Dollar store deals and duds: Are you getting your money's worth?

National consumer expert warns of quality

ORLANDO, Fla. - Who doesn't like to save money? You might shop with coupons or maybe big warehouse stores, but we wanted to know how good are the deals at 'dollar' stores really? 

[WEB EXTRA:  Dollar deals and duds]

Josh Elledge, a nationally-syndicated consumer expert has made it his mission for the past seven years to find consumers the best deals when they shop.  We asked Elledge where the best deals were, thinking many were at the dollar store.

Elledge lives in Central Florida but travels the country sharing all he's studied about marketing and how stores make money, through his website. He also has an international following through his online podcast.

After buying a few bags full of popular items from a local Dollar Tree, Elledge gave us the low-down on what he says are the dollar store deals and duds.

Elledge told us if you don't mind a short-time use, it's great to buy items like hair clips and brushes at the dollar store, which will probably be lost or broken quickly anyway.

Another example of a short-time-use product is kids' socks.

"Socks disappear and they get dirty, kids wear them out in the mud," Elledge laughs thinking of his own three kids' younger years. "They get to the point where they need to be thrown away. Socks just don't last."

Elledge said party supplies are another great deal at a dollar store.

However, when it comes to dollar store duds, Elledge says don't bother buying school supplies this time of year at the dollar store.

"Over the next couple months," Elledge reveals, "you should be able to get all these items for pennies on the dollar," including the name brand Elmer's Glue, which Elledge says often sells in packs of three for a dollar at other stores.

Also a big no-no: Josh said never buy pet products like dollar store chew toys and edible treats.

"There have been a lot of complaints from people buying these products," Elledge tells us, shaking his head. "Dogs chew them up right away, they start ingesting them, they get sick from them. It's rawhide that might not be good for them."

Elledge says his research has also found complaints about short-life in dollar store batteries. He insists that and anything electrical are also dollar store duds.

"I would never buy electrical equipment at the dollar store just because of all the complaints people have had with things not working, things shorting out," Elledge said. "It's not worth it to me."

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