You Need These Amazing Dollar Store Finds

By Jake Schroeder
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Photo Courtesy: Michael Barera/Wikimedia Commons

Whether you’re a deal hunter or you love finding interesting products, the dollar store makes saving a few bucks easier for everyone. While a lot of things there are exactly worth the dollar you’ll pay for them, there are a few items you shouldn't bother to buy anywhere else.

With so many communities having dollar or 99 cent stores nearby, finding these items should be relatively easy. Check out this list of the best items to pick up when you’re passing by your local bargain store.

Greeting Cards

One of the absolute best deals to find at the dollar store is on greeting cards. Sometimes even priced at two for $1 at many of these bargain stores, you can save an average of 80% off the cost of cards at other retailers.

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These aren't plain or unattractive cards, either; many are from popular brands like Hallmark, so you can find some great selections with glitter and other decorative elements. If you really want a fancy card, you can even run over to the craft aisle and grab a pack of stickers and some glitter pens to add your own embellishments.

Party Supplies

The cost of disposable party items can add up fast. If you make your first stop the dollar store when you’re planning a party, you can save an estimated 70% on cutlery, plates and cups for your event. Your local dollar store is a great place to pick up tablecloths, napkins, party games, decor items and even balloons, too.

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Many stores can inflate balloons for free if you buy them there. Also, be sure to snag some aluminum pans and rolls of foil for prepping your party meals. You'll be paying a lot less here than you would at your grocery market or big-box store.

Wrapping Paper and Gift Bags

You can sometimes get amazing deals on gift-wrapping supplies at the dollar store. Compared to $6 for a roll of wrapping paper or a gift bag at a big-box retailer, spending $1 on something that your recipient will toss out within seconds of opening their gifts makes a whole lot more sense.

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Save even more on packs of kraft bags and have your kids decorate them for gifts for their grandparents and friends. Instead of purchasing more expensive wrapping supplies and a card elsewhere, spend an extra $10 on the actual gift — that’s what your recipient cares most about.


Wet Wipes

One amazing household secret? Using your dollar store’s vitamin E- and aloe-infused antibacterial wet wipes for everything from sanitizing your hands to removing stains. This trick works on delicate fabrics and removes the trickiest of stains, including makeup, without leaving a water stain behind.

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Photo Courtesy: Your Best Digs/Flickr

The key is to saturate the soiled fabric by pressing and rubbing the wipe against it for about 15 seconds. You might be amazed at how the stain quickly disappears. To prevent a water stain on thin fabrics, simply run your hand over the wet spot. Your body heat helps dry the spot without leaving any residue behind.

Pens and Markers

Pens, permanent or dry-erase markers and highlighters are some of those items you take for granted until you need to go buy some and find that the cost is appalling. Fortunately, the dollar store has a great selection of all types of pens, markers and highlighters.

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Photo Courtesy: Sebrina Parker/Flickr

You can sometimes even find brand-name varieties, which is a bonus, but the generic markers often work just as well. In the same section, you can also find large bundles of cellophane and packing tape.

Seasonal Decorations

Most dollar stores are pretty good about stocking up for all the major holidays about two months in advance. Why spend a ton of money on a single day when there’s no need to? Plus, with these items only costing a dollar, it's a great place to pick up seasonally themed goodies to give to your co-workers or child's classmates. You’ll show you’re thinking about them, just without breaking the bank.

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Some dollar stores even mark down their seasonal items to 70% off in the weeks after the holiday, so consider stocking up for the next year. Try to find things you can use any time, like black disposable tablecloths for $.30 after Halloween.


Reading Glasses

If you’re like most people who wear glasses, then you’ve likely lost more reading glasses than you care to count or remember. If you don't need a specialty prescription for those readers, start picking them up at the dollar store.

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Instead of paying $10 for a pair at the drugstore, you can sometimes even find multi-packs for only $1. If you even have to pay $1 per pair, you can stock up and keep one in your bag, the car, your nightstand or anywhere else you frequently find yourself needing them.

Storage Containers

Having organized spaces is linked to improved productivity and a happier overall disposition. While they offer beautiful organization systems, retail outlets like The Container Store can become cost-prohibitive when you have a big space to tackle. The dollar store is the perfect solution with storage containers in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes.

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Photo Courtesy: Sebrina Parker/Flickr

These bins also are a great option for putting together fun gift baskets. For around $10, you can toss some candies, popcorn and a DVD into one of these containers and have the perfect movie-night gift for a friend.


Depending on what’s at your local store, you might be able to find an impressive selection of glass drinkware. Look for plain or decorated wine glasses, beer pint glasses and basic juice glasses. An especially great find are thick glass beer steins that look and feel like they’re worth way more than $1.

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If you’re a bit crafty, you can create some amazing personalized gifts that’ll delight your friends. With some sticker stencils or contact paper cutouts and a product called Armour Etch, you can easily etch any design on a glass item.


