The Ten Dumbest Things to Buy at a Dollar Store


As of  9/30/09, this post has been read over 167,000 times and was featured on the front page of Msn.com via this  MSN Smart Spending post (which has been read over 419,000 times.)

Why all the hoopla over this silly little post?  Well, it turns out that Dollar Store Pregnancy Tests are quite popular and have a very loyal fan base.  Check out all the comments below to see the spirited responses of Dollar Store Pregnancy Test advocates and for a smile or two.

I just returned from a nice vacation in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  In case you are wondering, I had a great time and even won a little money :)   If you have never been there, one of the other things, besides gambling, that Atlantic City offers is a 4 mile long boardwalk that has countless of number of stores spanning from luxury retailers to dimly lit dollar stores.  Even though it was fun to window shop at things I will never be able to afford, I had more fun looking in these dollar stores for their interesting selection of products.

During these tough economic times, many of us have turned to dollar stores in an attempt to save money.  Don’t get me wrong, there are tons of great bargains in these stores that you SHOULD take advantage of and save a little money.  However, there are some things that I would argue that you should not even think about buying at a dollar store.  Here are some of them that I encountered during my Atlantic City trip.  I even managed to take some pictures with my cellphone of some of these items before being questioned by some angry store owners.

1. Home Pregnancy Test

I almost bought this just to see what it looked like, but the girlfriend vetoed this idea in disgust :) If you really think this product would give you an accurate result, you must be nuts.  I could design my own pregnancy test and satisfy about half of my customers.

2.  Pens

I have learned this lesson the hard way.  One Christmas I made all my associates a nice basket of goodies to enjoy.  Since we always joke that there are never enough pens at work, I gave each of them a 10 pack of pens from the dollar store.  Unfortunately, these pens either quickly fell apart, or never worked at all.  Worse yet, one even broke and got ink all over my co-worker’s shirt.  I was mortified!!

3.  Razors

Another lesson taught to me with great pain.  A couple of years ago, I was on a weekend vacation, and I forgot to pack any razors.  Being my frugal self, I didn’t feel like spending the $2.50 for the mini-razor from the vending machine next to the ice machine.  Furthermore, I thought $8 was a little to much a markup for the razors in the gift shop.  As a result, I made the small walk to the dollar store I saw a couple of block away and bought some razors.  What a painful decision that turned out to be.  These razors shredded my face.  The hotel sink ended up looking like whipped cream topped with cherry sauce and my face looked like i got in a fight with a cactus.

4.  Vitamins

Is there really anything stopping me from buying a whole bunch of sugar pills and putting it in a bottle labeled vitamins?  The better question probably is, is there anyone stopping anyone from China from doing the same thing (or worse) and selling it in mass bulk to dollar stores?  Google “Dollar Store Vitamins” for more disturbing info.  And one more piece of free advice, if they spell the name of the product incorrectly, I would not put it in your mouth–Just some words to live by.

5.  Sunless Tanning Product

Have you ever seen Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?  Do you really want to look like this?

This one really makes no sense to me.  If you care enough about how you look to use sunless tanning, why would you risk your skin to this cheap product?

6.  Sleeping Pills

Dollar Store sleeping pills are great at actually helping you go to sleep.  Waking up in the morning though—Not so much.

7.  Cologne/Perfume

I had taken a picture of a priceless cologne that actually had the phrase, “Droves the Chicks Crazy” on it, but apparently there was not enough light in the store.  Think if it this way, even if you managed to find a scent that worked for you, how would you be able to answer the question, “That smells great honey, where did you get it so I can buy you more for your birthday?”

8.  Tampons

Considering the nature of this product, I immediately felt this was not a great idea.  When I consulted the girlfriend, she confirmed my suspicion.

9.  Any Kind of Paste

Anyone who subjects their child’s ass to the above product is either named Britney or should be prosecuted for child abuse (or both).  I suspect the rash that you are trying to treat would be replaced with a bigger one that becomes infected.  In addition, one of the more documented things that you should never buy in a dollar store.  Google “Dollar Store Toothpaste” for more disturbing information.

10.  Perishable Food

See the above box of Fruit Rings Bar–the date on the box said 2002.  Now this was not an expiration or used buy date.  However, all signs pointed to this product being on various store’s shelves for 7 years.  Even brand name food in dollar stores could be years old.

Honorable Mentions:  Condoms–unless you want to end up buying #1, Underwear, 1988 Calendars, Batteries, and Toilet Paper.

Did I miss anything that needs to be on this list?  Let me know!

This post was featured in the 224th Carnival of Personal Finance

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139 Responses to The Ten Dumbest Things to Buy at a Dollar Store

  1. rki lån says:

    mmmh it might be 10 really stupid things, but its better than having a dollar ;-)

  2. marina says:

    I wonder if the dollar store employees secretly mock the people who buy these crazy products…they probably have everyone on tape and watch the surveillance videos while getting drunk & high :)

    • Dani says:

      Actually, having worked at a dollar tree, there even too cheap to put tapes in the video surveillance! but yeaaa we do laugh at the people who buy things like sleep pills or stool softeners there. We just pray the people who buy pregnancy tests there, arnt. Its crazy how many chicks walk in saying we should get these cuz weve been messing around. Who knows if thats true, but there were a few regulars that would stock up every month on them, the strangest people go in that store…

      • Rae says:

        Actually, if you must know, the pregnancy tests are accurate. Also, I am not a sleeze ball and I don’t think that all women that buy pregnancy tests from the dollar store should be stereotyped that way. I am a married woman who bought one of several brands to satisfy my husband “wanting to know for sure”. The test was positive and we have a child today that proves the accuracy of the tests. So maybe it’s the 9 dumbest things to buy from the dollar store.

        • dollar store whore says:

          Yep same here. I used Dollar Store pregnancy tests & they ALL have been accurate. Better than spending 12 bucks on one test.

          • becc says:

            F.Y.I.- THE TESTS PROVIDED IN THE DOLLAR STORE ARE MADE BY THE SAME DISTRIBUTOR AS THOSE GIVEN INITIALLY BY A FEW REPUTABLE INSTITUTIONS… THEY BUY THEM IN BULK ABOUT 30 CENTS A POP & IT MEASURES A SPECIFIC HORMONE ACCURATELY-

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  5. Grant says:

    Hilarious read. I don’t know how anyone could seriously purchase a home pregnancy kit from a dollar store but I bet it’s done often.

