Why You Should Avoid Buying Baking Soda At The Dollar Store

If you're looking to save a buck while spending one, the dollar store offers a decent array of household items you can check off your list. But if baking soda is one of those items, don't cross it off just yet.

There's no doubt baking soda is an American household staple, and there's a good chance no home is without at least one box or bag. According to Serious Eats, the leavening agent gives baked goods their loft, produces a light and crisp tempura batter, speeds up browning of onions, cuts the acidity of canned tomatoes, softens chickpeas for hummus, and turns spaghetti into ramen in one swift move. Baking soda also plays a critical role in velveting, a technique used in Chinese cooking to tenderize meat (via Bon Appetit).

Outside of the kitchen, the mild abrasive has deodorizing capabilities and is used countless ways throughout the home, from cleaning sinks, showers, ovens, jewelry, and your teeth, to removing pesticides from produce, stains from carpets, ridges in your nails, and odors from your refrigerator, clothes, and shoes (via HuffPost).

Spend that dollar elsewhere and get twice as much

With all these culinary and household uses, manufacturers could charge a bundle for sodium bicarbonate, and we'd likely fork it over. But baking soda is cheap, and if you buy the stuff, in any quantity, somewhere other than the dollar store, you'll probably save some dough (via Cheapism).

In stores like Dollar Tree, everything is actually one dollar, so that one-pound box of baking soda will set you back one buck. But head on over to Aldi and that same box sells for 49 cents, or half the price. If you don't have an Aldi in your area, Walmart and Target typically carry larger quantities of (name brand) Arm & Hammer baking soda for less than 60 cents per pound (via Clark).

Warehouse stores like Costco and Sam's Club often sell name-brand baking soda in bundle packs, averaging about 85 cents per box. Baking soda doesn't go bad, so you can stock up (or reserve some for cooking and some for cleaning) and call it a day (via Today).