15 Things You Really Should Buy At The Dollar Store

Dollar stores: they sell almost everything that you might want, and a lot of things that you didn’t know you wanted. There are items available at these cheaporiums that you don’t need, or didn’t even think you needed before you saw them. Then there are items that, if you can find them in a dollar store, you shouldn’t even bother to shop for them anywhere else.

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.

8. Vases

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.

14. Socks

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.

Definitely Buy These 15 Things at a Dollar Store [MoneyTalksNews] (via CRAM)

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  1. Cara says:

    My husband loves Coffee Crisp. Unfortunately, the Dollar Trees in Florida don’t stock it. :(

    I also find the Dollar Tree is a great place to find coloring books ($1 for a nice sized coloring book, including a good selection of ‘licensed’ themes like My Little Pony, Spiderman, Angry Birds, Hello Kitty, etc).

    While their toy department is usually pretty bad (unless you don’t mind buying stuff that won’t last more than a couple of minutes), we like their puzzles. They’re standard puzzle/cardboard thickness, and are good for younger kids. $1 a puzzle isn’t a bad price.

    They can also be a good place to find books for reading. Their selection is usually pretty bad, but occasionally you can pick up a popular hardback for $1 – they’re remaindered copies, and may have a black slash through the bottom side of the pages, but I’ve picked up some novels by Anne McCaffrey, Robert Jordan, Stephen King, and other popular names.

  2. Pacer says:

    Yes. I always find quality name-brand greeting cards at a local dollar store because they get distributor overstock. Clocks: I’ve bought 12″ wall clocks for the garage, basement and workshop for $3-$4.

  3. DyinMyelin says:

    I’m pretty cheap and still live like I’m in college, but I decided to splurge and get $29 washcloths from LL Bean. It is pretty freakin sweet in my bathtub right now.

  4. SirJanes says:

    We’ve a nearby ‘dollar or less’ store, don’t know the exact name, which has lots of reasonable household stuff sold with a “Betty Crocker” brand. Canned fruits and vegetables are cheaper than a nearby WalMart.