Dollar stores are great places to find bargains on any number of household needs but you can't always assume that, just because it's only $1, you're automatically getting the most bang for your buck. Prices and quantities may vary according to stores in your town, but going by my shopping list, here are 10 things you might want to go elsewhere for:


Toothpaste
toothpasteThis is one of the things I leave on the shelf at the dollar store. A 2.54 ounce tube of tartar control or cavity protection Crest or Colgate cost a buck, obviously, and that seems like a lot less than you'd pay for a full-sized tube in your local drugstore.

But the same brands, in the same size, cost only 63 cents a tube at my local Wal-Mart store, so it still pays to shop around and read your local store flyers to find the sales and the best everyday prices for your favorite brand of toothpaste.

A word of caution when buying toothpaste at the dollar store: Don't buy unknown brands and be careful of boxes that look like name brands but actually aren't. Toothpaste was one of the household items to get caught up in the tainted products from China scare of the past several years. Toothpaste containing diethylene glycol, a sweet, syrupy poison used to make antifreeze, was found in several dollar stores.
Marlene Alexander is a freelance writer and dollar store diva. She writes free tips and ideas about decorating using only items from the dollar store.

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