The dollar store is an enticing place to shop for the obvious reason — you can score great bargains, and not just sometimes. Among the best items to pick up when you visit the dollar store are party decorations, beauty tools, and certain school supplies (via Good Housekeeping). But not everything you can find in the aisles of the discount retailer is worth putting in your cart. Among the products you are better off skipping no matter how inexpensive they are? Snacks.
Sure, grabbing a few bags of chips or packs of cookies for $1 may seem like a steal, but according to Cheapism, there’s a reason snacks like these are so cheap. It turns out that to keep the cost down on pretzels and puffs, retailers are also cutting corners on quality. The outlet has a simple recommendation when it comes to evaluating whether a certain snack should come home with you — if you don’t recognize the name of the brand, just say “no.”
Meanwhile, questionable quality is not the only grounds for walking right on past the snacks section during your next visit to a dollar store.
You may not be getting the most bang for your buck on dollar store snacks
If you care about quality, you will be best served skipping the snacks at the dollar store. And shopping expert Trae Bodge offers another rationale for sourcing snacks elsewhere, telling Kiplinger their shelf life can be suspicious. “Because you have no idea how long something has been sitting around, look for expiration dates,” Bodge advises. He also seconds the notion that a brand name snack is the way to go instead of a generic dollar store product.
It’s worth noting that in the case of snacks, you may not even be saving money at the dollar store. According to Fun, Cheap, or Free, many food items are actually pricier per ounce at the dollar store versus the grocery store.
In the end, it seems the quality, freshness, and price of snacks at the dollar store are all suspect, so you should definitely think twice before stuffing your basket full of $1 chips on your next trip.
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