For someone who’s on a tight budget, shopping at the dollar store can seem like a great way to buy things for a cheaper price than those offered at bigger, national chains.
Dollar stores load up on small essentials, offering them for only a buck. But, smart shoppers realize what you save in cost, you often lose in quality.
For some things, it probably doesn’t make a difference. A chocolate bar from the dollar store likely won’t differ much from those sold at Wal-Mart.
For other household items, however, you’re better off avoiding the dollar store altogether.
It may seem silly, but when you buy a low-quality product, it has a shorter lifespan than its higher-quality counterparts. Low-quality products often come in smaller sizes, are more vulnerable to breaks, and will have to be replaced more often than items bought at big-box chains. So, while you may be saving money up front, low-quality products end up costing you more in the long run.
Not having to constantly replace items is a great way to save on cash. In fact, Entrepreneur Magazine stated that one key characteristic of wealthy people was the fact that they value quality over quantity.
Even the American business magnate and financier T. Boone Pickens once said: “I don’t go cheap on anything… If I want something, I look at it, decide what it is, but it will usually be the best product. I’ve got a pair of loafers that I still wear that I got in 1957.”
So, what dollar store items actually cost you more money?
It’s not rare to see cheap lightbulbs being sold at your local dollar store. Oftentimes, you can buy three for only a buck. So, what’s the catch? Well, the cheap bulbs being sold at the dollar store are older, incandescent light bulbs.
Incandescent bulbs use much more electricity to generate the same amount of light as modern fluorescent and LED bulbs. They are also sensitive to vibration, which means that if they are placed near a trembling garage door or staircase (for instance), they’re much more likely to rapidly burn out.
These dollar store bulbs also emit carbon dioxide and have been criticized for having a negative impact on the environment. For these reasons, incandescent bulbs are slowly being phased from society. Starting January 1st, 2020, it will be illegal to sell them in the United States.
If you’re still tempted by the cheap price, try these $1 LED lights from the Dollar Tree. They’re just as cheap as incandescents and are supposed to last a lot longer.
The guys over at Household Hacker have compiled a full list of items that you should never buy from the dollar store.
Since being uploaded to YouTube, it’s been viewed more than half a million times. People really enjoyed the video and shared their own dollar store tips, as well:
“Protip, DONT BUY SODA NEAR CHECKOUT. They are usually 20oz or smaller bottles. If you go to the ACTUAL soda isle you’ll usually find a larger bottle for the same price.”
“Can openers – bought one to replace ours, but it stopped working after cutting only one inch into the can, as the blade was angled to collide with the gear.”
“Also, please avoid ice cream at all costs! The texture is awful, has a funky aftertaste and not worth it!”
Hear the entire list below!
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