14 Items You Should Never Buy at Dollar Tree
Just because everything is a dollar at Dollar Tree doesn’t mean it’s a good buy. Here’s a list of 14 items you should never buy at Dollar Tree.
There are a lot of great items to buy at Dollar Tree, but there are some that aren’t worth spending a dollar on. Just because everything is a dollar doesn’t mean it’s a smart purchase.
I have been a Dollar Tree shopper for several years and I’ve learned a few shopping tips over time. And since I’m all about saving money, I’ve figured out the Dollar Tree items that aren’t worth buying.
Luckily for you, I’m sharing some of those items in this post so you don’t have to waste your time and/or money!
Keep reading for a list of items you should never buy at Dollar Tree.
Items You Should Never Buy at Dollar Tree
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1. Playdough/modeling clay
Unless you can find a brand name, then avoid buying playdough or modeling clay from Dollar Tree. The quality is terrible and they both dry out really fast. It’s better to purchase these items elsewhere and spend a little bit more money on them.
Just like with playdough and modeling clay, crayons should be avoided unless they are brand name. They are poorly made and break easily and they don’t color very well.
Batteries are an “iffy” purchase when it comes to Dollar Tree. Some people say they work fine and last just as long as the more expensive brands. But others are saying just the opposite. I’ve never had much luck in Dollar Tree batteries lasting a long time. If you need batteries for something for just a few days, then go for it. After all, they’re only a dollar!
4. Toilet paper/paper towels
Unless there’s another toilet paper crisis, then you should skip buying paper products from Dollar Tree. These items are better purchased at big box stores because you can get them for half the price.
5. Scented candles and wax melts
I love scented candles and wax melts, but I also love for them to have a somewhat strong scent. Candles in Dollar Tree can be deceiving because they smell so good in the store. However, once you get them home, you can barely smell them when burning.
Plain candles are great to buy if you want to make your own scented candles. Just melt the wax down, add in some essential oils or fragrance oils, and pour them into containers with a new wick.
6. Canned goods
Typically canned goods are cheaper at grocery stores. However, if you come across brand-name items, such as soup, you may be able to use a coupon to get it even cheaper. Brand name pantry foods come in smaller packaging, so they’re not quite the deal you think they are. (TIP: Make sure to check expiration dates!!) Check your store’s coupon terms before using coupons there.
7. Clothes hangers
Plastic clothes hangers are actually cheaper at Walmart and the velvet hangers are cheaper on Amazon. They’re aren’t as many hangers in Dollar Tree packages, causing them to cost more per hanger.
Bandages found at Dollar Tree usually lose their stickiness pretty quickly, which can cause you to go through an entire box in a day.
Electronics are definitely items you should never buy at Dollar Tree. You are getting what you pay for in this category. They break soon after purchasing so don’t expect any long-term quality. Once again, just because everything is a dollar doesn’t mean every purchase is a good deal.
Honestly, this category is entirely up to you. I personally do not trust any supplements or drugs made specifically for this market. But again, that’s just my opinion.
11. Plastic wrap & aluminum foil
Plastic wrap and aluminum foil aren’t made of the best quality for Dollar Tree stores. These items are made to sell cheaply. The rolls are shorter, meaning you’re wasting money because you have to buy more rolls more often. Purchase these items elsewhere to save.
12. School supplies
Most of the school supplies found at Dollar Tree stores are low quality. It’s best to wait for Walmart’s back-to-school sale and then stock up. This is the best way to get the cheapest deals on better quality school supplies.
13. Pet food
First of all, Dollar Tree sells smaller bags of food, which ends up costing you more per ounce than bigger bags. Second, even experts warn against the lack of standards of pet food at dollar stores. Keep your animals safe and purchase their food from brands and stores you trust.
14. Brand name cleaning products
Brand name cleaning products are packaged in smaller quantities at Dollar Tree. This is actually causing you to spend more per ounce. However, Totally Awesome is one of the best cleaning products for cleaning, degreasing, and disinfecting. Just do the math and decide what you need and what’s best for your budget when purchasing brand-name cleaning products from Dollar Tree.
What are some items you never buy at Dollar Tree and why?
Looking for more money-saving hacks? I recommend reading these next:
16 Easy Shopping Hacks to Help You Save Money on Groceries
35 Topnotch Frugal Living Tips
20 Ways to Spend a Money-Free Weekend
49 thoughts on “14 Items You Should Never Buy at Dollar Tree”
Thanks for sharing this list, Michelle. Good to know what to avoid!
You’re welcome! Happy to help!
Great tips, Michelle!
Thank you! Happy to help!
I always check the weight per oz and compare it to the price at a regular store before buying. Yes, I agree that dollar store charge more per oz but sometimes I need a smaller size. Mega packs are good but I don’t always need 60 rolls of toilet paper even if it is significantly cheaper elsewhere. I still buy playdoh, paper towels, and canned goods from Dollarama IF I’m shopping there. I don’t seem to shop there as much as I used to, and here’s why:
I bought a lot more stuff at Dollarama when we were living at the apartment. Since moving to the townhouse, I haven’t been to Dollarama at all even though there’s one down the street. I would still have to still drive there and cross a busy highway so I just don’t bother these days. Location seems to greatly influence how I spend my $$ ?
That’s great that you compare the prices. I completely understand about buying dollar store items if you need a smaller amount and aren’t buying in bulk. Then it’s not really worth it.
Location makes a huge difference for me, too. And if it’s further away it doesn’t make sense to go there, either, since you’re going to be spending gas money to get there.
Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂
This is a great list, there are certain things I would naturally not buy from the Dollar store, like meds, but I never thought of crayons and batteries and a couple of other things you mention. Thanks for sharing. xoxo
Thanks! Yes, meds are just not something I would consider buying from Dollar Tree. The crayons color weird and break easily. I learned that the hard way. LOL 😀
Great tips! Great list! Thank you!
Thank you so much!
I avoid these stores completely. Quality overall doesn’t seem great. I think there’s benefit to paying extra for certain things especially if it’s in a better atmosphere. Crime seems to be on the rise in dollar stores.
I’m sorry to hear that about the crime rate. So far ours seem to be pretty safe. They keep them stocked and clean and their in well-lit environments and I think that plays a huge roll in it, too. I agree that quality isn’t the best at dollar stores and also that sometimes it’s better to pay extra for things in a better atmosphere. I would never go to a store if I didn’t feel safe, no matter how much cheaper things were.
Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
That’s great to hear! Agreed!
Yes!! I try to tell people that you pay for the convenience!
Exactly! Sometimes you have to pay a little extra upfront to save more down the road. 🙂
Dollar stores are about dollar(s)
Amen to that!
Good list, I have a learned from my mistakes. lol.
Thank you! I know exactly what you mean! Unfortunately I have, too! LOL
Such great tips and things I wouldn’t have thought about! Thank you for sharing this with us!
Thank you! I’m glad you found it helpful! 🙂
These are all great points! Thanks for sharing
Let’s hope there isn’t another toilet paper crisis.
I’m with you. I’d never trust either really cheap pet food, or supplements being sold in such a high discount store. You gotta be careful what you put in your/your pet’s body.
I completely agree. I’ll stick with paying more to keep everyone healthy.
I agree 110%!! There are so many great must buy lists out there, but very few lists that tell you what to avoid. Great (and accurate!) post.
Thank you! I’m always happy to help others save time and money. Thanks so much for reading!
I didn’t realize the aluminum foil is shorter there per package. We’ve bought that at dollar stores many times. Thanks for the tip! Now I know we’re not actually saving money doing that.
You’re welcome! I learned the hard way. I couldn’t figure out why it seemed I was going through so much so fast. Then I started comparing it to other stores. Happy to help you save some money! ?
Sometimes I look for notebooks or paper products, but I am fairly conscious when I shop there that you get what you pay for. 🙂
Yes, I agree. Some things just aren’t worth spending a dollar on. 🙂
Oh man, I love the dollar store so much but I usually just focus on crafting or home decor items! I agree, batteries and medications are a no no! Thanks for sharing, Michelle x
Lynn | https://www.lynnmumbingmejia.com
Same here! I’m glad our local Dollar Tree finally added the craft section. 🙂
Good helpful points, makes sense too!!
lol I guess I have to read the other article to see what’s left to buy from here.
Lol!! There are some things worth buying, but not everything. 😀
I’ve learned I always need to check expiration dates on food items before I buy them from anywhere. It’s amazing how many stores try to keep selling products that have expired.
I agree! I learned my lesson buying yogurt from Walmart. Since then I check every date before I put it in my cart. Yuck!
I don’t buy a lot of things at dollar tree, but I am with you on the scented candles. I think they melt too fast.
Yes, I agree! I’m not sure why they are so much different than regular candles. Thanks so much for commenting! 🙂
The Dollar Tree serves its purpose, but not everything is a good deal there. I have learned from experience not to purchase some items there, and many made your list 🙂 Thank you for sharing this helpful post.
I agree that not everything at Dollar Tree is a good deal. Thank you for reading and sharing. I’m glad you found the post helpful! ?
This is a GREAT list!! The crayons and school supplies!! Yes! Crayons and Ticonderoga ALL DAY!! ???????
Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it!
Yes, yes, and yes! I 100% agree with what you’ve said here. Especially when it comes to things like dish soap, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, etc. I’m extremely picky about my TP (it’s true!), but it is deceptive that name brand cleaning products are sold there. As you said though – the bottles are so small, you end up paying more. Ajax is a great example. In Walmart or other grocery chains, a very large bottle is less than $3. At Dollar Tree – it’s a very very small travel size bottle for $1.
Dollar Tree batteries are tricky. They definitely do not last nearly as long in my opinion. I bought them for battery-operated Christmas lights in the post office I was running and they barely lasted a few days. I buy my batteries in bulk now on Amazon; saves a lot of cash!
I’ve shared, my friend. Thank you for these great tips! ♥
Yes, I agree! I use Ajax, too, and I couldn’t believe how much the price adds up over time. The same amount adds up to be way more than buying a bigger size at Walmart.
Buying batteries in bulk on Amazon is a great idea! There used to be a small store in the mall where you could get a large pack of batteries for around $10. They were off brand but they seemed to last forever! I wish stores like that would never close.
Thanks once again for sharing! I appreciate your support so much!
This is a great list and I agree with everything on it. I don’t buy anything from Dollar Tree that would go on my family’s skin: lotions, make-up, soap, and the bandaids you mentioned. The quality is just lower and we’ve had allergic reactions to some of them.
I love getting gift bags, boxed candy, and my kids love getting little holiday decorations from Dollar Tree.
Thank you! I agree with you on getting any skincare items from Dollar Tree. I’m sorry to hear you guys had allergic reactions to some of those items. Thanks for sharing that so hopefully it will help others stay away from those things, too.
Thanks for sharing these! I agree, on all of them! Definitely items to avoid buying at the dollar store!