The BEST (and WORST) Things To Buy At The Dollar Store
The Best Things to Buy At The Dollar Store…
- Plates, dishes, mugs, wine glasses
You can’t go wrong with these. They have some nice plate sets, mugs, bowls, glasses and more. If you’re in a pinch these are a great purchase. I have wine glasses and margarita glasses from Dollar Tree and they’ve always worked great for me. They’re also really great to use for craft projects. If you wanted to paint anything on a wine glass I would recommend getting them from the dollar store so that you’re not spending way more than you need to! I also have a few bowls from the dollar store and recently went back to purchase even more. These things are just as good as the ones you would find anywhere else! I bought two travel coffee mugs in a pack from the dollar store and they are the most amazing things I’ve bought! They’re microwavable and dish washer safe and they’re the perfect size for my morning coffee or tea.
- Holiday Decorations
This is the best place to get holiday decorations! I’m one of those crazy people that LOVES getting all those cheesy decorations for holidays. Need bunny ears, Easter baskets, or plastic Easter eggs? Hit up the dollar store. Looking for stockings, Christmas candy, ornaments, or tinsel? Get on over to the dollar store. Want some spooky window clings, paper skeletons, or fake blood? You got it…dollar store. They’re cheap and will get the job done! Obviously if you’re looking for well-built decorations that you can use for years and years to come, not everything at the dollar store is going to be what you’re looking to find, though I have had some luck with things lasting much longer than expected.
- Wrapping paper, gift bags, bows, greeting cards
Seriously, I don’t understand why I still see so many people buying these things anywhere but the dollar store. The greeting cards are even 2 for a dollar, and they offer some pretty great ones for birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and more. As for wrapping paper and gift bags, this should go without saying…why spend more money than you need to on something that literally gets ripped up and thrown away? The dollar store offers tons of prints, patterns, and sizes so check it out! You can get specific wrapping paper for birthdays, Christmas, weddings, and so on. Why spend more money than you need to?
- Poster Boards
For things like foam board and poster board, the dollar store is always the first place I go. For regular poster board, it is often two for a dollar and for foam board it is a dollar each. It’s usually a much better deal than you can get at other stores.
- Cleaning supplies
The knock off brand normally does just as well as name brands! And sometimes dollar stores even stock name brand things in smaller containers. Things like dish soap, window cleaner, wood cleaner, toilet cleaner, and so on can often be purchased from the dollar store and work just as well.
- Party Supplies
If you’re looking for things like streamers, plates, balloons, plastic-ware, candles, table cloths or other birthday supplies look no further! Although you may not find incredibly specific things (ex. If you’re looking for a specific cartoon character on your plates and cups you may be better off looking at a Party City or something like that, although they did have Disney Princess stuff at my Dollar Tree!) you can definitely find some cartoon characters and plenty of plain colored items.
Stock up on things like garlic powder, paprika, cumin, and other spices you use regularly! You may be able to get a much better deal than you could at your normal grocery store. You can even try unique ones like French Fry Seasoning, have you tried it before? I was really intrigued!
- Coloring Books, Puzzle Books, Books for Reading
You can get some really great coloring books and activity books at the dollar store! Word finds, sodoku, puzzles, and so on. Check the bookshelf to see what kinds of books they have too. Sometimes they have brand new books, for only a dollar! Not too long ago I picked up a couple of books with the 20% off Target sticker on them!
9. Nail Polish Remover and SOME Makeup
This is always my go-to place for nail polish remover. Sometimes there are also “name brand” drugstore makeup brands at the dollar store. I found ELF, Wet and Wild, and Almay. I’ve used that Almay eyeliner before and at some stores it’s around $8, so if you’re interested in trying it, try to get it for a dollar.
10. SOME kitchen supplies
Some of the kitchen supplies at the dollar store are great, and others are very cheap and poorly made. I struggled with putting this one on the “best” or “worst” list because it can vary so greatly. If you’re in a pinch, you should definitely grab some things from the dollar store, but if you’re looking for something to last for years, this may not be your best bed. I have a few serving spoons from the dollar store that have held up very well, and that wine bottle opener has lasted a long while for me. I definitely do not recommend buying the can opener because that will fall apart pretty quickly. All in all, use your best judgement! It’s pretty easy to tell what is flimsy plastic and what is a bit more substantial.
