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#1
Old 02-11-2013, 04:19 PM
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What's one thing sold at the dollar store that you would NOT buy there?

My answer is easy....those instant pregnancy testers that they keep behind the register....I'll cheap out on certain things in life, but would NEVER recommend someone cheaps out on those!
#2
Old 02-11-2013, 04:20 PM
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Toothpaste. I heard it can be bad.

Also, almost any kind of food.
#3
Old 02-11-2013, 04:29 PM
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Penny candy.
#4
Old 02-11-2013, 04:53 PM
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Rubbers, or as they usta be called in Worcester MA some years ago, safes.

Don't buy yer safes at the dollah store, that's wicked stupit.
#5
Old 02-11-2013, 04:57 PM
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Batteries.

I do a lot of cushy camping, which requires a lot of batteries. Too often in the past, I've gone cheap and gotten dollar store batteries, but they don't actually save any money. Fer'instance: running a battery powered box fan takes 8 D batteries. The dollar store sells them in 2 packs, so that's $4 of batteries for one installation. Dollar store batteries consistently need to be replaced before 24 hours are up, so I need 3 sets for a weekend. That's $12. If I wait for a sale, I can get 8 name brand D batteries for $10 or less at a regular store and they last the whole weekend and then some. AND I don't have to pack, carry and contentiously dispose of an extra 16 batteries.

I've found the same to be true of smaller sizes. They just don't last long enough to be a real savings.

But it took me many weeks of camping and an actually tally sheet to admit this to myself. They look so tempting, sitting there for just a buck!
#6
Old 02-11-2013, 04:59 PM
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Tin foil and cling wrap. For me it's Reynolds and Saran or nothing. Yes, there really is a difference.
#7
Old 02-11-2013, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerund View Post
My answer is easy....those instant pregnancy testers that they keep behind the register....I'll cheap out on certain things in life, but would NEVER recommend someone cheaps out on those!
Interestingly, this same topic has come up at least two times in the past, and in both cases, the thread-starting OP's example was the same as yours.
#8
Old 02-11-2013, 05:15 PM
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Mrs Freshleys [Horrible God-Awful] Cereal Bars. Fruit filled? No, I think that's colored sawdust in there.

Last edited by Spectre of Pithecanthropus; 02-11-2013 at 05:16 PM.
#9
Old 02-11-2013, 05:18 PM
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WhyNot, what kind of batteries do you normally buy? I vaguely recall a long-ago Consumer Reports study that didn't find much difference between different brands of the same sort, but did find major differences between different sorts of batteries (i.e. alkaline vs. zinc-carbon).

Anyway, I often stock up on the AA and AAA Sunbeam brand alkaline batteries that the dollar store sells in four-packs, and, while I don't know how they compare to, say, Energizer or Duracell, they seem to work okay.


There's not much I refuse to buy at the dollar store, but I've learned to avoid dollar store razors (and stick with the name brands, mainly Gilette) and dollar store erasers (though the ones they sell at Dollar General are okay). And I'm somewhat selective about food items. Some of it's just fine, but I tend to avoid the weird off-brands of things that I can get almost as cheaply at the regular grocery store (at least when they're on sale), especially where freshness is an issue.
#10
Old 02-11-2013, 05:19 PM
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Yeah the foil wrap is really awful.

Some of the food items are actually, if you look, past their 'best before' dates. Some are from China. (I try to avoid food product from a country with lead in paint, poison in dog food, and pretty lax enforcement of any food standards.) Also they seem to have foods higher in sodium and sugar than any other similar product from the grocery.

Definitely batteries, so cheap, such crap quality that even at a dollar a pack, it's a rip off!

Most wrapping paper is actually way less paper, on a much wider roll. Purchase it once and you know right away.

Last edited by elbows; 02-11-2013 at 05:20 PM.
#11
Old 02-11-2013, 05:23 PM
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I never cheap out on toothpaste. Can be vastly out of date and not conform to ADA ingredients. May have weird ingredients, too much fluoride (or no fluoride) depending on the country it was intended for. Besides, toothpaste lasts a really long time. Even if one tube of the really good stuff costs 10 bucks, it lasts me a year. It's not worth saving $9 a year to use cheap toothpaste.

Last edited by Rachellelogram; 02-11-2013 at 05:24 PM.
#12
Old 02-11-2013, 05:24 PM
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I hit the dollar store before doing my normal shopping for the week. No need to waste money. I have good luck with their batteries and toothpaste and Dollar Tree carries actual Reynolds wrap. I have had good luck with all of those.

