Things you'd never buy at a Dollar Store

Over the weekend, I took my daughters to the Dollar Store to let them spend some of their hard earned Christmas cash. They wound up with some cheap toys and press-on nails, but while wandering the aisles, I noticed home pregnancy tests. That’s one thing that I really, really think I’d rather spend the whole $8 for a name brand one. Yes, its quite possible that the no-name one at the DS is made on the same production line as the expensive ones, but its equally likely that its imported from China. I was going to buy one just to check out the instructions & see if I could determine its origin, but then realized that being a male and buying a pregnancy test with 8 & 10 year old girls in tow just might have some unintended consequences, so I refrained.

Anything you’ve seen at the Dollar Store that you’d really prefer to spend more money on?

Oh, the pregnancy tests are legit. Lots of people with fertility problems will stock up on pregnancy tests at the dollar store.
The only thing I’d avoid buying there is anything meant to be ingested. Hey, you never know.

Squid. No lie, I saw something called Squid CHUNKS at the Dollar Store once.

I’ll pass on the made-in-China toothpaste, thank you very much.

Freudian Slit, my sister bought my son, as a gag gift, some squid jerky. He wasn’t crazy about it, but the cats thought it was da bomb!

Knives. I saw a bunch of 6"-12" kitchen knives there. However, if you turn it to the side, they look about 1/3 as thick as a good one.

Don’t know about digestables from other dollar stores, but Dollar Tree has a sweet pickle relish under their brand that’s the best I’ve ever had; it’s made in India and full of delicious spices. Been eating it for years w/ no issues. Likewise they have the movie sized boxes of candy for a fraction of what you pay at the movies.

What I don’t buy from there are toiletries that aren’t the same namebrand you’d get elsewhere. Also I don’t think I’d buy any of their electronics or silverware.

Oh yeah, if I was a chick, I would never, ever buy tampons or condoms from a dollar store.

They do have product line closeouts there for some expensive stuff. You can get premium stuff for a dollar. I wouldn’t buy a lot of their cheap brand stuff, but I can’t rule out a category of item because they get those product closeouts.

The tools would be something I’d pass up because you can get them at Wal*Mart for the same price and better quality. No point using a wrench that’ll break in half or waste your buck. I also think I’d skip the headphones and digital watches for almost the same reason.

When I was in Spain (Portugal?) I ran across, in a grocery store, cans of squid, like sardines, in their own ink. It was delicious.

I ran across some Dollar Store-type tools with a lifetime guarantee. Simply ship them back to them at your cost, plus include a check for $8.99 shipping and handling.

Actually, I bought a bunch of the headphones for the car & laptop case. Having cheapo spares around for when the good ones go bad is pretty useful.

I did find that the Dollar Tree whoopee cushion was silent, which was pretty disappointing.

Batteries. I used to, but they just run out so fast that I realized I wasn’t saving any money. Seriously - I have a tiny box fan that runs on 8 D cell batteries. Not cheap. The dollar store batteries don’t even power it for a whole day, but the name brand drugstore batteries go for three or four days. So it’s slightly more expensive to use the cheaper batteries, and creates triple the waste.

There’s nothing wrong with the home pregnancy tests, though. The toiletries tend to be watered down, but they’re not too bad. I’ve never seen condoms at the dollar store, but I think I’d probably take a pass on those, simply because I’ve seen the morons that work there, and I’d be afraid they were left in a hot room too long, or the box opened with a knife that cut too deep or something else which would compromise the integrity of the condom. I’m probably fooling myself that the employees at WalMart are any more competent, but still…

Yeah, I remember the Spain episode of No Reservations where Anthony Bourdain sampled some canned shellfish and deemed it excellent.

Of course, this was the really fancy stuff that cost something like 100 dollars a can, so it probably was. I don’t think I’d buy dollar store seafood.

And I agree with whoever mentioned tampons. I wouldn’t get those at a dollar store unless I was REALLY desperate for tampons, and REALLY strapped for cash.

Yeah, same here. When my wife and I went on vacation last year I went to Dollar Tree and bought a couple of packs of AAs for our digital camera. They’d last for maybe a half-dozen pictures, though, before the low battery light start flashing.

The Dollar General private brand (“Clover Valley”) food is actually pretty good, at least what I’ve had. I wish they had more diet soda flavors other than cola. I get their Girl Scout Cookie knockoffs when the Girl Scouts are out of season.

What I do not buy there are electronics. I bought an alarm clock ($8) that broke after a few days.

I totally would not buy tampons there.

I hear their cleaning stuff is good tho. (No not douche, I mean house cleaning!)

The Dollar Store is the place to go for cleaning supplies. All the brands that were around in the 50s are still there, for cheap. Why spend 3 times as much when Bon-Ami is $.99?

I’ll pass on the items that actually need skill to manufacture.

Dollar General’s not a dollar store technically. And sadly.

Cheapest bleach, ammonia and brooms around!

Rolex. Never buy a Rolex there.

Perishables-dairy/meat/produce. Anything else try and see or evaluate in-store such as the knives mentioned by Superhal.