 2.5-ounce tube, which makes the cost approximately $0.40 per ounce. Walmart sells a 6-ounce tube for $1.52, resulting in a cost of roughly $0.25 per ounce.

Walmart’s per-ounce price for Colgate Cavity Protection toothpaste is much lower than that of Dollar Tree, making it a better value in terms of price per tube. Additionally, buying the same product in bulk is another way to save money on toothpaste products.

Walmart often has discounts and coupons that can bring the price down even further. The retailer’s subscription service also offers regular deliveries of the product to your doorstep at a lower price.

When it comes to Colgate Cavity Protection toothpaste, Walmart offers a better value for buying in bulk or through their subscription service.

Conclusion

While dollar stores like Dollar Tree can be a convenient option for buying name-brand products, it’s important to compare prices at other retailers like Walmart. Walmart often offers a better value when buying in bulk or taking advantage of their promotions and subscription services.

In the end, weighing the pros and cons of buying from different stores can help you save money while ensuring you’re getting the best quality products for your needs.

9) Face Masks

Disposable face masks are important for everyone to have, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dollar stores like Dollar Tree and Walmart offer disposable face masks for sale.

However, the prices of these masks may differ depending on the store. In this article, we’ll compare the prices of disposable face masks sold at Dollar Tree and Walmart.

Disposable 3-Ply Masks

Dollar Tree sells a 50-count box of disposable 3-ply masks for $1, making the cost of each mask approximately $0.02. Walmart sells a 50-count box for $5.99, which translates to approximately $0.12 per mask.

While Dollar Tree’s price may seem like a better deal, it’s important to consider the quality of the masks. Dollar Tree’s masks are basic and may not offer the same level of protection as Walmart’s masks.

Additionally, Walmart offers bulk discounts on face masks, which can bring the price down even further. Buying in bulk is a great way to save money while maintaining a stock of masks for daily use.

When it comes to disposable face masks, Walmart’s masks may be a better value due to their quality and reasonable pricing.

10) Sunscreen

Sunscreen is essential for protecting your skin from harmful UV rays, and it’s important to apply it daily, especially during the summer months. Dollar stores like Dollar Tree offer various brands of sunscreen, but they may not always be the most affordable option.

In this article, we’ll compare the prices of Banana Boat SPF 30 sunscreen between Dollar Tree and Walmart.

Banana Boat SPF 30 Sunscreen

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