Bobby Pins and Hair Accessories

Much like the dryer gnomes who steal all the socks we launder, there has to be a bobby pin pixie out there who has a giant nest of pilfered hairpins. If you’ve ever used bobby pins, then you know how they seemingly disappear into thin air.

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Paying only a penny or so for each one makes the sting of losing them a bit more bearable. Plus, the dollar store’s hair care aisle is filled with all sorts of other cool accessories, including specialty items like braiding tools.

Makeup and Beauty Products

While you might think there’s no way the dollar store sells quality makeup and beauty supplies for so little money, you’ll be shocked to know that famous brands like Maybelline, Rimmel and Physicians Formula have been spotted at dollar stores. Masks that sell for $4.50 or more everywhere else are just $1 here.

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Photo Courtesy: Charise Kenion/Unsplash

Another great find to search for is facial cleansing cloths that are much more affordable than the exact same packs you'll find at beauty supply stores or other discount retailers. You can also find decent options for press-on nails and tools like eyelash curlers.

Pregnancy Tests

Why pay $10 for a home pregnancy test that’s notorious for evaporation lines when the dollar store offers pregnancy tests that can detect HCG almost as early? Because all pregnancy tests are regulated by the FDA, there’s no risk that these cheaper tests won’t work as well as their pricier counterparts. You may just need to wait until after a missed period for them to be most accurate.

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Photo Courtesy: Wutthichai Charoenburi/Wikimedia Commons

In the trying-to-conceive community, these are one of the best-kept secrets. Yes, you might have to use a cup instead of using the stick directly, but the savings make it worth the extra step. Be sure to check the expiration dates on the tests if you’re planning to stock up.


Food Storage Containers

The dollar store is a great place to stock up on storage containers for leftovers or packed lunches. Dollar Trees specifically sell Betty Crocker sets that often sell for four times as much at Walmart and on Amazon.

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Choices include click-lock and screw-top lids in a variety of sizes and package counts. When you’re paying $1, you don't have to feel bad when that red sauce-stained dish is a better fit for the trash than the dishwasher. Or if you happen to bring goodies to a party and forget to take the containers home, it’s no big deal to let the host keep them.

Tote Bags

Reusable bags are the way of the future, but if you aren't in the habit of keeping them on hand, it's hard to remember to bring them everywhere you go. Fortunately, the dollar store usually carries some pretty cute designs and styles.

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Make it a point to pick up a couple every time you stop by so you can have a nice stash to keep in your trunk or under the passenger seat of your car. That way you won't be caught without your own bag again when you head to the grocery store.

Themed Gear for Your Disney Vacation

There’s no way around it; Disney can be expensive. But you can save a few bucks before your next Disney family vacation by swinging by the dollar store. You may be able to find licensed Disney merchandise like toys, games, activity sets and tote bags.

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You can even hand each of your kids a $10 bill to use in the store and watch their eyes light up like you've already arrived at the Magic Kingdom. And that’s all for less than you'd pay for a single item at the resort.



With toothpaste prices running around $5 a tube everywhere else, you might only want to buy it from the dollar store from now on. The oral hygiene aisle might be stocked with brands like Colgate, Crest and Oral-B in full-size packages.

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With most dollar stores also accepting coupons, you can get away with paying much less for toothpaste and toothbrushes. Not to be overlooked are the floss and mouthwash options available — and the kid-specific designs. Stock up, and you’ll delight your dentist at your next cleaning.


While a lot of the clothing items at the dollar store are made from itchy, thin fabrics that aren’t that comfortable, socks are another story. With cute colors and patterns in every cut and style, you can make even the pickiest sock wearer happy.

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Look for pairs containing acrylic or spandex for the comfiest fit for your family. As a self-care gift idea, grab a fuzzy pair of socks, a box of hot cocoa mix, a mug, a candle and a basket, and you'll have yourself the perfect care package for around $5.


Every back-to-school season, it’s easy to get blown away by how pricey a simple binder is. While some stores run dollar deals on school supplies, binders never seem to fall into this category. Fortunately, the dollar store is picking up the slack.

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You can find some plain and decorative binders year-round for just a dollar, and these are great for so many uses outside of storing kids’ schoolwork. For example, if you haven't made a central spot for product manuals and warranty info for your appliances, stashing them in a binder is an easy organization solution.


Cleaning Supplies

Not only can you find some brand-name cleaning products at the dollar store, but you can also get great deals on the actual cleaning tools. This is the perfect place to go when you’re just starting out at a new home or are furnishing a short-term rental.

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The cleaning aisle offers everything from brooms and sponges to plungers and toilet bowl cleaning brushes. At a dollar each, you can pick up everything you need to keep your house clean at less than you'd pay for two comparable products elsewhere.

Oxygen Bleach

While it might not have a famous brand name, the oxygen bleach you can find in the laundry section of your dollar store is just as effective — at a lower price. For anyone interested in making their own simple cleaning products, oxygen bleach is a staple to keep on hand.

