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5 Things You Should NOT Buy at Dollar Tree

Since you all loved my list of what NOT to buy at Aldi, I thought it’d be fun to put together a list of what NOT to buy at Dollar Tree!

What NOT to Buy at Dollar Tree

What You Shouldn’t Buy at Dollar Tree

Wondering what you shouldn’t buy at Dollar Tree? Well, I’ve got you covered in this post!

Now, before you think I’m here to disparage Dollar Tree, let me be clear: Dollar Tree is one of my favorite places to shop at. And I’m thrilled that I passed that love on to my daughter!

I mean, what’s not to love about Dollar Tree? Everything in the store is a dollar or less.

If you’re wondering what I think you should buy at Dollar Tree, be sure to check out my HUGE list of the best things to buy at Dollar Tree.

I go to the Dollar Tree for Valentine’s Day gifts. We have a family Christmas tradition where we all go to Dollar Tree and buy each other stocking stuffers! I even think it’s a great place to save money on groceries!

But just like any other store, there are definitely some things I think you should not purchase at Dollar Tree because they aren’t great deals. I put together a list of my top five things below:

(Psst! Did you see my list of 5 Things You Should Not Buy at Aldi?)

1. Cheap Plastic Toys

If you want to buy the cheap plastic toys, you totally can — especially if they will give your kids a lot of enjoyment. (Hey, if a cheap plastic toy for $1 will buy you 30 minutes of peace and quiet, I’m all for that!)

In full disclosure, we have totally have bought the games, puzzles, activity books many times over the years (especially for road trips). That said, we try to be careful that we’re not buying cheap toys that won’t work and are just going to break in a few minutes.

2. Boxes of Cereal

While they do have name brand cereals, they are small boxes and the price per ounce isn’t a great deal — especially compared to what you’d pay for cereal at Aldi.

mac and cheese at Dollar Tree

3. Mac & Cheese

I’ve told you that my kids are big fans of the boxed Mac & Cheese at Aldi — and it’s less than $0.50 per box! Also, there are often deals on Annie’s Mac & Cheese where you can get it for $1 per box or less!

Looking for a really delicious homemade mac & cheese recipe. I highly recommend this one.

4. Chips/Pretzels

If you don’t have a Kroger or Aldi, the prices on tortilla chips and pretzels could be a good deal for you, however, the packages are smaller than a typical bag of chips or pretzels at the grocery store.

For reference, most Aldi stores have larger bags of chips/pretzels for $1.19 and Kroger often larger bags of chips/pretzels on sale for $1.

towels at Dollar tree

5. Hand towels and wash cloths

Of all the things you can buy at Dollar Tree, hand towels and wash cloths are one of the few things I think you should never buy. Why? Because they are basically scratchy, non-absorbent rags.

I mean, if you want to buy them for rags, be my guest. But I think you’d be better off using leaves off your backyard trees than these “towels”. 🙂 Okay, that might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but still, just don’t buy these!

Instead, if you need to buy hand towels or wash cloths, wait until Kohl’s has a deal and coupon. Then, you’ll spend $1-2 per hand towel and wash cloth to buy something that actually works!

Do you agree with my list? Is there anything you would add to it? I’d love to hear!

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  • Amanda Carlso says:

    I always buy flip flops and sunglasses for my kids — and then regret it since both break so quickly. Yet, somehow every summer I forget and make the same mistake! Haha

  • Ashleigh says:

    Totally agree with you!!!

  • Carmen says:

    Personal care & beauty products. Many things are made with unsafe ingredients or come from China. I’ve heard horrible stories from people, especially the face paints!!

  • Cris says:

    I never buy it there either but I think that canned vegetables are not a full dollar at my dollar tree, but 59 cents.

    • That’s good to know! They weren’t marked as such at our store (which our store usually marks everything that is under $1, but maybe they are less than $1 at our store, too?? Now I want to go buy some to check it out! Of course, $0.59 isn’t a good deal compared to Aldi, but at least it’s better than $1!

      • I went ahead and updated my post with some other items I had taken of to maybe add to the post. I decided to go with those instead of what I had posted… just to be safe! 🙂

  • Alice Shanafelt says:

    Actually at my dollar tree the baking soda is 50 cents! It’s one of the few things under $1!


    I completely agree! I also don’t buy nail polish because I have found it’s cheap and discolores my nail color when the polish is removed.

    • Patrice says:

      I’ve occasionally come across some great brand name cosmetics and polish at mine. I’ve bought OPI and Sallly Henson polish at my dollar tree.

