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Smart Buying

Things You Should Never Buy at Dollar Stores

A $1 price tag doesn't guarantee a good deal.

You can find great deals at dollar stores. Just don’t be fooled into thinking everything is a bargain because it costs just a buck.

See Also: 8 Reasons to Shop at Walmart (Even If You Hate Walmart)

Start with batteries. Dollar stores typically stock the carbon-zinc variety, which don’t last as long as alkaline. The dollar-store batteries we came across carry a warning to only use them in “low-drain devices.”

Another bad buy at dollar stores is windshield washer fluid. The price is right, but the quality is all wrong. The $1 fluid we found isn’t effective in winter when temperatures drop.

Canned goods are another no-no. A dollar for name-brand beans seems like a bargain, but we found the same brand for less at a grocery store. Supermarkets’ store brands are even cheaper.

Are you a sucker for gum? Buy it in bulk at a warehouse club for about 4 cents per stick. You’ll pay 25% more for gum at dollar stores.

See more of the worst deals at dollar stores. Plus, check out some of the best things to buy at dollar stores.