17 Things You Should Always Buy From the Dollar Store

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As much as we all love high-quality products that last, there are a handful of things that just don’t warrant the big price tag. Why not save a few bucks when you can, right?


Especially during tough times!

Here are 17 things you should always buy from the dollar store if you can!


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In the home essentials category, we have:




Hydrogen peroxide is a mild antiseptic, which is good for minor cuts and scrapes. When diluted, it’s also good for cleaning, sterilizing, washing fruits and veggies, and rinsing your mouth.


And if you’re a mama like me, you’re okay with stockpiling for all the “owies” and the messes.


The dollar store hydrogen peroxide is just as good as any other. So, save yourself some money and stock up on your hydrogen peroxide next time you’re at the dollar store.




You can’t beat dollar store prices when it comes to basic dishes like coffee cups, cereal bowls, and dinner plates.


Of course, if you’re looking for designer-ware, you’ll have to look elsewhere, but if you like to keep it simple and functional – dollar store dishware will be perfect.


My kids love practicing with ‘grown up’ dishes, and it has actually taught them to be more CAREFUL, because we explain to them how fragile dishes are when they break… But IF they break, they were only a dollar, so there’s no need to fuss.





Gift bags are only a buck at the dollar store, of course. But sometimes you can find a pack of 3 or more gift bags for a dollar, which is even better!


Gift bags and gift cards are those little etiquette essentials that we will inevitably need throughout the year. So, next time you’re at the dollar store, grab a few of each to get you through the next party or gift exchange.




Perfect for homeschool, for busy boxes, and for toddlers who love books.


Dollar stores usually have a good variety of kid books, coloring books, and activity books that could keep the kiddos busy through school breaks, lazy weekends, or road trips.


  1. SOCKS.


Socks tend to make their escape every time we do laundry, amiright?


This is where dollar stores come in handy! Grab a few pairs of new socks anytime you stop by the dollar store, so that you have backups when socks go missing.


Local shelters are almost always looking for new socks for the homeless community, so we always stock up on socks for when we do volunteer work too.





If you’ve heard about my super-efficient laundry hack, then you already know that I’m a firm believer in hanging everything up and getting it out of sight… especially if you live in a small space!


You can usually find a bundle of 3-7 hangers for a buck. And they work just fine for hanging clothing.




If you want a quick and easy cleanup after homemade lasagna dinner, then lasagna tins are worth the dollar for sure! They usually have a wide variety of foil baking tins as well, which are great for barbecues and group picnics (if you don’t want to lose your Tupperware).


Word to the wise: if you want to save money in the long run, invest in quality reusable cookware, like glass, cast iron, or ceramic. But for the occasional quick fix, these dollar store finds are awesome.




My kids are obsessed with stickers. OBSESSED.


It’s such an easy treat that makes them sooooo happy. When they’re due a reward or when we just need to break up the monotony, I’ll take them to the dollar store to pick out their own stickers or activity books.


Admittedly, we do steer clear of the toy aisle, because the toy quality isn’t usually great. We don’t care for the extra clutter or unnecessary junk in the landfills when we can avoid it. But art, crafts, and stickers? We do make an exception for that… and the dollar store is the perfect place to find fun stickers at a low price.




Hand sanitizer is hand sanitizer, in my opinion.


If you’re someone that is going to use it, might as well buy it at the dollar store.


I don’t buy it often, but when I find those cute little keychain sanitizers, I will grab a few of them for my car or emergency pack!




The $1 pregnancy tests are just as accurate as the $20 tests… did you know that?


Yeah, neither did I. Until I started chatting with mamas that had been through 4+ pregnancies. They all gave me the same advice:


‘Do the best you can. Ignore dumb people. Buy pregnancy tests from the dollar store.’


Best. Advice. Ever.


  1. SNACKS.


A lot of dollar stores have frozen foods, canned foods, snack foods, and more. My kids love Slim Jims (don’t judge me) and they’re hard to find for under a buck.


If you want a decent variety of affordable snacks, Dollar Tree is where it’s at.





Between my daughter and I, we have A LOT of long hair, and we lose A LOT of hair ties!


I used to spend 5 or 6 bucks on a pack of hair ties, until I realized that the Dollar Store hair ties are the exact same quality for a tiny fraction of the price.


No need to spend more than a dollar on hair ties.




This one is a toss-up. My husband swears the dollar store quality isn’t as good on this product, but I honestly can’t tell any difference.


Maybe I just like saving a quick buck when I can, so I’m willing to sacrifice a little pliability in cotton swabs!


Either way, I think it’s worth trying them out to see if you can make the switch to the dollar store brand.




This next batch of things you should always buy from the dollar store are being recommended for your emergency pack ONLY.