The things I stay away from are razors and hardware. Their disposable razors are just a license to slash your face up and should be avoided at all costs. Things like screwdrivers and bungie cords may work for emergency use but they are of such low quality that you would be better off buying real ones and taking care of them.

Last edited by Shagnasty; 02-11-2013 at 05:25 PM.
#13
Old 02-11-2013, 05:25 PM
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They sell brand-name cereal, candy, toothpaste, aluminum foil and plastic wrap at dollar stores like Family Dollar or Dollar General. Those are as safe to buy there as anywhere else.

I've had bad luck with clothes from those stores; they're usually cheaply made (which is to be expected I suppose) and not worth it in the long run.

ETA: Good call on razors. I learned my lesson about buying store brands. I still get them at DG but only the "real" brand.

Last edited by Skammer; 02-11-2013 at 05:26 PM.
#14
Old 02-11-2013, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
Interestingly, this same topic has come up at least two times in the past, and in both cases, the thread-starting OP's example was the same as yours.
Heh. Well, I may not be original, but at least I'm consistent!

And yes, alkaline. I do know that much. But my tally sheet don't lie! While I believe Consumers Reports generally, and I don't mind buying Sunbeam brand from Walgreens, the Sunbeam dollar store ones are consistently worse.

It truly wouldn't surprise me, given the continent of origin of much of this stuff, if someone unscrupulous was taking those batteries dropped off for recycling and repacking them for dollar store sales. Either that or they're just stored for far too long in suboptimal conditions before they're put on the shelf for sale.
#15
Old 02-11-2013, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
Interestingly, this same topic has come up at least two times in the past, and in both cases, the thread-starting OP's example was the same as yours.
Oh, wow! Funny....I was inspired by the recent post asking people what they WOULD buy there....Good detective work!
#16
Old 02-11-2013, 06:07 PM
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I never had any problems with the dollar store preggo testers. They did wonders relieving my anxiety back when I had weird cycles and was prone to worry a lot. At the same time, my sister was going through fertility treatments and anxiously awaiting the opposite result and used plenty of them. Neither of us ever had a false result and while just waiting would have eventually told us the same thing, finding out sooner for a buck instead of ten was awesome.
#17
Old 02-11-2013, 09:16 PM
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This site reviewed pregnancy tests, and the ones from Dollar Tree did well in the reviews. I found out about Lil' Neville from a test purchased from Dollar Tree.
#18
Old 02-11-2013, 09:21 PM
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Produce, frozen/refrigerated items.
#19
Old 02-11-2013, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skammer View Post
They sell brand-name cereal, candy, toothpaste, aluminum foil and plastic wrap at dollar stores like Family Dollar or Dollar General. Those are as safe to buy there as anywhere else.

I've had bad luck with clothes from those stores; they're usually cheaply made (which is to be expected I suppose) and not worth it in the long run.

ETA: Good call on razors. I learned my lesson about buying store brands. I still get them at DG but only the "real" brand.
Though it's in the name, neither Family Dollar nor Dollar General are dollar stores. Dollar Tree is the one nationwide dollar store chain I can think of.
I wouldn't buy cat food from Dollar Tree but I have found a great selection of discontinued brand name cat toys - 9 Lives, for example. I wouldn't buy clothes I expected or needed to make through a washing but if I needed undies in a pinch (haha) I'd grab a pair and hand rinse them before wearing.
#20
Old 02-11-2013, 09:31 PM
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Any off-brand food item, and any item that is food or may touch food from China. I don't trust stuff like porcelain glaze to be lead-free. I do, however, have a set of steak knives I bought over 20 years ago that are still perfectly serviceable and never tossed them after I bought nice ones as replacements. Sometimes I still prefer the dollar store ones for certain things.
#21
Old 02-11-2013, 09:45 PM
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I don't buy anything for pets there. All that I've seen are made in China and with critters who eat / chew on anything like that, a few extra bucks are worth not putting them at risk. Stuff meant for babies / toddlers is subject to similar scrutiny.

