Saving Money

10 Things You Should Only Buy at Dollar Stores

Some Products Should Never Cost You More Than a Buck

By MELANIE EVANS | Updated February 11, 2023

Dollar stores entice us in with their bargain prices. Sometimes you get what you pay for, but the items they sell are frequently excellent products at a significant discount — a true bargain.

Here are some of the best dollar-store buys, according to our bargain-hunting experts.

Greetings Cards

There's no reason to spend $5 or more on greeting cards when you can get a good selection for $1 or less at a dollar store. In fact, the only way to get greeting cards for less money that we know of is to make them yourself.

It's possible that you won't find textured paper or fancy extras like ribbons at a dollar store. However, regardless of how expensive the card appears, the heartfelt message you write inside will remain the same.

Party Supplies

Using dollar store party supplies can save you a lot of money. Party hats, plastic tablecloths, paper plates and cups, streamers, and favors can all be purchased for a fraction of the cost.

Also, keep an eye out for Mylar or foil balloons. These can be a real steal, as they sell for much more elsewhere.

Gift Wrapping Supplies

Look for gift bags and wrapping paper while you're getting your party supplies. You could save a lot of money compared to other stores' gift bags and boxes.

Furthermore, wrapping paper can be a bargain. You won't get the same thickness as with more expensive paper, but why pay more for something that will be thrown away?

Seasonal Decor

Dollar stores can have a surprising variety of seasonal decor, from extra ornaments for your Christmas tree to a scarecrow to stake in your front yard in the fall.

When shopping for holiday lights, look for those that have the UL (Underwriters Laboratories) label, which indicates that they have been tested and proven to be safe. Some electronic items sold at dollar stores aren't worth the risk, but the majority of seasonal lights that we've seen in various dollar stores did meet UL requirements.

Decorative Vases

If you're looking for vases or decorative bowls, look no further. Your local dollar store most likely has a variety of styles at an unbeatable price.

You can skip the florist and make your own, less expensive arrangements with these vases. Or, you can make inexpensive gifts for family and friends by sprucing up decorative glass bowls.

Simple Reading Glasses

Our eyes' lenses lose some of their elasticity as we get older, making it more difficult to focus on close objects. A simple pair of reading glasses is often all that is required, and the reading glasses sold at dollar stores usually suffice.

If you're having trouble seeing at a distance, however, it's time to get an eye exam and consider getting a prescription pair.

Everyday Dinnerware

Dollar stores also have a great selection of mugs and glasses. You can usually buy only the items you require, rather than the entire set. However, we have found some unusual, super cute and/or super stylish options that have become some of our favorites right at our local dollar store.

Plastic Food Storage Containers

When it comes to great dollar store buys, plastic food containers also get a thumbs up. A disposable container can easily cost up to $5 at the grocery store. Instead, go to the dollar store and get brand-name food containers for a low price.

Food storage bags can also be found for a good price, but be wary of off-brands that may not seal properly.

Hair Accessories

Hair accessories, such as headbands and bobby pins, can be found at dollar stores for a fraction of the cost elsewhere. Combs and brushes are also inexpensive. And again, we've found some hair accessories, especially for kids, that are cuter than anything we'd seen anywhere else at a much higher cost.

Coffee Filters

Here's a deal you can appreciate every day: A dollar store has cheaper coffee filters. They are suitable for both the home and office and we even recently found some disposable K Cup filters, the kind you fill with coffee yourself that can save you a LOT of cash on coffee in general.


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