Dollar stores are treasure troves for shoppers in search of great deals. There are several different chains in this discount category, but they all basically focus on items that are priced—you guessed it—around a dollar. (In a previous era there was something called a ‘dime store’, but with inflation, here we are!) It’s easy to assume that these discount stores only have low-quality products, but many dollar stores actually stock a lot of items that are not only affordable but also of decent quality. (Often they include a lot of the same brands you’d find in any other store). Here are some of the best dollar store deals, and how to make the most of your visits.
1. Party supplies
Dollar stores are fantastic places to stock up on party supplies without breaking the bank. You can find everything from balloons and streamers to disposable tableware, all at a fraction of the cost you’d pay at specialty party stores.
2. Greeting cards
Why spend $5 or more on a greeting card when you can find perfectly good ones for just a dollar? Dollar stores often carry a variety of greeting cards for different occasions, making it easy to send heartfelt messages without emptying your wallet.
3. Cleaning supplies
Basic cleaning supplies like bleach, disinfectant sprays, and dish soap can be found at dollar stores for significantly less than what you’d pay at larger retailers. These products are often just as effective as their pricier counterparts. (For more ways to save money on cleaning supplies, check out our article on how to make your own!)
4. Kitchen utensils
Need a new spatula or kitchen gadget? Check out the kitchen section at the dollar store. You can often find items like measuring cups, can openers, and mixing bowls that are just as functional as those from more expensive stores.
5. School and office supplies
Whether you’re a student or just need some basic office supplies, dollar stores have you covered. You can find items like notebooks, pens, pencils, and even art supplies at a fraction of the cost you’d pay elsewhere.
6. Seasonal decorations
Dollar stores are known for their seasonal decorations. Whether it’s Halloween, Christmas, or any other holiday, you can find a wide range of decorations, from ornaments to costumes, at prices that won’t put a dent in your budget.
7. Snacks and candy
Looking for a quick snack fix? Dollar stores often have a selection of chips, candy, and other snacks at lower prices than convenience stores. It’s an excellent place to stock up for movie nights or road trips.
8. Party favors and craft supplies
If you’re planning a party or need craft supplies, dollar stores are a goldmine. You can find everything from beads and ribbons to party favors and small toys that kids will love.
9. Picture frames
Picture frames can be surprisingly expensive, but dollar stores offer a range of options that are perfect for displaying your favorite photos or artwork. Check out more of our favorite affordable gift ideas here!
10. Seasonal clothing and accessories
While you might not find your entire wardrobe at the dollar store, you can often discover seasonal items like hats, scarves, and sunglasses at unbeatable prices. These are especially handy for kids who tend to lose or outgrow their accessories quickly.
11. Home decor
Dollar stores frequently carry home decor items like vases, candles, and decorative wall art. You can spruce up your living space on a budget by shopping for these items at the dollar store.
12. Reading glasses
If you need a pair of reading glasses, you can often find them at the dollar store. They might not be as stylish as designer frames, but they get the job done at a fraction of the cost.
Pro tips for shopping the dollar store
1. Check the quality
While dollar stores offer great deals, not all products are created equal. Inspect items for quality before purchasing to ensure they meet your needs.
2. Compare prices
Sometimes, larger packages or items on sale at other stores might still beat the dollar store’s prices. Compare prices before assuming that everything is a bargain. For example, a 6-roll package of generic-brand paper towels (thinner and less absorbent than a leading brand) might be $4.99, but a 6-roll package of a leading brand (that is thicker and more absorbent and will go further) often goes on sale at Safeway for $4.50. The higher-quality option will actually be the better value!
3. Check expiration dates
Be vigilant when purchasing food items to ensure they are not expired or close to expiration.
4. Stock up on essentials
Dollar stores are excellent places to stock up on everyday essentials like toilet paper, paper towels, and soap.
5. Bring cash
Some dollar stores have minimum purchase requirements for credit card transactions, so it’s a good idea to bring cash when shopping.
6. Shop with a list
It’s easy to get carried away in dollar stores, so go in with a list to avoid impulse purchases.
The bottom line: the best dollar store deals
Dollar stores offer a wide range of affordable products that can save you money on everyday essentials, as well as decorations and party supplies. By keeping an eye out for deals and keeping a close eye on quality, you can make the most of your trips to these budget-friendly stores and score some great deals.