Batteries, most dishes (they're kings of the ultra-cheap-use-it-once-or-only-for-decoration ceramics) and most tools are better purchased somewhere else too.
#22
Old 02-11-2013, 10:05 PM
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On a mad day of errands, when I hadn't eaten, I was tempted by an ice cream on a stick at the dollar store. I was sick for 2 days.
#23
Old 02-12-2013, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DummyGladHands View Post
On a mad day of errands, when I hadn't eaten, I was tempted by an ice cream on a stick at the dollar store. I was sick for 2 days.
Awwww
#24
Old 02-12-2013, 02:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilyG View Post

Also, almost any kind of food.
This, as my previous post suggests. OTOH those Chinese almond cookies that come in the pink box are pretty good.
#25
Old 02-12-2013, 06:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachellelogram View Post
I never cheap out on toothpaste. Can be vastly out of date and not conform to ADA ingredients. May have weird ingredients, too much fluoride (or no fluoride) depending on the country it was intended for. Besides, toothpaste lasts a really long time. Even if one tube of the really good stuff costs 10 bucks, it lasts me a year. It's not worth saving $9 a year to use cheap toothpaste.
Lasts you a *year*?!?!

What are you brushing once every other day or just buying a ginormous tube? I can't make it a month...but then again, my wife's very wasteful and also buys smallish tubes.
#26
Old 02-12-2013, 09:09 AM
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Not a dollar store, but I once bought a pad of watercolor paper at a job lot for $4. I used the first sheet and threw the rest out. It had no sizing on it, so it acted like a freakin' sponge. I would have done better with copier paper.
#27
Old 02-12-2013, 09:15 AM
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I have come to the conclusion that they sell already dead batteries. Regardless of type.
#28
Old 02-12-2013, 11:07 AM
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There are only a handful of things I WOULD buy there- cheap reading glasses, primarily. Otherwise, I find that:

1) The generic stuff they sell is crap that either doesn't work or will break/fall apart quickly

2) The name brand products they sell are NOT particularly cheap, if you check the prices. Seriously, a can of Campbell's soup or a tube of Crest isn't really any cheaper at a typical dollar store than at a normal supermarket.

Last edited by astorian; 02-12-2013 at 11:09 AM.
#29
Old 02-12-2013, 11:11 AM
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I've been ripped off by batteries and off-off-off-brand cookies.
#30
Old 02-12-2013, 11:41 AM
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Ketchup
#31
Old 02-12-2013, 11:49 AM
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Things that are supposed to be sharp. I bought a knife there before and it was about as sharp as a butter knife. And I haven't tried buying scissors there but I expect they would suck.
#32
Old 02-12-2013, 11:52 AM
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Razors. I bought some disposable razors at a dollar store once. They were beyond aweful. My face looked like I had shaved with a belt sander. With extra-course sandpaper. I threw the whole bag in the garbage.

Trust me, it's worth the extra money to buy your razors from somebody who has a reputation to protect.
#33
Old 02-12-2013, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
Batteries.

I do a lot of cushy camping, which requires a lot of batteries. Too often in the past, I've gone cheap and gotten dollar store batteries, but they don't actually save any money. Fer'instance: running a battery powered box fan takes 8 D batteries. The dollar store sells them in 2 packs, so that's $4 of batteries for one installation. Dollar store batteries consistently need to be replaced before 24 hours are up, so I need 3 sets for a weekend. That's $12. If I wait for a sale, I can get 8 name brand D batteries for $10 or less at a regular store and they last the whole weekend and then some. AND I don't have to pack, carry and contentiously dispose of an extra 16 batteries.

I've found the same to be true of smaller sizes. They just don't last long enough to be a real savings.

But it took me many weeks of camping and an actually tally sheet to admit this to myself. They look so tempting, sitting there for just a buck!
That's more than likely because most dollar store batteries are old-timey zinc chloride batteries, (usually listed as "Heavy Duty") and not modern alkaline batteries, which have something like 5x the capacity at the same output voltage.

Dollar store alkalines are fine, but they're not much of a bargain compared to other discount stores like Wal-Mart or even Home Depot, not to mention places like Amazon.com or woot.com when they have them.

FYI, the best way to go if you use a lot of batteries is probably Harbor Freight NiMh rechargeables with a name-brand charger from somewhere else.


I'm with Soul Brother No. 2- there's no way on earth I'd buy off-brand condoms at a dozen per dollar at a dollar store.
#34
Old 02-12-2013, 12:48 PM
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I have had great luck with Sunbeam alkaline AA and AAA cells from Dollar Tree. They nearly exclusively get used in remote controls and a wireless mouse which may explain their long life.
#35
Old 02-12-2013, 01:01 PM
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My husband, and daughter, LOVE the Butterfinger cookies from Dollar General. I think they're vile. I don't even know what brand they are, but it doesn't matter. That's the name on the box. Butterfinger Cookies. They're $1 per box.
VILE. Really.

