Friday, February 17, 2012

Things to buy at the Dollar Store...and a few things to avoid


I live way too close to The Dollar Store
I end up spending a lot of time there
Which means I also tend to spend a lot of money there too.
I've bought a few things that have been worth a dollar.
And I've bought a few things that are totally not worth a dollar.

So stroll with me through the aisles and I will tell you all those things you should snag
and all those things you should avoid.



Tissue Paper-Snag it
It's so much cheaper at The Dollar Store and works great in those 
recycled gift bags we all have laying around.


Scotch Tape-Snag it
Is it just me or does your house go through tape like it's going out of style?


 Thumb Tacks-Snag it
You probably don't need these every day, but I did do a project recently and wish I knew they had them at The Dollar Store because I paid too much.


Furniture Polish and Window Cleaner: Snag it
Both things I use often, both things worth picking up
Windex does not corner the market on window cleaner and Pledge doesn't either
You can read about Anna's top secret cleaning tip (hint, it involves furniture polish) here.


Estracell sponges-Pass
While they may look like the scotch brite sponges, they are not the same.
 Don't waste your money


Sun dishwashing liquid: Pass
This stuff is so watered down that it's cheaper to buy the name brand


Stor-it sandwich bags: Snag it
We don't use a lot of these baggies (I use my reusable ones instead)
but when I do need them, they do the job


Potted Meat: Pass
I'm pretty sure potted meat is never a good idea
also, any "meat" at The Dollar Store-gross!


Pretzels: Snag it
These are great for lunches and so much cheaper than at the grocery store


Kids Shampoo: Snag it
If you have kids that wash themselves you know how much shampoo you go through.


Shower Curtain: Snag it
Now I'm not saying you should use just this shower curtain in your bathroom,
but under your fancy shower curtain, this one for $1 is perfect.


Washcloths and Towels: Pass
So thin and so not worth it


Extra Healing Lotion: Pass
It may look like Vaseline's healing lotion, but it is not even close.
Find a sale and buy the real deal


Bobby pins: Pass
Honestly didn't know anyone could screw up bobby pins
but they did.
Don't bother


Cotton Swabs: Pass
Stick with Q-tips
These guys bend before you even stick 'em in your ear.
It's like they are scared or something.


Pregnancy Test: Snag it
Who knew?
Seriously, the best $1 deal in the store
Compare them with other brands here
**updated**see this follow up post Should you Buy a Dollar Store Pregnancy Test



Glue Pens-Snag it
I always peruse the craft aisle you never know what you will find
I know I've bought these at Michael's before for WAY more!


Colored Pencils: Pass
These are awful! They won't sharpen and they get dull in a nanosecond


Crayons: Pass
There is something to be said for Crayola.  They have crayons figured out.
These are just waxy and yuck



Dough Pate: Pass
It's called Pate...seriously...skip it.
It's not play doh


Bubbles: Snag it
I buy these by the armful during the summer
Cheap, big and full of fun


So what dollar store items did I miss?
Good or bad I want to know!

**updated**
This Dollar Store post has by far been one of my most popular posts.
I did a few follow up posts based on department.
You can find them here

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

373 comments:

1 – 200 of 373   Newer›   Newest»
Tales of a Trophy WIfe said...

Great post. I also buy:
Contact paper-way cheaper than vinyl
headbands
ribbon
Jelly Bellies
Sandpaper
glitter glue
greeting cards

Jamie said...

oh my gosh, you are cracking me up with the potted meat and bobby pins! What a great idea for a post!!! I'm pinning this right now :)

JackieInMI67 said...

Oh this was interesting to read! I am always trying to 'teach' my dad what items he should or shouldn't buy at the dollar store, but it never seems to sink in. I agree about the cotton swabs, those things are awful. I do have to give a thumbs up to their gift bags, which are SO expensive in others stores. I also have plastic utensils that I bought years ago that I love. Also they have cute notepads, and the decorative dish towels are nice to just hang in the kitchen. My daughter just bought the exact package of bobby pins, lol, so we'll have to see how they work. Have a great weekend!

Hayley said...

I am so with you on this! I buy a lot of their shampoo and LA's Best CLR alternative. Works pretty good!

Pass: Safety Pins

Thanks for sharing this!

Hayley said...

Also, I had NO idea about the pregnancy tests, so thanks! That is a huge savings!

Jill said...

I love this post!

More bath products like shampoo, soap, hairspray...those would be great to know about!

ChaoticallyCreative said...

Great post. I always wondered about the pregnancy test. I've learned my lesson on the rest except the canned meat never bought that anywhere lol

DebWestbury said...

I have to disagree with you on the potted meat issue...It is no different than the potted meat in the grocery stores...Have never had a problem with it, or the prepackaged Pepperoni or Salami...Cheaper than the other stores...Will agree on the Qtips, but all cheap brands seem to have the cotton fall off...

momto8 said...

if I had seen this post long ago i could have saved a lot of time and money..I agree with you.
a thing to snag is the silver trays...they are so pretty to take to a party when I bring a dish to share...and i can just leave the tray..for 1$ it is ok!

mary said...

Our dollar store doesn't have a pregnancy test. For a dollar I would buy 12 ^_^

Mary, MI

The Quilt Ladies said...

I just found the dollar store and the ladies there are wonderful, they are half the reason to keep going back. The other half the money !

Jessica said...

Fun Post!!! I go there sometimes and buy stuff only to get home and think....REALLY??? Why did I think that I needed this:) BUT I can honestly say that POTTED MEAT has never made an appearance at my house...hahaha!!!!

jjflamingo said...

another awesome snag are the reading glasses. they are $5.00 and up everywhere else.

Angela said...

I love the Dollar Tree! I buy lots of neat things there. I get lots of things that are a decent quality that I put in the Operation Christmas Child boxes and even for treat bags for the kids at school. I never buy the crayons! Those are a joke! They have some decent holiday decorations there too!

~The Bargain Babe from *Zucchini Summer Blog* said...

Oh yeah the greeting cards are good and does yours have balloons?
Mine has helium filled balloons, birthday, sesame street, over the hill, smiley face, seasonal, etc. They are great and just a buck!

You can also sometimes get balloon weights there, much cheaper than the party store.

Posterboard.

Books---hardback nice books are often there.

I would not buy the crayons either.

Food:
Whales are good (cheddar knock off of goldfish crackers).

Kelly @ Live.Laugh.Rowe said...

Hi Rachel!

Thanks for linking up to the Blog Hop! Great blog!
Pleasure finding you... Have a great day!

Kelly
www.livelaughrowe.com

Brooke @ Spruce Your Nest said...

Awesome post!!

Anel said...

oh man what a great post! you really made me laugh with the q tips. and potted meat? i didn't even know that existed, gross. anyway, i'm pinning it!

Lori Stokes Wright said...

Ha! Great post, I don't get to the dollar store very often, I forget to go. Thanks for the reminder and the tips! Found you at the Weekend Wander, (While He Was Napping), party.

Sass - aka - Kathy said...

Oh, so helpful - who knew about the pregnancy tests? Hilarious!Will you, pretty please, consider sharing with my readers at http://sassafrassalvation.blogspot.com/2012/02/sasss-sunday-salvation-show-12.html ?

Hugs,

Kathy

Shantalle@lifestylesofthestayathomemom.com said...

Great post! Potted meat??? YUCK! I'm a little wiser today thanks to you ;)

Charlene@APinchofJoy said...

You are absolutely right about the bobbi pins! Who would think they could be made so flimsy and still look like bobbi pins? Gift bags, party favors, craft items and snack bags are my dollar store favorites. I would love it if you would come link up with Busy Monday (open Monday through Thursdays) at A Pinch of Joy, a linky party for ideas that make life for everyone better, easier and more fun!

Flutemom said...

I stock up on the quick erasers. They look like a Mr Clean Magic eraser but have a sponge back. It seems to be the same material and cleans the same. I think I like these better. As they wear down, the sponge back helps them hold their shape. The leftover sponge is useful too. They polish a stainless since better than anything else I've ever use!

Brooke said...