      • Donna says:

        I get Birthday, Wedding, Bridal shower, & Mothers day cards at Dollar Tree. The cards are $.50 – $1.00.

  • Linda Orwoll says:

    Kitchen utensils like flippers. They break after a few uses. Greeting cards and Mylar balloons, however, are some of the best things to get there!

    • Lynn says:

      I love and highly recommend the RED Betty Crocker two-sided flat spatulas that they sell at Dollar Tree!!! Totally a perfect fit for serving my 2 doggies canned prescription food. I use this product to get almost everything OUT of those expensive canned food cans. Even my hubby can come close to “scraping that can clean” in a quick second which he is never very patient to do!!!

  • Dyann says:

    I tried bargain hunt wash clothes, same thing did not absorb. I look for the thin ones as they wash in the ears better lol so I found a pack at target for $3 or so. The dye doesn’t bleed off as well.

  • Ashley says:

    Dollar Tree is a great place for school supplies, and as a homeschooling mama, I need plenty.


    Don’t buy the glue sticks! They’re awful. They’re super hard, they dry way too quickly, and they don’t stick very well. We basically had to press the stick down so hard to get any glue on the paper that the stick almost split.

    Save your money and just keep an eye on the back-to-school sales at Walmart or Amazon. I learned my lesson.

  • Chris says:

    Some things TO buy 🙂 – Their frozen fruit is a really, really good price. Much cheaper than Wal-Mart. They also have some other frozen food that is a good deal. Jamaican meat pies for $1. Huge frozen cheese ravioli – I think you get 10 or 12 – for $1.

  • Alisha says:

    Don’t bother with q-tips at the Dollar Tree. I couldn’t wait to be done with the box we tried. They bent so easily you could hardly even USE them. Oh well, lesson learned.

  • Lori says:

    One of the worst items I’ve bought at Dollar Tree is a shower curtain liner. It was paper thin and ripped as I was putting it up. And the holes did not line up correctly.

    • Lori says:

      And one of the best is sunglasses. They last and I don’t care at all if they get lost or broken.

      • Stacey Howiler says:

        I love buying the sunglasses there too. They usually are pretty sturdy. I buy my son several colors to match various outfits … and if any of us lose them on trips i dont have to feel nearly as sore about it if they were 10 to 20 dollar ones. ♡

    • Oh! This is good to know! Thank you for mentioning that!

  • Monica says:

    I don’t like their pony tail holders. They don’t have good elastic. I do love their shower caps if you can find them. Several thin ones in a package for a dollar.

  • Laura says:

    I buy OxiClean, sunglasses and pimple ointment (when they have it). Our Dollar Tree now carries Hallmark brand cards!!! I am so excited. That is the only place I go now to buy cards.

    My husband won’t eat any food from there because he is convinced it is bad. I just get baking soda if I need it for laundry.

  • Jane says:

    Our Dollar Tree went out of business, but they had recently begun to sell Hallmark brand cards. That was the BEST deal ever. I write MANY cards and the savings was incredible!

  • June Bartley says:

    Our Dollar Tree has a clearance section and most everything is $0.50. Sometimes items are $0.25.

  • Jonna says:

    My Dollar Tree will have Family Size boxes of cereal sometimes, paired with a coupon equals some savings.

  • I TOTALLY agree with your list, Crystal! (Although, I typically don’t buy items 1-4 anywhere…) Another thing I never buy at Dollar Tree are their electronic items (like earbuds, USB cables, etc.)—they’re just too cheaply made.

  • Peggy Rice says:

    There’s one thing that I always go back to over and over again. Those ear buds. I love them but alot of times you can take them home, open them up and wind up can’t hear out of one of the ear buds. I bet I have spent so much on those things, but I guess it’s a habit we have that we go back to because it’s $1.00 lol but I love the Dollar Tree though. They have wonderful stuff especially their makeup that you can’t buy any cheaper than a dollar that is a name brand.

  • Nancy says:

    I love to buy the sensitive toothpaste at Dollar Tree, and all my greeting cards are from there now, too. The toothpaste has the same active ingredients as the more expensive kind, and I found it really works well for my dental issues. LOVE LOVE LOVE the cards at Dollar Tree!!!

  • Bonnie says:

    Hair ties or clips have not been good for us from DT either

  • Angela Warner says:

    I have a problem with the aluminum foil from Dollar Tree. It seems to pull apart when I try to unroll it. But it could just be me and being clumsy also.

  • Letty says:

    Never buy kid makeup. They are considered toys and have not be tested or approved as safe products.

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