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22 Items You Should Never Buy At the Dollar Store

Paper Towels

Yes, the package of paper towels may be less expensive at the dollar store, but be sure to compare the thickness of the paper towel brands and the number of towels per roll in each package. You may not be getting as much as you think you are for the price. Most packaging has the total number of feet of paper towels.

While you may find five rolls for $1 at one store, those rolls may only have 500 ft of absorbable material. Other "expensive" brands may have five rolls in a package for $2, the total length could be over 1,000 ft of absorbable material—which would actually save you money compared to the "cheap" package. More expensive paper towels may also absorb more liquid, meaning that you use less material per spill so their package may actually last you longer than a cheaper brand.

Oven Mitts

Your hands will be safer if you opt for thicker mitts from another store. Cheaper offerings are not nearly as thick and often don't offer as much protection for your hands as oven mitts that cost even a couple of dollars more. Of course, you can double up, but then where's the savings? Plus, wearing two oven mitts at once is just weird.

Unfamiliar Brands of Trail Mix

There's a big risk that the chocolate will taste artificial and the nuts may be stale in an unfamiliar dollar store trail mix. Either choose your regular brand, or wait and buy it at the grocery store.

Picture Frames

The variety of frame sizes and designs is limited and the quality can be less than desirable at a dollar store. You'll also rarely find real wood or decorative metal available.

Tennis Shoes

If you're purchasing shoes for working out, you probably won't find dollar store versions that provide adequate support. This can lead to fatigue and potential injury.


You may be able to find your favorite brand of diapers, but buying from an online retailer that gives discounts for bulk purchases can save you even more money.

Baby Bottles

Mommies have all sorts of preferences for baby bottle sizes, shapes, styles, and durability. The dollar store has a limited selection that falls on the lower end of that quality spectrum.


Lightweight, plastic flashlights can be difficult to turn on and some may even go off or come on unexpectedly. You may want to opt for something more durable for emergency situations.

Shower Curtain Rods

Flimsy tension rods sag in the middle with or without the weight of a shower curtain. This will make your shower look neglected, so hold out for a more expensive, heavyweight rod.


As light on support and breathability as they are on price, you can get greater comfort by purchasing more expensive bras elsewhere. This is an investment piece, so splurge a little. 

Sleeping Bags

Don't expect comfortable padding or superior warmth from a dollar store sleeping bag. Your kids probably won't find them decorated with their favorite character, either. It's best to spend a little more now to save on discomfort in the future. 

Wrapping Paper

It's not a bargain if you have to double up so that the present doesn't show through. It pays to check the amount on the roll, as well. You may be able to find a diamond in the rough, but you're chances are greater at a slightly more expensive store. 

Car Floor Mats

Nothing gets more foot traffic than a car floor mat! For it to do its job, it must have an adequate thickness, size, and and shape. Dollar store mats just don't live up! They come in limited sizes & shapes and are not heavy duty.


Nothing you buy at the dollar store is made to last—and that includes batteries. Buy batteries made my brands you trust; they'll last a lot longer than anything you can buy for $1, so you end up saving in the long-run.


You know those nasty, plastic-feeling single-sliced packs of cheese you can buy for super cheap? Yeah, that's what's at the dollar store. Unless you just enjoy eating plastic (you do you), don't buy it.

Feminine Products

If you want to be comfortable during that time of the month, shop elsewhere for feminine products. All you'll find at the dollar store is cardboard tampons and cheaply made pads.

Packing Tape

It'll take at least five layers of dollar store packing tape to keep your packages sealed, so you're better off buying not-as-cheap, name brand packing tape in the long-run.

Pet Food

Yes, good pet food can be pricey—but that's because it's packed with good nutrients for your pet! If you really love Rufus, you won't let him eat cheap dollar store pet food.

Skin Care

If you're buying skin care, it's probably because you're worried about wrinkles and pimples, right? Well, I hate to break it to you—but $1 won't go very far in those particular battles.


If you're building something or putting something together, you only want to have to do it once—and right—so you don't have to do it again, right? So walk away from the dollar store hammer.


The coffee choices at the dollar store are basic. If you like a wide variety of gourmet blends and whole beans from which to choose, save this purchase for a different store.

Toilet Paper

It may be difficult to find your favorite brand and you may find that some brands are thinner or are packaged with fewer sheets per roll. Be sure to read the package label.