The Things You Should be Buying at the Dollar Store


Are you a dollar store shopper?  
I am.
But only for very certain things.  For clarification, by dollar store I mean the stores where everything is a dollar (and not just have the word dollar in the name (I'm lookin' at you, Dollar General).  Around here that's Dollar Tree. 

Don't get me wrong, I am totally all about small and local businesses and buying handmade when possible.  I love that.  I love Etsy and small boutiques and such.  But that's not the reality for most of us with every single purchase.  And if you're just as well going to Target or Walmart or whatever for these foreign-made things anyway, you might as well be going to the dollar store and getting yoself a better price.  Right?  Right.


So here's the following things that if you buy them, you should be buying at the dollar store:

1.
Pregnancy Tests
Because it's silly to urinate on a ten dollar bill when you can do it on a one. 
Really, they work just as well as the ten or fifteen dollar ones for the most part and for most purposes.  The only drawback is that they're not the kind where you go directly on the stick one and you have to use the enclosed dropper to drop the urine in the special spot.  But if you're possibly pregnant, you may as well get used to close encounters with bodily fluids anyway, amiright?  And it's way easier to stock up and explain to the husband a $10 crazy purchase versus a one hundred dollar one.

2.
Greeting Cards


I almost physically hurt when I see the prices on greeting cards in the normal store.  Five dollars?!?  For a card??  The cards at our Dollar Tree are two for $1.  And really, they're just as good as the others.  (And does anyone ever read the actual card anyway?  Like ten percent of the time maybe??)  They also have packs of thank you cards or invitations for that same buck.

3.
Gift Bags


I have the same visceral response to the price of gift bags as I do to greeting cards.  You can find them at the dollar store for either a buck each or two for $1.  Get them there when you need a new one.  Then, of course, save them all and rotate them through your family repeatedly like we do.  I think I still have a few saved from John Paul's birth a decade ago.  Heck, I think we even have some from our wedding.  And I've seen the same bag passed back and forth for various cousin birthdays, too, because cheapness runs in the family.

4.
Paper Plates/Cups/Napkins


The dollar store is by far the best place to buy colored plates and cups and things for parties when you need them.  They have a ton of colors and themes as well as other party supplies.  We've hosted a good many parties in our day and the best value I've always found there.  

5.
School, Office, and Craft Supplies
(Posterboard, glue, notebooks, tape, googly eyes, popsicle sticks etc.)


I don't feel like I need to go crazy stocking up at the back to school sales anymore since the dollar store has most of those items just as cheap all year round.  Or if they are a ton cheaper at the Target sale, you know it's only because they're luring you in to also buy the more expensive inflated items along with it.

6.
Plastic and Aluminum Storage Containers
When you make a meal for someone in need it's really nice to be able to put it in a storage container that they can keep or toss.  Our Dollar Tree has some good size ones that are perfect for this.  I like to keep a few on hand for when an occasion arises to gift a meal to someone.

7.
First Aid Supplies
(Rubbing alcohol, bandages, cotton balls, aspirin, etc.)


John Paul went through this thing last year (probably due to The Dangerous Book for Boys) where he decided to put together first aid kits for our family.  Which was good because we didn't have anything like that.  We went to the Dollar Tree for almost everything in it - bandages, wipes, aspirin...they even have braces, ace bandages, and epsom salt (this pregnant lady is loving her epsom salt baths right now).  I now make sure bandages are bought there...four boys and all.


So what shouldn't you buy at the dollar store?  Food.  Pretty much any of it.  :)


Do you shop at the dollar store?  What do you make sure to get there?


(Linking up for Seven Quick Takes!)


26 comments

  1. I think that Dollar Tree should give you some money for this great promo. They might want you to delete the second last sentence about what not to buy, but otherwise this was a great commercial for them. I agree about card prices, they have gone crazy.

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  2. I definitely buy the 50 pregnancy tests on Amazon. Pass them out to neighborhood moms because really you need to take at least 10 when it is your sixth pregnancy in 5 years!

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    1. Another friend on FB just mentioned that! That is hilarious! I'm not sure I could ever go through FIFTY but I love the idea of distributing them!

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  3. Love the dollar store! Paper plates, glue sticks, random crafts and decor! Love it :)

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  4. Totally nodding along with this list. Although Walmart has similar pregnancy test for $.88. I try to avoid Walmart like the plague but when I do find myself there, I stock up on the on the pregnancy test.I am horribly impatient and sometimes go through four or five per cycle. No way I'm paying five bucks apiece.

