Bargains And Busts: Expert Shares 20 Things To Buy and 20 To Avoid at the "$0.99 Only" Store
Often, the $0.99 Only Store will stock items that are near or past their regular expiration date. In addition, some of the products on the shelves are made in other countries, such as China, which don’t have a great track record for making safe products. In fact, some of these foreign-made products contain harmful chemicals, such as BPA (Bisphenol A), which are harmful if ingested.
By doing your research before shopping, you can avoid buying products that contain BPA or other harmful chemicals. But exactly which products should you buy at this popular store? Here are some of the products you should buy, as well as some that you shouldn’t, when shopping at the $0.99 Only Store.
20 Things to Buy at the $0.99 Only Store
When taking a shopping trip to the $0.99 Only Store, you can expect to save some bucks on many household items that may be more expensive elsewhere. Here are some of the things that are must-buys if you visit the $0.99 Only Store.
1) Cleaning Supplies
Household cleaning supplies found at the $0.99 store work the same as the ones at more expensive retail stores and supermarkets. While they might have silly off-brand names, the dish soap, bleach, and cleaners you find there work the same.
Even though they do not sell name-brand spices, $0.99 stores do sell off-brand ones. Make sure to check the expiration date to see ensure they are still good before buying. In addition, the spices you do find there will tend to be the more popular varieties.
If you have no qualms about buying off-brand shampoo, then the $0.99 store might have just what you are looking for. Believe it or not, the same companies that make your favorite shampoos also make generic versions.
4) Hair Accessories
You can also find cheap hair accessories at the $0.99 store. For the most part, hair accessories found at the $0.99 store are the same as those you can find elsewhere, just without the brand name. This includes hair ties, brushes, combs, and other hair accessories.
5) Home decor
The $0.99 store also sells frames to keep your pictures in, vases to keep your flowers in, and a wide selection of other home decor items. While you are there, check the shelves for seasonal decorations, many at great prices.
6) Greeting Cards
The $0.99 store sells a wide selection of greeting cards. Most often, they are on sale for $0.50 each. Don’t worry about the messaging either, it usually runs along the same lines as cards found at other, more expensive stores.
7) Gift Wrapping Supplies
If you use a lot of gift bags, wrapping paper, and other supplies throughout the year, make sure to stock up while at the $0.99 store. While some complain that these items feel cheaper than their more-expensive counterparts, they all end up being ripped off and thrown in the trash anyway … or reused in the case of gift bags.
8) Party Supplies
The $0.99 store also has you covered if you need gift supplies, such as paper plates, balloons, and table clothes. You can usually find cheap plastic cups, decorations, and items to put in party favor bags. This means there is really no reason to waste money on these throwaway items.
9) Non-Perishable Food
Another item you can find at the $0.99 store is non-perishable food, such as canned items and boxed goods. Research the brands before you go to make sure that they use BPA-free cans and that you can’t get them just as cheap or cheaper at the supermarket.
10) Reading Glasses
Reading glasses are another item you can find for cheap at the $0.99 store. They work just as well as those you find at the supermarket, but cost way less. This means you could grab several pair for the normal cost for a pair somewhere else.
11) Storage Containers
Another great item to buy at the $0.99 store are storage containers. The wide variety available range from simple plastic baskets to thicker, more robust containers. If buying containers to store food, make sure they are BPA-free to avoid contaminating your food when storing it.
Tools are another item that you can buy at the $0.99 store for cheap. Keep in mind that you usually get what you pay for, so some tools, such as hammers, might break really easily. They do work great if you want to put together a toolkit for emergencies.
13) Pregnancy Tests
While some would advise you against purchasing pregnancy tests at the $0.99 store, they can cost quite a bit at the supermarket. Better yet, you can purchase multiple pregnancy tests for the price of one at the grocery store and then just double check the accuracy of any pregnancy test you take.
14) Plastic Wrap and Aluminum Foil
While both of these are available at the $0.99 store, you might actually be able to find them cheaper at the supermarket, so keep this in mind while shopping and make sure to compare prices. In addition, plastic wrap and aluminum foil at the supermarket tend to be of better quality, if that is important to you.
Just like with shampoo and other personal care products, deodorant at the dollar store is way cheaper than supermarket brands and basically does the same job just. In fact, the deodorant at the $0.99 store has the same ingredients as those found at the supermarket.
16) Toothpaste (Made in Canada)
Be careful if you decide to buy toothpaste from the $0.99 store as some, specifically those from China, contain a poisonous chemical called diethylene glycol, also called Diglycol. Make sure to only buy American or Canadian made toothpaste when buying it from the $0.99 store.
17) Name-Brand Batteries
If you must buy batteries at the $0.99 store (I know they are cheap), stick to name brands. Otherwise, skip buying them there and seek them at the supermarket or elsewhere. You can usually get coupons or find them on sale at the supermarket.
