Decor, Money

What to buy at the dollar store

I’m a dollar store junkie, and I’m not afraid to say it. I love it for pretty things, organizing the house and for the kids. Here are my all time favorite purchases:

Favorite dollar store buys - sunglasses


Possibly my favorite dollar store purchase is their unisex sunglasses. My husband and I both use them, and it’s nice not to worry about them getting sat on or abused at the beach. We have probably five pair floating around between the patio and the car, plus a couple for the kids.

Favorite dollar store buys - fun glasses


I’m all about simplifying at home, but dishware is a weakness of mine. I love having fun glasses or bowls in different colors, but I don’t want to pay a lot for something that I’ll use only on occasion. I’m still very selective and don’t have the kitchen space to be a collector, but it sure is fun to pay only $8 for eight of these cute blue glasses. Last time I was there I saw some swanky martini glasses too!

Favorite dollar store buys - simple white coffee mugs

I also have eight simple white coffee mugs from the dollar store that we use every day. They go with everything and have a certain elegance about them.

Favorite dollar store buys - vases


We use this medium-sized vase for more than any other vase. You could also use them for shells or soaps or candles or pretty rocks.

Favorite dollar store buys - candle holders and votives

Votive candles and holders

I get a little obsessed with lighting. I’m not a big fan of overhead lighting and love a few candles on the table when we have guests over for dinner. Both the votive candles and glass candle holders are from the Dollar Tree. (I pass, however, on the bigger candles because they burn out quickly and don’t smell as good or as fragrant as more expensive ones.) 

Favorite dollar store buys - wrapping paper and gift bags

Gift wrap and gift bags

I pretty much only buy wrapping paper and gift bags at the dollar store. They have cute stuff and who wants to drop a bunch of money on something that will soon be in shreds anyway? They have a great selection of bows too.

Favorite dollar store buys - cards


And to go along with that gift, pick up a card. Is it just me or is $3.95 for a card that will be read and discarded a little outrageous? After all, it is only a piece of paper bent in half. The Dollar Tree has some for $1 and some are two for $1.

Favorite dollar store buys - containers with lids

Containers with lids

I use these containers with lids everywhere in my house. I love that they can stack and you can see what’s inside without having to open them. I also use them for kids toys with small pieces, medicines and bandages.

Favorite dollar store buys - white baskets for pantry

Small white baskets

I use these white baskets on my pantry shelves with labels to keep food organized and grouped together. It makes a big difference in helping us find things.

Favorite dollar store buys - baskets for kids toys

Colorful baskets

We have at least a dozen or so of these larger, colorful baskets and they hold all sorts of kid stuff. They’ve taken some abuse and held up very well.

Favorite dollar store buys - band aids


There are an assortment of kids bandages to choose from and they stick on just as well as the $4 kind.

Favorite dollar store buys - kids toothbrushes

Kids toothbrushes

The toothbrush selection changes all the time, but we nabbed these two as a pack for $1. You can’t beat that and they’re adorable.

Favorite dollar store buys - nightlights

Night lights

I feel like we’re always buying more night lights. Surely we have one in every room by now. The Dollar Tree has some with kid themes, but I chose the plain white ones. Can’t go wrong with simple, right?

Favorite dollar store buys - plastic toy animals

Animal toys

And finally, my boys love the toy animals. Toys are used and abused around here, so if one is left in the yard or broken, it’s no sweat. I just try to buy the brightly colored ones so they don’t look too real. The realistic ones will make me scream every time! (But don’t tell my boys. I’m still trying to play cool in front of them so they won’t find a new pastime of trying to scare me.)

Practically speaking

Not everything at the dollar store is a good buy. Sometimes it’s worth an extra dollar or two to get something of more quality, but here are some more practical things that go on my shopping list:

  • envelopes
  • tape
  • pens
  • markers and highlighters
  • small notebooks, bound black and white marble notebooks
  • Post-its
  • coloring books (skip the crayons — they’re too waxy or something and don’t work)
  • spray bottles
  • ziplock baggies (not trash bags though)
  • foil
  • cheap white paper plates (These are pretty flimsy, but I like to have them around to cover something in the microwave or on occasion when everyone is eating pizza and I just don’t want six more dirty plates. But don’t buy the colored party plates if you’re planning a party. They’re flimsy too and not strong enough for kids or a lot of food.)
  • party streamers
  • party napkins and cups
  • birthday candles
  • brillo pads
  • rubber gloves
  • sponges and scub pads
  • picture frames (you can creative and paint them different colors)
  • little packets of tissues

If one of my kids ever got into crafts, I would love to check out that aisle. Maybe there’s hope with the third one. What are you favorite dollar store buys?

Favorite dollar store buys |

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5 thoughts on “What to buy at the dollar store

  1. I LOVE THE DOLLAR STORE! We just went to two this evening. My favourite things are…
    – zipper bags — I always buy one pack in every size from snack to extra large because I use them for all kinds of things around the house, not just food.
    – bathroom items such as cotton swabs, cotton balls, cotton pads, flossers, etc. (once I found those acrylic make-up organizers)
    – hair accessories
    – sleep masks
    – craft supplies (for me and my son)

    The list goes on and on…

    But my absolute most favourite thing is containers! They have different ones at different stores and different times of the year.

  2. The Dollar Tree is probably my favourite store. I throw a party for my son every year and my budget is $300, including food and entertainment. Dollar Tree makes this number a reality…anything I’m looking for, I go to here first! Great article.

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