There may be some items you feel better buying at a “regular” store, but there are some things that you should never pay more than a dollar for, if you want to make the most of your budget. If you’re like most people, you buy these items while at the grocery store, drug store, or big box discount store just because you’re already there, and don’t want to make an additional trip to the local dollar store. However, if your dollar store is along the route to one of the aforementioned, pricier stores, you would do well to incorporate a stop to pick up the following items, and save more than you might think. Unless you’re hung up on getting a brand name product (and paying more than you should, just for the name), you can get items of similar quality and pocket the change.
Greeting cards. How many times have you run out to the store and spent as much on a card as you do on the gift, especially if it’s for one of the kids to take to a friend’s birthday party? Do you really think a 5-year-old is going to care how much you paid for a card to celebrate his birthday? No. Pick up two greeting cards for a dollar, and have an extra one for the next time.
Candy. Headed to the movies? Why spend more on the concessions than you did on the ticket? Stash a candy bar or bag of M&Ms in your purse and save yourself several dollars. Here is one instance where you can still get the name brand, and not pay a premium for it.
Party decorations. Just like you saved on the birthday card, you can save a lot of money buying party decorations and supplies at the dollar store. Everything you need to celebrate, from plastic utensils, table settings, decorations, party favors, celebratory balloons, and a disposable camera to capture candid moments is available at a significant savings. Bonus tip: This goes for holiday decorations, as well.
Gifts. While we are on the subject of parties, you can find children’s gifts like coloring books, puzzles, and board books featuring licensed characters (like Disney princesses, for instance) at huge savings over department stores, and even less than the big box retailers. You can even pick up some colored tissue paper and a gift bag to put your presents in.
Pens, pencils, and paper. The dollar store is a great place for these items, especially if you have someone at home who misplaces their pens on a regular basis. Cute notepads with matching pens, composition notebooks, even boxed stationery with matching envelopes are all available for much less than you would spend elsewhere.
Flower pots and garden decorations. Clay flower pots can be used for plants, but can also be great table decorations. Check out this video for 50 creative ideas on how to turn a plain clay pot into a thing of beauty, worthy of giving as a gift. You can also find garden tools, supplies, and decorations at most dollar stores.
Batteries. Triple A, C, D, even lithium batteries for your watch can be found at a huge savings in your dollar store.
Paper products. Let’s face it, toilet paper is toilet paper. You can find paper towels, toilet paper, napkins, paper plates, and other paper products for a lot less than you would pay at the grocery store. Just check that you get the kind you want – one-ply or two-ply toilet paper, large sheet or custom tear-a-sheet paper towels, heavy duty or plain paper plates, decorated or plain white napkins, facial tissue with lotion or without – and you should be good to go, without spending more than you should.
Tape and glue. Why spend extra for these ordinary items when you can get them at the dollar store? Most stores have the same varieties of tape, glue, and glue sticks as those you would find for more at the drug store, grocery store, or discount store.
Baby products. Everything from diapers to diaper rash cream, bibs to baby food, baby wash to baby lotion, can be found at the dollar store. Here is another group of products where you can opt for the name brand, or choose a lesser known (and very possibly less chemical-laden) choice.
These are just some of the products you can find at the dollar store in your neighborhood, and save a good deal of money that can be put to use somewhere else. Take advantage of the savings to be had by shopping at your local dollar store, and your budget will thank you.