Foods you should never buy at the dollar store

All year long,’s Michael Timmermann is sharing quick and easy ways to save money as part of our Michael Saves series. 

From party favors to cleaning supplies, the dollar store offers plenty of great ways to save a buck.

But there’s one section of these discount stores that many people avoid simply because they’re just not sure about the quality and value — and we’re talking about the food aisle.

I recently scanned the food section of an Atlanta-area Dollar Tree for a closer look.

After identifying items that seemed like good deals, I went across the street to an Aldi to do some comparison shopping – and the results even surprised me.

Here are some items you may want to stop buying at the dollar store:

Chips and pretzels

Just like many other food items from the dollar store, bags of chips and pretzels have been shrunk to the point where you can buy them cheaper elsewhere.  

Aldi’s house brand of chips cost more than a buck, $1.49 to be exact, but the bag is double the weight.  

Don’t let the size of the bag fool you. Sometimes a larger bag will have less product than a smaller one. Always check the net weight listed on the packaging.

Coffee products

While Dollar Tree’s $1 coffee mugs are a steal, the coffee that goes in them leaves a lot to be desired.

Sarah from the Sensational Finds YouTube channel said dollar store instant coffee just doesn’t taste very good and creamer products aren’t a good deal per ounce.

On the other hand, coffee filters are an OK value, but they’re pretty cheap everywhere.

Frozen meats

Perhaps the most controversial items sold at Dollar Tree are located in the frozen foods section.

Last year, I tried the Stampede ribeye steak when it was temporarily discounted from $1 to $0.33 — and it was chewy, salty and a very tiny portion.

Now, they’re selling country fried steak as well. Larry from TheWolfePit YouTube channel tested it:

Since you’re not really getting a lot of meat for a buck, you’re probably better off buying something from the markdown section at a regular supermarket.

For four more items to avoid — and what you should buy — read the full story at

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