50 Things to Buy for $1 Each at Dollar Tree

I used to scoff a bit at the dollar store. After all, the items there aren’t always the highest quality. However, in the last year I’ve come to appreciate that some items really are a terrific deal at this store. Every item is a dollar and a few are 2 for a dollar.

This is now my go-to store for a number of items and I am thinking about doing a $50/week food budget menu for this store soon. There isn’t a lot of variety at my local store, so I’m thinking through recipes to see if it would be doable.

For now, here are 50 items that are well worth the $1 you’ll spend.

  1. Greeting cards – Is anyone else sick of spending $4 or $5 for a card that just gets tossed out in the next round of trash? Dollar Tree has a nice selection of greeting cards for $1 and some that are 2 for $1. This is now my go-to for the majority of cards I buy. Sometimes they don’t have what I need. My backup is Party City in that case. Get there early for holiday cards (Father’s Day, etc.)
  2. Disposable tablecloth – You’re going to throw it away anyway. Do you want to spend $1 or $5?
  3. Goodie bags and items – If you have a young child and have to do the dreaded goodie bag, you’ll save a bundle shopping the dollar store.
  4. Gift bags – Even Walmart charges more
  5. Wrapping paper – Same as above
  6. Glow sticks and necklaces – If you are having a party or going to an amusement part like King’s Island, you can run in and get a couple of packages of these and save as much as $10 or so.
  7. Books – While the selection is limited, you can pick up coloring books, sticker books and books to read at the dollar store.
  8. Binders – Binders are expensive. If you have to buy school binders, the dollar store may be the way to go.
  9. Mailing envelopes – For $1, you can get a pack of 2 with bubble wrap lining. Perfect for mailing a book or other items you don’t want to get bent up. Sure, you could buy a huge box of them at Staples, but most people don’t need that many.
  10. Storage containers – I’m currently in the process of sorting through old photos, scanning them into the computer and storing the hard copies. I’m using plastic shoebox size storage containers to sort them into years. $1 each.
  11. Organizers – I just went and bought plastic organizers to organize my dresser drawers. Similar organizers were $4 each at Bed, Bath & Beyond. I needed multiple ones.
  12. Dog toys – My dog rips stuffies to shreds in minutes, but she loves them. $1 is about the right investment for something she will destroy that same day.
  13. Glass vases – Need to take someone flowers? Grab a $1 glass vase and buy some flowers at the grocery store.
  14. Baskets – The dollar store has a variety of baskets you can grab and make up a gift or store things in. Only $1 each.
  15. Creamy petroleum jelly – My skin is crazy dry. This is the only thing I’ve found that makes it soft and smooth.
  16. Toothbrushes – I like to use toothbrushes for cleaning in crevices. The dollar store sells a pack of 3 for only $1.
  17. Mesh laundry bag – Perfect for dorm living if you have anyone in college.
  18. Plastic bucket – These are great for carrying cleaning supplies from room to room or for hot soapy water.
  19. Reusable plastic food containers – A variety of sizes are available. You can’t beat the price, but the quality is not quite as good as some of the name brands out there.
  20. Plackers mint dental flossers – Great price on these.
  21. Combs and brushes – Unless you need a special brush because you have extremely thick and curly hair, these combs and brushes are a good value.
  22. Hair elastics – These things get lost all the time anyway. Why spend a fortune, when you can get a bunch of them for $1?
  23. Theater candy – Dollar Tree sells boxes of theater candy for $1. I know you aren’t “supposed” to, but I often sneak our candy in with us. I just can’t justify paying $4.75 for a box of candy that I can get for $1, even if it supports the theater. I do try to buy popcorn there, though, to help them a little.
  24. Chips – This can be hit or miss. Look at sizes and make sure you like the flavor. Some grocery stores have chips for $1.25 to $1.50 and the size and taste is better, so your mileage may vary depending on stores in your area.
  25. Foam plates – These are a fortune in the regular store anymore.
  26. Party Cups – Same as above. Fortune!
  27. LCD Cleaning Kit – comes with spray and a cloth. These are pretty expensive at electronic’s stores, so this is a good deal.
  28. Calculator – Unless you need a specific type, these things just got lost anyway.
  29. Seeds – They have a great deal on vegetable and flower seeds. I have had pretty good luck with getting things to grow from their seed packets, too.
  30. Craft Supplies – Each store has a craft area. I’ve lumped these items into one category, but you’ll find things like popsicle sticks, pom poms, glitter letters and paints. Perfect for a rainy day project.
  31. Chalk board – The size is small, but these are cute for decorating. When I had my daughter’s candy buffet at her graduation party, I used one of these chalk boards and glittery letters I found in the craft section. I added her name in the pink glitter letters and then used chalk to write 2015. It was a cute addition to the table.
