Inside: Want to be a frugal shopper? Try shopping at the dollar store! Here are the dollar store finds you can’t live without (and what to avoid).
I grew up thinking that the dollar store was full of junky toys and kick knacks.
After all, that was my great-grandma’s favorite place to shop and those are the types of items she would give us for birthdays and Christmas.
But a friend dragged me there a few years ago and I discovered what a gold mine it actually is!
It’s a great place to find brand name items at steep discounts, seasonal items, kitchen tools, home decor, craft supplies, and more.
RELATED: The Ultimate List of Frugal Living Tips for Families
Why are things at the Dollar Store so cheap?
There’s a stigma around dollar stores that because items are only $1, the quality is poor.
The old, “You get what you pay for,” saying.
But here’s why everything at the dollar store is so cheap:
- Items may have slight damage or are less fresh.
- They are often less expensive because dollar stores operate on slimmer margins than other stores.
- Dollar stores also purchase surplus/over-stock items. Sometimes companies even sell their items to the dollar store at a loss to avoid taxes and storage fees for less profitable products.
- Surplus items are often last season’s color or an older version.
So there you have it!
There’s nothing scary about the dollar store. The products are usually surplus from other stores or small versions of your favorite products.
PRO TIP: Because dollar store items are often smaller, you may have to do a little math to ensure a product is still a good deal. $1 for toothpaste is great, but your favorite grocery store may have a killer sale that comes out to about the same price or even better depending on the product and size.
If you’ve never shopped at the dollar store, it’s not too late to start!
Here are 60+ dollar store finds you’d be crazy to buy anywhere else.
(And keep scrolling because I’ll share a few things I definitely WON’T buy from the dollar store, too.)
Dollar Tree Seasonal Decor
I always find seasonal decor right at the front of the store.
Right now, my Dollar Tree has lots of Halloween decor for sale and even some Christmas items available.
Each season is always stocked with great items. And you don’t always have to use items for their intended purpose. For example, I love to get pool noodles in the summer to keep my tall boots from losing their shape!
Here’s a list of my favorite Dollar Tree seasonal finds:
- Halloween party supplies
- Halloween costume accessories
- Halloween craft supplies
- Christmas finds
- New Year’s Eve finds
- Valentine’s Day finds
- Easter finds
Dollar Tree Greeting Cards
These are one of my favorite items to get at the Dollar Store!
They aren’t as flashy and fancy as more expensive cards, but they are made by Hallmark and do the trick!
Most cards get thrown away, so I don’t spend more than a dollar on them.
Dollar Tree Party Supplies
Party supplies are some of the most common items people get from the Dollar Tree.
Look at all of the amazing items they have!
I love to get solid colored plates, napkins, cups for parties and even character party supplies for themed parties.
The gift bags come in several sizes and lots of cute prints!
Here’s a list of my favorite Dollar Tree party supply finds:
RELATED: See how I used Dollar Store finds in my son’s DIY Superhero Birthday Party
Dollar Tree Finds For Kids
My kids get a TON of stuff from the dollar store.
I let them pick an item each time we go. And because everything’s a dollar, I don’t feel bad buying it.
The dollar store has great learning products, fun coloring books, puzzles, glow sticks. We even found a pretty legit Lego knockoff for $1 on our last trip!
Here are a few of my favorite Dollar Tree finds for kids:
- Learning and educational supplies
- Active play toys
- Action figures and cars
- Glow in the dark toys
- Beach and pool toys
- Games and puzzles
RELATED: See how we use the Dollar Tree glow sticks in this post for how to save money at Disneyland!
Dollar Tree School Supplies
Dollar Tree school supplies are GOLD!
Pens at any office supply store are so overpriced, but you can get similar quality from the dollar store for less.
Other items like tape, paper clips, and pencil sharpeners are such a good deal too.
They even have mailing supplies which I always stock up on when I see them in store.
Here’s a list of my favorite Dollar Tree school and office supply finds:
Dollar Tree Cleaning Supplies
I purchase several Dollar Tree cleaning supplies.
The dollar store has great quality cleaning gloves, steel wool, shower squeegees, dusters, and more.
I’ve even bought their version of the Magic Eraser which works pretty well!
Here’s a list of my favorite Dollar Tree cleaning supply finds:
- Scrubbers, sponges, and cloths
- Mops, brooms, and dusters
- Gloves and spray bottles (I use spray bottles all the time to spot clean and cut my kiddo’s hair!)
Dollar Tree Home Improvement Finds
I don’t normally visit this aisle at Dollar Tree, but I wanted to highlight every possible dollar store find available!
