11 Items You Should Never Buy at The Dollar Store

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It’s financially advantageous to clip coupons, shop during sales, and compare prices when trying to maintain a limited budget. The dollar store is a safe pick if you’re looking for a place to get a reasonable price on a wide variety of products. 

However, if you’re on a tight budget there are some dollar store products you shouldn’t ever buy — and some are even downright risky. 

We consulted industry professionals to find out the products that should never be purchased from a dollar shop.

1. Medicines & Vitamins 

When something is too good to be true, it usually is. For example, cheap, generic medicine and vitamins from the dollar store. These medicines haven’t been subjected to the same testing and regulation as name-brand items so there is no way of knowing what’s inside the pills. They may not even have any active ingredients! If the drug has yet to be authorized or you aren’t confident in its quality, you should avoid it.

2. Pet Food 

The cost savings on dog food might not outweigh the difference in quality — so consider all your options when shopping around! Instead, look for local pet or grocery store circulars to find deals and coupons for better brands.

3. Knives

When it comes to kitchen knives, investing in a higher-quality product is always worth the cost. Dollar General and other dollar stores may offer appealing prices on blades; however, these items often come with some major drawbacks that make them unreliable for long term, everyday use.

These knives are often made from poor-quality metal, which could result in peeling or chipping of the blade. Cheaper knives can also have issues such as slippery handles or subpar balance when cutting food due to uneven weight distribution.

Safety is also a concern: Dull blades are more difficult to use, which can lead to dangerous cooking accidents. Spending extra money upfront for safer and more reliable performance further down the line should be a top priority for purchasing a knife.

Hot Tip: The dollar store is great for cheap items, but be aware of the quality issues that may arise from these products.

4. Plastic Kitchen Utensils 

Cheaper isn’t always better when it comes to kitchen utensils. Low-priced plastic options can contain chemicals like brominated flame retardants linked with serious health concerns. Play it safe and invest in metal, bamboo, or BPA-free spatulas from a trusted retailer.

5. Makeup

Beauty products can contain mysterious ingredients. Generic versions may use cheaper components to keep prices low – while this is usually safe for most people, those with sensitive skin should stick to known and reputable brands instead.

6. Toys 

Some cheap toys are made using inferior materials and may not be toxin-free. Others may simply break down with typical usage, making them a safety hazard for young children who may then mouth these harmful objects.

7. Batteries

Starting your projects off with generic, dollar-store batteries can derail a great start. Cheap batteries are usually made of carbon zinc which doesn’t provide the same longevity as lithium. 

Additionally, cheap batteries pose risks such as leakage that could harm all sorts of electronics. To ensure optimum performance and safety in powering up any device or project, pay more for high-quality batteries!

8. Electronic Accessories 

You can find cheap electronic accessories in dollar stores because they’re made poorly! From extension cords to phone chargers, these products don’t match the quality of gadgets produced by well-known corporations. These products don’t cost much but can also harm your electronics.

9. Tools 

Owning a quality tool kit can make a big difference around the house. If something breaks, you can easily fix it with your tools. Cheap tool kits, on the other hand, are poorly constructed and will not last long.

10. Sunscreen

Even when purchasing name-brand lotions, it’s crucial to buy new bottles because the lotion’s effects decline over time. 

11. Oven Mitt

Many low-cost oven mitts are made of flimsy, cheap material that can’t protect your hands from intense heat. If you can’t resist looking at a pretty seasonal pair of oven mitts, think about using them as decorative objects rather than your go-to kitchen helpers.


Shopping at the dollar store may be fun and frugal, but remember there are some items that you shouldn’t go too cheap on. Try to buy batteries, pet food, makeup, and other items on this list from non-dollar stores.