I buy dollar store barrettes and hair bands. (especially the little plasticy ones for my 19month old!)I learned about the pregnancy tests when someone ahead of me at the checkout got one! Their generic diapers aren't so hot. The generic ones I get at the grocery store actually work A LOT better. I have found that Walmart's brand of stuff is sometimes worse that dollar store generic! (clothes pins were USELESS, ironing board barely stood up, laundry basket cracked on the first use. :P)I like to buy my plastic storage containers at the dollar store and laundry baskets. I have been using them for years with no trouble!

Heather at Happy Chippy Junk said...

I buy tooth brushes. The q-tips you have pictured are FINE it is the ones out of plastic that are JUNK! I but lots of medications there. (cold, flu, cough drops) Nail polish! OO I love the dollar store!!

Theresa said...

Potted Meat? Who would even be brave enough to try that? Thanks for the tips! t.xoox

Pam Fields said...

At our Dollar Tree they have clear cylinder vases that are closer to 6.00 at Wal-Mart. They also have the colored stones to go in the bottom of the vases. Greeting cards are great. Cotton pads for eye makeup removal. All these are a snag for me!

Jessica said...

I totally agree. Another pass - the plasticware (to use at parties), breaks as soon as you use it!

I would add - tin pans & wax paper & ladies HANES t-shirts (I think I lucked out with finding those).

And I would agree on what others suggested - ribbon (satin, sheer & grosgrain), gift bags, greeting cards. Love the dollar store!!!

DesignDazzle.blogspot.com said...

Thank you for the photos!

Jennifer Juniper said...

I love the rolls of brown craft paper and glow sticks!

Katherine said...

Great post! When we were trying to have our second child, I bought lots of tests from the Dollar Tree! So much cheaper and still accurate. It was nice to feel like I could test and not be completely throwing money away if it was a negative! We also get the tissue paper and glow sticks!

Jana said...

Potted Meat? Gross! I make it a rule not to buy most foods at the dollar store. I do get spices, soda, and bottled red peppers because they are usually a fantastic deal. Thanks for the great post.

Bohemian said...

I Love it when the Dollar Store gets overstock of Name Brand products worth well over a buck. And I heard that when the big brands downsize their container serving sizes (ie: Ketchup went from 24 oz. to 22 oz. for the same price) they sell off the larger sizing to the Dollar Stores. The 99 Cent Only chain now carries great Produce and Deli items so I can do most of my grocery shopping there now and save a ton of money! I concur with all of your recommendations. *winks... yes, I'm a Dollar Store Addict seriously in need of an intervention!*

Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

Brandi said...

Awesome tips! Thank you for sharing!

maryjt said...

I so agree with the tissue paper and would include the gift bags because sometimes my recycled gift bag assortment amazingly doesn't have just the "right" bag for the occasion. Thanks for your input on this. I especially appreciate the heads up on the crayons.

Rustown Mom said...

I was just there yesterday and found a deal on cheapie reading glasses - $1 there, $15 at HEB. And I could try em before I bought em. I think they sell so many things at $1 that are 50 cents at Wal-Mart. If you don't pay attention, you get fleeced.

artclubblog said...

You're too funny! I also have a thing for dollar stores, but agree that some things are definitely to be avoided!

rainbowcreek said...

Cheap dish soap is a big waste, the cotton swabs are really bad too. The Vitamin E lotion is not bad and I use a recipe for body cream that takes a bottle of Vitamin E lotion, a jar of petroleum jelly and any kind of lotion, whip it together with your mixer. It comes out looking like whipped cream and makes your skin feel so smooth. I like those little plastic treat bags that have pictures printed on them and curly ribbon. I use them to wrap up my handmade items that I sell online. It only costs a few cents and makes my customers feel like they got something special because they get a cute package to open when their order arrives.

Loui♥ said...

I actually purchase their sweeteners!
the pink ones (sweet n Low)
100pks to the box $1
the yellow (splenda)
only 50 to the box..but still quite a deal!!
I use their soft petroleum jelly in a tube for my feet!
the other lotions and shampoos unless a REAL brand i am familiar with.. I pass because they simply don't do the job as well.
I do use the laundry bleach and some other cleaning products.
Boxed candies.. ie Dots and Whoppers..well worth the $1!
love the greeting cards @ 2/$1! love shopping there.. it is conveniently located next to a children's consignment shop(I call it Grandma's Place because i see so many of us there!) and next block down is my fave Goodwill store!!
hugs! Loui♥

Heather - Dollarstorecrafts.com said...

Great list - just wanted to let you know I shared it over at the Dollar Store Crafts FB page: https://www.facebook.com/dollarstorecrafts/posts/163081223810938

-heather

Amanda said...

The kids' washable markers are actually pretty good, and very inexpensive, which is fortunate because my son is apparently fundamentally incapable of putting caps on markers.

My store usually has Sharpies and Avery glue sticks, as well as Super Glue. Good deal.

One of the Dollar Trees near me also often has bulk lots of very decent yarn (Lion, Caron, etc.) and a really nice selection of scrapbooking supplies.

Those little pop-up faux Closet-Maid bins are actually wonderful too. I thought they'd fall apart in a week, but they've held up to heavy use as bins for son's cars, books, etc.

Woman in Love said...

Great post! Except the cheap crayons are wonderful for melted crayon art! Their cheap, waxy quality is actually easier to melt!

Debbiedoo's said...

I snag most of those items too. They are great. The potted meat, gosh that sounds and looks disgusting!

Clamworks said...

Ours has a lot of food items...6 pack of Snackwell's or Keebler 100 Calorie packs in cellophane. Also, 6 packs of Kellog's Pop Tarts. And Nature's Own breads and rolls (which is over $3 in the grocery store!)
I've also found Cover Girl make up repackaged in generic looking packaging.

Amy said...

I buy the diaper cream. It is the same as butt paste, but $1 instead of $6!

Lisa said...

Love the greeting cards, tissue paper, gift bags, glow stics/necklaces/bracelets, disinfecting wipes, microfiber cloths, rubber gloves...

rockinred said...

I'm a BIG fan of their version of Oxyclean powder. It's sooo much cheaper than the brand name & works just as well. I also agree about the plastic baggies - the 'snack' size is perfect for my toddler when we're out & about. I also stock up on the shower liners. They're a great deal!

Oh! And we are still using the Dollar Store serrated steak knives I bought when I moved into my 1st apartment...from 10 years ago! They work great and can go right into the dishwasher. Can't beat that for value! :)

Melissa @ LoveBugLiving said...

Such a great post! Seasonal decorations are always nice since you don't use them that long. I always get my party plates and tablecloths there. I've found some name brand makeup as well. We use the sandwich baggies. We also find name brand toothpaste and tootbrushes. This is where I go to browse for craft project ideas.

Klinkj0806 said...

I have found great toddler's age books at the Dollar Store! Sesame Street or just plain colors/numbers theme books too!

And the selection of foil disposable pans is awesome! They come in sets of two, all different sizes, with lids! When I would pay $4 and up for that at the grocery store I will take it for a buck - no problem! These are great to have to take dinners to folks who are under the weather, just had a baby or for holiday gift giving... :)

hardlyfatal said...

"Pâte" is French for "dough". It's very possible the "pâte" on the label was simply meant for Quebecois customers as well as English-speaking Americans.

Lisa Roberts said...

I work with horses, so I am always snagging the cheap wash cloths for the barn. I always go in there to snag gift bags, tissue peer and don't laugh, cinnamon. It is really expensive at name stores and I mix it with sugar for coffee anyway. Great blog!

emiflute said...

I have to second the person that mentioned headbands- the stretchy or hard kinds. I also love getting eye shadow there. I have sensitive skin but it doesn't bother mine! I always shop for small prizes for my piano students. Oh and hoilday or house decor! I can't pass up those either! Oh and I have gotten some pretty decent kitchen utensils- the nylon ones or comparable to many expensive ones you can order or buy elsewhere!

labbie1 said...

I actually bought the potted meat to try for my 72 hour kits--it wasn't that bad!

I really enjoyed seeing what was good and what wasn't. I always wondered about the dish liquid.

Charlotte said...