11. Pregnancy Tests
This one I cannot recommend from personal experience, but I have heard that the dollar store pregnancy tests are just as good as any others. You can’t go wrong with them being only a dollar, and if you’re questioning it maybe buy a couple.
If you’re anything like me and you lose sunglasses left and right, dollar store sunglasses may be your best friend! Get a few of them to keep in your car, and if you end up losing it, you’re only out a dollar. My dad and I collect cheap pairs of sunglasses to wear while boating or jet skiing because it’s very easy to have them fly off while out on the water.
13. Epsom Salts
These are lifesaver for me, especially when recovering from a long run. They only have one bag size and it is pretty small, so they end up going very quickly, but they’re great quality for the dollar store.
14. Glow Sticks
I love to bring glow sticks to the fireworks on the Fourth of July! Why spend more than a dollar on them?
Who hasn’t brought candy into the movie theater at one point or another? (Try every single time I’m at the movie theater…) the dollar store is the best place to stock up on cheap candy, although beware that sometimes gummy candies are kind of hard and close to being stale. Also make sure that you’re looking at the sizing. Sometimes a dollar can seem like a steal, when really the same size box would sell for 89cents or something at a regular store.
16. Fake Flowers
My mom HATES fake flowers. If they’re not real, she doesn’t want them. Me, on the other hand, I love them. They’re low maintenance, look pretty, and I really don’t mind the “fake” look. The dollar store flowers change by the season so you can usually find a fun selection of flowers. I’ve also heard that the fall time flowers are the ones that are the most realistic to real flowers, but I haven’t fully made up my mind on that one yet.
They’re exactly the same as the bubbles you’d find anywhere else.
18. Home Decor
This one can be pretty hit or miss, and it definitely depends on your specific location. Sometimes I go to the Dollar Tree and I’m shocked by all of the amazing decor they have, while other times it just seems cheesy.
AND The Worst Things To Buy At The Dollar Store…
Unless you can find name brand crayons, I would pass on these. They’re usually incredibly waxy and don’t last very long.
2. Toilet Paper or Paper Towels
Generally, these are just thin and don’t hold up very well. These are definitely not the kind of things you want to be too thin and easy to rip through. They also usually come in very small packages with not very many rolls, which ultimately ends up being more expensive for each individual item than it would be getting it somewhere else.
3. Pet Food and Toys
There are tons of great pet supplies available at the dollar store. Leashes and collars, for instance. But food and toys are things that I wouldn’t trust for my pets. Sometimes the pet food is not held to the same standards that “name brand” pet foods are held to. As for the toys, they’re usually very easy to break through and your animal may end up eating pieces of the toys. Although they’re cheap, they’re not worth the potential trip to the vet.
These just tend to die really, really quickly. Like I’ve said for other things on both the good and bad lists, they’re pretty good if you’re in a pinch. If you really need batteries and you happen to be at the dollar store these will tide you over until you’re able to get other batteries…but otherwise, I wouldn’t stock up on these.
5. Medicine and vitamins
Medicine and vitamins from the dollar store tend to be pretty close to expiration, so it isn’t really worth it to get them.
This one always SEEMS like it will be a great deal (I mean it’s THREE liters!) but in reality, you can usually get soda on sale for much cheaper at grocery stores. Wait for sales or clip your coupons and you can probably get a better deal.
7. Kitchen Supplies
You’re probably thinking, “But Kenzie…you just said…” and I know, I know! Some kitchen supplies from the dollar store are absolute lifesavers. But some are just crap. Don’t waste your money on the can opener or the cheese grater. They’ll break immediately. Use your best judgement, it’s usually pretty easy to tell if the product is made cheaply.
What do you think? Do you agree with my list? What things do you always get at the dollar store?