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  5. I second everything on your list and have something that perhaps you'll add to this list one day ;) I buy all the girls' hair stuff at Dollar Tree - barrettes, head bands (which they never actually leave in for more than three minutes) and hair rubber bands. Best value ever, seeing that other stores charge about $8 for plain old barrettes and $48 for barrettes with flowers on them. Ruth also likes the plastic sparkly tiaras at the dollar store and is hoping for one for Christmas... last year's Christmas dollar store tiarra broke by New Year's :(

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  6. Love the Dollar Store! I buy their baskets and plastic containers. They have a pretty good selection that turns over often. And their fake flowers for crafts. AND, it's sooooooooooo much easier for a kid to save their ten cent commission jobs to buy something there tan saving forever for something from another store.

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  7. We were just at Dollar Tree today...I buy almost everything you mentioned there. Also get my girls a balloon on their birthday because it makes them happier than almost any other gift. We were there today buying stuff for our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

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    1. I second the balloons. They are $8 plus at the grocery store! $1 for nice Mylar balloons really adds to a birthday party or gift.

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  8. I didn't realize the sold so much! I would go to the dollar stores, but it's hard enough to get all the kids in and out of the car once for the grocery store. Maybe I could try going while on a date!?

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    1. It's very romantic ;) But I totally get it...we used a date night once to stop at Lowe's for a new toilet :)

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  9. I bribe the kids with trips to Dollar Tree, that's how much we love it. And yes, my last three pregnancies were all confirmed with dollar store pregnancy tests.

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    1. OH! But NEVER, EVER, EVER by their mascara.

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    2. Oh no. I sense a story behind that :)

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  10. Ohhhh how did I not know that you could get pregnancy tests at the dollar store?!? This should be mentioned in every NFP class.

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    1. I know, right?! I gave some to a friend at her bachelorette party years ago and try to spread the word as much as I can. First Response will not win :)

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  11. The greeting cards are especially great during graduation season of life! I love this list. I also like to stock up on $1 ziploc bags. Otherwise I fully support this list!! It's all the things I'd buy. Plus, I too was shocked the first time I went to Dollar General and everything wasn't a dollar.

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  12. Dollar Tree is the best dollar store.
    I used to buy pregnancy tests there. Then I got wise to Ebay and Amazon. You can get a lot as low as 25 tests for around $3. It's especially great because you don't have to worry about what to say or where to look when you're handing the cashier at DT your tests while holding your 4 month old in the other arm.

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    1. Haha, I know, right? One big plus to online ordering :)

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  13. I'm also a fan of the Dollar Tree, and agree it is the best dollar store out there. I pretty much go in for the same items as you, although need to pick up some more of their first aid supplies the next time (good idea). I was psyched when I went there just a few days ago and picked up a new dustpan and broom that I was looking for. =)

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  14. I agree with everything you listed. The greeting cards at our Dollar Tree always have a Godmother, Godfather, Goddaughter & Godson section too which is nice because those seem to be a rare find.

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  15. Balloons, birthday supplies, sunglasses, reading glasses. Our Dollar Tree used to carry umbrellas.

    I cringe to think of the money I once spent on pregnancy tests. Dollar Tree also carries ovulation kits.

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    1. AHHH! HOW COULD I FORGET THE SUNGLASSES?!?! Seriously, I feel like I need to rewrite this whole post! Yes, I have like 5 pairs of dollar store sunglasses hiding all over my car and house because ain't no one need to be spending $20 on a pair that will most definitely get lost or crushed by a toddler!

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  16. We actually do buy some food there - eek! They have 12 oz bags of frozen fruit at our Dollar Tree - that's the best price anywhere (even beats Aldi significantly!) They're awesome for smoothies and baked French toast. Occasionally they have blueberries, but they regularly have a blend of strawberries and raspberries; mangoes; and peaches. They're very good!

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    1. Well, then, I may have to amend my statement! I have never seen a dollar store with a freezer section! With real fruit! Wow!

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  17. Here's the weird thing I use Dollar Tree for: tablespoons and teaspoons. I like to have about 5 of each handy in the kitchen at any given time. I don't use the half or quarter measures, I just throw those out and eyeball them out of a whole tablespoon when I need to. So five bucks fills my every table and teaspoon wish. Couldn't do that elsewhere when they want at least $4 for a set!

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