As for the tape- I'm pretty sure there is way less tape per roll on the dollar store version. Like 5 yards vs. the 15 or so yards you get at other stores... so, you get what you pay for. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

Good idea for a post, though.

Meggan Hansen said...

My dollar store pregnancy test did not work :)

Danielle said...

I'm with you for most of it .. other than the shampoo. I've found most of the brands at the dollar store loaded with tons of alcohol and other things not suggested for hair. other than that - I agree ! ps - my 8 yr old was once a positive $1 store pregnancy test .. :D Danielle CraftPlayLove.com

Rachel said...

Their electric and masking tape is TERRIBLE.

Catherine said...

Do the shower curtains smell toxic? We've had a few products from the dollar store that smell so much like chemicals we can't have them in the house. It's be great to switch out my shower curtain liner more often if they are only a dollar, but I don't want a strong chemical smell.

Unknown said...

Love the dollar store pregnancy test. With my first I bought handfuls of the EPT and other expensive brands, all said negative but I knew I was. One day at the dollar store I say the preg test there and bought it. Said pregnant!!! Again used another EPT and negative. With my other 4 pregnancies only dollar store ones and they were all right!!!

Hannah {Bonne Nouvelle} said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing. Some things I stay away from becasue I am biased toward name brands (like Crayola) but some things I would have never known like the shower curtains.
I LOVE shopping here for parties. I like their napkins, plates (though flimsy but they do the colorful job), and cups. I also love their foil containers. I use those to bring meals to people or freeze my own meals in them. Super cheap. I also buy padded shipping envelopes, floral foam, glass candlesticks (to make cupcake pedestals and such, candy, and other holiday items like sand buckets, water noodles and pinwheels and other party favors. LOVE it.

Melissa said...

Not sure if it was already mentioned, but I love to buy coloring books there. The toilet bowl cleaner called "the works" is pretty good too.

Bonnie and Trish @ Uncommon said...

What a great post!! I tend to only buy crafty things....gonna use your list the next time I go!! Thanks for sharing at Uncommon! Bonnie ;)

tari kay said...

I love this! Thanks for sharing! I had a doctor tell me that the pregnancy tests are what they use at a lot of hospitals. So worth stocking up on them! Just in case you or a friend need one!

NaDell Ransom said...

I love the cheap shower curtains (and the fresh plastic smell!)
I also always buy disposable pans there to take to people when I make meals for them. They are much cheaper there.
Kid puzzles are nice to buy there as well.
You can always use the crummy q-tips for the kids to craft with. =)
I also like the little baskets to hold toys from the dollar store.
Great post!

Diane said...

Walmart has pregnancy tests for 88¢

Diane said...

Walmart has pregnancy tests for 88¢!

stevie kay said...

Always Buy: Shower Curtains, cheap holiday decorations for mostly-uncelebrated-holidays (Mardi Gras, Chinese New Year, etc)

Avoid: medicines (be sure you check expiration dates on them!)and condiments (because a lot of the time you can get them at the grocery store for less than a dollar)

Chelsea said...

Also, after years of buying prego tests at the $ store, Walmart has come up with their dollar store version. Up in a little section by the registers (usually) they have the same type of pregnancy test for 88¢! I feel like I've wasted 12¢ for years! (okay, just a year). So pass on the $1 pregnancy tests, pick one up from walmart for 88¢

Unknown said...

I love the dollar store (especially Dollar Tree) and appreciate your post. I agree with the crayons thin g in general. My Mom bought dollar tree 64 crayon box that were actually pretty good but the papers fell off! I never would have gotten them though. Back to school sales are a much better price and you can even get Crayola or CRazyArt which are good too. I love the fact that people have said the pregnancy tests are good. I wondered because they are what, 10 times more at the regular store?! Who could resist?

Amanda said...

Great post! I got my pregnancy test at the dollar store and I was surprised at how good it worked. I will always get them there from now on.

Smith Family said...

Thanks for the great post!! I agree with everything you said. There are some things I avoid at the dollar store but some things I can't pass up. I like to buy coloring books, hard back childrens books, gift bags, tissue paper, glass dinner plates I use for serving platters, measuring cups, and I just found spools of 5 yds of grosgrain, satin and sheer ribbon at my dollar store. I was surprised at the variety of colors too.
I 've been wondering about their cleaning products but always afraid they won't work.

riasavhga said...

I bought a white shower curtain liner and was very disappointed in it versus the clear liner I buy now. The white liner was much thinner, and thus very flimsy, and there were no magnets on the bottom. The clear liner is much thicker and it does have the magnets on the bottom. I'm not sure about the other colors, but I stay away from the colored ones and always go with the clear liner now.

Unknown said...

I found out I was pregnant with my fourth (and last!) child with a Dollar Store pregnancy test!

Kimberly said...

Thanks for your post! Agree with the scotch tape--my 6-year old son uses it for all his inventions, so I have to hide a couple rolls if I hope to have it when needed! I bought a shower curtain there but it tore within two days--not such a great deal! Also, the baggies used to be a great deal, but lately the count has been decreasing rapidly. Still, there are great deals to be found.

Erica said...

Clothing hangers-Pass. 4 for $1 is not a deal when Target has them for 10 for $1.29.

Ryanne said...

Great tips!! I was lol about the bobby pins bc I bought these and you are so right about them...they suck terribly:( The pregnancy test....so works!! They were 100% correct for all 3 of my pregnancies;)

MAK Time said...

A Dollar Tree worker told me that the local health department buys the pregnancy test by the case and then charges $12.

I purchased one at the age of 39 simply to find out that God answered our prayers many years after they were prayed and baby # 3 was on the way. When I call the doctor's office and tried to explain that there was no way we were expecting and it was "just a $ Tree test" the nurse laughed at me and assured me that those were pretty accurate!

Sheree said...

Be careful of using the pregnancy test from these stores. They more than often give false results. I worked at a crisis pregnancy center and have been instructed by the manufacture as how to handle and store the test. There are expiration dates and temp control. Even the name brands have their problems. Think about it, when the company ships it it ships in a hot truck, then sit for who knows how long at a distribution center and then sent to the store and sits in a box in the back until it gets put out on the floor. All I am saying is just be careful and pay the extra money and have the dr. do the test.

Unknown said...

Sometimes you can find a "surprise deal".. My friend stopped by there on her way to work one morning, and an employee was unloading LPS (littlest pet shop) They were the 2 pack ones , and they were actually the real LPS !! They had about 4 different packs, Needless to say my friend grabbed a ton, and when she told me about it, I ran in and got a bunch. Birthday presents for friends for a long time!! I mean 1 dollar vs 6~10 bucks!! Yes please!

Alishia Owens said...

I just wanted to say Thank you for posting this. I live about 5 blocks from the dollar store and also spend WAY too much time there. The employees and I are on a first name basis. =)
Also, the pregnancy tests do work! I am 7 1/2 months along now and the dollar store test was the only one that gave me an accurate response. lol

Samantha said...

Don't buy plastic wrap from the dollar store. I did last year trying to save money. Getting the wrap off the roll without it tearing in the right place was nearly impossible.

Elizabeth said...

White erase markers. One time I got retractable ones, so nice--but haven't seen them since--I should have bought more!!

Glowsticks.

baseball/football/bella sara cards.

Dave and Marilyn said...

I buy hair conditioner to use for shaving my legs- way cheaper than shave gel and my legs are more moisturized! I also buy the hand soap for our kitchen and bathroom sinks. I also love the gross grain and satin ribbons, the gift bags, greeting cards as well as the activity books for children- some are educational and some are for fun. I have purchased the "Swiffer' refills at the Dollar Tree and think they work just as well as the real thing.
I stay away from the cleaning supplies, etc because they are always in very small bottles and I don't think they are worth $1.00.
Thanks for the post!

Deborah reid said...

Love the Dollar Tree.....it was even harder to not buy things there when I used to work at one........But yeah know a lot of the stuff they have ......well it would cost a pretty penny else where.....sooooo glad we have one in Grass Valley......and when I go there I always find more than what I written on my list........their Butt paste works Great and love the chioldrens shampoo.......back in October 2011 I was able to find Loreal mascara their I am stocked up for life.

