Over at MoneyTalksNews, they rounded up some items that are best purchased in a dollar store. Sometimes. Maybe.
1. Greeting cards
No, the cards available for a dollar or even for fifty cents at your local dollar store don’t have music, buckets of glitter, and probably don’t have recognizable cartoon characters. However, they cost a buck or less.
2. Party supplies
Hats? Streamers? Confetti? Disposable tablecloths? If you need decorations in a common color or for an ordinary event like a birthday or graduation, consider the dollar store. They’re all there, slightly crappier than their more expensive cousins at discount or party stores. If you need licensed decorations for your American Idol finale party, then you’ll need a specialty store.
3. Gift bags, boxes and wrapping paper
I love the dollar store for gift bags, which I then proceed to re-use through as many gift cycles as my friends and family will tolerate. Tissue paper, wrapping paper, bows, and pretty gift boxes are also great deals at the dollar store.
4. Seasonal décor
Get your glittering bunnies and wooden trees here! Some offerings are surprisingly not terrible. Maybe avoid anything with electric components and candle holders, though, for safety’s sake.
5. Reading glasses
If you need the simple kind that just magnify words, the glasses at the dollar store are inexpensive and you won’t feel as bad when you inevitably lose them.
6. Hair accessories
Elastics, barrettes, headbands: they’re not the fanciest at the dollar store, but you get some great deals.
7. Pregnancy tests
MoneyTalks News recommends buying pregnancy tests at the dollar store, but there are even better options if you know where to look: a grand multiparous friend recommends buying in bulk if you plan to go through a lot of these. (Worst-case scenario? You only need to use one, and waste thirty bucks.) If you’re in a hurry and don’t need to buy in bulk, though, the dollar store is a good choice.
Almost as good as thrift stores for these.
9. Mugs and glasses
Not the best quality, but not worse than what you might find at a pricier discount store. With glasses, you don’t need to buy a full set: they’re usually open stock.
10. Dishes and silverware
Okay, it ain’t “silver”ware, but same argument as item #9.
11. Plastic Storage containers
Go elsewhere if you need heavy-duty bins, but for lighter items, the dollar-store version will do.
12. Picture frames
They might be fine as is, or you might have to embellish them with paint or anything else that you think of.
13. Bagged or boxed candy
Sometimes you can even find discontinued or rare candy at the dollar store that isn’t available elsewhere, like Coffee Crisp in the U.S.
They’re not the fanciest, but they can be the cheapest. Novelty socks printed with animals or holiday designs are an especially good deal at dollar stores. Don’t bother with most other clothing and accessories available in dollar stores, though.
15. Washcloths and dish towels
You don’t need fancy washcloths: having a clean one matters more. Same with dish towels, though you should keep an eye on the quality.