Dollar stores are everywhere these days. Twenty years ago there were about 20,000 Dollar General and Dollar Tree stores (combined) in the U.S. Today that number has risen to over 30,000 and growing. While it is very convenient having a dollar store near home, according to a mashed.com report, there are a few things that you and your family should be mindful of when shopping at a dollar store.

Dollar stores are a great way to save money (sometimes) and with so many around that stay open fairly late, most of the time, your local dollar store is nice shopping. However, one Reddit user who works at Dollar Tree, claims she sees expired food and drinks all the time. The current Dollar Tree employee warns customers to always look at expiration dates. The employee also cited two other incidents where box cutters had cut open food packaging that was still sold to customers and bread bags that had tiny holes in them possibly from bugs.

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The mashed.com report also cautions how consumers can actually spend more at dollar stores. Consumers tend to buy things they won't eat or items they don't really need because of price.

Also, make sure to check the weight or quantity per container of products such as chips, cereal, snack bars, etc. from dollar stores. The fact is, you may actually be paying more than you would at other retail outlets.

No matter where you shop always check expiration dates, packaging and pricing per content. Being a wise shopper will get you more bang for your buck.