30 Holiday Gifts You Can Get at the Dollar Store

By   

View as:

hand holding gift of dollar
Photo credit: solidcolours/istockphoto

PRESENTS FOR PENNIES

When holiday shopping leaves budgets stretched thin, the dollar store can come to the rescue. It's a particularly good source for inexpensive stocking stuffers, classic kids' toys, and practical finds for grown-ups. Stop in often for a different selection, particularly as the seasons change.

white earbuds
Photo credit: esseffe/istockphoto

HEADPHONES

They won't deliver Bose-quality sound, but dollar-store headphones are a great stocking stuffer for kids who need them for tablets, or as a cheap backup pair for anyone. Earbuds start at just $1 at many stores, while teen-approved over-the-ear styles and kid-friendly headsets with volume control are easy gifts for a few more bucks.

stuffed Elmo
Photo credit: ivanastar/istockphoto

STUFFED ANIMALS

Some kids can never have enough plush friends, and dollar stores have plenty of stuffed animals. There are $1 miniature bears, monkeys, and holiday friends for stockings. Some dollar stores also carry full-size options and name brands including My Little Ponies and even Elmo, although they're usually a little pricier.

soap bar, soap liquid, shampoo, shower gel, towels
Photo credit: EasterBunnyUK/istockphoto

BATH PRODUCTS

Make a custom gift basket of bath products from a host of dollar-store options. Bubble bath, bath gel, fancy soap, lotion, and even trendy bath bombs are among frequent finds. Don't forget to throw in exfoliating gloves, poofs, washcloths, and other accessories to complete your gift.

phone cases in rainbow of colors
Photo credit: AlexLMX/istockphoto

PHONE CASES

As long as you don't need military-grade drop protection, you can often find phone cases on the cheap at the dollar store. Cases with fun colors and patterns are particularly good stocking stuffers for teens glued to their phones. Just don't expect to find cases for the latest smartphone models (sorry, iPhone XS owners).

family choosing board games to play
Photo credit: Diane Labombarbe/istockphoto

BOARD GAMES

Board games are always a great option for mass appeal. Some dollar stores even have classics including Connect 4, Sorry, and Guess Who for a bit more than a dollar. Just-a-buck options include smaller travel games such as classic wooden pegboards and plastic tic-tac-toe sets.

dog treats on floor
Photo credit: sanjagrujic/istockphoto

PET SUPPLIES AND TREATS

There's no need to leave Fido high and dry this Christmas. Unless the pooch has expensive taste, the dollar store is a great place to grab cheap pet gifts including dog and cat treats, bones and biscuits, squeaker toys, balls, teaser wands, and more.

four Barbie fashion dolls in different ethnic backgrounds
Photo credit: fieldwork/istockphoto

DOLLS AND ACTION FIGURES

There are a surprising number of name-brand toys at the dollar store. Many are no longer on the shelves of big-box retailers (although it's always worth double-checking to make sure you're really getting a good deal). Finds may include Trolls, Barbie, Monster High, Shopkins, PJ Masks, DC Comics Superheroes, classic soldier figures, and more. For kids who aren't picky, off-brand dolls and action figures are on tap for less.

picture frame, cup of coffee with books and table lamp
Photo credit: Wavebreakmedia/istockphoto

PICTURE FRAMES

Check the dollar store for cheaper frame options, especially if plastic or faux wood is okay. Options include 8x10s suitable for gallery walls and smaller tabletop frames perfect for gifting. Metallic finishes look convincingly pricey on a high bookshelf. Slip in a drugstore photo print and create a keepsake to please anyone.

pool noodles in toys
Photo credit: Joe_Potato/istockphoto

ACTIVE TOYS

Add to the kids' arsenal of ways to burn off energy with toys that will get them moving. Dollar stores carry jump ropes, foam footballs, paddle ball sets, mini basketball sets, and more. Some also have off-brand, Nerf-like dart blasters, regulation-size game balls, and pool floats, although these bigger toys are usually pricier than a dollar.

cards on table
Photo credit: csy302/istockphoto

CARD GAMES AND FLASH CARDS

Traditional decks of playing cards are a dollar-store staple, and perfect for putting in someone's stocking this year. Frequent finds include classics such as Old Maid and Go Fish or decks with kid-friendly characters such as Mickey Mouse or Shopkins. Flashcards with the ABCs or simple math are another option.