    • S says:

      Actually… I took three dollar store test at 2
      Weeks pregnant and they came out positive and a 20$ preg test came out negative. Dollar store test really works.. My doctor said those
      Are the most accurate

      • Annette says:

        I’ve used the Dollar Tree pregnancy tests for years, and I’ve never had an incorrect result. Ever. I trust their results as much as any other pregnancy test sold in stores.

        Note: I’ve only ever tried them a week or more past a missed period, so I don’t know if they detect pregnancy very early on.

    • JKS says:

      Dollar Store Pregnancy tests have worked the best for me. Infact the more expensive pharmacy store ones have given me wrong results earlier but this one has never once given me an inaccurate result.

  6. BusyMom says:

    It’s pretty funny until I needed to get a pregnancy test and only $1.00 to spend. Went to the dollar store, got test and it was positive!! Had twins just a few months later!

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  8. D says:

    BusyMom – I got one too for the same reason. It showed I was pregnant. When I went to my doctor, though, he laughed and said, “no way, Fred”.

    • tara says:

      Actually a man can come up positive for a pregnancy test. If he has prostate issues he’ll come up positive. It’s like the joke where a man uses a woman’s pee for a drug test & gets busted bc “he’s pregnant” If a Dr. saw that he’d assuming prostate problems.

  9. Deborah says:

    Hey morons – the home pregnancy tests are the exact same one you pay $19.99 for at the grocery store. When you are desperately trying to get pregnant, you can’t afford to spend $20-60 a month on HPT. These tests do work, and they either detect the hcg = pregnant, or they don’t = not pregnant. Best value. Consumers tested them. Only fools pay the full price at the supermarket.

    • Nicole says:

      If you don’t have $20 spending cash for a simple test, how do you expect to raise a child?

      • broker says:

        if you spend $19 more than you have to just to buy namebrand of the exact same product than how do you expect to be able to afford to raise a kid?

        • peggy says:

          It is called being thrifty. hello!!!! Every penny counts these days. Also, once the child is born, parents don’t have to buy their clothes from Macy’s or Dillards. Walmart or the Thrift stores will be fine.

      • christine says:

        Bc these people probably don,t want children. They can then go to thedoctors for another (free) more accurate test.

  10. Samantha says:

    It’s actually pretty funny I do work at a Dollar Store and think its pretty funny when people by alot of these things pregnancy tests being number one. I actually was written up for arguing with a customer who was upset her test didnt work. But the funny part of it all is that I have never ever seen a girl buy just one they always buy like 10 and then whats the point go by a better one.

    . But perishable food is incorrest. We are not allowed to put any expired food on the shelves. If there is we mark it to 50 cents and sell it.

    The rest is pretty self explained I mean why else would we be able to sell it for a dollar.

    • JKS says:

      The reason for buying many is that they can be used after a gap of few days maybe even over a few months. Whereas if you only one worth $10.00 and if you use it too early, you still have to buy another one to get accurate results after a few days.

      The reason i buy them in bulk is because if i come a few weeks later, the store may run out them.

    • anon says:

      You can also buy named brand stuff of all the things mentioned above, it just comes in like packs of one or two, like travel size. I would also like to point out no Dollar Store is alike. Some carry better brands than others. I would argue buying good brands in small packages you should be fine, like one three blade schick vs. the “Smooth Girl” one blade brand pack of 10 razors. You probably shouldn’t expect much.

  11. Jenn says:

    Believe it or not, I know LOTS of women who have gotten very accurate readings from the dollar store pregnancy tests. I don’t know one perso who has used one and got an inaccurate reading.

  12. Jen says:

    They save a lot of $$$$$$$$$$$$ when trying to have a baby. Read up! Now they have ovulation tests for a $1. All pregnancy tests work by detecting a certain hormone in the urine or blood that is only there when a woman is pregnant. This hormone is called human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG. It is also called the pregnancy hormone. hCG is made when a fertilized egg implants in the uterus. This usually happens about six days after the egg and sperm merge. But studies show that in up to 10 percent of women, implantation does not occur until much later, after the first day of the missed period. The amount of hCG rapidly builds up in your body with each passing day you are pregnant.

  13. MSC says:

    You actually have no idea what you’re talking about on the HPT, dude. I understand it was all in the name of funny, but the funny part is that you’re actually wrong.

  14. Jen says:

    They save a lot of $$$$$$$$$$$$ when trying to have a baby. Read up! All pregnancy tests work by detecting a certain hormone in the urine or blood that is only there when a woman is pregnant. (human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG)
    Why pay $8-$15 for the same test when it test for the same thing?

  15. peeonastickaddict says:

    You would be surprised about the pregnancy tests…they are actually just as if not more sensitive than some of the more expensive ones and are the same exact tests used in lots of doctors offices. Just FYI.

  16. Kristi says:

    Grant-
    I actually did purchase the home pregnancy test…my daughter was convinced I was pregnant and I didn’t think I was so I bought it to shut her up. Turns out, her little brother will be here in December. (We ended up buying a “real” test to confirm…then we believed!!)

  17. Mille says:

    Pregancy test….hmmm…I bought 2 in June(just to make sure)…I really didnt want to spend $12 on one. To my surprise it was acurate…I’m due in March.

  18. Nicole M says:

    You have no idea what you are talking about. The brands of pregnancy tests that the dollar stores sell are actually just as accurate, and sometimes more accurate, as the tests sold at drugstores. If you would have bothered to do your research, you would have discovered this.

  19. Julie says:

    I actaully prefer dollar store pregnancy tests, they work better than the expensive brands, and heck, they are only a dollar. I have been pregnant twice, both times the dollar store brand gave me a positive 3 days BEFORE the $15.99 E.P.T test did. Go figure…..

