Twenty-One Things You Should Always Buy at The Dollar Store (and Ten Things You Shouldn’t)

Twenty-One Things You Should Always Buy At The Dollar Store

Back when I was a newly married and extremely broke college student,  my husband and I conveniently lived less than a block away from the Dollar Store. Back in those days, the Dollar Store was my “go-to” shop for groceries, household items, even the occasional anniversary present! Those years taught me some good lessons in what to buy and what not to buy at the Dollar Store when you are trying to save money.


Twenty-One Things You Should Always Buy at the Dollar Store


  1. Envelopes
  2. Greeting Cards and Thank You Notes
  3. Balloons
  4. Gift Bags and Wrapping Supplies
  5. Cupcake Wrappers and Sprinkles
  6. Paper Plates and Utensils
  7. Coffee Filters
  8. Clothes Pins
  9. Super Glue
  10. Clothespins and Safety Pins
  11. Tissues
  12. Q-Tips and Cotton Balls
  13. Shaving Cream
  14. Most Office Supplies (paper clips, staples, pens)
  15. Notebooks, Paper, Folders, Index Cards
  16. Coloring Books, Bubbles, and Puzzles
  17. Loofas
  18. Pregnancy Tests
  19. Flower Pots
  20. Cleaning Supplies (sponges, rubber gloves, toilet brushes, etc…)
  21. band-aids


Ten Things You Should Not Buy at The Dollar Store

While the Dollar Store has some amazing bargains, the phrase “you get what you pay for” still rings true. Here are ten things you should never buy at the Dollar Store if you can help it.


Hand Sanitizer

Cheaply made hand sanitizers can be harsher than some of the popular name brands. I like to buy big bottles of sanitizer on Amazon, and I always check Bath and Body Works during sales for good deals on scented travel sizes.


Dollar store crayons tend to have duller colors and break more easily than name brands like Crayola. If your kids are serious about coloring, it’s best to steer clear of dollar store crayons.


It’s tempting to buy play-dough from the dollar store because it seems like a good deal, but, the quality and quantity you get from the dollar store in comparison with the true Play Dough brand leave much to be desired. You get more for your money with the real deal when it comes to play-dough, and it lasts longer too.

Hairbrushes and Hair Ties

If you are blessed with easy-to-manage hair, you can probably get away with using hair care items from the dollar store. I have found the poor quality of the hair brushes to damage and break hair and the hair ties to either not stretch enough or break almost immediately. I spend a little extra money and get mine from a drug or beauty supply store or on Amazon, but they do their job and I have to replace them less often.


Although many dollar stores carry imitation perfumes that smell good initially, they often leave an unpleasant after-aroma lingering. If you do buy perfume or body spray from the dollar store, search for a well-known brand such as Dove.


Dollar store meat often delivers less meat for your money and is normally poorer quality than what you would find in a grocery store.


Most dollar stores have some really cute dinnerware sets! It can be tempting think that because each item is only a dollar you are saving money. The catch is that each item is sold separately. You can buy an 18 piece serving for six dinner set on Amazon for $31.00, which ends up being just a little over $1 per item.

Craft Supplies

While dollar stores often carry a variety of craft supplies, you typically get a lot less for your money than you would at a craft store or on Amazon.


If you have a big job to do, relying on tools bought at a dollar store may not be the best idea. This is one of those scenarios where you get what you pay for.

Toilet Paper

Because of the poor quality of the toilet paper and the fact that each roll contains fewer sheets, you actually save money by splurging for the popular toilet paper brand.


This is by no means a comprehensive list, and of course, it all depends on your purpose for buying what you’re buying. I’d love to hear how you save money by shopping at the Dollar Store!



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