Cheryl Hoskins said...

I rejoiced the day I discovered the pregnancy tests at the Dollar Tree! Seriously saved SO much money ... and I figured, if one turned up positive, THEN I could spring for a more expensive one.

Andrea Kay said...

Awesome post! I have bought a fair share of the pregnancy tests ;) And they work great. Hubby and I are thinking of trying for baby #3 so I may have to check the ovulation ones out!

Amanda M. said...

What about seasonal stuff? I think they have a great selection of holiday and seasonal things. What do you find?

PCOSMommy said...

Water color paints- I got a ton for my daycare and they're all just awful! No matter how much water the kids used it never got the paints to go- much better to get the crayola or crayzart kind- they're not much more expensive anyway.

Mrs. Mordecai said...

I get roasted red peppers at my dollar store. So much cheaper! Also disposable aluminum pans for taking dinner to friends. And batteries.

Karin M said...

Love this post!

Another thing to snag - Birthday Cards! I buy multiple generic birthday cards for all the parties my kids go to.

Alyssa said...

this is a big help, thanks for this round up! I'm a 99 cent store freak, but I would have never bought a PT there before this.
<3 Alyssa
PS come over for a visit! www.myclevernest.com

Jess said...

I definitely found out about both my boys with a dollar store pregnancy test! Those things are golden :)
I must disagree on the bobby pins, though. Those things are basically a one-time use item around here anyway because we lose them so quickly and the ones at my 99 cent store work fabulously! I also LOVE their clear ponytail elastics. I never buy them elsewhere. You get like 300 in the pack at the 99 cent store, compared to 50-100 at Walmart for $4. And that's another one-time use item. Can't spend 8 cents per ponytail holder for 18 braids a week!

Mary Ellen said...

Pass on the hair clips too- they break faster then I can get my hair up and clipped!! Bobby pins are another- they bend way too easy-

I do pick up cards from them- can't stand the thought of 3-4.00 going for a card and if you look you can find decent ones.

I have found some really cute earrings sometimes- not often -

Erin Lee said...

You left out gift wrap, but really any party supplies are good. I buy ALL my Christmas gift paper there.

Dana @ Cooking At Cafe D said...

I never noticed shower curtains there. Cool. The most inexpensive I've found at Bed Bath and Beyond are $10. I like the idea of saving 9.

Also, we had to by thumb tasks recently - and paid far too much - after going to 3 stores to find them.

Nice list!

Stephanie said...

DARNIT I literally JUST bought those glue sticks at Hobby Lobby for significantly more expensive than a dollar! From now on I am making this a definite trip thanks to this blog. Thanks for posting! :)

Theda said...

sunglasses! I lose or break them all the time!! Can't beat $1 - and I don't get upset - just get another pair! :-)

Edamommies said...

My SNAGS


Hanes tshirts : great for my kids to decorate for holidays

GIFT BAGS
GREETING CARDS
Holiday Decor
Rolls of wedding tulle GREAT for wrapping present in place of ribbon...so pretty
Grapevine wreaths
calendars
mylar balloons
sharpies
Scotch tape
Painters tape
My dollar tree has kids grab bags...they are loaded with little trinkets for kids (pink bags for girls, blue for boys) these are great mOTIVaTIONAL rewards!!!
Batteries
hair mousse...same brand as other stores, only $1...helps tame my frizzies
silk flowers for wreaths/crafts

Ash P said...

I found myself nodding to everything you talked about in this post.
I am a dollar store junkie!!
However, there are many items that just arent worth it!
Lately, the Dollar Stores around here sell meats and fish. My mom says that they are no different than grocery stores...I'm not so sure. I can't bring myself to buy meat from the dollar store. I get a lot of my snacks and condiments from dollar stores...hair products. MAKEUP!!! The dollar store sells mineral makeup!! I can't wear anything with talc in it. So I love that I can go there for stuff I can use!
Theres just so must I could list that I love to get at the dollar store..I get most of my craft things from here..
Okay. Enough rambling..Great post!

AWBOOKNUT said...

I too, love the Dollar store. My best buys are Hunts Ketchup W/O High fructose corn syrup. Silkience bath & shower body wash. Chocolate kisses,get just enough to satisfy & not overdo. Awesome all purpose cleaner. The works. Petroleum jelly with cocoa butter is excellent. Mine has frozen food & when it first comes in, there is cole slaw, peaches, green beans California medley, peas & carrots etc. The Duncan Hines brownie mix is 94 cents @ Walmart. I truly cannot name the name brand beauty products, I've used, but once their gone, the same ones may not return. The aluminum pans for potlucks come two to a pack. I could go on & on.

Michelle said...

I buy sprinkles (for cake decorating, etc) at the dollar store all the time! They come in big containers and work just fine.

Also, those foil disposable food containers (cake pans, muffin tins, casserole pans) are WAY more expensive at other stores! They're a little flimsy (but so are the ones elsewhere), but if you're taking a meal to someone they're perfect, especially for a dollar! No more trying to get dishes/Tupperware back from someone who just had a baby or has been sick -- just tell 'em to toss the containers!

2380c32e-c594-11e1-aa27-000bcdcb8a73 said...

Glow sticks i get, the freezer bags good deal, the rubbermaid storage containers good deal, coloring and kids books, party supplies like plastic wear, table clthes and decorations and grab bag fillers. In my area they have the "sunday paper" with coupons on satutdays for $1.00!! A day ahead of time and cheaper then the exact paper coming out Sunday

Libster08 said...

I LOVE the dollar store. I am currently living in Germany so I cannot tell you if these are there anymore, but I have been known to buy big-time movies from hollywood here. I always get steals, and thanks for the tip on the pregnancy tests....its pretty cool to know that you can find out if you are pregnant for only $1! :)

CJLeahy said...

GREAT post! I always thought buying a pregnancy test at the Dollar Store was akin to day old sushi, but who knew!? I buy the plastic table cloths for parties- love 'em! Also, there is a cleaner called Awesome there- it really does work when others don't.

Yours Truely. said...

I work at the Dollar Tree where I live, and there is one thing I LIVE by in there... if you have never tried their April products, you should. Make-Up, Lotion, Body Washes. Their best April product is the April Cold Cream, it deep cleans and removes make up. I have at least 10 bottles sitting in my bathroom cupboard. I use it everyday, and it last a good while. 8 FL.OZ. for only a $1 !!!

KB11 said...

I get photo frames from the Dollar Store, not all are worth a dollar but I've had some real bargains from there over the years. I also snatched up all the black smoked glasses they had recently, nice and heavy.

Collier Creations said...

The 2 gallon "zip-lock" bags will fit 12x12 paper, great for scrapbookers! My mom also buys shelf-stable soy milk to keep on hand at her house for my kids (who can't have dairy). Even if they're only there for an afternoon, for a buck, she can open one and doesn't mind tossing out the rest.

I also learned I was having both of my kids thanks to Dollar Tree preg tests!

I used the shower curtains, too, until I moved to a house with a shower only - they aren't long enough for that. Still great to use in a bathtub, though!

KaylieB said...

LOL love this post, but I’ve got to tell you that “pate” is french for “dough.” lol =]

lemniskate67 said...

kid's sunglasses are GREAT at the dollar store. My son loses them - and this way, we're only out a dollar. Cheap baking pans, both the intentionally disposable and the longer lasting are good too. Spray bottles, little organizational bins, air freshener spray. All kinds of great stuff at the dollar tree ;)

Tiffany Doty said...

I found the pens there are awesome too. As a server I go through pens like crazy (people stealing them, letting other servers borrow them ect.) and I found they actually work great and the ink lasts for awhile. Well as long as I have had the pens...which majority of the time isn't very long lol! Awesome posts, Ive heard of the pregnancy tests but was always skeptical about it, my friend used one and it worked before though.

Carla said...

Excellent post! I've had good luck with their throw away pans (I love using these during the holidays) and their pregnancy tests! You just can't beat a good pregnancy test for $1. I also get my greeting cards from their as well as gift bags and tissue paper.