  20. hooligansmom says:

    I’ve bought parishable food like Celery, Strawberries, Sara Lee Bread Rolls, Mother’s Cookies, etc… all with normal expiration dates…I’ve never seen anything that’s already expired…ever. I also walk out with bags and bags of products that my family uses and spend about $15.00….
    Snobs who don’t shop at the 99 Cent store or the Dollar Store can walk out of a store with 4 items and pay $15.00.
    Who’s the real ding-dong?

  21. i have actually purchased the dollar pregnancy test…and it was right! OMG…i purchased it to have fun with a girlfriend of mine…we bought 4 of them after a beer run and each took two….after a few beers we took em….mine two said i was preggers!! I went to the dr to confirm and yup…i have a two year old….those damn dollar store pregnancy tests were accurate….

  22. TXGirl says:

    Yeah, the one dollar pregnancy tests start to look like a good idea when you’re trying to get pregnant and you have to spend $14 every time you THINK you MIGHT be pregnant… (I admit it, I’ve gotten them at the dollar store!)

    This article doesn’t even mention the just-plain-rip-off stuff. You know, things that wouldn’t even cost a dollar in other stores. Dollar stores often have “back to school” supplies in August but you can get the stuff at other retailers for way less…

  23. nicole says:

    My friend and i both took pregnancy tests from the 99 cent store, that came back positive. Went to the doctor and it was confirmed.

    My pens from the 99 cent store work great too..

    I also used condoms from the 99 cent store back in HS, with no “issues”. Bought a few really cute pairs of underwear (from Rampage) there as well. Batteries work fine too, not the longest lasting but for a buck and it you HAVE to have them for your remote they’re quite handy.

  24. MA says:

    I was thinking the same about the preg test originally. However, I work for a OBGYN practice and the Dr.’s disagreed. Its testing for a hormone level. They believe that any test will do. All have a false positive or false negitive possiblity. Even the $15.00 one have a chance to be defective. If your pregnant your pregnant. It may not be an early detection test but eventually it will do its job.

  25. Lisa Abbott says:

    while i agree that a person needs to use common sense when buying items at a dollar store – dollar store shopping should not be discouraged. try having only 12$ to provide your family’s household needs for a month. you’ll learn to worship dollar stores.

  26. c. joseph says:

    You need to be a smart shopper if you buy items in an .99 store, the same as you would in a retail chain.
    When shopping in my local .99 stores I try to buy only cleaing items, bar soap, name brand sodas in 3 litre bottles, paper goods and some tools. These items are at a cost much lower than the same items or similar items in a retail chain and their expiration dates (if any) aren’t really important.

    When I buy food items I play close attention to the expiration date. For me, if an item is up to 4 months past its expiration date I consider it still good. Besides, I can always freeze the item and defrost it when I need to use it.

    Some really great items can be purchased at a .99 store if shop carefully and wisely.

  27. Lori says:

    I will say that you are wrong about the pregnancy tests. It is the best place to buy them. They are only $1 and they are accurate. They sometimes are not as accurate as the “5 days before a missed period” tests but they are close enough.

  28. MARiiPOSA says:

    ACTUALLY THE PREGNANCY TEST IS REALLY ACCURATE. THATS HOW I DETERMINED I WAS PREGNANT WITH MY 2ND AND 3RD CHILD….
    ITS CHEAPER THAN PAYING 7 DOLLARS AT CVS.

  29. Dollar Store Value Menu says:

    My co-workers and I who work for a major appliance store have a dollar store in our center. We ALL eat from there daily. Frozen Chicken Nuggets, and frozen burritos topping off the most popular selections. No one has gotten any sicker anymore eating there than at any other place. In actuality, the Pizza shop in the same center has wipped out 3 employees in one day. The large chain pastry shop in the same center has also given salmonella to one employee. So we will be happy with all of you avoiding our favorite food selections which some of us have eaten for 4 years or more with no more trouble than your favorite fast food chain. Quciks question. WHen was the last time you heard about a chain of 300 dollar stores shutting down due to food contamination? how about fast food joints? Taco bell and Jack in the bOx come to mind pretty quickly. Not to mention the McDonalds Blood worm scare of the 80′s and the Burger King horse meat episodes of the 80′s as well. You take a risk every time you prepare food. You take a bigger risk each time you eat at a restaraunt. My uncle got Hepititus from a nationwide seafood chain, becaus ethey employed a person infected. So come down from the heavens and join the rest of us who frequent the dollar stores.

  30. Cyndi says:

    great list! I would add paper towels or any and all paper products, personal or otherwise

  31. DoverPA says:

    I know it sounds funny to buy pregnancy tests from a dollar store, but I have a friend who has purchased tons of them and they were accurate every time. Based on her recommendation, I bought a couple for both my pregnancies and had accurate results. How did I know the results were accurate? My husband made me drive to Target for a “real” test each time. LOL

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  33. Sasha says:

    You forgot any type of make-up unless you want to look like Bozo the Clown.

    Good things include:
    Nail polish remover
    Plastic cutlery
    Halloween crap (only needs to last a day!)

  34. Tora says:

    I saw some home pregnancy tests at the dollar store near my work and had wondered aloud who in the world would trust them.

    My manager told me the next day that he had girl in line in front of him buying about ten of them. The worst part is that this dollar store has the tests not only in the toiletry section, but at the end of the aisle with the impulse buys, as if someone would look up while going to pay for their purchase and go “Oh, I should grab a pregnancy test too. I almost forgot that I might be knocked up.”

    If I was pregnant and I had ten dollars, I would rather go buy *one* ten dollar test rather than ten one-dollar ones. Personally.

  35. rem says:

    Don’t buy Ammo and weapons at the Dollar store.

  36. thiago says:

    The pregnancy test does work. I spent one dollar for the pregnancy test at the dollar store. the result was positive.i didnt believe it so i spent 14 dollars at rite aid pharmacy. so i would have to say that 1 dollar on a pregnancy test is not a bad investment….

  37. rvj says:

    I would add Flea treatment – bought some for my dogs at the dollar store…guess what?… they got fleas!

    also those FM radios that are $1- they have a reception distance of about 150 yards-huge waste of a $1!

