12 Holiday Gifts You Can Get at the Dollar Store


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Finding presents for friends and family can be difficult when wish lists are longer than the budget allows. Believe it or not, dollar stores can be a good option for gift givers not eager to battle the crowds at big-box retailers. They stock popular brand-name toys, for instance -- because many kids can tell the difference between the real thing and the wannabes. From stocking stuffers to bigger gifts, there are treats for every age group that rarely cost more than $15. Here are some ideas that can help holiday gift givers save money without seeming chintzy. (Note: Some items are sold out online, but may still be available in stores.)

Related: 50 Unique Holiday Gift Ideas Under $50 for Everyone
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For active kids who enjoy playing outside, popular sporting goods can help keep the fun going. Dollar General has a traditional football, pump, and tee set for $12, while Dollar Tree sells two-tone foam footballs and rubber baseballs for $1 each.
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Older kids in their tween and teen years are notoriously hard to please. Dollar stores come to the rescue with over-the-ear headphones (a blast from the past now back in vogue) for about $9 to $12. Some light up, feature characters from recent hit movies, or limit the volume to protect kids’ ears.
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Superheroes are ever popular, and dollar stores are full of them. Fill a holiday gift bag with a favorite Star Wars or Marvel character (such as Darth Vader, Captain America, or Ironman) for $10 at Family Dollar.
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For girls of a certain age, these bizarrely glamorous dolls are immensely appealing. Pick up a Monster High basic doll at Family Dollar for $10.
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Family Dollar also has select models from a line of Barbie dolls featuring Barbie in different careers, such as soccer player and president, available for $10. Dollar General carries Barbie fairy dolls and Holiday Surprise Barbie for $12 each.
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Creative kids will love fresh arts and craft supplies. Fill a box with watercolor sets, stickers, markers, colored pencils, crayons, and more for $1 each at Dollar Tree. There are also coloring books for all ages (including adults) for $1.
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Family Dollar has five-packs of Matchbox cars, trucks, and other vehicles for $5. The small toy cars can provide hours of fun as kids’ imaginations turn the floor into a city and the walls into roads. Dollar Tree also carries an assortment of Matchbox models for $1 each.
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A Hot Wheels Daredevil Jump (starting at $5 at Family Dollar) could be a great complement to a set of Matchbox cars, or stand on its own (it comes with a car). Family Dollar also sells the larger Hot Wheels City Speedway starting at $10. Dollar Tree sells individual Hot Wheels cars for $1 each.
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The Play-Doh Sweet Shoppe Lunchtime Creations set (starting at $10 at Family Dollar) comes with five containers of different Play-Doh colors and is recommended for children 3 or older -- those who know not to actually eat their Play-Doh creations. Dollar Tree carries 4-ounce canisters of Play-Doh for $1 each.
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A new game or puzzle ($1 to $10 at many dollar stores) could be great fun during the cold season. From classic board games like chess or checkers, to puzzles with the latest Disney or Marvel heroes, there’s something for every age group.
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A framed photo is a welcome gift that lives on as a keepsake. Just about every major pharmacy and photo site will print a digital image for less than 25 cents, and frames sold at dollar stores often max out around $6.
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Fill stockings with a variety of sweet treats at the dollar store. From marshmallow Santas and candy canes to name-brand candies, many dollar stores have options that are sure to please every palate.