MoneyDon't Waste Your Money


Buying dollar store food? Read this first

Mom finds daughter eating stale, expired trail mix
Posted at 10:52 AM, Nov 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-18 12:52:05-05

Dollar stores can be great places to buy kitchen supplies, pool and party toys, laundry soap, and so much more at deep discount prices.

But when it comes to food, one woman says you need to check expiration dates carefully.

Shaquanna Hines is very careful with food expiration dates, saying "I go through my refrigerator checking dates." If it's old, it goes.

So she was furious when her daughter brought home and then ate a bag of trail mix, with a" best if used by" date almost 6 months old.

"She bought some trail mix there for her daily snack," Hines said. "When she opened them she realized they were stale, and told me they tasted weird."

Hines' receipt shows the expired trail mix came from a nearby dollar store a few weeks ago, with an April 2019 "best by" date.

Other complaints about dollar store food

This isn't the first complaint we've heard about people buying expired items at their local dollar store.

This past February, Chris Wilson bought a 2-year old pizza at a dollar store , with a date code showing 2017.

"I had to do the math in my head," Wilson said. "I said this is 2019, so that has to be from a couple of years ago."

So we checked his dollar store and found several expired boxes of Jiffy Mix muffin mix.

We did not find any other expired items at Shaquanna Hines' store this time, though several frozen items were close to their expiration date.

NY Attorney General files complaint

But Dollar General and Dollar Tree just paid a $1.2 million settlement to the State of New York in August for selling expired over-the-counter drugs after a legal complaint filed by the New York Attorney General.

And while Readers Digest says dollar stores offer great deals, it urges shoppers to check expiration dates of all their food and vitamins carefully.

Hines will now do that.

"Most of the times stores are supposed to rotate out, or check their shelves and get rid of old stuff, not keep it," she said.

We have contacted her local dollar store and are awaiting a response. But this is a good lesson to all dollar store shoppers: you will find great deals, but check those dates so you don't waste your money.


Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").

Like" John Matarese Money on Facebook

Follow John on Twitter (@JohnMatarese)

For more consumer news and money saving advice, go to