  38. rkmaury says:

    actually, the results on the pregnancy tests are accurate. I have found (and many others i have talked to) that there are fewer false positives, evap lines and ‘incomplete’ tests. Since they are so cheap, they are a practical investment for people who are actively trying to conceive. Name brand tests get expensive after a while. But that is just my two cents

  39. Jess says:

    I’m just wondering if you did the research yourself to conclude that the products are crap or if you were just guessing? Your pretty much saying that you could poison yourself by taking them. Slander of products is not cool. My familly uses Familly Care products often and think thay work great.

  40. kathy says:

    Never ever purchase any kind of food or candy in a ‘Dollar Store’! Made in China candy could ne landfill remnants!

  41. fourisenough says:

    I have purchased several packets of pens at the Dollar Tree and haven’t had a problem..

    I was also skeptical about the $1 pregnancy test, but didn’t want to spend $10+ at other stores, so I purchased a pregnancy test for $1 at Dollar Tree. …and guess what? Tested positive.. I really am pregnant..

    So the Dollar tree works for me!

    However I do not buy food since most of the items are usually expired.

  42. Pastemaker says:

    I was hungry and only had a buck so I bought a box of “FruttiRings Bar” and now I’m going back for Bottom Paste ! ! ! ! Just a few months???? Twins????? WHOA!!!! Now that’s funny ! ! ! Good artical , funny stuff !

  43. Laura says:

    Dollar Tree pregnancy tests work great. They have detected all of my pregnancies well before my period was due. They work just a great, if not BETTER, than some name brand tests out there. http://www.peeonastick.com has done a lot of research about various pregnancy tests. Most pregnancy tests only detect a pregnancy at 25 mIU/mL. However, the Dollar Tree test (New Choice), while it is listed as a 25 mIU/mL test, it has been known to detect pregnancies with the hCG hormone as low as 7 mIU/mL. Don’t knock it until you try it!

  44. the author of the 10 dumbest things to buy at a dollar store obviously has no medical background. the pregnancy tests at the dollar store are exactly the same as the overpriced tests at the department stores. ask any physician, and they will confirm it.

  45. Erica says:

    I bet with all the layoffs of today the dollar store with be busy with people just trying to save all they can anyway they can. I think there should be better laws about what is ok to sell to the public. I think people are getting sick from these products and do not even know it. They just think they have stomach problems or headach and they don’t put two and two together.

  46. Bridget says:

    $1 home pregnancy tests are great for the woman who is trying to get pregnant, and has the desire to constantly test herself in the days around when her period is about to start. I never used them, but I was constantly testing because I was so excited. If I had a negative test, I was just sure it was wrong, and I’d get the desired result the next day. It got expensive.

    (Wow. Glad I’m married. I’d never get a guy if I were this openly neurotic now.)

  47. katie says:

    nothing funny at all about the $1 preg tests! i doubted them as well until i got a postitve! amazing bargain!

  48. soul12b4u says:

    Funny thing about number 1(pregnancy test), they cost a dollar and work just as well as the more expensive one’s from walmart,etc. Used one for my first child, and one for my second child. Why pay more for something that does the same thing as it’s more pricey competitor at a big name store?? Doesn’t make sense to me.

  49. David says:

    Yea about the pregnancy test, my girl needed one bad, it said positive, we freaked out, told our mommy and daddy..2 days later she got her period…

  50. Dave says:

    I’ve found that the dates on food are more current than some of the ones that I find at my local SAFEWAY and Wal-Mart!!
    HURRRRAY for Dollar Stores!

  51. Dr. Joel says:

    For all your joking, the dollar store pregnancy test is nearly as accurate (usually 50 units HCG sensative versus 25 for hospital, i.e. about 1 day difference in reading +) as the hospital tests. And, in the ER, we recommend people spend a dollar instead of wasting a few hundred dollars coming in to find out if they are pregnant. Now THAT’s a waste of money!

  52. Nicole says:

    This is a great post but I have to tell you, dollar store pregnancy tests are exactly the same as the pregnancy test done in the emergency room of your local hospital (the urine tests). AND, the vitamins and sleeping pills contain the same ingredients as ones you’d buy at the drug store… but I’m with you on everything else!

  53. Mindy says:

    Actually dollar store pregnancy test is not a bad deal. I don’t know any woman who only takes one of these.. typically you’ll use at least 2 or 3. At $15 plus a pair at the normal pharmacy… the cost adds up. There are plenty of women who advocate for the dollar store tests when trying to conceive.

  54. Me says:

    BusyMom- that’s a real short gestation period!

  55. Alicia says:

    Funny, ooooh wait I buy the sleeping pills and I even got the pregnancy test and it was positive and I was pregnant. I agree check the dates on food and stay away from cosmetics productsl like perfume and lotion unless it has a brand name on it,l which sometime you find at the dollar store.

  56. Brandy says:

    Yea…I definitely agree. MOST of the products sold in dollar stores is pure junk – it’s so rare to find any true ‘bargains’, I often wonder why so many people even waste the time to frequent them. However, I’ll say the one good thing about the nature of these stores is their Brand-Name items (like house cleaner, room sprays, etc..) actually being offered at or around $1.00. You just can’t beat getting things for a buck that costs significantly more for the same exact stuff, at any other store. They also sometimes have unique crafty items or knick knacks…but it depends on the retailer itself, and always (with anything) make sure you check whatever product your buying to make sure it’s not a defect! The *Cardinal Rule* people..

    Lol, and uh, yea…dollar store pregnancy test? Really? I had actually just made a comment about this recently while at a dollar store…I did not think anyone remotely sensical would take this seriously. And as mean as this may seem to say, if you HONESTLY only have a dollar to spend for the actual test to tell if you’re pregnant…you PROBABLY are in a zero position to have a kid, let alone TWINS!

    But then again, everyday I’m more and more amazed by other human beings!!

  57. nvrsaynvr says:

    my best friends sister found out she was preggerz with all three of her children using a $1 store test. when i went to the doc. today the test they did for me lookd just the same…allthou i know they are not. u nvr know!

  58. Alexis says:

    I had spent $15 on a pregnancy test and it was negative, tho I KNEW i was pregnant. I bought one from a dollar store and it came out positive!

