19 Things You Should Always Buy at the Dollar Store or else you will pay too much

About four years ago, I wrote a post that took me about 20 minutes. It is shocking to me, because that post went viral and still remains my top post week after week on my blog. It seemed to strike a chord with my readers. I once had someone ask me why I wrote that post. He said why does it matter what you should buy at the dollar store? It's only a buck. Who cares? 

You all seem to care! It seems like even though it's only a buck, we don't want to waste our money on things that break, are sub par or just don't work. Over the years I've become a sort of dollar store expert. People are constantly asking me if the dollar store has this or that and they want my opinion.

It's been a few years since that first post, but I still frequently shop at our local dollar store.  I can't tell you how many times I am shopping the aisles at the dollar store and hear people say, man, I didn't know they had that. I should have looked here first! I keep a running list of those things that I know I can find at the dollar store that will help me from wishing I hadn't spent more on them somewhere else and now, I've complied them for you!
19 things that you should always buy at the dollar store, or else you will pay too much!

Through the years, I have found these 19 things to be things that you should always buy at the dollar store. If you pick up these items anywhere else you will be paying too much.



1. Spray bottles

Sure, you can find spray bottles at all your big box retail stores, but can you find them for a dollar? I use mine to store my own cleaning products {vinegar and a few drops of essential oils is one of my favorite}, my own Febreeze {half fabric softener mixed with half water}, and when my kids were little, they used to use them as squirt guns. 

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2. Glow Sticks

You can find any kind of glow stick that you need at the dollar store. I know some friends who take them camping with them and put them on their kids so they don't lose them at night. I have also heard of some fun tag games that you can play with glow sticks to. If you have kids, glow sticks are fun for so many things.

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3. Bubbles

It's starting to warm up a bit and I know kids of all ages love bubbles. At other retails stores, you will be paying upwards of $5 for a bottle of bubbles this size. These are great for refilling bubble blowers {this one is our favorite} and letting your kids use a squirt bottle to pop the bubbles. My youngest kid is 10 and I still stock up on bubbles.

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4. Foam Core

I use foam core as a backdrop for taking pictures a lot of times. I also use it to mount pictures. You can't find it cheaper any where else if you are ever in the need for foam core.


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5. Posterboard

I have three kids. They need posterboard for a lot of their projects. I always buy it at the dollar store. If you can see, it's also less than a dollar, so bonus!


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6. Party Supplies

I don't care what kind of party you are having, you should always ALWAYS stop at the dollar store first to see if they have any party supplies that fit your theme. I usually can't get everything I need for a party at the dollar store, but I can get a good start on it, and I pay way less!

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7. Cards

Have you priced out cards lately? It seems like an average card from Hallmark will cost you $4. You can get 8 cards at the dollar store for that price! The pickings are sometimes slim, and you will have to go through some real duds first, but it's a good place to start if you need a card for any occasion. Sometimes around holidays they bring in better cards than normal. I've found some really nice handmade looking cards for mother's day. It's worth checking here first.

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8. Fabric Softener

I've only recently started using fabric softener. My mom had skin sensitivities to scented soaps so when I was growing up we didn't use it, and then when the kids were little, I used cloth diapers and I was always told that the fabric softener would break down the waterproof barrier in the diaper and no one wants that, so long story short, we have only just come around. I had no idea how much I actually liked it when my clothes smelled clean. I think the Awesome brand at the dollar store works great. I priced it out at Target and was shocked how much they charge for fabric softener. 

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9. Rubber Gloves

 I use rubber gloves to wash the dishes with. These are a great deal and they work well.

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10. Foil Pans

These foil pans are great if you are bringing a meal to church or to a friend who just had surgery or if you want to freeze a meal like lasagna. They come in all sizes {some are 2 for $1} and are way cheaper than buying foil pans any where else.


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11. Pretzels {and other snacks}

I don't buy a lot of food at the dollar store {don't get me started on why you shouldn't buy potted meat}, but there are a few items that are a great deal.  Pretzels seem to be a lunch box staple at our house. They are far cheaper at the dollar store for the same size {or bigger} bag. I stock up on marshmallow fluff if I see it because this dip is delicious and must be made weekly. My husband also really likes the cheddar popcorn. 



