10 Things to Skip at the Dollar Store
We all try to save money where we can, and shopping at dollar-store chains seems like an appealing way to achieve that goal. Sadly, some of the products on their shelves are a waste of money -- regardless how cheap. Things that fall apart or don't do their jobs clearly belong on a list of dollar-store no-no's.
Dollar-store toys are not only poorly made but also may be safety hazards. Several toys from these chains have been recalled in the past few years: a toy gun that posed a choking hazard, a remote control tank that could overheat, and a dart gun that caused the deaths of two children. Earlier this month Family Dollar recalled a toy car set deemed a laceration risk.
While a dollar-store extension cord or USB cable may seem like a deal, you could be putting your electronics, as well as your home, at risk. Cords, plugs, and power strips sold at dollar stores are often flimsy and can fall apart easily. All it takes is one loose connection to spark a fire. Dollar stores have recalled extension cords and decorative lights for potential fire hazards, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Another way to tell if dollar-store batteries are a good buy: Check the label. If the batteries contain carbon zinc, be sure to pass. This component is inferior to the lithium used by name brands.
Tools are meant to be durable. For $1, you aren't getting the highest quality materials, which means the tools won't last as long. A hammer for $1 will likely give you $1 worth of durability. If you have to replace your tools frequently, you aren't saving anything at all. Splurge on a good hammer from the hardware store and never have to worry about replacing it again.