Jun 9, 2013

The Dollar Store: What To Buy and What Not To Buy!

Yesterday my family and I headed out to our local Dollar Tree. As I was browsing the aisles, I noticed a lot of items that are great deals compared to local grocery stores and Wal-Mart, but I also noticed a few that were not. The dollar store can be a great place to save money if you know what to look for. I decided to compile a list of items to buy and items not to buy at your local dollar store. This list is for one dollar stores only like Dollar Tree, although I love Family Dollar and Dollar General, they are not true "dollar stores".

What TO buy:

* Batteries- Yes there are quite a few off brand batteries at the dollar store, but I often times find name brand batteries like Panasonic that contain 4 batteries for $1. You can't beat that!

* Cotton swabs are a great deal at the dollar store, I picked up a pack of 250 for $1.

* Candy- The dollar store has all sorts of candy and you can't beat the price. Chocolate, hard candy, gum, gummies, sour candy...the dollar store has it all!

* Seasonal Items- Holiday items are a great buy at the dollar store. You can buy all sorts of decorations, candy, party platters just to name a few at a fraction of the cost.

* Hurricane essentials- I live in Florida and Hurricane Season started on June 1st. The dollar store has canned goods, bottled water, candles, flash lights, batteries and several other items that are great to have on hand in the case of a hurricane or an emergency.

* Stationary items- Paper, envelopes, tape, highlighters, pens, pencils, rulers, pencil cases, markers, crayons, glue, glue sticks and note pads are a great value at the dollar store. They are typically bundled up so you get more than one for $1.

* Pregnancy tests- The dollar store has them, they work fine and are about 10 times cheaper compared to brand names. Seriously, you a peeing on a stick, save your money!

* Soap- While looking at the soaps, there were quite a few name brands and they also had the foaming hand soap with the pump bottle for $1. 

* Balloons and Party Items- Yes, the dollar store is the best place for your party needs.  Invitations, balloons, gift wrap, gift bags, cards, cups, plates, napkins, plastic utensils and more will have you saving a lot of dough!

* Beauty Essentials- Shaving gels, razors ( I found Noxzema triple blade razors with lotion strips at my local dollar store),  hair spray (yes, you can find name brands), shampoo and conditioner ( you can find name brands, toothpaste (my local dollar tree is loaded with Colgate and Crest), and even hair accessories. 

I also have started purchasing the fabric basket at my local Dollar Tree for my munchkins toys.  I actually found some really cute polka dot pattern ones that match Brianna's bedroom.  I have had them for over a year now and they are holding up well.  I picked up some blue and khaki ones for Riley's room too.  I also found a mesh laundry hamper at the Dollar Tree for Riley's room.  All of the centerpiece vases from my wedding were purchased at the dollar store along with the glass beads and tea light candle holders.  Yes, I saved a ton of money and got a lot of compliments.  No one knew that they were from the dollar store!

What NOT to buy:

* Trash bags with the exception of bathroom trash bags (the bathroom trash bags are a great deal and they are scented) are not a good deal. The dollar stores trash bags are typically for a quantity of 8 which is not a good deal. Unless you just need enough to get through the week until payday, do not buy kitchen or lawn trash bags at the dollar store.

* Ziploc bags- Much like the trash bags, the quantity that you get is not a good deal.

* Aluminum foil- The package is deceiving, you do not get a lot.  Always read the sq ft to see what you are actually paying for. 

Keep in mind that each dollar store carries different items and the items change frequently.  The best way to know if you are getting a good deal is to get familiar with your local grocery stores prices and quantities.  Just because something is $1, does not always mean that you are getting a good deal.  Feel free to post below and tell me your favorite dollar store finds.  


  1. I have noticed this when shopping there. The Dollar Tree is a cheap place to buy snacks too. I love John Morrell sausage and can't find it at too many places but our local Dollar Tree carries it. : )

    1. Yes, the snacks are great. I buy frosted animal crackers, whales (basically gold fish) and teddy bear cookies.