Angela @ Nine More Months said...

We just had to clean up after my brother-in-law who moved out after renting a room for us for almost three years and it was disgusting!! We headed to the Dollar Tree and got empty spray bottles, ajax powder, CLR-type stuff, rubber gloves, scrub brushes, swiffer-style duster with refills, heavy duty trash bags, a shammy cloth, and paper towels to tackle the mess. $15 for all that stuff plus our magic erasers we already had at home and the room looks great now!

Erica said...

The last time I bought bubbles at The Dollar Store they smelled do badly of chemicals I threw them away! Nowhere on the bottle did they say non-toxic...check the label before buying!!!

girlnblack77 said...

I agree w/ everything you listed except the cotton swabs... maybe ours carries a different line, but they're almost as good as the big name brand and 1/4 the cost.
I'd add mop buckets and dustpans to the list... but their earbuds/headphones fall apart if you look at them wrong. lol

heatherann said...

Pregnancy test- yes. Can't say I'd ever buy tampons or meat products at the dollar store.

Feefeejo said...

I also pick up dial bar soap, soft soap hand soap, name brand toothpaste, comet cleaning powder, hefty zip lock bags, frozen French fries.....basically I go there before I head to Walmart. Saves me so much money!

Tea Todd said...

I'm so excited to have come across your post. I love the 99 Cent Only Store and The Dollar Tree. These are great places to buy candy, chips, and storage containers. I'm in one of these stores at least twice a week. I would love to feature your post on my blog. Is that ok with you? Thanks again for the wonderful post.

Tea Todd
http://www.teatodd.blogspot.com

Cindaemmy said...

I love the plastic crystal type trays too - great for cookies and parties, the bowls are great too -
love the bathroom garbage bags - small - great
maple cookies are great!
coloring books & word game books are a great deal
I hate the bath washes, they don't bubble up much.

Amy said...

Me too! Those LPS were a steal!

Amy D'Anthony said...

Be wary of the prices that seem like a good deal. Yardley soap for $1 a bar is less at Walmart (or Walgreens if on sale). Same for the Duncan Hines small boxes of cupcake mix (makes a dozen instead of 24). Found those for less than $1 at Walmart too.

However, my best snag was last year when my daughter was 12 months old. I found a one-piece swimsuit in the baby section. It was perfect for our beach trip! A swimsuit for a buck...practically disposable!

Stephe said...

Love the shower curtain liners. We usually use them when we eat crabs. Just cover the table with a shower curtain liner and it cleans up that crab mess better than any newspaper!!!!!!

Afuvai Family said...

Pass on the pregnancy tests. My doctor's office says any off brand is fine as long as I didn't buy it at the Dollar store. Their accuracy is not 99%. In fact I bought one recently and it was negative, bought an Equate one at Wal Mart the next day and it was positive. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that the ones from the dollar store use a dropper and the others use a steady, ten-second stream. If you're going to buy these here- buy four or five and take the majority.

N.VazquezLee said...

Craft and teacher supplies are great items to get at the Dollar Store! Especially:

popsicle sticks
glass vases
glass gems (for vases)
organization bins
glue sticks
bulletin board borders/posters
stickers
envelopes
fancy computer paper

Pass on the sticky notes. They are not sticky!

My local news did a story about Dollar Store stuff, and they said that the spices are an especially good deal because they're the same as name brand.

Brandy said...

I found the pregnancy tests are a sensitive as the more expensive brand, but very difficult to read. I ended up buying a Target store brand one and was much more satisfied even paying a little more.

t_soper said...

Pregnancy test- PASS. I am a nurse at a clinic and our clients who use the Dollar Store pregnancy tests have more false positives than clients who use other pregnancy tests.

Lola said...

I buy greeting cards and seasonal decor items there, Comet cleanser (1$ for a BIG can), foil pans and the movie theater size boxes of candy. Don't buy there sunglasses. They are filmy and you cant see clearly out of them no matter how much you clean them. I too bought pregnancy tests there and they have been accurate so far. The first time though I wasn't sure, so I bought three. I took one immediately, took one a week later and made my husband take one to make sure they weren't junk. Never had a problem with them!

Stephanie Breaux said...

Their dinner and glassware are great buys too. I hand wash and dry them, decorate with colored permanent markers and bake in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes. Let it cool, and you've got custom place settings for super cheap. I even do holiday sets!

Jaqi said...

I love the take away coffee cups, there are more per pack, and it's far cheaper then at my grocery or walmart. They are perfect for coffee to go in the mornings!

Stephanie said...

light bulbs! particularly the night light size. they are way more everywhere else.

theblondelawyer said...

I just found out they carry Super Glue... like the name brand stuff, not some weird off brand. It's over by the car and outdoorsy stuff, and there are 3 small containers in 1 bag which I LOVE so I don't have to worry about it drying out. Also, nail polish.. I got one of the kinds with the really thin brush to do decorative things on your nails and it works GREAT! Actually stays on better than some of my more expensive polish.

Cait said...

My favorite things to buy at the Dollar Tree:

Things to make preschool/pinterest sensory activities- googly eyes, pipe cleaners/strainer, water beads, hair gel, gallon size plastic bags.

Party supplies- balloons, tablecloths, plates, cups (a little flimsy), serving pieces, aluminum pans, crazy straws, tissue paper, glass vases.

Also love their plastic baskets/ shower caddies.

I stay away from most food because I'm a name brand snob on a lot of food items. BUT I do go for a Diet Coke, way cheaper than the grocery store!

Unknown said...

I loved this post. There are a couple of products I've come across that are just not worth the $1.
Stay away from:
doggie waste bags- they are ridiculously thin and even though the bags at the pet store are HORRENDOUSLY expensive, I'd rather have a more expensive but THICKER bag when I'm trying to pick up poop through a bag with my hands. Trust me on this. Don't use those.
Any "gel" lotion- it leaves your hands weirdly greasy and it smells a little off
If you take a look at the candy aisle, some of the candy is a great deal, but some of it is actually more expensive than regular store prices. Example: Rainbow nerds- $1 at the dollar tree, 89 cents at the store. So I would keep your eyes out for that.
Same with the canned meat- I LOVE vienna sausage (I'm trying to not eat it because it is TERRIBLE for you), they have it 2 for $1, and at the grocery store they have it 2 for 95 cents.

Grab:
POPROCKS ARE A SPECTACULAR DEAL. 3 packs for $1 and at five below it's 1 pack for $1.50.
I LOVE THEIR GLASSWARE. I buy everything from candlestick holders to vases! They're good quality too!!
The ROCKS. I buy these all the time because I have hermit crabs that need to be able to get in and out of the water dishes. They get gross pretty fast because they get food and stuff and perform bodily functions in the dishes (charming, I know)- it is GREAT to keep several bags on hand, and the price is really good!
Dishes- I haven't bought the plates, but I regularly buy glasses and bowls. They are really good quality and some of the smaller ones come in packs of three.
KNIVES- I bought some several years ago there, and they still work and are still sharp!
Utensils- Pretty good, especially when you buy something like frozen lemonade from their freezer and then realize it will melt before you get home so you need something to eat it with on the way. I wouldn't really use them for regular eating though, because the edges are a little sharp and they aren't as well formed as the good stuff. Good for emergencies.
Funnels/thin plastic cutting boards/ measuring cups and spoons- Funnels are great quality. The thin plastic cutting boards are just as good as any other similar products I've used. Measuring cups are a bit flimsy but they work great. Measuring spoons are FANTASTIC. High quality!
Microfiber cloths- YES.
Moisturizing gloves and socks- YES! BUY THESE NOW. They are the best I have ever come across. They are really nice and thin and they breathe so well, and they keep the moisture in so well. I can't keep regular socks on at night, but these ones are so comfortable! I had bought some other expensive cotton gloves to use for the same purpose and I couldn't keep them on at night because my hands got SO hot. These are my new best friends!
Salt and pepper shakers- yes. just as good as the pricey ones.
Picture frames- They are GREAT for crafting and this is as cheap as you'll find them.
Cards/Gift bags/ gift containers- YES. These are great.
Pet clothes- no. These aren't worth even 25 cents. Thin and flimsy.
Pet food BOWLS- Sure. They do the job. No complaints.
Masking tape- no. terrible quality.
Spray bottles- Yes. These are good. Haven't had one break on me yet.
Makeup- they often have name brand overstock! Check it out!
Pumice stones- The little white block is the best thing to happen to my feet! I WILL NOT use anything else. Blew my mind when I brought it home. Pick one of these up, it's totally worth it.

