Always Do This Before Buying Food At The Dollar Store

Dollar stores, it must be admitted, are convenient when you're looking for affordable deals on your groceries don't want to end up shelling out even a penny more than you have to. According to CNN, Dollar General and Dollar Tree are two of the biggest dollar store companies in the US and have over 30,000 outlets combined. This is a sharp rise: around ten years ago, that number was below 20,000. As CNN illustrates, Walmart, the country's biggest retailer, only has somewhere around 4,700 stores nationwide. It would be fair to say that dollar stores have been mushrooming across the country over the last decade.

As convenient as dollar stores are for a lot of your shopping needs, you do need to be smart while purchasing products from these super discounted shops. For example, according to TripSavvy, it's worthwhile buying empty travel toiletry bottles from a dollar store and filling them with you normal products instead of splurging on miniature, overpriced versions of those same items. Here's another thing worth keeping mind if you're out shopping at a dollar store.

Don't forget to look at the expiration dates on your dollar store products

Whenever you decide to purchase food items from the dollar store, make a point to check the expiration dates on all your products before purchasing them. As CNN explains, while dollar stores do have a lot of options in terms of staple groceries such as milk, eggs, and bread, it's important to be mindful while shopping. According to WCPO, a young girl in Ohio bought trail mix from a dollar store and ate some of it before realizing that it was around six months past its expiration date.

Over on Reddit, a dollar store employee cautioned other users to be careful when it comes to food at the discount shops. "I work at Dollar Tree, and I frequently see expired foods and drinks. I've seen moldy cake slices, drinks that have expired months ago, and entire sections of snacks that were past their best by date," they wrote. The user also cautioned readers to look " the products and packaging closely. A manager showed me bagels with holes (made by bugs, possibly) in them, and I've scanned foods whose packaging was cut open accidentally by stockers' box cutters." This may not be the case for many products at dollar stores of course, and it's true that you can get away with fantastic deals while shopping there. Just be sure to double-check expiration dates and inspect the packaging when shopping for any food products and you'll be good to go.