50 Things Parents Should Buy from the Dollar Store

Find quality items at a great price!

What to buy at the dollar store
If you are looking to save money, a great place to shop is the dollar store -- for some items. Getty

When you are making an effort to save money, every little bit counts. But when you make purchases, you want to make sure you are buying quality items, not just items that are less expensive. Dollar and dollar-type stores have reputations for selling inexpensive, yet low-quality items. This isn't always the case, however. Parents can purchase of plenty of high-quality (often brand-name), well-made items at significant savings over grocery stores, box retailers, or even online.

The key is to keep in mind what you are looking for. Should serious crafters buy their supplies at a dollar store? Probably not. But if you are looking for items to make crafts with your kids, it is the perfect spot. You should also be prepared to shop around and not take dollar-store prices for granted. Sometimes, if you have a coupon and a grocery store is running a sale, you might be able to get a better price in a different size or product name.

As a parent, here's what you should be looking to buy at a dollar or dollar-type store:

  1. Wrapping paper
  2.  Sponges
  3.  Candy
  4.  Shampoo -- look carefully. There are often name brand bottles available.
  5.  Seasonal decor
  6.  Basic spices -- garlic powder, basil, etc.
  7.  Cooking/baking containers such as roasting and cake pans
  8.  Floss
  9.  Glitter
  10.  Picture frames
  11.  Cleaning products. Note, however, that products sold at the dollar store could be slightly diluted, so you might need to use a little more. It is still worth the price!
  1.  Hand soap
  2.   Cotton balls
  3.  Beads for homemade jewelry
  4.  Birthday party supplies
  5.  String cheese
  6.   Bagged snacks
  7.  Glue
  8.  Bleach
  9.  Air fresheners
  10.  Name brand toothpaste
  11.  Crayons
  12.  Spray bottles
  13.  Shovels and pails
  14.  Coloring books
  15.  Socks (especially if your little one loses them often!)
  16.  Helium balloons
  17.  Dustpans
  18.  Stickers
  19.  Headbands
  1.  Halloween costume accessories
  2.  Bubbles
  3.  Birthday party plates
  4.  Clear tape
  5. Greeting cards (often less than a dollar!)
  6.  Condiments -- but check the prices! Sometimes the unit price is better at the grocery store.
  7.  Hula hoops
  8.  Packing and mail supplies
  9.  Brush and comb
  10.  Makeup -- check the labels. You can often find name brands in "last year's" color
  11. Gift bags/tissue paper
  12.  Serving utensils -- especially if you are bringing a dish somewhere. This way you don't have to worry if you get your stuff back.
  13.  Plastic tablecloths
  14.  Hair ties and ribbons
  15.  Glow sticks
  16.  Plain t-shirts -- great for decorating!
  17.  Birthday party cups
  18.  Sunglasses -- keep pairs in the car for everyone so you don't lose them
  19.  Nail polish remover
  20. Napkins

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