I would recommend not buying electronics. They just don't last.
Also, batteries are actually WAY more expensive at the dollar tree because they sell them by the pair for a dollar, that's 50 cents each. Crazy.

DO NOT BUY PERFUME. Of COURSE it sucks. It's poor quality. You'll never find knockoff perfume that is as good as the real thing- even if it's a perfect match scent-wise, it will not stay on. Period.

Thank you so much for this article!!

ehenny said...

I AM OBSESSED WITH THE DOLLAR TREE. i work with kids and i have a plastic box that i fill with little goodies to take with me to see my kids. i've gotten coloring books, hardcover books, and puzzles from the $ tree. It's great because often time they have sesame street and disney characters. also, BUBBLES. i picked up one of the bubble swords but the handle broke off in a few days. My dollar tree also has tons of glassware that i get for gifts and decorations (including ashtrays!)

Other awesome things:
-my dollar tree had packs of rubbermaid brand take-alongs plastic food storage containers. GREAT for giving treats to friends at holidays.
-i also pick up the candy (hershey's, PB cups, m&m's, etc) mostly because the kids i work with will only go for name brand stuff. the miniature packs are great.
-i also picked up desk organizers that i use to store jewelry and cotton balls and stuff
-they have multi packs of toy cars, great because my kids seem to lose them
-stain remover. i used foam stain remover from the dollar tree on stains in my car. it did the job
-2 pack deck of cards. throw a pack in your car, purse, etc
-i agree about tissue paper, bows, ribbon, party supplies in general
-battery tea lights. i found a 3 pack for a dollar.


i go to the dollar tree at least once a week (sometimes more!) i scour every aisle looking for little things that may be hiding from me! :)

Nebergall09 said...

@ Mary: Usually, you have to go up to the counter to ask for a pregnancy test in a dollar store. Not many just place them on the shelves.

OMG! OCD! said...

LOVE DOLLAR TREE! This is a WONDERFUL post. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

Some more snag it/pass from my own experience

Snag it: Head bands, hair bands, dryer sheets, holiday decorations and holiday gift bag (esp when they are marked down to $0.50 after Christmas), stocking stuffers, small gift items and goodie bag items for kids 10 and under, mugs, PEZ Dispensers, floral foam, plastic baskets for organizing, coloring and activity books for kiddos, flash cards, classroom and teaching posters/wall decor, bubble envelopes, bubble wrap, poster board, foam core (science fair/presentation boards), small kitchen items (chip clips, ice cream scoop, plastic serving utensils etc)

Pass: Barrettes, anything from the baby aisle, most of their outdoor summer toys - they break almost immediately, picture frames - if you are going to hang them, gift wrap - it's super thin and doesn't have much on the roll, markers, crayons, pencils, most of their food items (stick to dry goods), socks, under shirts, tote bags, make up/toiletry bags

liveit said...

Totally agree with you!

Bormann 4 said...

I just discovered those knock off magic erasers. I agree I like them better. I would add toothbrushes to the list and sharpies. We got some of the pate - play dough and I like it. It's soft and not sticky works great for rolling and cutting.

Toni Ratliff said...

I used their pregnancy tests forever, work great, BUT walmart now sells the same thing for 88 cents! :)

Yajaira Jaume said...

I bought Cotton Swabs at the Dollar Store once and nobody could explain the experience better than you. My husband and me were laughing so much!

Lacey said...

NEVER ever buy their trash bags many bad experiences. Other than that, just the eggs. Super worried about those...

lifestooshorttoplaypossum said...

Watch those clear plastic and "silver" serving trays..many have stickers on the bottom that say not to serve food on them because of the LEAD content!!

Don't buy them and definitely don't give them away!!! Those stickers wash off!!

brooke said...

Careful with buying the pregnancy tests at the dollar store. Often since they are cheaper they do not detect the pregnancy hormones as early on as possible, leading to women taking the test and thinking they're not pregnant. Spring for the more expensive ones or head to the doctor for a blood test!

shena84 said...

I would say some things I always buy there are sandwich bags (your going to throw them away when done), paint brush, light bulb, for sale sign, posters, and laundry soap ( I use this on my jean and husbands work cloths.

JacquiJvR said...

Sheesh! How many pregnancy tests to you ladies use? I think I used one all my life, and that was when I was actually TRYING to fall pregnant!

Elizabeth karpinski said...

Ladies be careful buying beauty products from stores that can possibly not have a good turn around of products or a place that is selling then dirt cheap. The company you buy from could be buying them second hand and giving you a discount...because the product is about to or is already expired. I Bought a hair product from a local store that was selling my type of shampoo and conditioner cheaper than i had ever seen it...and after i used it for a few days my scalp blistered and bled for weeks because the chemical burns were so bad. I lost hair and 8 months later Im still dealing with the aftermath of using that product i thought was such an awesome deal. Turns out after calling the company the products were made in 2006 and 2008 and have a MAX 3 year shelf life. So what i was washing my hair with was straight chemicals.

If you use these products beware of expiration dates. If it doesnt have it printed on the bottle call the company and give them the code on the bottom. They will tell you if the deal you made was a good one. Good luck!

Helen H said...

Why buy the dollar store pregnancy tests when you can go to your Doctor and get an accurate test for FREE. Oh wait, I'm from Canada...so it's "Free".

Heather T. said...

Ask the cashier some dollar stores keep them hidden away for whatever reason.

BellaMamma said...

Also, the crayons don't wash off the way Crayola does. Take it from a mom who has spent HOURS getting crappy dollar store crayons off the walls and furniture. Even Magic Eraser had a tough time with them. PS - The prego tests really do work. Tried and true.

Brittney said...

I have to disagree about the window cleaner, and possibly the furniture cleaner as well. I've used the glass cleaner and it is AWFUL. It streaks and just doesn't clean well at all. Windex is always something I will pay the little bit extra for. And I have used a generic furniture cleaner (I think it may be the same as you pictured) and while it does get the dust up, I find it leaves a greasy film. I'm not sure if that's good for the furniture, it's just SO greasy! I LOVE my pledge... I am all for saving money and love the dollar store, but I can't compromise on window/furniture cleaner :)

Danielle Rowell said...

I am in love with LA's Totally Awesome cleaner. I also bought those movie style box candies. Mine now has a great frozen section with the boxes of Pop-ice Popsicles. We go through a ton of those every summer. I am a teacher and Dollar Tree carrys award certificates and a lot of great items I use in my classroom. I also love the glassware. I bought wine glasses for a party recently because we didn't have enough. I was very pleased.

Tab said...

If I had to choose something to pass on I would say the batteries. They literally last for like a minute if they even have a charge to begin with. Don't waste your money and just buy the good ones.

Jessica said...

I love the craft area, a lot of deals there. I also like the fancy wall stickers - they are pretty nice for $1 and they don't tear up my wall either.

Chris aka Nana said...

My husband has bought several pair there and can now leave them all over the house!

Janica said...

One thing to keep in mind even though it is really weird, depending where you are things might be better or worse than what people say. I know it is weird, but my sister uses luvs diapers (I know it's not a doller store item, but just an example of how things are different) She lives across the country from me, and gets really good diapers, I know they are good because I have used diapers from her. When I bought what I thought were the same diapers, same package of luvs, they were like paper towels! I tried them a few times over the years, and they were aweful all the time, but great where my sister lives! Super weird I know, but true. And the same just may be true for some of the dollar store stuff, some people hate certain things while others love the same thing. Might be different tastes or expectations of a certain product, or they may actually be getting different things in the same package!!
My friend used a $20 pregnancy test that came out negative, the next day used a dollar store test that said positive, she was pregnant! I always used the dollar store tests.
I like the art supplys, school supplys, a lot of the dry goods, bath products, gift bags and seasonal items. The lotion was mentioned in the blog, that it's not any good, I agree, but I do like the creamy petroleum jelly. I use that on my dry itchy skin, and it is great! I always get hair spray there, and when my kids were in diapers I loved the orange cented bags for throwing away diapers so that the house doesn't smell like dirty diapers if you don't take the diapers outside every time your baby poops!

