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What to buy at the dollar store and what to avoid

If you’re like most consumers, you enter your neighborhood dollar store intending to quickly grab one or two things. Instead, you end up slowly roaming the aisles for an hour, leaving with bags full of stuff. While some things are great to buy at the Dollar Store, others are not. Trae Bodge, Lifestyle Expert for cash back site, Splender.com, shares her list of what to buy and what to skip.

BUY
Definitely buy household items, like plant supplies, like clay pots, glass marbles and even dishes (check for damages before you buy). Packing tape, masking tape and scotch tape are also a great deal, as are party supplies, like decorative bags, tissue paper and mylar balloons. I also like paper items, like composition books, poster board, foam core and even greeting cards. You can save a lot on these items!

BUY
Personal care items, like coated elastics and hair combs are also worth a look at the dollar store. If you can find brand name toothpaste or toothbrushes, grab those, but skip generic tooth care products. Also look for 100% cotton balls and pads and branded QTips. Paper cleaning products, like paper towels and toilet paper are a good buy if you know the brand. Skip any generics, as the quality might be low.

BUY
Powder cleaning products, like dishwasher, laundry detergent and Comet are all great buys at the dollar store. Skip liquid detergents, unless there is an expiration date. Liquid detergents tend to lose their efficacy over time so if the product has been on the shelf for over a year, it won’t be as effective. Sponges are a good buy, as long as you recognize the brand.

SKIP

With perishable & packaged foods (including candy and drinks), freshness and quality can be questionable, so I would proceed with caution. Same goes for skin care products, and especially those with SPF, which tends to degrade over time. It’s hard to tell how long these products have been sitting on the shelves and it’s not worth the risk.

SKIP

You’ll find plenty of power cords, ear buds and other tech accessories and the price will be appealing, but there’s no knowing if the manufacturing of these items is up to snuff. Given that you’d be plugging them into your beloved smartphone or tablet, why chance it?