Daily Worth contributor Donna Freedman says if you want to save money, stay away from dollar stores. Why? “Sometimes I go to the dollar store. After all, sometimes you need a mop bucket,” she writes. “But suddenly things start jumping into my cart. Books, an apple corer, a bag of gingersnaps …. The dollar store is a budget destroyer because things are so cheap it’s easy to overbuy. You go in for baby shower balloons and come out with 13 other items.”
An interesting point. Freedman notes that “A dollar here and a dollar there become a lot of dollars, fast. (Track your spending for a month and see how much you spend on gum and Diet Snapple.)” Or if you’re me, coffee and coffee. There are other reasons to avoid the dollar store, as well, like:
- The fact that dollar store items are often the kind of thing that will clutter your home. (Can anyone say ceramic owls?)
- Dollar store junk food will help you pack on the pounds! As Freedman puts it, “Curse you, one-buck Maui onion chips!”
- Frugal compulsive buying is still compulsive buying. That picture frame or frying pan may be deeply discounted, but unnecessary shopping is never a bargain, Freedman says.
- Plus, consider that most everything in a dollar store is likely made in terrible working conditions. Do you want to support sweatshop labor?
- Products with non-English labels are often found in dollar stores. If you can’t read the product information, how can you be sure you’re buying a quality item?
- Remember that poor people often lose money trying to save on cheap products.
I don’t often stop in dollar stores, but I was near one the other day and decided to pick up some baby wipes. The wipes are so thin they’re virtually useless. Not only that, but just being in the dollar store for a few minutes made me feel like I was breathing in the soot-filled air of Guangdong province. When I left I tweeted, “Dollar stores smell like the death of civilization.”
Do you shop at the dollar store? Only for certain items? Do you find yourself “splurging” on things you don’t need while you’re there?