Moirasmom said...

My son wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for dollar store ovulation test. lol

Katy326 said...

SKIP-The water by the gallon.

You can buy galloned water at target or walmart for .89

hcm said...

As for the imitation play dough... It is not called pate, that is the french word. :)

Shannon valk said...

As a college student, I go there for many different reasons. For any and all holidays, it is more than worth it to check out whatever they have, especially Christmas, Easter and Halloween. Any time I need wrapping paper, tissue paper, or gift bags I go straight to the dollar store first. I found that their cleaning products can be a hit or a miss sort of deal. I decided if it comes in wipe form, it isnt a good buy, go for the sprayable liquid instead (I tried multisurface wipes, and glass cleaner wipes). If you need cheap dishes for the dorm/apartment they have plenty to chose from. Cheap/decent picture frames are great from there, as well as any craft items (I once found yarn there, and the same brand at walmart costs $4+ a skein). The fake flowers are great for brightening up a dorm if you cant afford fresh flowers regularly. I also love that you can buy baskets that are great for organizing, I keep under my bathroom sink organized with them as well as craft items. And if you like to do small or simple puzzles on rainy days, sometimes you can find a few good ones to grab. I'm also a fan of the book section, if you take time to search you can usually find a few good ones. Oh and BUBBLE WRAP! I have found bubble wrap at my dollar store and it is great for those stressful days. $1 for like a 1'x3' piece of bubblewrap.

Anita Scroggins said...

Glass vases
Crest toothpaste
toothbrushes
Shower soap
Scrapbook tape runners - sometimes they have those
dog treats
first aid supplies for the camp kit - because they don't get used but a couple of times anyway, so no use buying very expensive ones
and you can never tell what you will find on the craft aisle!

I go to a Food Swap every month, where I have to have cute containers to package my food in (read: GLASS) and I can always find really cute things to put my stuff in that is way cheaper than using Mason Jars

Unknown said...

Pass on dollar store snag free elastics!! (the ones that look like little black rubber bands)

With 3 girls in the house, we use & loose them like crazy. The brand name ones are pricey and I though I struck gold when I found them at the dollar store. Big FAIL!! Took them on vacation and they were awful. They snapped after 1 use and were too stretchy they barely held up our ponytails.
I will never cheap out on them again lol

KelleyH said...

Thank you for this helpful list! I don't know if anyone has said this yet, but don't buy clothespins at the dollar store - it's worth the extra 50 cents or so to get them at Target.

Trista said...

I like to get:
- greeting cards 2 for $1
- disposable aluminum containers for delivering meals to people
- gift bags/tissue paper/wrapping paper (though there is not much on a roll!)
- hand sanitizer
-painters tape

Katie Elizabeth said...

I freaking love the dollar store I spend at least $30 bucks every pay day lol.

Things I snag on a regular basis:
-Plastic Storage bins - I have at least 20 that I use in my kitchen, sons room, craft room EVERYWHERE!
- Canvas storage bins, I found square ones for $2.00 that look just like the ikea ones for my cube shelf! Nevermind paying $10+ each.
- Spices- We go through garlic powder and onion powder weekly.
- Anything craft! I will always hit up the dollar store before a trip to Michaels (at one location they are side by side!!!) Things like buttons, hot glue sticks, tape, canvas, felt.. the list goes on and on.
-Holiday decorations. I always manage to find something I like, or something I can add a little DIY to.

Echoesofstars said...

Snag clothes pins if you're planning on using them to make cutesy wootsy arts and crafts projects.

PASS on dollar store clothes pins if you want to do anything like... you know... hang up clothes to dry.

Valerie said...

Awesome post...found you on Pinterest. A few more things I like to buy:

Silver(ish) platters/trays, novelty/hard-to-find candy (can't beat 5 ring pops for $1), mylar helium balloons, coloring books, kitchen utensils (some of them are awesome! Those red Betty Crocker two-ended spatulas are my absolute favorite!!)

And heck yes on the Prego tests!! I used to work in an OB/GYN office and we used those same kind! I think they work better than the name-brand rip-offs, and they're less messy too.

Sarah said...

The dollar store CLR works amazing! Way cheaper then the name brand and only $1!

Sarah said...

The dollar store CLR works amazing! Way cheaper then the name brand and only $1!

Katie said...

Wow! Great, great post! Thanks for the information!

kelliedlong said...

I buy my Sunday paper every week there. Save some money and get the coupons.

Biadate said...

I'll try to glue again, but when I used it, it never stuck! Great post btw :)

Paula said...

Thanks for sharing your incite! You never know.

Heather said...

Sunglasses. At $1 I can buy 3 pair because I constantly lose them. They're even kind of cute. The paint starts flaking off after a year, but having the same pair for a year is an amazing record for me.

Don't buy their brooms - the metal handle bent in half the first time I used it. Stay away from their frozen fruit. I bought a bag a frozen strawberries and they tasted rotten.

Lola said...

I loved this post! The only thing I would disagree with is the Estracell. First, I didn't know they had them at the Dollar Store so I will def be buying them there from now on. BUT they are nothing like the other brand in that they are anti-microbial. They NEVER get that nasty funky smell that sponges tend to get after only a few uses and I put mine in the dishwasher on a regular basis. To me these are way better than any other.

SuperwifeJenny said...

Love this!
The pregnancy tests are awesome- they're SO expensive at other stores! I also bought the ovulation tests in bulk - hubs and I tried to concieve for over a year before we finally got pregnant, and when you're tracking your cycle all of those damn tests get pricey.

Nicole Ramage said...

best coloring book selection ever. Also great for cheap holiday stuff. They also have awesome kitchen utensils and cook ware that lasts for a couple months when in a pinch.

CFitz53 said...

I like to snag helium balloons, kitchen utensils, Reynolds wrappers (the perfect size got baked potatoes or to line my toaster oven pan), seasonal paper plates & napkins, and the plastic table cloths are indispensable when I host a bake sale @ church!!

Their name brand candy is a great snag - in the right sizes- and I picked up a Clif Bar to try for just $1.

I will buy sponges or rubber gloves there, and everyday napkins and those divided foam plates for parties.

Today I picked up foam poster board, a wax "warmer", and 3 2013 calendars - some to use as prizes for my annual Red Hat Christmas Party!

Meet the owners said...

So I have to say, we've been buying the sun dish soap and I'll be honest, we picked up a bottle at Fred Meyer (Kroger) and it was super liquidy but the stuff from dollar tree (same brand, size, fragrance) was thicker. I don't worry too much about it as we mainly use our dishwasher. As far as your bobbypins go, it depends on which brand that they have in there. I've gotten name brand and while in high school marching band, we always stocked up. Maybe not an everyday thing but the plastic plates you can use to make goodie stands, etc. I'll have to remember the plastic bags.

Stephanie said...

