I used to be embarrassed to shop at the dollar store. I thought it was for old folks and people who just hadn’t gotten the great news about Target yet.
I’ve changed my tune, however, and today I’m sharing 25 items I love to swipe up at the Dollar Store. Before I get started, a few disclaimers:
- Don’t go hog-wild and buy everything at the Dollar Store, just because it’s “a dollar.” I learned this lesson during my coupon days, too. Ooo, bubble gum scented air fresheners are only $.34 cents a can! I’ll take them all! Even though “$1.00” sounds good, it’s still pricey for some items, so just use your head, and don’t buy things you don’t need or use.
- Not all Dollar Stores are created equal. In my region, I like the Family Dollar and the Dollar Tree. But there are some dollar stores that oughta be ashamed of themselves. Cluttered, messy shelves, half-made, chincy items…So judge your own store for yourself.
- I’m not saying that these buys are the lowest deal you’ll ever, ever find in your whole life. If you are a super-shopper, a clearance-aisle master, an expert Amazoner like Stacy, you may have better deals for some of these things. I’ve never been a professional shopper who has my pulse on when nail clippers are on clearance for the lowest price of the season. I have two kids, I’m pregnant, I run a blog, I manage my son’s allergies, and I homeschool.
Shopping just isn’t my side job.
But what I am saying is that if you find yourself in need of one of these items and you just haven’t seen it on sale, it might be worth a stop at your Dollar Store for a good deal. As a rule of thumb, if I find myself in need of a random item, I check the dollar store first.
Now, without further ado, here are my favorite dollar store finds:
- Plastic baskets and bins – I recently organized my pantry for $7. Totally worth it!
- Select small toys – great for Operation Christmas Child (Many families shop all year long for this awesome project. Read more about my experience with this group here.) Some of the toys are very cheap, but we’ve found quality balls, coloring books, stickers, puzzles, and small stuffed animals.
- Batteries – Maybe I wouldn’t use these in our emergency flashlights, but for small toys and around the house appliances, they do the job.
- School and office supplies. Here are a few things I’ve bought there with good results: mailing envelopes, stapler, name-brand glue sticks, heavy duty scissors, construction paper, note cards.
- Arts and crafts – pom-poms, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, glitter, etc.
- Toothpaste – You can buy “traditional” toothpaste here in the same size as grocery stores, for half the cost.
- Party supplies – streamers, party hats, wrapping paper, tissue paper
- Paper products and plastic cutlery – We don’t regularly use these products, but they are good to have on hand in your emergency stockpile kit
- Bar soap – I found an unscented, “clean” kind of bar soap, three for a dollar. I love using totally natural products for our skincare, but it’s nice to have these on hand for back-up.
- Seasonal items – Right now, our store has kids’ goggles (which are working fine for swim class!), pool noodles, potting soil, and Easter baskets.
- Laundry supplies – clothes pins, mesh clothes bag, and small laundry baskets
- Night lights for kids
- Select Paint supplies – drop clothes, small rollers and brushes, and painter’s tape
- Select snacks – salted sunflower seeds, “Clif” bars, chewing gun
- Plain kids T-shirts
- Plain white socks
- Small picture frames
- Cleaning supplies – small dustpan, broom, buckets, rubber gloves, and mops. (No, the mop won’t last a decade…but shouldn’t a mop be replaced every couple years anyway!?)
- Plain drinking glasses
- Sunglasses (Does anyone else lose their sunglasses every few months? Might as well get a cheap pair!)
- Kitchen supplies – plastic measuring spoons and cups, small measuring glasses, spatulas
- Light bulbs
- Posterboard for school projects
- Kitchen dish cloths – These are, in my mind, in the same category as mops…You should replace them frequently.
And now, here’s a few things NOT to buy at the Dollar Store. Either you can find these things cheaper, or it’s just not worth your time. You’re welcome. 🙂
- generic off-brand crayons – Ugh! Nothing worse!
- toy instruments – I’ve never found one that works
- notebook paper
- icky, suspicious-looking food
- anything that you’re not sure you really will use, because even for a dollar, it’s a waste of money.
Do you have a good dollar store near you? What do you buy there?