  32. Picture frames – Smaller sizes are a better deal, but lots of cute options. You can always paint and embellish them.
  33. Wall stencils – Some really cute ones are available. You can add some words over your headboard, for example.
  34. Candle holders/centerpieces – Need to create a simple centerpiece? The Dollar Tree has a nice selection of candle holders, tealight candles and even little mirrors you can set the candle hold on for a pretty, flickering reflection.
  35. Glass beads – Grab a small round vase, add glass beads, create a beautiful pencil holder or add a tealight. Even at Old Time Pottery, these beads are several dollars for about the same amount.
  36. Foam forms – The dollar store has a limited selection of different sizes of foam forms. These are great if you want to create a silk flower arrangement.
  37. Silk flowers – Speaking of silk flowers, the dollar stores has a seasonal selection and they aren’t half bad.
  38. Seasonal decorations – Planning a graduation party, Fourth of July get together, or Super Bowl Sunday party? The Dollar Tree has a selection of party decorations, plates, cups, napkins and other fun items for each party season. Since the cost of decorations can add up, this is a great way to save a few bucks.
  39. Plates – The Dollar Tree has a selection of plates and they are pretty decent quality. They are $1/each, so if you are just setting up house and need just a few plates, bowls, and mugs, this is the perfect place to get them.
  40. Salt and Pepper shakers – After about a year, my salt shakers start to look yuck. The dollar store has a set of two glass salt and pepper shakers, but the holes in the top are the same for both. I use them one at a time or just salt as that is what we keep out. $0.50/year for a salt shaker isn’t too bad of a price.
  41. Wedding bubble favors – They are plain white bottles, but you can decorate them simply with a ribbon or add a small label with your personalization. You’ll save a fortune.
  42. Sunglasses – Occasionally I will see sunglasses. This is another item that gets lost easily, so why not just pay $1 and not worry so much about leaving them behind?
  43. Baking pans – I noticed the other day that they have a small metal pizza pan and some glass baking dishes. You can’t beat a $1, especially if you’re just setting up house or you have kids that destroy your expensive cookware and want something cheap for them to use.
  44. Window cleaner – I love the Dollar Tree brand cleaning products and the window cleaner is one of my favorites. I save so much on cleaning products by buying most of them here. There are a few things I’ll pay a little more for, like Mr. Clean erasers, though.
  45. LA Totally Awesome Lavender scented floor cleaner – This is great if you own pets. When we leave, my little dog occasionally has accidents on the linoleum floor in her room. Okay, she throws a fit and does it on purpose. This cleaner is fabulous for this. It is also great for general cleaning, such as wiping down counters. As a bonus, it smells wonderful.
  46. Classroom decor – Are you a teacher or Sunday school teacher? The dollar store has some fabulous deals on classroom decor, award certificates and stickers.
  47. Fingernail polish – There is a makeup section in each Dollar Tree. I find some of the color choices to be weird, but when it comes to nail polish this can be a good thing. I often find great fingernail polish in these stores.
  48. Cotton pads – I use these twice a day when I clean my face for the liquid BHA I use. $1 is an absolutely cheap price. I’ve not found them cheaper anywhere else.
  49. Standard white pillowcases – I hate it when you have a sheet set and a pillowcase goes missing or you have that one pillow that needs a case. Grab one for a $1 to tide you over.
  50. Plastic shower curtain liners – Yes, they are made cheaply, but our water is hard and we have to swap out our liners every six months anyway. These work just fine and are super inexpensive.

What about you? What are some items you can’t live without from the Dollar Store?

Avoid

  • Personal care items – The sizes are either much smaller or the quality is lacking.
  • Towels – They are so thin that they just aren’t worth it.
  • Socks – sizes are weird and they are again so thin that they aren’t worth it.
  • Electronic items – I’ve not had any luck with earbuds, covers or chargers for phones and tablets.
  • Some foods – I’m going to be exploring this more, I think and trying to come up with a dollar store meal plan, so I’ll have details about what is worth the cost and what is not. Right now, I know the chocolate chip ice cream is a no. It had a weird taste and texture, although the size was okayish for that type of product.

 

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Crabby Housewife

Author: Crabby Housewife

Lori is a full-time housewife and writer, living in the Midwest with her husband of 26 years and her two daughters. They have a house full of pets and her house is never quite perfect.

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