The Absolute Best Dollar Store Buys

***This post may contain affiliate links. I do not recommend products that I have not personally vetted and love myself.***

Purchases at the dollar store can be hit or miss. It may be mostly full of junk and cheap items from China, but there are diamonds in the rough here.

Sometimes we don’t need to have the best. The “buy it for life” movement continues to grow which espouses buying the best things, but for those items that are not used all the time or for those cheap snacks, you simply don’t need the best.

The dollar store can fulfill your needs here.

The dollar store is full of all kinds of goodies. If you have never taken the opportunity to just walk up and down all the aisles, I strongly encourage you to do so. You will find and hard-working young professionals looking for success just like everybody many bargains available.

The dollar stores are some of the only ones that can rival Walmart and Amazon because they too use rock-bottom pricing.

But you came here to find what the best things to purchase at a dollar store are, so here they are:

Best Items to Buy at the Dollar Store

1. Basic Tools To Begin Your Toolbox

When you are just starting out in the world you need some tools. Chances are you will never use them very much, but when you need them you actually need to already have them. You can’t wait until you need them to go and get them.

That really is the conundrum with tools. Must buy before you need, but don’t know what you will need.

Because of this, it’s best to stock your box with some cheap tools to start. If you don’t end up using them much, then their low dollar store quality won’t matter. If you do use them a lot, then you can upgrade to some nice Craftsman or Snap-on tools later on.

You can find small toolboxes, hammers, screwdrivers, nails, tape measures, duct tape, bungee cords, zip ties, glue, paint brushes, and more at most dollar stores, and these tools are more than adequate for the light household use they are likely to see.

2. Greeting Cards

If you can’t stand the normal $5 price for a greeting card, (I mean really who does?), then the dollar store is your best friend. Cards are so ridiculously overpriced and that can be seen at the dollar store where they can be had many times for 2 for $1.00.

3. Wrapping Paper and Gift Supplies

While picking up your greeting cards, you might as well pick up your cheap gifting supplies. Wrapping paper, off-brand Scotch-Tape, and gift bags are cheap here.

You won’t be picking up the fancy dancy flashy wrapping papers, but it’s the thought that counts. Honestly, the most memorable ones I have gifted and received are wrapped in newspaper, so we might as well save on gift supplies at the dollar store.

4. Hair Accessories

Girls seem to need a ton of these things. I am not all that familiar with the vernacular for all of them, but they are cheap at the dollar store and I simply cannot fathom how the quality of a hair clip or scrunchy really matters. So pick up your hair clips, scrunchies, bobby pins, combs, and brushes at the dollar store in bulk and save.

5. Reading Glasses

In this day and age, most everyone has their eyes start to fail at some point. My parents staved off the inevitable for as long as possible, but now they are able to easily read with a pair of el-cheapo reading glasses from the dollar store.

The major benefit: If you lose them, scratch them, or drop them, well, it doesn’t really matter. Just buy another pair and you are still $100 ahead compared to prescription lenses.

6. Home Decor

If you are a bargain hunter there are home decor items to be found at dollar stores. They may be not as high quality, but so long as you pick and choose ones that are not high wear items, then it really is a non-issue.

Things like mirrors, picture frames, decorative plates, vases, and pictures can be found. Just be sure to check the build quality before purchase.

Around the holidays, dollar stores are a great place to find your holiday decor. It really makes the holidays to have the house decorated. Take it from someone that has spent 4 years in China where they don’t celebrate any of the Western holidays. You miss the triviality of decorating for the holidays.

7. Disposable Containers

What kind of quality do you really need for a throwaway container or plate?

So long as it holds your food without falling apart, it has served its purpose. You can find large turkey serving trays, plastic plates and flatware, cheap plastic containers and more.

So prepare for your next big backyard cookout at the dollar store.

8. Party Supplies

Throwing a party? The dollar store is the place to pick up the requisite supplies. They may not be as cool themed as the party supply store, but you can throw 5+ parties for the price of one from the party supply store. Pick up tableware, decorations, balloons and more.

9. Dishware and Flatware

If it ends up like this, you might as well buy at the dollar store.

If you’re just starting off in your first place out of the house as a young adult, or your kids are breaking everything you own, its time to buy some cheap dishware and flatware. There is nowhere better than the dollar store. Fancy dishes don’t serve any better than cheap plates, so this is a perfect place to save money. You can acquire the nice dishes as a wedding present or gift in general.

10. Cleaning Supplies

Don’t listen to the marketers that try and sell you on expensive name-brand cleaners to clean you house with and keep your family healthy. They are looking out for their company more than your health.

Your basic cleaning supplies like bleach, ammonia, toilet bowl cleaners, toilet brushes, brooms, mops, dust pans, and dusters are pretty much the same. Broom and mop handles may very in quality, but they are all usable. These items are a huge bargain at the dollar store.

11. Candy

I love candy. You love candy. Don’t we all love candy?

Of course! But we can easily spend too much on candy. Pick it up in bulk at the dollar store and you can have it on hand when the craving comes.

12. Spices

Spices are one of those items that are so overpriced at the regular grocery store. McCormick brand spices are a major offender on this point. For most generic spices you can get an off-brand spice at the dollar store for $1 or less saving $4+ per bottle for spices. They are exactly the same too, so no worries on quality. Just quality of the packaging is less, and that doesn’t affect the spice.

13. Snacks

Last but not least, is the ever-present snack food. Living in China I have especially grown to miss the simplicity of American and Western snack foods. You can pick up chips, cookies, and other snacks for cheap at your local dollar store and be ready when you need something to stave you off until dinner time.


I am all for the buying-it-for-life, however, there are times when it is not needed. For those things that don’t need to last a lifetime, you can make your purchase at the dollar store.

The dollar store provides all the value with none of the name-brand surcharges.

Adding the dollar store to your growing list of ways to save money can help you achieve financial freedom sooner than ever before. You can take control of your money and your life and live the way you always dreamed.

Head on over to your local dollar store today to see how much you can save!

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Not every purchase at the dollar store helps you save money. Check out the best items to buy at the dollar store and start spending wisely!