"There's no way I'd buy that at a dollar store," I whispered to my husband during a presentation we were watching on Wednesday night.

NOTE: Article originally posted in March 2019. We thought it was valuable information to re-share during back to school season!

Hubby and I were lucky enough to grab tickets to the Idaho Press Instant Pot Cooking School before the sold out and they were worth every single penny I spent on them. We've had our electric pressure cooker for a little over a year and hubby's cooked exactly one meal in it.  He loves to cook, but admitted that he really doesn't know how to use it if I'm not around so he was excited to learn the ins and outs from the presenters at the class.  I know my way around the pot pretty well, so I was more interested in hearing about all the accessories they brought to show off and where to buy them.

At one point, a presenter held up a pair of mini silicone oven mitts that she uses to pull the inner liner out with while the pot is still hot.  "I bought these on Amazon a few years ago and I think they were like $4 at the time.  They may be $7 now.  You can also find them at the Dollar Tree." I looked at my husband horrified when she said that.  I'd be so nervous to use $1 oven mitts! I'm not a brand snob by any stretch of the imagination, but I'd be terrified that they'd melt and I'd burn my hands!

Turns out my gut feeling was right on! According to Reader's Digest oven mitts (silicone or otherwise) are one of the top items that you should skip at the Dollar Store.  These oven mitts are cheaply made, really thin and don't offer a good level of protection from a hot Instant Pot.  Skip the savings on these and spend money on quality oven mitts elsewhere.

Want to get the most bang for your buck? Then don't waste your money on these 9 items either!

4 Items to NEVER Buy at the Dollar Store

School Supplies: We're far enough into the school year where some of your kid's school supplies probably need replaced, but if you buy them at the Dollar Store you may be over paying for those new items.  Readers Digest explains that some of those supplies you're paying $1 for could run as low as a nickle if you bought them in a bulk pack at a store like Staples or Office Max.

Batteries: I've been burned by this one before. Off brand batteries can work well, but discount retailers aren't ordering them new.  They'll often get them after they've been sitting on the shelves too long (think 3+ years) at a higher quality retailer. Even unused, batteries lose their charge if they sit too long so you're buying a weaker battery right off the bat. Plus, most of them contain carbon zinc that leaks way more often than lithium batteries.

Fresh Foods: The Dollar Tree by my apartment doesn't have a refrigerated section, but I know the one on Milwaukee by the mall does.  According to Reader's Digest, you need to watch out for these groceries.  Not a lot of people use Dollar Stores as their primary grocery shopping destination, so the products aren't getting replaced nearly as often.  That means you might grab a gallon of milk that's been sitting there for a while and expires tomorrow.

Power Strips: Not a huge surprise, but Dollar Store electronics are usually made with thinner wires making it harder for them to support large power loads (think your laptop, phone, tablet and Scentsy burner all plugged in at the same time.) They're poorly made and a safety hazard.

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