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Dollar Store Deals and Duds

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Experts explain how to get a true bargain at the dollar store, and offer advice on which items to avoid.

Savings Experiment: Vitamins
Do you shop at dollar stores?
Never28498 (10.5%)
Yes, often.130894 (48.3%)
Only a few times a year.111681 (41.2%)
Did you find our video on dollar stores helpful?
Yes, it's a great idea14858 (40.7%)
Yes, useful and entertaining13470 (36.9%)
No8146 (22.3%)
Dollar stores are great places for cheap, one-stop shopping, but with so many items available, how do you know which products are deals and which ones are duds? Here are some rules of thumb to keep in mind to ensure you're getting the best deal possible.

It's easy to get excited about all of the low-priced goods at a dollar store, but you should shop with purpose in order to avoid impulse buys. With that said, party supplies are some of the best things you can purchase at a dollar store. They're reusable and cost much less than they do at big party store chains.

Drawing paper and notebook paper are two more great buys, and cleaning supplies are usually made of the same ingredients as higher-priced products, so you're good to go with those, too.

Dollar StoreOn the other hand, you should avoid purchasing children's toys, food and cheap electrical cords at dollar stores. Unfortunately, many of the toys found at these establishments are manufactured under dangerous processes and can contain lead. Food products often come from unregulated countries, which may not have the same quality standards as name brands. Electrical cords may seem like a bargain, but have frequently been found to be unsafe for home use. If you do decided to purchase cords at a dollar store, make sure they're UL rated.

Keep these tips in mind the next time you hit your local 99-cent store and you'll be cashing in on savings that count.

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