  59. mama says:

    I would just like to let you know that the pregnancy tests bought at dollar stores are actually ones that are used by health departments. Any good doctor will tell you that they are cheap, and they do the job. If you suspect you are pregnant, they tell you that they are the ones you should use, they aren’t fancy, but are accurate. If you call the health department and ask what test to buy they will tell you the dollar store ones. If you go to get a test done, they use the dollar tests. Something doesn’t have to be fancy to tell you you are pregnant or measure the hcg levels, which is what a test does. Also, as for the paste, they do sell brand name items, and Butt Paste, as you have here, is a brand sold anywhere baby products are sold. Also, they sale brand name tampons. So if you can pay a little less for the same thing, why not. At least get facts straight… Esp when it comes to the pregnancy tests… I took one of these and found I was pregnant. I went to the health dept, and what do you know, I was indeed pregnant, and they used the same exact test I had. This was about 2 years ago, so it is recent.

  60. DivaShopper says:

    Maybe you should have educated yourself before publishing this article- Dollar Store Pregnancy tests (when used prior correctly) are the same tests that doctor’s offices use. Not only that, but they are actually more reliable than tests that cost 20X more, and will give a positive result prior to missing a period.

  61. katg523 says:

    In the defense of the pregnancy test, I’ve had several friends buy some from the dollar store and they were actually accurate.

    I had my doubts at first, and was in shock when they actually gave an accurate result.

  62. momof5 says:

    yep, same here busymom… must be magic pregnancy test coz’ got the test from the dollar store and showed positive result and found out later… twins. i get my pregnancy tests from the dollar store and they seem to work just fine.

  63. Yvette says:

    I know it sounds dumb to buy a home pregnancy test for $1, but it seems to me that it is more dumb to spend $20 on one. The only people who buy the more expensive pregnancy tests are usually a) In denial about whether they are pregnant or b) too stupid to read a regular pregnancy test. You are either pregnant or not pregnant. I have three kids, and the last two pregnancies were confirmed with a pregnancy test from the dollar store. Both results showed up immediately. I took a third pregnancy test when I was not pregnant, and the results came out negative. So 100% accurate results for me on all 3 tests. What’s the big deal? They work.

  64. Madnesss says:

    I agree for some of the items mention, but Dollar Store Batteries are alot better than paying 6 bucks for a pair of double AAs. So i buy 2 packs of 4. It equals out and still save 4 bucks. Toilet paper? They have many name brands there. Please get your facts straight. And no I do not work for them. Great place for birthday Balloons. Why pay 15 bucks at the floral shop. On valentines day , they sell red roses for $1 apiece. When was the last time you bought a dozen roses for $12? On Wall Street, Dollar Store shares were one of the Top 3 shares to buy. It was actually 1st.

  65. Erin says:

    After having two kids and spending way too much on pregnancy tests. I decided this time to try the dollar store brand, and it worked fine. Why spend $15 when you can only spend a buck either way you are going to have it confirmed by a doctor. I wouldn’t trust dollar store medication but I have no problem peeing on their products! ;)

  66. Cal says:

    Actually the dollar store tests are really not bad at all, and about 1/10 of the price of even a store brand pregnancy test elsewhere. See http://www.babyhopes.com/pages.php?pageid=12 for a comparison!

  67. William says:

    Dollar stores are one of my favorite places. I found a lot of stuff there you can’t find anywhere else. As long as you buy carefully, there’s no problems. If something looks like cheap junk, don’t get it. Always check the expariation dates on food.

  68. Cynnamon says:

    Hey! I buy all my batteries at the 99 cent store! I’ve been buying them for years and they work fine. As for the food, check out The 99 Cent Chef’s blog………..brave man.
    http://the99centchef.blogspot.com/

  69. your post is good..The pictures are too good to see.Thanks for sharing the post…

  70. hallie middlebrooks says:

    I actually asked my pharmacist about the home pregnancy kits for $1 and he said they work just the same accuracy-wise

  71. Erica says:

    great article!! super funny and very true.

    i did want to point out a typo in the first paragraph, just FYI…”…I had more fun looking in these dollar stores for ‘THERE’ interesting selection of products.”

  72. dave hanson says:

    me and my wife have 2 childern and we were informed bothe times by a dollar store pregnancy test .

  73. Mary says:

    I have to disagree on the pregnancy test. I used one to find out that I was pregnant with my daughter after seeing that my doctor’s office used the same test!

    Then I looked into it more and saw that the dollar stores tests have the same sensitivity as many of the more expensive ones at the drug stores. It is all about the sensitivity of measurement.

  74. Pittsburgher says:

    i just go to the ER for a pregnancy test. My health insurance has no co-pay and I know the test will be correct, or I’ll sue!

  75. No Way says:

    FYI-The toilet paper, sleep aids, baby balm AND pregenancy test are the exact same things you get for more at other stores. You just do not pay for fancy packageing at teh dollor store. Just compare them and/or thier ingredients. Although the razors are crap, they sell some just as crappy for three times as much at Walmart.

  76. bill says:

    as a student i was buying school supply. pencil and note books. the lady in front of me at the check out was writring a check. with a wrist brace on her writing hand. probably carpoul tunnel , from writing bad checks.

  77. Rose says:

    To: “BusyMom”.. If you only had a dollar to spend, I have to wonder what would make you think its a good idea to have a child. Much less twins! Get a job and you won’t have to worry about buying a dollar store pregnancy test in the future, or even shop at a dollar store. Just some friendly advice.

  78. Kerri says:

    You are way off base about the pregnancy tests. First, they say on them how accurate they are. Most of them will be totally accurate if you wait til you missed your period. Furthermore, there are lots of couples who have infertility issues and who take a long time to get pregnant, and thus they are testing month after month. Why waste $15 on a pregnancy test each month (or more if you need to test multiple times) if you can get the same result with a $1 test? These tests make sense for these women who need to buy lots of them.

