I always joke with my husband that when we walk into the dollar store, armed with a couple one dollar bills, that we feel RICH! 🙂
But there are definitely items at Dollar Stores that, while only $1, are too expensive and can be purchased cheaper elsewhere.
Consumer Reports compared prices on 38 everyday products and found that Dollar General had the lowest prices on many items.
It beat or came close to Walmart in many cases, which typically does best in price scans.
There are certain products I have noticed are always significantly cheaper at the Dollar Store, especially Dollar Tree (where everything is priced at $1) so I am sharing a list of seven of the best items to purchase ONLY at the Dollar Store.
Because our time is valuable and we like to keep our money in our pockets too!
I also love that my nearest dollar store is small so that I can get in and out in no time so that I have more time to stop by and get another cup of coffee. At least I have my priorities straight!
7 Items You Should Only Buy At The Dollar Store
1. Glow Sticks
I’m letting you in on my number #1 “Cool Mommy Trick”, stocking up on Dollar Store Glow Sticks, then whipping them out when we have friends over and the kids play outside at night, or we go to the Drive-In Theater, or we attend ANY Amusement Park (you know…where you get stuck paying $10 for a glow in the dark toy that dies before you ever get home?!) You’re Welcome.
2. Party Supplies & Helium Balloons
Party supplies can ADD up quickly. Especially when you have four kids like me. You’ll find high-quality party supplies at Dollar Tree at significantly less prices than other stores, especially party supply stores. Get plastic tablecloths, silverware, balloons, and disposable decorations to hang and place on tables. While you will most likely only save about $.50 a package, that adds up pretty quickly when buying for a party!
The downside? Low selection. Instead of decorations that say “baby” on them, you might have to get creative and use pink and blue supplies.
My local Dollar Tree has a great selection of Mylar Balloons you can get helium inflated! At only $1 that is about half as cheap than purchasing at a party store!
I also buy these items to use when we go camping, it makes it feel more like a party and a tablecloth always comes in handy to lay down on the ground as a barrier.
3. Art/Craft Supplies
When you’re kids are in school, they go through a lot of Art and Craft Supplies. At Dollar Tree you’ll find that the poster board is always 3 for $1 and that’s as cheap as it gets. If you are doing an extensive crafty project, they have excellent silk flowers, foam blocks and rings, as well as sequins, glitter and twine. We both know, you can always make something pretty by gluing sequins on it.
4. Greeting Cards & Basket Wrap
While the card selection might not be super, greeting cards in other mainstream stores can get extremely pricey (like the average is over $4 each). Don’t worry though, you’ll still be able to find ones that have glitter and look really nice. Plus, they are usually priced TWO for $1.
Do you give gift baskets for friends & family? Then you HAVE TO purchase the “Shrink Wrap” gift warp because it will make your gift have a professional look. It’s the perfect finishing touch! Plus, shrink wrap is no less than $4 at the craft store, so it’s a significant saving to get it at Dollar Tree.
5. Eye Glasses
If you do not need a prescription, then the dollar store is the best place for standard eyeglasses. My Mom stocks up here so that she can afford to leave them on every tabletop throughout her house.
6. Double Sided Tape
Have you seen the price of Double-Sided Tape lately? It’s around $4 per roll! When you break the price down by inch…the Dollar Store wins every time. And so far, I haven’t noticed any difference in quality.
7. Seasonal Items
The dollar store deals abound on seasonal items and holiday decor. It can be a great place to put together fillers for holiday presents, etc. Dollar Store deals are also a great way to decorate for school functions, etc. on a budget. I always stock up on blow-up pool rings and floats at the beginning of summer so we can each have our own when we play at friend’s pools, go on vacation or head down to the beach.
Bonus Item: Pregnancy Tests
Consumer Reports found this one for me. They tested the tests and found them to be just as accurate as the name brand ones which can cost between $7-$15! Woah! That’s a super significant savings. My nursing friends confirmed the dollar store is the same technology as the name brand, so there is no reason to waste your hard-earned money by purchasing the name brand variety.
Stop Paying So Much For Cleaning Products!
Download this FREE sheet of 10 DIY Cleaning Supply Recipes to make your own cleaners in just a few minutes, with ingredients you probably already have on hand.
Emergency Cleaning Supplies
If you are out of a cleaning supply and need it right now (like toilet bowl cleaner)…then the dollar store will be a cheaper option (Walmart will be more expensive). Sure, you’ll get off brands, but the ingredients usually are the same. You just need to pay attention to the fact that they are typically a smaller size so you’re not really saving all that much money. That’s why I suggest you only get them in an emergency and make more of them yourself to save the most money.
Plus, you can get a caddy to keep all the supplies in as well as a scrubber wand to clean the shower WHILE you’re showering (to keep it clean in seconds)
Dollar Store WARNINGS
- Death by “it’s ONLY a dollar.” It’s so easy to throw something into your cart that you otherwise would not have purchased because “it’s only a dollar.” If you went in to get poster board, put your blinders on, get the poster board, and get out.
- Watch Food Ingredients – A lot of times, those off brands will skimp on ingredients to drive down the price. Decide if it is worth it to you to consume potentially cheaper ingredients to save what might amount to pennies.
- Check Expiration Dates – More than once I got home only to find out that the granola bars tasted stale…oh, that’s because they had already expired. However…”it’s only a dollar”. So I didn’t go back for my refund.