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Besides the traditional stain-fighting uses for your laundry, a scoopful in your dishwasher with a couple of drops of dish soap makes an amazing dishwashing detergent. It also works well at cleaning grout lines and soaking smells out of an old trash can.

Craft Supplies

For the love of crafting — you know how dangerous for your wallet a craft supply store can be. You might not even need anything and walk out spending $50 on a handful of items. Thankfully, the dollar store has an amazing craft supply aisle where you don't have to feel so bad about getting carried away.

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You can find anything from fat quarters of fabric to beautiful scrapbooking embellishments. With a lot of the supplies being geared toward children, it’s also the perfect place to stock up on supplies for introducing new techniques or projects to them.



Anyone who still likes to read actual books knows how expensive they've gotten. With hardback cover prices running at up to $30 sometimes, reading can be a surprisingly costly hobby. But your dollar store likely has a nice stash of books, including some bestsellers.

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Photo Courtesy: Heather Ford/Pexels

Cookbooks are wonderful to pick up there. Bundle them with some essential kitchen supplies (keep reading for suggestions) for a wonderful gift for a foodie friend. You can also find some great activity and coloring books for kids and adults in the book aisle.

Planners and Notebooks

If you’re not a committed planner person just yet, the small notebooks at the dollar store are the perfect size for jotting down quick notes or tossing into your bag. There are also some great spiral-bound options for students.

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If you are a planner person, then the dollar store is the perfect place to find inserts for your binder agenda. In fact, with some cute planners, paperback notebooks and some hair ties from the beauty aisle, you can set up an incredible pocket-size faux Midori notebook.


This might come as a surprise, but you can find lots of brand-name medications at your dollar store. So next time you’re feeling a little under the weather, run into the dollar store instead of the drugstore to save quite a bit of money.

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Plus, if you happen to have coupons, you might score some items for free. Even if it’s a smaller package size, paying $2 for two bottles is always a better deal than $10 for the exact same medicine. Stock up your cabinet now to avoid running out when you need these products the most.


Teaching Supplies

With so many teachers having to buy classroom supplies out of their own pockets, it’s a wonderful blessing to be able to go shopping at the dollar store and find suitable learning materials. Offering everything from flashcards to workbooks to educational wall graphics, the school supply aisle is an educator's dream.

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This is also an excellent resource for homeschooling families looking to save money wherever they can on their curriculums. You can create a beautiful teaching space with all the fun and colorful gear available. This aisle typically offers better choices and value over the lower-quality items in the toy section.

The Sunday Newspaper

If you’ve ever considered getting into couponing, the dollar store is where you should buy your Sunday paper. With cover prices ranging from $2.50 to $4 in big-market cities, you have to use several coupons to make a purchase worth it.

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By paying only $1 for the Sunday edition instead, you really get to maximize your savings. With the rise of "extreme couponers," many stores have begun keeping papers behind the register to limit the quantities each person can get. If you don't see the paper on Sunday, don't be afraid to ask.

Pet Supplies

Basic pet supplies like collars, leashes and toys are great to pick up at the dollar store, especially if your dog likes to tear up a toy within minutes to get to the squeaker. The absolute best deal, though, is on those disposable doggy waste bags.

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A secret parenting tip is to buy them instead of those that are sold specifically for on-the-go diaper disposal. They’re almost the same thing, but you'll pay $1 for 80 of the doggy ones instead of $6 for the 48-count package sold in the baby aisle at the big-box store.



Not all dollar stores carry the Band-aid brand specifically, but they do carry some great cloth alternatives and even liquid bandages. Definitely stock up on the licensed character bandages for the kiddos in your life.

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When big-box stores are asking $3+ for the box of superhero adhesive bandages that your little one might get ahold of and go a little crazy with, it can be much more affordable to buy the same ones for only $1. With options that might include Transformers or Nickelodeon characters, you’ll take the sting out of your child’s cut — and the sting out of handing over too much hard-earned cash.

Flower Pots and Garden Supplies

Depending on the season, you can find some great gardening supplies at the dollar store. While the gardening gloves can feel a bit lower in quality, you can find some beautiful packs of seeds and bulbs for planting. The hand tools are perfect for getting kids involved in sprouting seeds, too.

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Dollar stores also usually keep terra cotta pots in stock year-round, and come springtime, you can find some nice decorative planters. Instead of paying $10 at the big-box home and garden suppliers, head to your local dollar store first to see what you can find.

Cooking Gear

Another amazing section at the dollar store that never fails to impress? The kitchen supply aisle. From serving and cooking utensils to simple baking dishes, there are plenty of essentials to stock up on for camping or a beginner kitchen.

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While the cookie sheets and muffin pans might not be the best quality, they can double as wonderful supplies for other projects like making your own magnetic wall hangings or sorting craft supplies and projects. A quick scroll through Pinterest will give you a world of cool ideas for these $1 treasures.