One of the most underrated places known to man is the dollar store. While yes, they do carry a lot of the cheap crap you’d assume to find (i.e. figurines of angels and shepherds?), if you’re starting to find yourself at Walmart thinking that everything is overpriced, this is the place you need to be hitting up. Hopefully this list will help you realize all the money you can be saving by shopping at the dollar store.
1. Cleaning Products
We’re talking sponges, hand soap, brooms, knock-off Windex, paper towels, and more. The dollar store should be the first place you hit up for your cleaning products. They have a whole aisle dedicated to these inexpensive necessities. For things that you get disgusting and frequently have to replace, why buy for more than $1?
2. Party Supplies
Throwing parties can get expensive real fast. The dollar store has table cloths, helium balloons, paper plates, silverware, napkins, AND cards and gift bags.
Think you wouldn’t be able to throw a Pinterest-worthy party on dollar store supplies alone? Think again. This one blogger did it and its pretty darn cute.
3 . Tools/Home Improvement Items
I’ll be the first to say that a good tool is money well spent, but for most of us DIY-ers out there we don’t need the very best stuff, and a cheaply constructed hammer, screwdriver, or measuring tape works great. They also have work gloves, extension cords, bungee cords, sand paper, plastic drop cloths, and almost anything you might need for a quick project around the house.
Ideally, we when graduate or get married, we all have rich friends and family to buy us Anthropologie dinnerware thats gorgeous and wonderful and makes us say “my precious” over and over (I mean seriously, look at this). But in reality, most of us can’t afford $25 a plate. SOOO…check out the dollar store! But seriously, their stuff is actually well above decent. It comes in cute colors and patterns and its all ceramic and feels high quality. Their wine and dinner glasses are nice and simple and classy and I swear no one will know where you bought it.
Also side note- they have contact paper!! I did my rental kitchen backsplash in it for a total of $5!
5. Wedding Decor
Working in the wedding industry for the past 5 years, I feel VERY strong about limiting the amount of DIY you do for your own event unless you have a very detailed plan and know exactly what your limits are and what your vision is. I have seen too many brides waste hundreds of dollars buying craft supplies for DIY stuff thinking it would be cheaper than hiring a professional and instead ending up in just as much debt and an even bigger crappy low-quality mess. I wrote a blog about that here.
However, I obviously understand the need to save money on your big day and if you have a clear vision, and lots of help, the dollar store should be your first stop (after you’ve checked rental prices of course, a lot of these things can just be rented for $1).
Again, their glassware is A++ (we use tons of it ourselves!), but they also have tea lights, chargers, floral supplies, chalkboard supplies, and wedding favors! Check out these three blog posts made by the Dollar Tree to see just some of the stuff you can do.
6. Crafts for Kids
Whether you’ve just signed on to babysit for the weekend or you have your own, the dollar store is the place to be if you’ve got bored little ones. From foam sheets to stickers to coloring books to ingredients for a rad science experiment, no doubt your local dollar store has it. If you’re running out of ideas, check out this book of science experiments. Its got a ton of stuff in it to keep kids entertained and they’ll also learn a thing or two.
7. Office/School/Mailing Supplies
If you’re going to Staples or Office Depot for anything except printing needs, stop it right now. Stop stop stop. Staples and Office Depot and other office supplies stores purposefully mark up their stock by astronomical rates because their main consumers are people with company cards. They price everything crazy high because shoppers are primarily using a card that isn’t there money and therefore don’t care about spending $10 on sticky notes.
That being said, buy all these work supplies at the dollar store. They’ve got things you would expect like scissors, rubber bands, pens, and paper clips, but they also have binders (which can usually run about $7 even at Walmart), folders, dry erase boards, packing and mailing supplies, simple calculators, and yearly planners.
8. Organizational Items/Travel Containers
Plastic bins, fabric collapsible boxes, plastic locker bins, little clear bottles for shampoo/conditioner, storage bags, wire waste baskets, vacuum bags, shelf liners, wire cabinet risers, wire drawer organizers, AND they even have Command hooks sometimes. This isn’t even half the list.
I was at Target the other day and those wire shelf risers were $7 a piece. Organizational items are typically pricey, so get all of that here.
9. Picture Frames
As a recovering picture frame addict, I’m not about to tell you this should be your one stop for picture frames. Life is too short to not have gorgeous picture frames everywhere. However, if all you need is a simple black, silver, or faux-wood frame, this is where you need to go. They have sizes all the way up to 11x14! Also, this is perfect for your gallery wall aspirations.
Speaking of cheap frames, if you think printing pictures is expensive, you should check out the FreePrints App. You can get up to 80 free 4x6 prints a month for like $2 shipping, and they have fabulous prices on bigger sizes too.
10. Holiday Items
If you’ve ever looked at the prices of Halloween candy and decided to just turn your porch light off this year, think again. The dollar store has bags of individually packaged candy for, you guessed it, one dolla yo! This is also great for Easter, and we’re not talking about that weird gross candy like ambiguously flavored suckers and candy corn, they have Skittles and Blow Pops and Now & Laters!
As for Christmas, they have gift bags, cards, gift boxes, tape, Christmas crafts, ornaments, and various other small decor items for someone just starting their collection.
There you go! Now hit up your local dollar store and make it rain.