Wow. This has gotten a little TL:DR, but I will add my bit to make it even longer. Microfiber cloths are a good deal here, two to a pack. I love Reynolds Wraps pre-cut foil. They make great toaster oven "pans" oven/cookie sheet liners and foil packets. They also have floppy water bottles in now that are dish-washer safe and nice to carry to work. Other things I buy that are cheaper than at the grocery store: Nail polish remover, cotton balls, shaving cream, toothbrushes, Listerine-like mouthwash, generic Benydryl/cold medication/Zyrtec, dog bones, Goop hand cleaner (great for getting nail polish remover off), generic Woolite, gauze wrap, Goo Gone, ace bandages, antibiotic cream, salycidic acid astringent, salicydic acid face wash, acne cream, scar gel(which I think is wishful thinking, but if you're going to buy it you might as well pay less), they sometimes have generic Tide pens, hair brushes, nail glue, they have come out with some very nice body wash lately, and sometimes you can find some nice picture frames. Don't buy their staplers or regular scissors- they stop working fast. But I use their hair scissors on my dog and they have stayed sharp. Travel sizes are slightly cheaper at Wal-Mart, but this is a great place to buy travel stuff you wouldn't mind losing like bath poufs and cheap sunglasses. Suduko books! Most stores sell Sally Hansen discontinued or overstock products, like InstaDry polish, but they sell out fast. They also have Betty Crocker branded kitchen utensils. I got a very nice silicone baster. The fake nails only come 12 to a pack, all different sizes. The designs sand off easily with a nail buffer (also sold here) if you want to customize them but get 2 packs. And I love the AsSeenOnTV knock offs you can usually find near the registers like grocery bag carriers and long-reach-grabbers. Don't buy the lens cleaning wipes- they just make your glasses streaky! And forget the batteries. I have bought some that work, but then some that didn't, I say buy them at Wal-Mart so you don't pay for duds. And they have something called "Hot Patches." Those are just icy hot strips that fall off easily, not generic Thermacares. The shower curtain liners seem like a good idea, but they last 3 months tops. The little holes are not re-enforced. The softener is also a no-go. Lysol is OK, my boyfriend thinks it stinks. They sometimes have Cliff bars which I like to eat on the go, but I have found they are always cheaper at my grocery store, and are available in more flavors. Same for Renuzit air fresheners, I think the ones at the grocery store are fresher because there is a higher turn over. Chair back supports are great! Their bath fizzies, bath salts and bubble bath make nice gifts to others or for yourself. Another thing to avoid are the CD/DVD books- the last one I bought fell apart as I was putting the CD's in! Headphones are also not a good idea in any form, bud, padded or speaker. I bought some dog treats there by Sargent's, which is a brand name, and they made my dog's poop weird- bright orange (color of treat) with, like, mucus in it. I threw them away and it never happened again. Wall Decals are super cheap and available in some really cute designs. I recently bought some paper lanterns and decals and spruced up my kitchen bar area for $6. Mrs. Freshley's snacks are pretty good, but I'd avoid the cookies made in other countries. They taste terrible! I bought knock-off Mexican Nutter Butters and they tasted like nothing. Molasses cookies? Make your own pun. I will close this extremely long comment by saying: DON'T BUY THE TWEEZERS. They all suck.

Inge' said...

There were so many comments I am not sure if I am repeating others or not.If so,sorry abt that.
The dollar store I frequent most often is Dollar General and I am not so sure about the others in my area.

I buy the DG brand of pain relievers especially their "compare to" Motrin and Excedrin Migraine. These work just as well and for a fraction of the cost! I also find more environmentally safe products here than anywhere else.

I buy most of my cleaning products and paper products here. i have not been able to find them cheaper elsewhere. I don't usually buy the DG brand since the name brand is almost as inexpensive.

But I am a real sucker for the dollar candy! Sleeves of Snickers, Milky Way, Hersheys, and more for a buck each! I have to really watch myself with that.

Thanks for the tips and I am pinning this also!

Don Rhodes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chichisays said...

I work at a Dollar Tree and there are so many bargains. You can find numerous craft supplies. Also, in the kid aisle you can find books for early childhood development. Things like time telling,m early reading and mathematics. There are also writing tablets. Why spend $5 at Walmart? Plus for all the Pinterest users, the crayons can be used for the melted crayon craft. Not to mention all the glassware: cups, jars and vases (Oh my!)I personally love finding fun things when I work.

chichisays said...

I almost forgot. There are different forms of dollar stores. Family Dollar, Dollar General, Dollar Tree and Deal's to name a few. Dollar Tree and Deal's are one in the same. When it comes to finding a TRUE dollar store, go to Deal's or Dollar Tree. everything is $1 or LESS. Family Dollar and Dollar General are $1 and UP. I hope this helps :)

Ginny said...

Great post, I agree with everything except the bobby pins if you are a dancer. I buy them there, not the brand you have pictured though & they work great. Especially since we go through tons of bobby pins at ever competition. The ones I buy, are all the same size & a straight package, will make sure to avoid the ones you pictured :)

Sheila Skillingstead said...

I buy gift bags, cards, party plates, plastic spoons for work, disposable gloves, shower caps to cover my hair while the hair dye sits, and a pool net for my daughter who was doing a water birth. : )

Jessica said...

I also think that because they are such a steal they sell out quickly. I know I have like 6 in my closet right now! If you can't find them in the toiletry aisle, check by the registers. They also sell OPTs.

Allison said...

Epic post, and I had to LOL at the potted meat comment. Ewww

Jessica said...

I also think that because they are such a steal they sell out quickly. I know I have like 6 in my closet right now! If you can't find them in the toiletry aisle, check by the registers. They also sell OPTs.

christarella said...

yes! I used the 99cent pregnancy tests before purchasing the hotshot one that says "pregnant" on it. They had the same results... I definitely wasted my money on the digital one for sentimental reasons.

You should add composition notebooks to your list. As a teacher I am always looking for those and $1 price tag is hard to beat!

86fe5f48-3e8f-11e0-ad1b-000bcdca4d7a said...

Those el-cheapo shower curtains are great for covering a craft table when you know you're about to make a major mess (painting with kids comes to mind). I keep a few extras on hand just for that purpose. They're also great for covering patio furniture in the winter or making makeshift "greenhouses" when a freeze comes.

TINAFFY said...

I am not sure about prices elsewhere but I am in love with their micrfoiber hand towels and wash cloths, they wash and dry SO soft and fluffy...

Suzanne Lasich said...

Before you go to the movies, stop in for the large movie size boxes of Raisenets, Hot Tamales, Milk Duds, & other movie candy that normally cost 5+ at the theater.

Dottie said...

The ovulation kits work and are the brand my OBGYN recommended.

tosca83 said...

We didn't use a florist for our wedding, I did it myself! I found a whole saker for the blooms (though if you wanted to do fake, they have great fake flowers), but I got ALL the ribbon, floral scissors and tape, everything for bouquets and centerpieces at the dollar store. I saved 2k! I always get toothbrushes there, baggies, rewards for my students and gardening stuff. Cheap decorations for parties and cleaning supplies! Decent replacements for kitchen items, that will last till you can save for the nicer ones! Love the DS

Delila H said...

CD's! My husband always looks through CD's and I've actually found several that we listen to and we like ROCK! Can't beat $1 @ my local Dollar TREE!

The Mother and Wife said...

The things I snag: Chocolate milk (if your store has a freezer sections most of the food there is good but the Chocolate milk is one of the best chocolate milks I've had and I'm a huge fan), picture frames, scrapbook supplies, kids watches (my 3 year old loves watches and lightening mcqueen but doesn't know how to tell time yet, so a dollar one is perfect), cards to go with the gift bags, bottled cold water and other drinks (brand names for only a dollar, heck yes), zip ties....

Things that I pass on: clothes of any kind(they just fall apart), baby items (again, you get what you pay for and they usually are super thin and fall apart)...

Hmmmmm....Both lists go on haha I might have to blog about this:)

Davis said...

Target has great $2 shower curtain liners.

AKarrick said...

Other things I've snagged that were great deals: boxed candy for traveling or movies (if you're one of the many that do that sort of thing...), bubble wrap, cupcake liners, and things on the education aisle like flashcards, children's counting/colors/numbers books, classroom decorations (have you priced those at actual teacher stores?! - they don't have a huge variety, but the stock changes frequently, so you'll never know what you will find), and my last thing is some of the little erasers for kids (the shaped ones) - these work great in I Spy bags or sensory bottles, where they just get sealed up and never used.

OneRadMother said...

Our snag is the coloring books (spiderman, hello kitty, mickey) and the pre-school tracing books. We stock them all over the house and I will buy double for $1!

Anne Adeline said...

Great list! I love the dollar store, but I know how easy it is to get caught up in all the stuff and miss the greatest deals. :)

Earendil said...

Can say I have never tried the potted meat, but the chicken and tuna salad they have from that company is decent when you need a quick snack. I get them for road trips a lot.

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