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12. Hand Soap

I buy these big refill bottles {because the smaller ones aren't a great deal} to refill my soap bottles in all the bathrooms at home. I also use it when I'm making my own foaming hand soap.

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13. Makeup

I'm not picky about my makeup. In fact, I feel like some of the makeup I buy at the dollar store is better than the makeup I've spent much much more on at the department stores {you know, way back in my single girl days}. This liquid eyeliner is my favorite. I also use the powder and bronzer. 



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14. Balloons

Helium Mylar balloons are crazy expensive at the party store. Always get them at the dollar store. You can usually find balloons for every occasion.

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15. Blank T-shirts

I don't know about your dollar store, but ours has blank t-shirts. They are always a mess and you can expect to have to sort through them looking for the size you need, but if you only need one or two shirts to use for a project, this is the place to go! These blank t-shirts are great for tie dye projects or if you want to put heat transfer vinyl on them for a custom project.

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16. Night Light Bulbs

For a lot of years my kids slept with a night light. They would have them on all night {duh}, and we would even travel with them. Not only have I found that they are hard to find at other stores, they are also really expensive. So if you are looking for a night light bulb, the dollar store is your place.

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17. Kids Activities

I'm always surprised that I can find name brand current kids activity kits at the dollar store. These kits are great to stock up on for stuffing stockings or Easter baskets or if you are traveling. 


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18. Decorative Rocks

Forgive me if this is too specific for you, but if you ever find yourself in need of decorative rocks for a project, the dollar store is your go to place. I recently used them for a centerpiece that I made. I saw the same rocks at a well known craft store for way more.

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19. Felt Protectors

This is one of those products that I bought at the store and then could have smacked myself for buying them for more than five times as much. We use felt protectors on our chairs and table in our kitchen because we have hardwood floors. These are cheap. Way cheaper than you will find any where else.


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So there you have it. I know this list isn't complete, which is why I want to hear from you.

I loved reading every single comment on the What Not To Buy at the Dollar Store posts and finding out what I should try and what I should avoid. I know you guys know your stuff. So share with me. What do you find cheaper at the dollar store than you can find anywhere else? 
dislaimer: this post may have affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing through them, I may receive a small commission. These small purchases help me to continue to keep writing content and creating at Holy Craft. Thank you!

2 comments

Nydia Appolonia said...

I love The Dollar Store! They have this cleaning spray that I just swear by. It's called Awesome and it has cleaned up dog puke stains like a champ. I love the stuff. They sell it at BJs for like $10 in concentrate.

G.R.I.T.S. by Mimi said...

I love your blog, and this is a great post!

I also buy a lot of party supplies at the Dollar Tree. My sister and I do a lot of weddings; decorating, flowers, food, wedding dresses, you name it, we do it. I get so many of the things I use for weddings from the Dollar Store. We also buy the large serving spoons, tongs, some plastic serving bowls and trays, candles, candle holders, napkins, plates, cups, even the silver plastic tableware, that looks like real tableware!

Craft supplies, dishcloths, dishes and glasses that you are buying for a specific occasion, and may only use once or twice. When you only pay $1.00 for them, you don't mind if they get lost or broken at parties.

I too buy fabric softener there, but I also buy laundry detergent, and bar soap, they even have some of the more expensive brands!

Baby Bottles, pacifiers, wipes, bags to dispose the dirty diapers in, baby shampoo, lotion, body wash, and many other baby supplies that I keep on hand when my daughters bring the grandchildren over for us to baby sit. My daughter says that is one of the best things to her, not having not pack everything up and carry it over here each time. I keep some clothes too. She thinks this is a luxury!


I don't think as many people realize the difference in cost of any disposable type item at the Dollar Store versus buying the same thing at other stores.

I know that many people make the argument that the Dollar Store items are made more cheaply, and they are right, but if you are buying disposables that you will only use a few times, what difference does it matter?

I have a blog, www.gritsbymimi.com, I would love for you to check it out someday, and give me some tips on what to do to make it better, and to grow it.

Thank you Sassy "MiMi" Sandy Sue

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