Image for item titled What Household Items To Buy (And Avoid) In The Dollar Store

Photo: Elliott Cowand Jr. (Shutterstock)

When it comes to dollar stores, there’s a lot to unzip – like theirs Tendency to appear in food deserts, and your Effects on a local economy– but we’re not talking about that today. Because regardless of how you see these discount chains, buy according to a. 80% of Americans enter dollar stores at least occasionally June 2021 poll by Consumer Reports.

And while that is the case, it makes sense to better understand which household items in dollar stores are legitimate and which are not.

Recently a group of Consumer Reports experts gave some tips for being a smart dollar shop buyer. Here are some to help you get the best deals on the essentials for your home. courtesy John Galeotafiore, Associate Director of Product Testing at Consumer Reports.

Do not go past the car aisle

While you might not think of dollar stores to buy things for your car, buying general-purpose items like windshield wiper fluid, wipes for cleaning up spills, and cables for connecting electronics can be useful.

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And while many have engine oils in stock, Galeotafiore says to check the bottle and make sure it has the American Petroleum Institute Approval Mark. “Even if it’s a brand that you won’t recognize, this mark means it is in line with the latest industry standards,” he explains.

The hardware section contains the basics (but not much more)

The dollar store’s hardware aisle may look extensive, but Galeotafiore recommends walking in with realistic expectations. Sure, you can expect to find things like tape measures, claw hammers, and screwdrivers, but if you’re looking for something more specialized or more complicated to do, he suggests going straight to the hardware store.

Paper products in a pinch

Not everyone is able to go to wholesale or big box stores to buy toilet paper and tissues in bulk. In such situations, paper products and other household items are likely to be cheaper in dollar stores than in other local establishments such as convenience stores or gas stations.

However, people seem to already know this as the majority of people who shop in dollar stores usually buy housewares there, according to them Consumer Reports survey.

Watch out for lightbulbs

Yes, you will find lightbulbs in dollar stores, and yes, they will be cheap. However, according to Galeotafiore, they are more incandescent than LED lights. And while the LED bulbs themselves tend to be more expensive, they use less energy and last much longer, making them cheaper in the long run.

“To save time and money,” says Galeotafiore, “write down the details of the lightbulb you’re replacing so you don’t end up with something that’s not quite right.”