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Money Talks: Ten Dollar Store Duds

By: Stacy Johnson
By: Stacy Johnson

When it comes to saving a buck, your first instinct may be to shop at the closest dollar store. Might be a good idea, but just because something’s a buck doesn’t mean it’s always a the better buy.

Example? A package of 45 seven-ounce cups may be more dud than deal. Do the math and you’re paying about 2 cents for each cup. But at a bulk warehouse store, you can find deals like 1,000 cups for around twelve dollars… or just over a penny a cup. And since these things have a half life or about a million years, you might as well stock up.

Other dollar store duds, especially compared to discount or warehouse stores, include some some bottled water, sandwich bags, sugar substitutes, napkins and foam plates. But you should always do your own detective work by dividing the total price by the number of items.

Sometimes the smaller amount of product you get for that dollar adds up to costing you more than a bulk buy would. If, that is, you can ultimately use vast quantities.

Also true with things like dish soap. Ounce for ounce, often more expensive than a larger size at a discount store. Same thing for some toothpastes, batteries, and some bags of candy.

Bottom line? Just because something costs a dollar doesn’t make it a deal! If it doubt, write down that price and go comparison shop it. Only then will you know if that item is a deal or a dud.


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