Top left paint in bright green container, top right pump bottles of soap, bottom left colorful folded shirts, bottom right cell phone charger.

17 Things to Never Buy at the Dollar Store (According to Reddit Users)

Find out what dollar store items to avoid buying, either because they are of low quality or because you can find a better deal elsewhere.

17 Things to Never Buy at the Dollar Store (According to Reddit Users)

Outside of dollar store with "Dollar Tree" name on building and trees next to entrance.
Photo Credit: jetcityimage2 | Deposit Photos

Wondering what things you should never buy at the dollar store?

Reddit users are sharing items that aren’t worth purchasing at the dollar store so you can save your hard-earned money.

Cell Phone Chargers

Phone plugged into charger on wood background.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

“The worst might be their chargers for cell phones.”


Other Redditors also felt cell phone chargers weren’t worth buying because they didn’t last long and, in some cases, didn’t work right out of the box.


Colorful shirts folded.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

“I don’t get any of their other clothing – it doesn’t last long enough. I can find way better quality at the 2nd hand stores for the same price or less.”


Toilet Brushes

Orange toilet brush on toilet.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

“Toilet brush. Lasted about 3 times before the brush head snapped off.”


Kid’s Paint

Paint in a bright green container with paint brushes.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

“Paper sure, but please don’t give children paint from the dollar store. It’s basically clear snot with a tiny bit of pigment in it. They will not be able to make any satisfying picture with that.”


While many Reddit users cited the horrible quality of dollar store kids’ paint, this Redditor definitely gets points for the most creative description.


Cheese in a white bowl.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

“Don’t buy the cheese product from dollar stores. It’s real bad. It doesn’t melt like cheese, it doesn’t taste like cheese, it’s a very strange product.”


So many Reddit users in different subreddits expressed their dislike for dollar store cheese and also mentioned how it didn’t melt.

Paper Towels and Toilet Paper

Rolls of toilet paper in a basket
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

“Paper towels and toilet paper (the price is good, but the quality suffers).”


Canned Food and Prepared Meal Kits

Canned food viewed from the top open.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

Former Dollar Tree employee u/unraveledflyer said, “The canned goods are overpriced compared to places like Aldi.”

They also mentioned, “Avoid prepared meal kits like Hamburger Helper and Suddenly Salad unless you find a bonus box as the others are usually the small boxes a lot of stores have for cheaper.”

Oven Mitts and Pot Holders

Red and white pot holders hanging on hooks.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

“One time I bought an oven mitt there, and I hurt my hand when I used it. So, don’t buy an oven mitt.”



White pillowcases folded on a white background.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

“The pillowcase literally disintegrated when I washed it. Terrible.”


Garbage Bags (Store-Brand/Off-Brand)

Person taking blue trash bag full of trash out from under sink.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

“Don’t buy their garbage bags – you’ll end up having to double bag and you’re not saving anything. They also don’t stop odors due to being so thin.”


This Reddit user is most likely referring to off-brand or dollar store brand garbage bags.

If available, buy name-brand garbage bags at the dollar store and avoid the off-brand. Dollar Tree carries Hefty, a good brand that won’t break.


Colorful pens in a grey metal holder.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

“And the pens are often just awful. Which is fine if you’re giving them away, but cruddy if you care about pens.”


Plastic Wrap

Roll of plastic wrap on a white background.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

“It just turns into a horrible tangled mess, and then doesn’t cling to anything but itself.”


Can Openers

Person using can opener to open can on a light background.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

“I moved into a new apartment and realized we had no can opener. Found one at the nearby dollar store. It opened exactly one can before it broke.”


Cereal (Store Brand/Off Brand)

Dollar Store Cereal in a white bowl on a blue cloth.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

“I also refuse to buy the store brand cereal except for maybe the Cocoa Krispies. The Toasted Oats taste like you’re eating air or cardboard, and they don’t have as many vitamins or minerals like name brands do. “


If your local dollar store carries name-brand cereal, you’re better off sticking to that than off-brand.

Body Wash (Store-Brand/Off-Brand)

Colorful body wash in plastic pump bottles on a wood background.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

“You need to use so much that you can go through a bottle in a week vs name brands that can last you a month.”


If your dollar store carries name-brand body wash, opt for that over off-brand.

Dollar Store Items Actually Worth Buying

Left Dollar Tree store, right organized cabinet
Photo Credit: (Left) samael1986 / Deposit Photos, (Right) Deposit Photos

Now that you know some dollar store items to avoid, find out what 21 items Reddit users are saying you should always buy at the dollar store.

About the Author

Annie Brown is a frugal living expert and the founder of Savvy Honey.

Her expert advice has also been featured in Buzzfeed, MSN, Yahoo Finance, GOBanking Rates, Woman's Day, The Spruce Crafts, and more.

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