  79. ray says:

    10 dombest thing to buy. You should have been working for other stores.
    there was not one item that you would mention positive buying from them. I buy paint bruches that are 80% cheaper than Home depot or sears

  80. Collette Reiman says:

    I was laughing so hard, I thought I would hurt something, thank God I did not read this at 1 am! I have purchased tampons, they are not the best, but I ahve been in a position of need not time to run to a store that was farther away, I survived it, not all dollar store items suck,but the bottom paste just tickled me to no “end” FYI if you are desperate enough to buy Bottom paste, a healthier option and probably already in your cupboard, a can of “all vegetable shortening”. Not the butter flavored!

  81. Melissa says:

    The Dollar Store Pregnancy tests work very well. It may not be somthing you want to be frugal with….but it won’t make you more pregnant if you spend 10 bucks on the stick you pee on.

  82. Michelle says:

    I have never bought a product that was expired from a dollar store or should I say Dollar tree. They sell generic health and beauty aids, new products being released as “try me”. Of course there are some products that are notorious no no’s from those stores.

    Batteries-always die very quickly
    Canned veggies-3/$1 in major grocery chains vs $1 ea
    pens do stink -literally.
    Books-less than best sellers, great baby books though
    Crayons-wierd wax that doesn’t stick to paper ?!?
    Frames-cheaply made and it shows
    TP-prison paper at best
    Good buys:
    Cleaners, snacks, plastic bags, some party stuff, candy
    Some school supplies
    Don’t knock pregnancy tests-testing for hcg presence is cheap to begin with.
    Public-educate yourself on generic equivalents and stop being robbed by advertisements
    ie acetaminophen instead of tylenol, zinc oxide cream instead of desitin, ibuprofen instead of motrin, guaifensin instead of robitussin or mucinex
    Our society is frequently dupped by pretty packages and stupid cartoons-Geico is the king of spending too much on advertising that does little more than empties Joe Shmos wallet.

  83. Mr. Happy Face says:

    How do you call the guy who bought condoms at 99c store? We call him Daddy!

  84. Janelle says:

    The dollar store pg tests work–Both times I was pg i learned from dollar store pg tests!! Its a whole lot better than spending @ least ten bucks for one test!!

  85. Tella says:

    I have bought expensive preg tests but then was told that the dollar store ones use the same chemicals/method of testing and that people shouldn’t waste money on regular ones. In fact, the only time I stop at the dollar store is to get a preg test when I’m TTC. And they’ve always been right! So don’t hate!

  86. Aleice says:

    I once bought a broom at a dollar store. It broke before I left the store. Hilarious!

  87. Leslie says:

    BusyMom you got lucky with that accurate result. I had a friend call me in tears because she’d just found out she was “pregnant” (note the quotation marks). She was also very broke and got the test at the dollar store…a two pack no less!! Both said she was pregnant and both were completely wrong, as confirmed by a very confused doctor who couldn’t imagine why she wanted a prenatal exam when she wasn’t in fact pregnant.

    • Kimberly says:

      maybe she had a brain tumor :) ps i hate snobby people, you dont think the same thing happens with over priced pregnancy tests?

  88. Chem mom says:

    I am not sure about the brand at the dollar store you went to but most dollar stores have accurate (and relatively low sensitivity) pregnancy tests. They are wonderful and cheap for monitoring an early pregnancy. They have worked for me on 3 pregnancies early on along with the name brands sold by big box stores.

    I would agree that I would not by anything that I would ingest or put on my body at a dollar store, but that is just me.

  89. cait says:

    It seems like all of the accurate pregnancy tests were positive… Maybe they only work if you’re actually pregnant, and give a false positive the rest of the time?

    Also, why is it necessary to test constantly when you’re trying to get pregnant? Can’t you just wait until a missed period to confirm? It’s not like knowing a couple days earlier changes anything.

  90. Home Pregnancy Test – now that really is funny, how stupid can people be to actually buy them from a $1 store? It’s like buying drugs over the internet, never do it as you never know what you are getting

  91. Alicia says:

    The pregnancy tests from the dollar store are actually very accurate. They can detect lower levels of hCG than some of the more expensive ones. You sound like an idiot and should look into it more instead of running your mouth off about something you don’t know anything about. I’ve taken the dollar store’s pregnancy test before and an EPT test before and I like the dollar store’s test better! Why spend $15 on a test when I can spend a buck and get better results!

  92. StephenJ says:

    Not sure of the writer’s motivation. An intelligent person can see HE is wrong. “Dollar stores” like Dollar Tree (and discounters (Big Lots) and Trift Stores (Savers) have done well in this economy and Walmart and other chains are paying serious attention to this. Batteries: name brand and use by date, $1 vs $6. Medications: same chemical, same effect; if sleep aid has drowsiness causing antihistamines in it (most do), you’ll be drowsy. Razors: expensive ones (with expensive advertisments) don’t do well on my beard; but I’ve used an average knife to good effect so I’d chalk up his experience to incompetence or hangover. Preg Tests: most OBGYNs question ANY over-the-counter test; aren’t they purchased after missed period? Food: I’m in the west so we see surplused east coast brands, as a non-compete option these surpluses often went to Club stores like CostCo. No more Chinese made product than an average high end retailer. Many of the food products are American made for the hispanic market. Nestle Clasico coffee and Bacitracin antibiotic ointment are two ‘dollar store’ items that are now in mainstream retailers.

  93. Gary H. says:

    Have any of you people ever actually SHOPPED at, or even been IN Dollar Tree? I’ve been buying there since the store came to town, and the only thing I’ve ever been dissatisfied with was a hammer that broke when I pulled a nail with it. They buy most of their merchandise from a company called Greenbriar Int’l, and the rest they get from stores and companies that are going out of business. The Mgr. told me they also buy a lot from Wal-Mart (markdowns and close-outs). Just like any store, you have to check expiration dates, but I have never seen any out-of-date food at the Dollar Tree. (Although I have at Warehouse Market). And they have a dandy return policy. You can’t get your money back, but they cheerfully exchange. Almost anything you can buy at a retailer, you can get there for only a dollar. I get my razors there, and have never had any problems. Like anything else, it depends on the brand Next time, try their Maxx 4 razors. AND they have name brand toothpastes.

  94. Gracie says:

    Interesting Kevy! I didn’t know that. lol.

