Thursday, March 26, 2015

10 Things To Buy at the Dollar Store

My love for thrift shopping is well known. On any given day, I'm wearing some new-to-me item, even if, like today, it's noon and that item is my bathrobe. You also know about my love for small, unique businesses like my friend Theresa's gorgeous store, Stifel and Capra, in Falls Church and Tiffany's Christian jewelry at Holly Lane Designs.

One place I haven't written about much is the dollar store. I was thrilled when our town got a new one last year (Dollar Tree), where everything truly is a dollar. Our other one had become more like the 1.99-2.49 store in recent years. Boo.

I know that dollar stores can be an overwhelming jumble sometimes, leaving us feeling a bit like


So, here are 
The 10 Things I Always Buy at the Dollar Store:

1) Makeup Remover Pads, Cotton Balls, Cotton Swabs. These are MUCH cheaper at the dollar store than at a drug store, Target, or the grocery. I use these every day.

2) Denture Cleaner: I don't have dentures, but I do wear a mouth guard and a retainer each night to bed. Getting a jumbo box of these fizzy tablets for a dollar? Score!

3) Disposable Pans: When I cook for others (which is not that often because I'm a terrible cook) I try to use a disposable aluminum pan so that there is no worry about returning a dish to me. Dollar stores usually have 2 or 3-packs for a dollar.

4) Advil/Tylenol: While I wouldn't feel comfortable making the dollar store my primary drugstore, I have been buying pain relievers there for years with success. Huge price difference.

5) Greeting Cards: I still think it's nice to pay for a quality hand-crafted card every now and then, but I like to stock up on greeting cards at the dollar store. Sad to say, there is always a need for sympathy cards and thinking of you cards. My Dollar Tree sells them for .50 each. Having cards already available at home makes me more likely to send them.

6) Toothbrushes: We are germaphobes here, so we need lots of extra toothbrushes on hand.

7) Baggies: I try not to use a lot of baggies, but when I do need them, I get them from the dollar store. Unless I am doing heavy-duty freezing of soups, etc, the slightly flimsy dollar store baggies suit my needs for travel, food storage, etc.

8) Padded envelopes, packing supplies, manila folders: I needed a lot of these during my book launch, and the dollar store was a great place to find them! While I wouldn't use all dollar store office supplies (hello, fake Sharpees!) I really like their paper products. This is also THE place to go for poster board.

9) Garage sale supplies: price stickers, yard signs, etc. They have these at office supply stores for much more $$.

10) Balloons and Party Supplies: At our new dollar store, mylar balloons truly are a dollar. This is much cheaper than the grocery store or party stores. Other party supplies, such as plastic ware, colorful, disposable table cloths, and theme accessories are also plentiful, as are gift bags and tissue paper.

A successful dollar store shopping trip kind of makes me feel like this:


Except that's a stock photo I bought, not really a picture of me, so we'll just use our imaginations.

What do YOU like to buy at the dollar store?

24 comments:

One crazed mommy said...

It is the ONLY place to buy candy when going to the movie theatre!!!! Also, they have cheap (they are a bit more than $1.00 at our Dollar Tree) ear buds - MUCH cheaper than Walmart, Target or any other place you can buy them. Perfect for kids who have a tendency to lose them, or break them! And anything related to kids projects - that is the first place we look.

Suburban Correspondent said...

Amen to the party supplies! I have saved so much money over the years that way. But keep an eye on the Target dollar aisle - they have hefty short rolls of gift wrap (and really, how often do you need the longer rolls?) for only a dollar or so.

Jessica said...

I do buy the fake sharpies at the dollar store ;-) They've always worked really well! I also love buying scotch tape there - makes me much less irritable when the kids go through rolls and rolls of it.

Anne B said...

Gift wrap, kitchen wash cloths, kids party favors and children's activity books. I like their wash cloths because when they start getting stinky, I don't feel guilty about throwing them away. I never thought I would like the dollar store, but I can never get out of there for less than $20!!!

Mama Mel said...

A great place to stock up on little prizes for Easter baskets, school prize box or birthday party goodie bag items. I also like their knock-off tupperware pieces. I do have to wonder who buys the $1 ribeye steak that my store advertises though! ;)

Lori said...

Let's see...I'm a wrapper, but if there's ever a need for one, gift bags! Thumb tacks, drinking glasses, and I used to buy pregnancy tests there! Not as fancy, but just as effective...I definitely get a lot of things from your list as well. I heart DT.

