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5 Smart Ways To Shop At The Dollar Store

Updated on March 10, 2015
Dollar Tree, a chain dollar store
Dollar Tree, a chain dollar store | Source

The Smart Ways To Shop at the Dollar Store

This article deals with the economy in the last two years, and how the number of people that shop at dollar stores has gone up more than 500%. Although this is a good thing for dollar store, shoppers need to beware that not everything in the store is a good deal. There are 5 tips the article gives when shopping at the dollar store that will save you time and money!

Save your money!
Save your money! | Source

Examples of Dollar Stores

  • Dollar Tree
  • Big Lots
  • Dollar General
  • General Dollar
  • Deal$
  • Family Dollar
  • Five Below
  • Fred's

If you do decide to shop at the Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Big Lots, Five Below or any other similar dollar stores, keep these useful shopping tips in mind.

Watch the Cost Per Serving

First, in one study, it was found out that only 23% of items at the dollar store (like Five Below) are actually a dollar or less, and many items such as snacks or small boxed cereals actually cost more per serving than a big box from the grocery store. If you wanted to find out the real price of the item, find out the cost per serving, and compare that to the grocery store price per serving.


Don't Impulse Spend

Next, since everything in the store seems cheap and easy, it’s more likely that shoppers get distracted by the low prices and begin to shop with the ever famous impulse spending mentality. If you can, keep a vague grocery list with you to stay on track. Do not make your grocery list too specific, since the merchandise in dollar stores is never too sure to be there next time, but stick to the essentials such as: canned foods, or shampoo, instead of something very specific.

Check The Ingredients Label

In addition, read the ingredient list, many dollar stores in order to deliver low prices, sacrifice quality, and sometimes the main ingredient, like even milk, in a dairy product. Many products out of overstock also contain additives and artificial fillers.


Don't Buy Fruits or Vegetables

Also, keep fruits or vegetables off your grocery list at the dollar store since they are at the bottom of the receiving list. Do not shop for these products here because this means that they only get fruit delivered after the supermarkets have taken their pick, then grocery stores, and then the gas stations. So naturally the fruit there is more likely to be in bad shape by the time it hits the shelves.


Check Expiration Dates

Lastly, always check the expiration date on canned products. Since dollar stores buy from closeouts and overstock, the products they purchase are more likely to have been sitting in factory warehouses for days on end before they are bought and shipped to the store. You may only have a few days sometimes before the product expires. (Once again, this is due to overstock, because items are often in the warehouses for a really long time). Also check for any packages that look dented or bent, because this is a sign that the product might already be in very bad condition inside the container.

Five Below

Five Below Store. Everything is $1-$5
Five Below Store. Everything is $1-$5

Why Do You Shop?

Do you shop at the dollar store, if so why?

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Some More Ideas on What to Buy at the Dollar Store

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    • rpalulis profile image

      rpalulis 6 years ago from NY

      The old impulse shopping trick. Thanks for these pointers, I have just recently noticed some high priced items in a dollar store. Great topic, you have covered this well and offer great advice.