You'd be surprised at what one buck can buy you at the local dollar store -- but are you truly getting a bargain?
Here's what to buy, and what to skip from Real Simple Magazine.
- Party Supplies. You can save 70-percent on plastic tablecloths and balloons and more than 30-percent on party plates.
- Shampoo. You can feel good about saving up to 33-percent on brand names like L'Oreal and Pantene. But if you opt for a generic brand, the smell of the product won't be as strong as what you might be used to.
- Cleaning Products. The generic brands may be a bit more diluted, but when you're saving 50-percent or more, you can afford to use an extra drop or two of product to compensate.
- Spices. If you're looking to stock up on basics like cinnamon or chili powder, you'll find a solid value.
- Picture Frames. They're not as high quality as pricier options you'd find elsewhere, but they're just as attractive. Dollar stores are a great place to stock up for DIY craft-type projects.
What Not To Buy
- Paper Products. The quality really is cheap. The napkins shred and the paper towels fall apart.
- Knives. They tend to be flimsy, dull, and quick to decline in quality -- which makes it much easier to hurt yourself while slicing and dicing.
- Soda. It can nearly always be found cheaper at the supermarket.
- Pet food. They don't use as high a quality of ingredients, and they may make your pets sick. Don't skimp on pet food.
- Plastic wrap. Dollar store plastic wrap doesn't actually cling, so it doesn't do the one job it's meant to do. Definitely look elsewhere for your plastic-wrapping needs.