While there, I grabbed paint brushes and masks for our project to refinish a kitchen table.
They also have duct tape, masking tape, twine, and lighters!
Here’s my favorite Dollar Tree home improvement finds:
Dollar Tree Home Decor
You wouldn’t normally think “home decor” when you go to the dollar store, but they do have a few worthwhile items!
I LOVE to get picture frames at Dollar Tree!
They are surprisingly good quality. I got some great gold frames on my last trip that work perfect with our home decor.
They also have seasonal flowers you can use for lots of dollar store DIY projects!
Here’s my favorite Dollar Tree home decor finds:
Dollar Tree Organization Finds
Storage bins and baskets are a great Dollar Tree find you’ll likely waste money on anywhere else.
I’m OBSESSED with organizing and these bins have come in handy so many times.
I use them in my linen closet, under the kitchen sink, in our bathroom drawers, and in the laundry room! The possibilities for use are endless and they only cost a buck!
Here are my favorite finds:
Dollar Tree Personal Care and Beauty Items
You’ll find lots of good items in the personal care and beauty sections.
I love to get q-tips and cotton balls at Dollar Tree, as well as feminine care products and character band-aids.
The same box of band-aids goes for $2.50 at other stores, but you’ll only spend $1!
I will grab my favorite Crest whitening toothpaste on occasion (if it hasn’t been on sale at the grocery store) and I just bought my daughter some curlers (because she hates when I use the curling iron).
They were $5+ at the store, but I spent $1 and they do the same thing!
Also, pregnancy tests . . . yes they work!
I’ve used them with every pregnancy and they work just fine. Save your money and get them at the dollar store!
Here are my favorite beauty and personal care finds:
- Oral care
- Bath sponges
- Brushes and combs
- Styling accessories
- Cotton swabs and balls
- Feminine care
- Pregnancy tests
Dollar Tree Candy/Food
You can’t leave the dollar store without checking out the candy and food aisles!
I don’t buy a lot of food there (prices are usually better at the grocery store), but this time I did grab Ring Pops (they came out to $.25/piece), Sour Patch Watermelons, and those Crunchy Rice Rolls.
Have you seen those at Costco? I don’t know the price, but the Dollar Tree has them at $1 for 7 rolls! And they tasted the exact same!
Here are a few other food/candy finds worth checking out:
Dollar Tree Kitchen Supplies
Dollar Tree kitchen supplies are another big favorite!
I love to get food containers and foil pans from here when I need to take dinner to someone. Dollar store storage bags are also a great find.
This last trip I grabbed 20 stretchy plastic covers to go over food for $1! No more messing with annoying plastic wrap!
They even have a wall of kitchen gadgets. Nothing I’d want to keep long term in my kitchen, but awesome for college students or camping supplies!
Here’s my list of favorite kitchen finds at Dollar Tree:
Dollar Tree Clothing Items
And last we have clothing items! Yes, Dollar Tree even carries these!
I’ve bought socks and hangers before, and they hold up pretty well!
You can also find:
Things Not To Buy At The Dollar Store
I wanted this post to outline all the things to buy at the dollar store AND what to avoid!
I love the dollar store finds I’ve mentioned so far, but some products aren’t good alternatives. This will help you walk the line between frugal vs cheap.
- Batteries (I’ve tried them before and they don’t last. You’re better off investing in the name brand version.)
- Light bulbs (Same as the batteries. Invest in LED bulbs that last years.)
- Most cleaners (Most of the cleaners are off-brand and not great quality. You can check out how I’ve eliminated almost all household cleaning products and just use water here!)
- Razors (Not great quality.)
- Makeup (Lots of people say they love the dollar store makeup, but that’s one thing I won’t waste money on. You can check out these good foundations for combination skin and some of my favorite mascaras.)
- Hair Dye (I hope you can figure out why you shouldn’t buy $1 hair dye…)
My Recent Frugal Shopper Haul
My last shopping trip I spent $18 and got all of this!
The pregnancy test alone will cost you $8 at the grocery store, so shopping at the Dollar Tree saved me a ton of money!
If you want more helpful ideas, you’ll love my library of printables.
I’ve included a stain removal guide, my weekly cleaning checklist and a 4-week sneak peek from my year of frugal meals ebook.
As a bonus for joining my weekly-ish newsletter, you’ll get access to each of these printables (plus a few more!) Click here to download and subscribe or you can use the nifty box below.
Do you love shopping at the dollar store? What are your favorite best selling dollar store items? Let me know in the comments.