Why you should never buy milk from the dollar store

Shopping at a dollar store can be great for many household items, from cleaning supplies to kitchenware (via Good Housekeeping). With dollar stores offering so many products for so cheap, it's no wonder why they've become such giants in the retail market, and even challenge the almighty Walmart. However, milk is something that you should probably skip on your next shopping trip at the local dollar store

When it comes down to it, milk at the dollar store just isn't a very good deal. The price of a dollar might seem like a no-brainer, but it doesn't always break down that way when compared with buying milk at a traditional grocery store. According to The Guardian, the cartons of milk found at a dollar store near San Francisco were only 16 ounces. That might not seem like a big deal on the surface, but compared to to prices of milk at grocery stores, this equates to a prorate price of $8 per gallon. That dollar store milk is actually more expensive than even the priciest milk at Whole Foods, they caution. 

If that weren't enough to discourage a person from even going near the dairy section of a dollar store, take into account the actual milk for purchase. It may not be as fresh as the milk at a grocery store. Grocery stores regularly turn over their milk because it is such a popular item for shoppers. After soda, milk is the number two most popular item sold at grocery stores and was generating $11.2 billion annually as of 2016 (via Data Check Pro). While stores aren't allowed to legally sell milk or any food past its "use by" date, they can sell products that have exceeded their "best until" or "best before" dates (via Consumerist). Buying perishable food at a dollar store is questionable, shopping expert Trae Bodge told the Rachael Ray Show, and dairy is certainly one of those items.

If you really find yourself in a pinch for milk, it may be best to track it down at your local drug store such as Walgreens or CVS, where Lifehacker says it can cost up to 20 percent less than what you'd pay at the grocery store.