18) Paper Products
Buying some paper products, such as paper plates and printer paper, from the $0.99 store is fine. When it comes to more essential paper items, such as the toilet paper you use, go for the quality that the supermarket brands offer.
19) Basic Office Supplies
A great place to find cheap office supplies is at the $0.99 store. Just make sure that you can’t find them cheaper somewhere else, especially when stores have back-to-school sales when they give deep discounts on such products.
For those on a tight budget, the $0.99 store offers a selection of cheap makeup items. Some of the products you can find at the $0.99 store include blush, eyeshadow, and lipstick, among others. The color choice might be limited, but it is somewhat cheaper than buying makeup at retail stores.
20 Things to Avoid Buying at the $0.99 Only Store
Just as you should buy certain products while at the $0.99 Only Store, you should also avoid others. Whether its substandard or expired products, or simply those that can expose you and your family to harmful chemicals, here are some of the things to avoid buying while at the $0.99 Only Store.
Electronic items, such as power strips and extension cords are a prime example of items to avoid buying at the $0.99 store. You are better served buying these items at retailers that specialize in electronics or online at Amazon.
The medicine you take is definitely a no-brainer when it comes to items to avoid buying at the $0.99 store. Not only do you have no idea what exactly is in the medicine, the medicine could even be expired. Always buy medication from an approved pharmacy.
3) Perishable Food
You should also avoid buying perishable food items such as fruit and vegetables from the $0.99 store. Another item to avoid are sodas, as they often tend to be flat. You should proceed with caution when purchasing candy from the $0.99 store and make sure it is not expired.
Most often, the sunscreen sold at the $0.99 store is either way past its expiration date or of a lesser SPF than the bottle says. This is mostly due to the degradation that sunscreen normally experiences over time, and who knows how long it has been sitting there.
Not only are toys sold at the $0.99 store cheap, they can also contain chemicals that are harmful if ingested. This is why it is best to avoid buying toys from there, especially if you have young children who tend to put their toys in their mouth.
6) Off-Brand Batteries
While you might occasionally find name-brand batteries at the $0.99 store, most often they are no-name ones. These batteries are usually old and tend to run out of juice quicker. You are better off buying them from the supermarket, even if you have to pay full price.
7) Liquid Detergent
Many of the liquid detergents at the $0.99 store can leave your clothes looking dingy, mainly due to being expired. Before buying any liquid detergent from the $0.99 Only Store, make sure to check the expiration date, and skip buying it if it doesn’t have one.
8) Back-to-School Supplies
Back-to-school supplies are one item that you can get cheaper at retail stores than at the $0.99 store, at least in the month leading up to the start of school each year. If you need supplies during other times of the year, then do not hesitate to see what the $0.99 store has to offer.
9) Pots and Pans
The pots and pans you use to cook with are items you do not want to skimp on. The Teflon coating on the cheaper versions sold at the $0.99 store can easily come off, putting harmful chemicals in your food. Always go for quality when buying such items.
10) Garbage Bags
Garbage bags are another item you should avoid purchasing at the $0.99 store. The garbage bags sold at the $0.99 store tend to leak and tear more easily. This is because they are much weaker than those sold at the supermarket.
Phone and laptop chargers are two other items you should avoid when shopping at the $0.99 store. The chargers such stores sell are substandard and can actually prove harmful to your devices. In addition, they tend to break more often, meaning you just have to buy another one.
12) Plastic Cooking Utensils
Cooking utensils sold at the $0.99 store tend to contain harmful BPAs. As the plastic is heated, this chemical leaches into your food, causing you and your family harm. To avoid this, buy your utensils at the supermarket, or fully research the brand sold at the $0.99 store before purchasing.
13) Travel-Size Products
When buying travel size shampoos, lotions, and conditioners, keep in mind that you can usually get them for less at the supermarket. So this means that unless you are pressed for time, stick to retail stores for these items.
14) Feminine Hygiene Products
You should avoid buying feminine products, such as tampons, party-liners, and feminine hygiene products from the $0.99 store. Most of these items contain toxins harmful to your body. Also skip buying washes and lubricants from the $0.99 store.
While the $0.99 store is known for selling pieces of costume jewelry, which is okay to buy there, you should definitely avoid buying other jewelry items, such as metal necklaces, rings, and earrings. Chances are they are of such a low quality that they won’t last long anyway.
Knives sold at the $0.99 store should be avoided. The reasoning behind this is that they are often dull and can break easily, leading to bad cuts and injuries. In addition, the dullness of the knives sold at the $0.99 store means you have to work extra hard to cut whatever it is you are cutting.
17) Baby Products
With such a high incidence of BPAs occurring in the products sold at the $0.99 store, it is best to avoid buying any products for your baby while shopping there, especially if it is something they put in their mouth. Just some of the items to avoid buying include pacifiers, bottles, and teething rings.