What to Buy at a Dollar Store

What to Avoid at the Dollar Store

ShopSmart tested these items in their labs and found many of them fell short of safety standards.

* Dangers to Kids: Even with warning labels, party favors and toys with small parts should be avoided as they can become lodged in a child’s throat. Also avoid bottles containing potentially harmful substances. For example, bubble-blowing liquid in containers that look like soda bottles and baby bottles, do not have a label to identify the liquid for Poison Control in case a child drinks it.
* Fire Hazards: Skip tiki torches (they can catch on fire) and utility lighters (even if they have a “child-proof” latch). Novelty lighters can also be a hazard if they are mistaken as a toy.
* Electrical Products: Extension cords, lamps and other items may have fake UL labels vouching for their safety.
* Medication: Aspirin and other meds can be on shelves long past their expiration date.
* Vitamins: Some dollar store multis do not have the amount of nutrients listed on the label.
* Kids’ Jewelry: Older products containing high lead content might still be sold in dollar stores, even though they were recalled in recent years.


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  1. elderberry says

    I always buy emery boards, nail polish remover (especially the wipes) and orangewood sticks at Dollar Tree.  They also sometimes have regional or hard to find brands of food.  I got some nice spice blends there once. I also stock up on coffee filters.
    Cleaning supplies, buckets, rubber gloves and sponges.
    You have to keep your eyes open, they often have buy out lots of name brand product.

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