  95. Dollartree Admin. says:

    It’s against the Law to sell expired food for any Dollar Tree, and as for that employee saying they sell the expired, they must just be a cashier. Dollar tree marks down their products weeks in advance before they expire, on the day of expiration, the products are marked down to ZERO, and thrown away. A good well run store keeps no expired products on its shelves.

  96. Barry J. says:

    I think it varies from store to store. The Dollar Store near me is wonderful. They’re right next to the Wal-Mart, and get comparable traffic. I get my shampoo and conditioner, coffee filters, tea, rubbing alcohol, socks and hair bands, INK PENS (they’re Pental gel pens, .5mm tips, perfect quality), candles, dishes (very nice dishes, same as Wal-Mart, Norfolk brand, but 1/5 the price).

    Of course there are some things to avoid. All medication is overpriced. 6 Aleve tablets for $1 is a rip off. I avoid the non-brandname food stuffs. I got a jar of pickles there once. The juice turned my fingers yellow (like I dipped the in ink), they tasted burnt, smelled bad, and had ZERO pickle flavor at all.

    Oh yeah, and sometimes they get a couple bestseller novels there for a $1. Awesome!

  97. Bonnie says:

    I bought some of the baby diaper rash cream called “Butt Aid” from the Dollar Tree and compared it to my daughter’s tube of NAME BRAND Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. I don’t put just anything on my baby, but it has the exact same ingredients. It’s also much cheaper and it is the only thing that heals her diaper rash in a day or two. So, maybe do some research next time.

    The pregnancy tests are the same ones my doctor uses. I asked him. And people don’t want to spend a lot on pregnancy tests when they are trying to get pregnant. You may have to buy them month after month and sometimes you don’t get pregnant for years. Think of the money wasted! A lot of people with fertility problems skip periods or have late ones, so how do they know they’ve missed one if they don’t test?

    Oh, and FYI…I don’t know if you have heard of a shopping chain called Aldi’s, but my cousin works for the purchasing department and the items are bought from places like General Mills, etc, and repackaged in Aldi’s brand packaging for a cheaper price. They just buy overstocks and stuff like that. My point is, most dollar stores do the same thing. Compare ingredients.

  98. JAMC says:

    All women should know that you always want more than one pregnancy test that’s why we tend to buy the two pack because we always test too early in anticipation. So why go buy 2 two packs for $32 when you can buy 6 individual ones for $6? I am a mother of 5 and when you can penny pinch, you do. Let me guess those opposed to these cheaper items, you always buy brand name don’t you?

  99. Jill jensen says:

    STAY AWAY from the lotions, body and face creams, shampoos, hair rinse, so-called spa products, liquid soaps—all full of questionable and some very dangerous chemicals…Propylene Glycol (car degreaser anyone)? EDTA, Tetrasodium, go to http://www.cosmeticdatabase.com or http://www.ewg.org/bodyburden/consumerproducts to check out some of the crap that is in these products (and made not just in China).

  100. Kimberly says:

    WOWWWWW dumbest thing I’ve ever read maybe you should have done research before knocking some of those items and calling people stupid for buying them when they actually work, now if you would have shown the underwear or something dumb like that, maybe it would have been funny. but pregnancy tests and butt paste? wow, grow up and quit being such a snob :)

  101. Gabriella says:

    Really.. I don’t think pregnancy tests should be on here! The “real” pregnancy tests can be ridiculously expensive and when you are trying to get pregnant those dang things add up! I have used $1 pregnancy tests for two out of three of my children and they WORK! In my opinion, even FASTER than the $20 ones! So hell yes I would rather buy the $1 test that works! Maybe you should do a little more research before knocking something you dont know about.

  102. Lauren says:

    The $1 pregnancy tests are often used by women who are trying to get pregnant so they can test frequently and not have to spend $15 per test.

  103. michele says:

    Yep, those Dollar Tree pregnancy tests work – only used one in my life, and Aiden was born 7 1/2 months later.
    I also get my tampons, razors, shampoo, soap, gift wrap (they have an awesome gift bag section), ziplocks, school supplies, puzzles, dish towels, tupperwear and holiday decor there. I can spend $20 there and feel like I had a shopping spree. Be sure to check out their books (nationally known authors – I got a Martha Stewart book there that was AWESOME – and reading glasses for a buck. Their greeting cards are getting better and better. You also can’t beat Mylar balloons for $1! Also, great pool toys -’bubbles too. I heart the DT!

  104. Jasmine says:

    I actually have to disagree with the pregnancy test. My friend and I were there getting birthday decorations and found the pregnancy tests. I’m 8 months pregnant so we decided it would be funny to see if they worked. We bought 2 just in case and I took the tests. Both came up as positive. I don’t think it’s a bad idea to have them in the store because some women might need one (or ten) but can’t afford the super expensive ones. As for accuracy, i’d say it’s pretty on but then again i am 8 MONTHS and not a few days or weeks. :)

  105. mayo says:

    so i went for some candy and the soda was 25 cents more than walmart

  106. ?'ed by those that matter says:

    I am another $1 pregnancy test user .
    My fiancee and I had been together almost 9 years when we started trying for our 1st child . I was discussing an abnormal cycle I had just got through with to a friend , she suggested that maybe after 10 months of trying I might be pregnant because it sounded as if I didn’t have a menstrual cycle but implantation bleeding . The fiancee and I decided to stop and pick up bleach that we use for household cleaning when we where checking out we spotted the cheap looking dollar store pregnancy test , we joked about it for a few minutes but he insisted we try it before going to the CVS to get the digital one we planned on getting on the way home. Well to our surprise got home, took the test and it was less then 30 second and we had a positive . I doubted so we ended up going to CVS and bought the twin pack. Took both of those and they actually came back negative . Leaving us crushed . I scheduled an appt with the doctor just to make sure I wasn’t pregnant. We couldn’t of been happier , our doctor came back with a positive result and announced that i was only 3 weeks along! 2 years later we have the most beautiful daughter who is our whole world . We again will try for our little boy once our wedding takes place this summer and again I will be back to the dollar store for my test. Saving a few bucks doesn’t make you any less of a person , just a person who will have a few extra dollars in their pockets to spend on a rainy day!

