Your local dollar store is a treasure trove of trinkets and supplies at an unbeatable price.
But for certain goods and supplies, buying from the dollar store is sure to lead to disappointment and a lesson learned: you get what you pay for.
It’s important for even the most cunning bargain hunters to understand that not all products in the dollar store are created equal.
Here’s a list of products you should avoid purchasing at the dollar store for a variety of reasons.
1. Vitamins and pharmaceutical items
Vitamins and other health products like pain relievers are two of those items. Even if it’s a name-brand pain reliever you recognize, most often, it’s on sale because the expiration date is near, and it’s never a good idea to use any medicine or health product past the expiration date. Imported off-brand health supplements sold at the dollar store, while cheaper than their health food store counterparts, may also be short on the minerals and nutrients claimed on the label.
2. Cosmetics and beauty supplies
Beauty supplies and cosmetics are in abundance at the dollar store. While they often cost significantly less than the products stocked at retail drug stores, the brand name items are often almost expired, which is why they are so inexpensive.
Those with sensitive skin should be especially wary of products containing known irritants such as alpha-hydroxy acids with an AHA level over 10 per cent, phenoxyethanol or imidazolidinyl urea.
Children’s toys for all ages can be found at the dollar store for a fraction of the cost of brand name items at a specialty toy shop. Generally, these toys are cheaply made and don’t last very long. Also, items are typically older overstock containing ingredients or components that may have been recalled over the years. Be mindful of small components that pose choking hazards for small children.
4. Certain food items
Unless it’s a brand name you know and trust, avoid certain food and drink items at the dollar store. Even "fruit flavoured" cocktails and "vegetable flavoured" snacks are usually high in fructose or sodium and contain no nutrients whatsoever. Furthermore, many of the food items are overstock from other retailers (cookies, crackers, granola bars etc.) and could be well past their best before date.
5. Some pet supplies
Pet food and supplies take up their own section at most dollar stores, but a lot of the food is cheaply made, or contain no nutritional value. Some ingredients could actually be harmful to your pets. Contaminated ingredients in animal and fish feed may still be lurking in some pet food products, especially cookies and treats.
It’s best to remember that many dollar store items could be older, overstock from other retail sources. Be sure to check expiration dates, as well as ingredient or components lists (if available) for known allergens, irritants and contaminated materials.
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