It sounds too good to be true – buying something for $1.
Shopping at the dollar store can be hit or miss. Some items are fantastic deals, while others should be left on the shelves.
Here are 47 items you should always buy at the dollar store and 21 items to never buy.
Housewares & Décor
The nice thing about buying house décor and house wares at a dollar store is they’re easy to replace if they break or switch up when you want to update your home style.
- Reusable food storage containers
- Bins for organizing
- Wine glasses
- Kitchen towels
- Artificial flowers
- Picture frames
- Candle holders
- Cleaning supplies
- Garbage can or waste basket for a bathroom
Party & Special Occasion Supplies
Party supplies and gift wrap are a must-buy at a dollar store since it’s a fraction of the cost that you’d pay elsewhere. This is ideal since most of the time, these items will quickly be in the trash.
- Greeting cards
- Gift bags
- Wrapping paper
- Tissue paper
- Holiday décor
- Themed party decorations
- Paper plates
- Party utensils
- Table cloth
- Birthday candles
- Large bowls for chips and snacks
Besides stocking up on items to keep kids busy, these inexpensive items are perfect for goodie bags at birthday parties, add-ons to a gift, and loading up the Easter basket or stockings during the holidays.
- Coloring books and activity books
- Craft supplies
- Flash cards
Personal Items & Extras
There’s a lot of items – especially brand name ones – that are just as good as what you’d find at a regular store but for only one dollar.
- Lint roller
- Hair accessories such as headbands and hair ties
- Hair brush
- Name brand / dentist recommended tooth brush
- Name brand make-up, lotion, and toiletries
- Dixie cups for gargling
- Pet toys
- Photo albums
- Flower pots
- Watering cans
- Wind chimes or outdoor décor
Don't forget to check for coupons before you shop! Brad's Deals highlights both online and printable coupons and deals for Dollar General, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar, among others.
What NOT To Buy At The Dollar Store
Of course every store varies and there can be some fantastic brands of these below items, but generally, these items should be avoided:
- Power Strips, Electrical Cords and Electronics: Any time something electrical is made with lesser quality materials, it can lead to electrical fires and a generally subpar device.
- Batteries that Contain Carbon Zinc: Inferior batteries can cause serious damage since they can leak. Also, they run out of juice a lot sooner than mainstream brands.
- Vitamins and Medication: Studies have shown that vitamins and medication at the dollar store are often missing essential ingredients and aren’t as strictly regulated by the FDA.
- Plastic Wrap, Oven Mitts and Knives: These items simply don’t work as well as the more expensive variety.
- Toys that can break into small pieces: Any plastic toys that can easily break into smaller pieces aren’t a good idea for the kiddies.
- Cotton Swabs: They have a tendency to break easier and since the name brand is not much more, you’re better off going with that.
- Off-Brand Makeup, Shampoo and Conditioner, and Lotions: While some people swear by these dollar store products to save money, it really depends on the specific item. Many of these items are filled with chemicals that could be harsh on your skin and dry out your hair. Plus, they may not be allergy tested.
- Candles: Generally, candles don’t burn long and omit a less-than-desirable odor.
- Glue and Crayons: These items simply do not work as well, and you’ll be spending more to replace them.
- Pet Food: Depending on the product, some pet foods you’d find at the dollar store may not be as carefully regulated as other stores.
- Kids’ Floaties (Floatation Devices): With anything involving safety, you’re better off paying more for a stronger, more durable floatation device.
- Some Cleaning Supplies: Much of the feedback on dollar store cleaning supplies is they are more diluted than a regular brand.