Here's Why You Shouldn't Buy The Food At Dollar General

If it seems like dollar stores are everywhere, they are. Dollar General and Dollar Tree combined boast more than 30,000 locations across the United States, per CNN Business. In comparison, the seemingly ubiquitous Walmart has just 4,700 stores. But while one-stop shopping for all your household needs can be irresistible, there are some do's and don'ts of dollar store shopping, particularly when it comes to groceries.

While the store has upped its grocery game in recent years, adding more fresh and frozen items, it still doesn't offer as many healthy options as your local supermarket. In fact, there will be fruits and veggies in just 1,000 locations by the end of 2020 (via Forbes). "Grocery stores have more variety and a higher quantity of healthy foods than do dollar stores," Dr. David Procter, director of Kansas State University's Rural Grocery Initiative, tells Civil Eats. But there is good news: Dollar General plans to carry as much as 80 percent of produce categories. And the produce that is being sold at the store matches the quality found at supermarkets, according to a University of Nevada study. For now though, you'll find staples, like eggs and milk, next to an endless array of processed and packaged foods, reports CNN Business.

More reasons to be wary of Dollar General groceries

Another issue to watch out for when it comes to Dollar General groceries? You may encounter food that's close to or past its expiration date. For example, the perishables for sale, like milk, tend to be right at or near their expiration, possibly because there isn't as high a turnover of these items, compared to supermarkets, per Reader's Digest. Plus, one shopper told ABC Cincinnati that her daughter purchased a bag of trail mix at a dollar store that was nearly six months past its expiration date. And the issue extends beyond groceries: The store was fined in 2019 for selling expired, over-the-counter medications (via Fox Business).

Bottom line: Dollar General is great for items like books, razors, greeting cards, seasonal items, and laundry detergent, but you might want to be careful about doing all of your grocery shopping at the discount store.