Oh, and the cutest things I ever found were about six weeks ago - adorable little fake succulents in plastic pots. Painted the top of the pot white, hot glued the bottom with jute twine, and fell over from adorableness. I wish I had a hundred of them for little gifts. Pic in my Insta: https://instagram.com/p/zEZsHcoiWL/?taken-by=loribell77

Gigi said...

I don't pop in there as much as I should - simply because of convenience (I'm at Target - it's easier to get it all here) but after seeing your list, I may have to change my strategy.

Dina Ochs said...

You printed my list to a tee, and dish soap too! Also have found some cute pool toys and when they break or get sun socked here in Florida, I just refresh them next season! By the way I gave your book to my 84 yr old Mom, she was having one of her "feel sorry for me, why am I still alive moments". She finished the book in 2 days and said she feels sorry for complaining, her life has been good. She sends hugs from Tampa, Florida.

Beth said...

My kids do their Christmas shopping at Dollar Tree. It's so much fun to just let them go crazy and pick out ANYTHING IN THE WHOLE STORE! Dad gets new socks or earbuds, Mom gets gorgeous photo frames or kitchen stuff, grandparents get puzzle books or car cleaning supplies, they even have cat toys. I'm sure it's all made in China, but we do have fun with it. My younger son usually uses his allowance money for gum to chew at baseball practice.

Laura Perry said...

I used to buy prizes for our 'treasure chest' when I was working in special ed- they have so many great, fun little prize type items for very little money. At Christmas I bought tons of those miniature Christmas Village pieces for the boys to make mason jar snow globes for their teachers. Also, when I was making the care kits to keep in my car to give to anyone who might be in need, it was a great place to get warm socks, gloves, hand warmers etc.

Ellen aka Ellie said...

I can't believe the deals I find there, so, like Target, I can't go there often.

Most recent find? Brand name calcium and fiber tabs that are nearly ten dollars at Meijer for, what else, a buck at Dollar Tree.

Hydrogen peroxide comes in a big bottle for the buck too.

Joyce said...

Christmas tins for my bake goodies, stickers for our grandson, decals, cards, gift bags, wrapping paper, party supplies. It's also a great place to fill shoes boxes for Samaritans Purse! :)

Lori said...

I have no idea why that formatted that way! ⬆️ Super-weird. Sorry!

Jill said...

Love the Dollar Tree! My go to items from there are greeting cards and dog toys and the rare party supplies I need. I also use the dollar store as my primary source of care package items for my daughter in college. She loves getting the random candy, distracting crafts, blow up monkey, etc.

c smith said...

We buy lots of gardening supplies there. They have flower seeds, cute little pots, and hanging baskets. And of course, craft supplies, it's our go-to place to stock up on rainy day supplies.

Anonymous said...

I bought 30 glass vases for votive candles last year when I was having an outdoor party. They even sell the sand to anchor the candles/vases. To the person who bought the dish soap, I bought some of that (Ajax/tropical green) and it has the most hideous smell :)) Mylar balloons are probably their best deal!

owlfan said...

Kitchen stuff mostly. I love their silicon spatulas - they hold up really well. I bought a bunch of kitchen tools for a young couple getting married. Also outfitted my son in kitchen stuff to head off to college - he likes to bake, so he appreciated having his own measuring cups, spoons, spatulas, etc and not having to borrow others. When my kids were little, I'd stock up on their kitchen timers for time outs or to pace homework. I love the dollar tree.

heather blair said...

quick mini gifts/thinking of you. You can put a baggie together for a sick kid/friend for so little. also love their school aisle for projects/reports. stocking stuffers. glassware for DIY projects. Love me some dollar store, aka Dollar Tree!

Jess said...

Plastic silverware - SO much cheaper than anywhere else! Also Christmas wrapping paper, candy/snack food, and organizers/bins. Love the Dollar Tree!

SouthMainMuse said...

I love our Dollar Tree. I buy their pretzels and wheat sticks. Candles, wine glasses, everything. But you are not old as I. Reading glasses. I leave them everywhere. As in lose them. I buy 5 to 10 dollars worth a time. Saves me hundreds of dollars a year.

Japolina said...

I got huge wine glasses and white square plates at dollar tree and used them instead of paper plates at two parties that I recently hosted. So fab! I also buy ponytail holders, aluminum foil sheets and those long lighters to light candles

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I think it is time I visit a Dollar Store!

Thrift Store Mama said...

ALWAYS buy gift bags and bows for gifts there but NEVER gift wrapping paper. The paper is so thin and tears very easily.

Julie Danielle said...

I like to buy wall clings. They are only $1 and last for years. I also buy the pots I put my plants in before they go outside. You can get 6 of them for $1.