In other words, I don’t usually buy these things from the dollar store for my regular home use.


While they are great to have as back-ups for an emergency, they aren’t usually the best quality and you end up spending MORE money in replacements if you use them all the time.




As mentioned before, the dollar store batteries don’t seem to last as long as other battery brands. But they are still a good option for your emergency pack. Or even for a backup when your TV remote runs out of juice in the middle of the night.



The quality of the toilet paper isn’t generally all that great, but it’ll work when you’re in a bind! And it’s definitely worth having a roll or two in your emergency pack or in the trunk of the car.





Our local dollar store has little travel kits with a toothbrush and tooth paste in a little zippered bag, which is awesome for your emergency kit or travel bag!




Each season and each holiday come with unique colors and styles.


If you’re someone that just wants a quick and cute decorative setup, and you aren’t worried about storing those decorations for holiday parties for years to come, dollar stores are the place to buy your supplies.


When we do luau parties, we always grab some colorful table clothes, tiki torches, and leis from the Dollar Tree (I personally try to limit waste as much as possible, so I’ll save them for many parties to come, if they aren’t stained or damaged of course)!


So, if you have a local Dollar Store, definitely check them out to see if they have any of the things you need for your home or emergency pack.


As much as I love my local Dollar Store, there are a few things that I honestly wouldn’t buy from there… and here they are.





These items below are based on environmental AND financial factors that everyone should consider when shopping around. Just offering another perspective to think about. We’re not here to judge your dollar store finds, so go nuts and snatch up all the affordable treasures you want!




Did you know the American Dental Association recommends switching out your toothbrush every 3 months? For a family of four, that is at least 16 toothbrushes a year.


That’s a looooot of plastic junk tossed into a landfill for no reason. And the only reason I say this, is because there are eco-friendly alternatives that cost about the same price.


When you absolutely MUST find the most affordable option out there, it’s understandable that you go with what’s cheap, and don’t stress about disposal. But if the cost is the same, might as well save a little space in a landfill, right?


I found these bamboo toothbrushes on Amazon that are comparable to the price of dollar tree brushes, but better for the environment.


Because of that, I don’t recommend picking them up from the Dollar Tree if you can avoid it.


  1. TOYS.


As I mentioned earlier in this article… I LOVE dollar stores for a handful of incredibly useful things. But toys are NOT one of them!


The quality is usually poor, and they tend to break during their first encounter. Not to mention the endless choking hazards for small kids. Just don’t go there.


My only exception is the occasional purchase of glow sticks for beach bonfires (those things can entertain the kids for hours)!


  1. TOOLS.


This one comes from my husband.


As an electrician, he relies heavily on quality tools that aren’t going to break mid-task.


His advice?


Buy tools from a quality provider that truly understands hard labor…not from a discount store.




Even though I think dollar store finds are awesome, there are a few areas in life where you just shouldn’t skimp.


I always bought notebooks and pens from the dollar store as a young kid. Since I had never used a HIGH-QUALITY PEN, I just assumed all pens were leaky and splotchy.


Turns out… it’s just the cheap pens with very little ink in them.


Some of the lined paper also tends to bleed, which is frustrating when you’re trying to take notes at school.


If you can find decent quality school supplies – awesome! Not hating on the affordable resource at all! But as years go on, we find that school supplies from dollar stores are slightly less reliable than we need them to be!



I used to buy trash bags from dollars stores and LOVED them.


They were a tad bit flimsy, but you just can’t beat a roll of trash bags for a buck, right?


Then I married my husband.


Ohhhhh man, this dude is such a brute! All of my dollar store trash bags led to gigantic piles of stinky garbage trailing out to the street whenever he took out the trash.




If you can be super careful with these bags and recognize that they don’t have that fancy force-flex technology, then you might be okay.


Otherwise, skip the dollar store and grab sturdy trash bags on your normal grocery shopping trip (or buy them from Amazon and have them shipped).






They do exist!


The dollar stores are amazing for certain things, and there are definitely a good handful of things you should always buy from the dollar store.


Take the good. Skip the bad. And don’t ever forget to stock up your emergency kit!


Related reads: Get Organized When You Live in a Small Space

9 Car Hacks Every Mom Should Know About


9 Ways to Make Money Working at Home With Kids. 

2 thoughts on “17 Things You Should Always Buy From the Dollar Store”

  1. This list is incredible! I don’t think we really realize the importance of saving money on certain things that can be very costly. Thanks for the reminder!
    I also love the bamboo toothbrushes… They are the best!

    1. We love our bamboo toothbrushes! I feel like there are certain areas to save and certain areas to spend, and as much as I love the dollar store for a handful of things, you just can’t beat products that also support eco-friendly living!

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