  107. Erin says:

    The pregnancy test works…same ones dr uses. lol. Cleaning supplies are good from there too.

  108. Sara says:

    The “sleeping pill” is the same drug used in Benydrl. I buy it and use it when I need it for my allergies. If you take it on a regular basis, it doesn’t make you sleepy anymore.

  109. Schizo says:

    My wife bought a bottle of shampoo that had the words DANDRUFF and SHAMPOO all big and when she tried it at home, she could tell it wasn’t anything like the regular dandruff shampoos, so I took a closer look and after seeing the tiny words between the big ones, it says “SHAMPOO rinses away loose DANDRUFF”. Well, that works with just plain water too, so we threw it away but it taught us a lesson about reading things closely and not just assuming or getting caught up in the brand label. Our Dollar Tree here has $1 drug tests, and I know for a personal fact the ones for marijuana are 100% accurate so once all your kids get into highschool, you can afford to pop one more test on them before you sign a 6 year lease on their graduation present so they can get high and wrap it around a tree on their 18th birthday, making you feel responsible for it because you could have known for a lousy buck. And just because a label says it has certain things in the bottle doesn’t mean that’s what is in the bottle. A lot of independant dollar stores DO buy stolen stuff and pull shady crap to make some money. Like selling books with the covers ripped off or slashed. COUNTERFEIT STUFF THAT MAY NOT HAVE BEEN MANUFACTURED IN SOMEONES BATHTUB, BUT THEN AGAIN MAYBE IT WASN’T…. Dollar Tree is a national chain and they have standards… lol… but there’s a lot of weird stuff going on there too like employee sex in that little booth over by the mylar balloons and you can totally smell it on them when they come to answer the bell at the checkout. I can see why their pregnancy tests are so popular.

  110. Ashley says:

    No offense but I got my pregnancy tests there because I would rather spend $1 then $30 just to have it come out negative. I took two, and they worked, accurately might I add. I was indeed pregnant and confirmed with a $10 test and then a doctors visit. Some of these products may be stupid, but a lot of them actually work and even if they don’t, it’s only a dollar, what is there to complain about?

    • Ashley says:

      Also have to add that I was only 3 weeks pregnant when these tests confirmed, so they can’t be totally dissed. Doctors used tests very similar to the dollar store ones.

  111. edoggie says:

    i know a girl that works at a hospital and the use the same exact tests the dollar store uses they buy um in bulk and are very accurate.

  112. Simba Lage says:

    pregnancy tests are better then ept. I have 2 kids and they were right every time. I am disabled so when I can save money I do. Lot of the dollor store stuff is cheap (like tools ect) but their soaps, pregnancy test, lotions ect are all of good quality! Just because you aint dumb to spend 20.00 on a pregnancy test which all looks for the same thing that doesnt make you incapable or a reason you shouldnt have kids… Dumbasses that believe an expensive test makes it more better to become a parent are DUMB cuz these work well

  113. chauncy says:

    Well, the dollar store preggo tests told me I was NOT pregnant for weeks and I took a dollar store one (negative) and about an hour later took a different one (positive). Turns out they were crap.
    boo.

  114. Mike says:

    The people hre who say that they had no problem with dollar tree products are all telling the truth but the problem is that this is a self-selected sample. I’ll stand corrected if someone can show me a scientific poll or a study that tells me otherwise.

  115. anon says:

    Well, I’m reading a lot of judgy mcjudgersons on this blog! When I was a student and strapped for cash (not that I have any cash now, I’m a law student in the first year and we’re only allowed to work 20 hours a week, if you can even handle that) I would shop at the dollar store for house hold items. I don’t know what trashy dollar store you were at, but you can find brand name cleaning supplies, toiletries, and house hold items at mine. And, yes, when you’re in a pinch, imo, it’s better to buy a two pack of toilet paper until you get a paycheck instead of go without. Don’t assume people shopping at the dollar store don’t have a job or can’t afford their children. That’s just plain rude.

  116. Judith says:

    I have been a nurse delivering babies and testing women for pregnancy for 11 years now. These dollar store tests DO work no differently than any other pregnancy test and I would recommend them to any of my patience. Try this, buy a very expensive pregnancy test, and a very cheap one. Break them both open. The insides are all the same. There only difference is a flashy or decorative outside. Your paying $15 for glam. And well paid for commercials.

  117. hi says:

    ok we get it u like those one dollar preg. test thingiesbtw sum of ur stories r a bit unneeded.. my name is hi and i approve this message

  118. Roger says:

    All of my wife’s pregnancy test that was bought at dollar tree came out positive and we have 3 kids. For people who talks about Dollar tree there just stupid, it would be OK to go to Dollar General or Family Dollar or sometimes Walmart to buy the same products because it cost more makes no since to me. If you go online and search dollar stores they are the fastest growing company’s in the country right now. And the lady who talks about making fun of dollar tree shes just retarded just like the prick who wrote ” The Ten Dumbest Things to Buy at a Dollar Store” Hes Retarded too.

  119. lalalal lLllalal says:

    no there are actually wonderful things to buy at dollar stores. ive bought huge packs of cookies, and guess what? they were freakin delicious and nowhere near expired. makeup is also VERY good. l.a. colors is wonderful, and you can find n.y.c. revlon e.l.f. maybelline loreal and even covergirl! look at dollar store hauls and reviews on youtube. they are great! i swear, stop holding your head so high and buy their good products. while youre at it, save yourself some (a lot) of money!!!

  120. Tiffany says:

    funny thing is the pregnancy tests are actually accurate…i used to work at a dollar tree and there was a woman that use to buy like 20-30 at a time every couple days so i finally asked her why so many and she told me that they are more accurate then the ones that the planned parenthood distributor sells them….And horrible things sold there….Anti fungal Vaginal cream or douches……so aqward and hilarious when i had to stock them…hahaha

  121. thisbitchsullivan says:

    actually, the pregnancy tests from dollar stores work fine. Haha. My older sister found out she was prego with her first child with one from the dollar tree. And they’ve never done me wron! :]

  122. craig says:

    I bought the home pregnancy test from a dollar store and I am pregnant, as indicated. yahoo!!!! problem is I am a male:( FAIL.

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