They also really like the fruit pies from Dollar General. I think the brand is J.J.'s. I'm told that there is actually more filling in the pies, than air-space.
#36
Old 02-12-2013, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by california jobcase View Post
I have had great luck with Sunbeam alkaline AA and AAA cells from Dollar Tree. They nearly exclusively get used in remote controls and a wireless mouse which may explain their long life.
That is what I get and use them for the same purpose. They work fine for that.
#37
Old 02-12-2013, 01:30 PM
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One time, they had this weird, pink wine at the dollar store. Being adventurous and in college, we bought it on a whim. I don't know what the hell kind of wine that was, but I can tell you this much: it had a raw meat after taste. Seriously, the flavor it left in your mouth was one of raw ground beef.

Never, ever again.

Last edited by DiosaBellissima; 02-12-2013 at 01:30 PM.
#38
Old 02-12-2013, 01:33 PM
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Agree about the aluminum foil-- it's as thin as gold leaf! But I definitely appreciate these stores when they get close outs of name brand stuff.
#39
Old 02-12-2013, 01:35 PM
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The plastic knives and forks are a joke-they break when you take them out of the box!
#40
Old 02-12-2013, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiosaBellissima View Post
One time, they had this weird, pink wine at the dollar store. Being adventurous and in college, we bought it on a whim. I don't know what the hell kind of wine that was, but I can tell you this much: it had a raw meat after taste. Seriously, the flavor it left in your mouth was one of raw ground beef.
Mmm, Pinot Tartare.
#41
Old 02-12-2013, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by tdn View Post
Mmm, Pinot Tartare.
I can see the ad campaign now - "Never worry about pairing your wines and meats again!".
#42
Old 02-12-2013, 02:05 PM
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Could you use it as a cooking wine for a beef dish?
#43
Old 02-12-2013, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiosaBellissima View Post
One time, they had this weird, pink wine at the dollar store. Being adventurous and in college, we bought it on a whim. I don't know what the hell kind of wine that was, but I can tell you this much: it had a raw meat after taste. Seriously, the flavor it left in your mouth was one of raw ground beef.

Never, ever again.
/DollarStore Spokesman

"No, no, no, the color comes from myoglobin, not blood!"

\dollarstorespokesman
#44
Old 02-12-2013, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by tdn View Post
Could you use it as a cooking wine for a beef dish?
Let me clarify: this didn't taste like some sort of alright tasting raw meat-- a fancy steak or what have you. It had the aftertaste of cheap, old, undercooked ground beef. Trust me, you don't want that in anything.
#45
Old 02-12-2013, 03:51 PM
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Blow jobs
#46
Old 02-12-2013, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiosaBellissima View Post
One time, they had this weird, pink wine at the dollar store. Being adventurous and in college, we bought it on a whim. I don't know what the hell kind of wine that was, but I can tell you this much: it had a raw meat after taste. Seriously, the flavor it left in your mouth was one of raw ground beef.

Never, ever again.
oh, Sweet Mother of God *appalled face*

meanwhile, I just wanted to say Why Not? I love the idea of

Quote:
cushy camping
that sounds most excellent.
#47
Old 02-12-2013, 04:33 PM
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Fish. And... those ginormous plastic barrels of cheese puffs.
#48
Old 02-12-2013, 05:06 PM
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Tools of any type. Guaranteed to break on first use.
#49
Old 02-12-2013, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bump View Post
FYI, the best way to go if you use a lot of batteries is probably Harbor Freight NiMh rechargeables with a name-brand charger from somewhere else.
Lots of my equipment, including those box fans, specifically forbids the use of rechargeables. I don't know enough about electricity type things to know if they're serious and I could damage/inflame something, or if they own the non-recharageable battery companies.
#50
Old 02-13-2013, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
Lots of my equipment, including those box fans, specifically forbids the use of rechargeables. I don't know enough about electricity type things to know if they're serious and I could damage/inflame something, or if they own the non-recharageable battery companies.
Really? I haven't run across that yet. The voltage is slightly different between rechargeables and regular alkaline batteries, but I can't imagine that would make something as simple as a fan any difference at all. I could see that possibly being an issue with sensitive electronics, but most items that sensitive usually have their own proprietary rechargeable batteries anyway.
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