The reason why you should never buy condiments from the dollar store

We've all been there. You enter the dollar store with a goal to grab two or three essentials on your list. The next thing you know, you have a basketful of random items, and are patting yourself on the back because you got them all for "just a dollar!" But let's back up for a minute. The thrill of shopping sans price tags can fool us into thinking we're getting a deal, when in reality, we may be paying more for certain items.

In fact, there are several food items you should never purchase at the dollar store. These include chips, soda, cereal, burgers, milk, cheese, and yes, condiments. First things first. What is a condiment? When chefs were asked, there was no consensus, but a general theme in responses was that a condiment is a flavor enhancer to a dish but not necessary to a dish (via The Kitchn). For example, a dish can stand alone without ketchup, mustard, mayo, ranch, etc., but the addition of these may enhance the flavor. So, why shouldn't we get our favorite condiments at the dollar store?

Why you should avoid purchasing condiments at the dollar store

Depending on the dollar store you frequent, you'll find name brand and generic condiments, and possibly a rotating selection of the same. Whether you're looking for mustard, ketchup, mayo, or salad dressing, the dollar store will likely have them all – for a dollar. However, a dollar may be more than you'd pay somewhere else.

According to But First, Coffee, if you're willing to wait and look at another store, you'll find better deals, per ounce, on name brand and generic condiments in big box stores such as Aldi. If you absolutely must have your condiments that day, the Deli Market mustard at Dollar Tree has received a rave review (via Woman's World). Just remember to check the expiration dates before making a purchase. Some dollar store products have reportedly been sold after their expiration dates have already passed (via Reader's Digest).