11 Dollar Store Buys That Are Almost Too Good to Believe


A couple years ago, my wife and I took our three kids to the dollar store to do their Christmas shopping, and I vividly remember walking down the aisles wondering why the heck we don't shop there all the time. I ended up with a basket full of dollar deals and have been a regular ever since. Here are the 11 items that are total steals and you'd be crazy to buy anywhere else.

1. Toiletries

Often when shoppers think of items like shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste from the dollar store, they think of generic products that don't work well. While the dollar store does have some generics, they also sell quality brands like VO5, Suave, and even Pantene from Dollar General.

Toothpaste and deodorant are more of the same. Look for amazing deals on Colgate, Crest, Speed Stick, Degree, and Dial products. The savings are easily in the 60%–70% range when comparing the price to your local grocery store.

2. Household Tools

I'm talking about basic tools every homeowner or renter needs. Things like a screwdriver, hammer, wrench, and even a small hand-saw can all be found for a buck each. Are they going to be top quality? Well of course not, but for small jobs around the house that don't require the best, they do what you need them to do and provide a terrific value.

3. Cleaning Supplies

Quality cleaning product brands you can usually find at the dollar store include Lysol, Palmolive, and Comet. While the bottle size may be smaller than at regular retailers, the per-ounce cost at the dollar store will almost always beat other stores. This is even true when you consider coupons that you can use at stores like Walmart, Target, and grocery stores.

4. Pregnancy Tests

Yes, I said pregnancy tests. Turns out pregnancy tests from the dollar store are 99% accurate. While name brand versions range from $9–$15, the dollar store alternative is a great value for essentially the same item.

5. Party Supplies

The next time you're planning your child's birthday party — or any party, for that matter — consider stocking up on party supplies at your local dollar store. Most have a fantastic selection of not only party decorations, but also plates, napkins, and plastic utensils all priced for under $1.

6. Reading Glasses

If you need a pair of reading glasses, you'd be crazy to not shop at the dollar store first. The quality is very similar to those you'll find at a drugstore, but at a fraction of the price. At the $1 price tag, you'd be smart to stock-up on a couple pairs, as they have a tendency to get lost or broken.

7. Storage Containers

When it comes to organizing your closet, pantry, office bathroom, or even your garage, the dollar store is a great place to stock up on storage and organizing products. From larger storage bins, to smaller organizing containers, you'll find a plethora of products to help you organize your home on the cheap. Many Dollar Tree locations even carry vacuum-sealed storage bags that are great for storing clothing that you won't be wearing until the following year.

8. Hair Accessories

Products like combs, brushes, hair scrunchies, bobby pins, hair ties, and the like, are a terrific value at the dollar store. Not only will they save you money, but they'll do the same job as more expensive versions found at department stores.

9. Greeting Cards

Shop for quality greeting cards at the dollar store and kiss $4.99 Hallmark cards goodbye. Keep in mind that what you write on the card, and any cool DIY tidbits you add to the card are what makes it special. The fancy cardstock, bows, and ribbons found on expensive cards do nothing but make American Greetings and Hallmark rich.

10. Wrapping Paper and Gift Bags

Since you're now buying greeting cards from the dollar store, you might as well stock-up on wrapping paper and gift bags, too. After all, a roll of wrapping paper typically costs $3–$5 and large gift bags are often priced similarly.

11. Books

Shh, don't tell my dad, but every Christmas I buy him a new hardcover book from our local dollar store. While many of the titles have been out at least a year or two, they typically have a nice selection of both nonfiction and fiction books. My dad is a bit of a history nerd, so the last couple years I found him books on the Civil War, along with a book chronicling the relationship between Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill. Needless to say, he loved them both.

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Guest's picture

Plus the dollar stores, (at least around us), take coupons. So for name brands this is a huge win.

Guest's picture

#12 Candy
Why pay $5 at the movie theater for your Mike & Ike or Whoppers fix?