Top four items Americans are buying at Dollar Store – and the ones you should probably avoid

THE most popular items Americans buy at dollar stores has been revealed – along with the ones that are best avoided.

The market is dominated by Dollar General and Dollar Tree, which purchased Family Dollar in 2015, and is a big attraction for American shoppers.

A study in 2020 showed that around 60 per cent of American had shopped at a Dollar Tree in the past 12 months.

But the “dollar stores” are facing stiff competition from the likes of Target, Walmart, Ikea and Costco.

GOBankingRates conducted a survey of 1,037 American adults in early April 2022 to find out exactly what shoppers were – or were not – buying at the bargain outlets.


The results showed a diversified range of items.

Food was the most common answer, according to the survey, with 24 per cent of the vote.

This was followed by personal care items on 22 per cent.

Party supplies and home goods were also a popular choice with 17 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively.

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At the other end of the scale, kitchen appliances and apparel were the least popular items.

This seems to make sense for kitchen appliances as they are often high-dollar products and consumers seem to use big-box stores, such as Costco, to make those purchases.

As for apparel items at dollar store outlets, these only gained about four per cent of the vote.


While dollar stores offer a wide selection of low-cost products, some deals are more of a bargain than others.

Other stores also offer just as low, or even cheaper, goods but dollar stores shine in particular areas, according to the experts.

Greetings Cards

Although there might not be a great selection of greetings cards on offer at dollar stores, they can’t be beaten on price.

Greetings cards at drugstores and other outlets regularly charge $5 each, way more than what you’ll pay at a dollar store.

Picture Frames

As long as you’re not looking for some fancy, ornate frame to show off your latest purchase from some high-end art gallery you can’t go wrong by popping down to your nearest dollar store.

Prices are much lower than other outlets.

Picnic and Party Supplies

As the warmer weather approaches now might be the time to stock up on those essential picnic and party items.

As most of these purchases will most likely only be used once, you don’t need to splash the cash and invest in durable items.

There is a note of caution though – check that you are getting enough to go around as dollar store per-pack quantities are often small.


While everyone loves a bargain, sometimes buying the cheapest on offer is a false economy.

Although you can be guaranteed of finding rock-bottom prices at dollar stores, the goods on offer can be of lower quality or close to their expiration date.

Experts say these are the items to avoid.


Often dollar stores stock carbon-zinc batteries instead of alkaline.

While they might cost less, you’ll probably have to replace them more often.

Plus, carbon-zinc batteries can also damage devices if they leak.

Beauty Products

The advice is to skip the beauty aisle as products are often old or lower quality.

People are particularly warned about SPF products, as they may no longer provide the protection needed.

However, often some marked-down brand names can be found so bargains can be found.


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When buying tools most people need them to be durable and to be able to cope with heavy impacts and strong forces.

The tools usually found in dollar stores can’t cope.

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