Not shopping at the dollar stores? You’re missing out on some great deals! You could be saving a lot of money by buying these things at the dollar stores instead of spending more money elsewhere!
I’m not sure why it took me so long to discover the dollar stores (Dollar Store, Dollar Tree, etc). However, about five years ago I needed something for my class and someone suggested I go there. When I walked in, I felt like a kid in a candy shop. I just couldn’t believe all the things you could actually buy for $1! It’s actually the one store that I don’t even have to drag my kids to. I just promise to buy them each one thing (see my bribery post) and they can’t wait to go. It doesn’t even matter to them that the toy usually breaks in the car before we’ve even made it home.
Now, there are some items that I might think twice about buying just because of quality (yes, toys being one). However, there are certain things you need to buy at the dollar stores before you even look anywhere else…I mean, you can’t beat $1, can you? You may not find the exact same items every time you go, but the things listed below are almost always in stock.
If you're not shopping here, you're missing out! 21 Things You Need To Buy At The Dollar Stores Click To Tweet
- Thank you cards – My sweet Kindergarteners used to bring me lots of gifts, which means I wrote a lot of thank you cards. If you buy them anywhere else, it can add up. However, I would stock up when I went to the Dollar Store. They have so many cute designs that you really can’t go wrong.
- Greeting cards – I’m really bad about buying cards last minute so I usually end up going someplace closer. However, it kills me to pay $6 or more for a card when I know I could get one for $1 instead.
- Gift bags/wrapping paper – They not only have bags of every color but you can also find cute bags with a variety of designs for birthdays, showers, etc.. That’s another thing I hate to spend money on because I’d rather just put the extra $5 towards the actual gift
- Party supplies & decoration – The tablecloths, plates, utensils etc are very similar to what you’d find at party supply stores, just a lot cheaper. You may not have quite as many to choose from but you can usually find what you need in a variety of colors. On my last trip they even had Disney Princess and Spiderman décor, among other kid friendly designs. Planning a baby shower? You’ll definitely want to stop here first!
- Balloons – I always buy our mylar party balloons here. Since they’re only $1, my daughters can get as many as they want (within reason). They have all kinds of designs, including Disney princesses (we are very big on princesses in my house). You’ll also find bags of regular balloons for $1.
- Seasonal décor – Go right now and you’ll find all kinds of fall and Halloween décor, such as fall leaves, giant spiders and more. Just be sure not to wait too long. Once they sell out, they usually won’t get any more until the following year.
- Craft supplies – If you are looking for popsicle sticks, glitter glue, pom poms, chenille (a.k.a. pipe cleaners), beads, foam stickers and other craft supplies, this is the place for you! I don’t usually like to spend a lot of money on these things because that cute little toddler craft usually falls apart within a week anyway.
- Coloring Books – I don’t know about your kids, but mine can never have too many coloring books. We always keep a couple spares in the car for when we decide to have dinner out.
- Construction Paper – Why spend more than $1 on this?
- Posterboard/Foam Board – You won’t find it this cheap anywhere else, especially the foam board. They usually just carry white foamboard but they often have several colors of the posterboard to choose from.
- Envelopes & Mailers – You can buy padded mailers or an entire box of envelopes for $1…why wouldn’t you.
- Office & School Supplies – Sometimes I don’t like to buy off brand items because I wonder about the quality. However, I found pens from Bic and Paper Mate, Post-it notes, paper clips and lots of other things that you’d pay more for elsewhere.
- Teacher stuff – If you’re a teacher, you may or may not know that you can find posters, reward stickers & pencils, flash cards and more for your classroom. You never know what you’ll find so you may want to check it out from time to time, especially if you’re a new teacher working hard to get your classroom ready.
- Cleaning supplies – They have a lot of off brand items to choose from and I usually don’t buy those, again because I can’t always be sure of the quality. However, I saw brand names such as Cascade, Ajax, Palmolive and Comet that I wouldn’t hesitate to buy.
- Soaps & Bubble Bath – On the day I went, they had Frozen and Spiderman shampoo for the kids and soaps such as Irish Spring, Dial, Olay & Jergen for the grown ups. You could also buy Dora The Explorer and other bubble bath for the little one in your house.
- Hair Accessories – I use clips to pull my hair up around the house and even the brand names don’t have a very long life span. I’d much rather pay $1 and then I don’t mind so much when they break. You can also find headbands, rubber bands, decorative bows, hairbrushes and more.
- Laundry Baskets/Bags – The laundry bags come in very handy if you want to use something besides a grocery bag for your dirty laundry when you’re traveling. They’re also great for college kids who like to bring all that dirty laundry home for mom.
- Snack/Sandwich/Gallon Bags – I don’t recommend the off brands of these because they’re not always reliable. However, I’ve seen brand names such as Hefty on the shelves…definitely worth paying $1 for.
- Resealable containers – I used these a lot when I brought my lunch to work every day and they’re also great for leftovers. You’ll definitely pay more than $1 elsewhere.
- Disposable Aluminum Pans – There are times that I’ll make a meal for a friend that just had a baby or has a lot of going on and can’t be worried about making dinner. These disposable pans are a lifesaver and they usually have all kinds of shapes and sizes to choose from.
- Water bottles – We have some parks within walking distance but it gets so hot in the summer that can’t leave the house without plenty of water. You’ll find all kinds of cute water bottles for both kids and adults.
Kitchen Utensils – I’ve only bought one kitchen utensil and wasn’t entirely happy with it. However, it could have just been that one…the rest could be great.
Baking Pans – They have muffin tins, cake pans, baking sheets and more. I’m not sure if it makes a difference to spend more on these types of things or not…I’ve never tried them. That’s why they’re in the questionable category but feel free to comment if you know more about it.
Medicine & Food – I’ve always been hesitant to buy medicine or food here. However, I have seen brand names such as Tylenol and Aleve in the medicine aisle and Lays in the snack aisle.
I’d love to know if you’ve bought these items at any of the dollar stores and what your thoughts were. Would you buy them again or would you spend a little more next time?