Men's moccasin slippers
Photo credit: Courtesy of dollargeneral.com

SLIPPERS

They might sound cliché, but simple slippers do come in handy when padding around the house, and they're cheap at dollar stores. Shoppers can pick up a pair of quilted cloth slip-ons at Dollar General for $6. Men’s moccasin-style slippers are $9.

red mug
Photo credit: posteriori/istockphoto

MUGS

Pick up an inexpensive mug and fill it with a bag of a java junkie's preferred coffee for an easy gift. Plain white stoneware mugs found at dollar stores are perfect for decorating and personalizing with a Sharpie. For those who aren't feeling crafty, there are plenty of festive holiday options.

Dollar Store Tea
Photo credit: Courtesy of dollartree.com

TEA

The holiday season can bring its own special brand of stress. Help someone avoid the jitters and unwind by giving them a box of nerve-calming tea.

close up of senior woman's hand putting together puzzle
Photo credit: Steve Debenport/istockphoto

PUZZLES

Know a puzzle lover? Fill their stash with inexpensive dollar-store options. Grown-up-friendly puzzles for just $1 include vibrant travel scenes and landscapes up to 500 pieces. For kids, licensed-character options with fewer pieces include favorites such as "Frozen," Paw Patrol, and Star Wars. Some mini puzzles come packaged in small tins, perfect for stockings.

crayons in rainbow of colors
Photo credit: skodonnell/istockphoto

KIDS' CRAFT SUPPLIES

Dollar stores are a great shopping source for creative kids. Options include basics such as coloring books, crayons and watercolors, clay, chalk, Play-Doh, stickers, and more. For on-the-go kids, activity kits featuring licensed characters like Care Bears and Transformers are easy stocking stuffers.

making DIY Christmas ornament
Photo credit: mediaphotos/istockphoto

GROWN-UP CRAFT SUPPLIES

Dollar stores don't ignore crafty grown-ups. They often have staples such as floral foam, wreath forms, ribbon, miniature hot glue guns, and organizers. Giftable options may include make-your-own ornament kits, assorted beads for necklaces, and colorful rolls of washi tape with tons of fun patterns.

Snickers
Photo credit: Ekaterina79/istockphoto

CANDY

Dollar stores have plenty of candy for every sweet tooth, and not just off-brand options: Most carry Snickers, Twix, M&Ms, and more. Not particular about wrappers? Look out for discounts on Halloween candy, which can last up to a year without declining in quality. Giftable boxes of assorted chocolates and wrapped Christmas candies are also easy to find.

blue toy car
Photo credit: gwflash/istockphoto

TOY CARS

Got a toy-car lover in your life? Fill their need for speed at the dollar store, where there are often plenty of toy cars on the cheap, including familiar names such as Disney Cars, Matchbox, and Hot Wheels. Larger toy cars, some remote-controlled, are often also available for those willing to spend a little more than a buck.

several tea lights
Photo credit: deepblue4you/istockphoto

CANDLES

There's little need to overpay for candles, particularly those used primarily as decor. Dollar stores feature a range of styles, including rustic-looking miniature mason jar candles, tea lights, pillar candles, large jar candles with long burn times, and even battery-operated LED votives.

colorful Christmas decorations in a boxes
Photo credit: maximkabb/istockphoto

ORNAMENTS

Fill a tree with a stash of dollar-store ornaments. Large packs of shatterproof balls in a variety of colors are a staple at most stores for no more than a few bucks. Giftable single ornaments are also available for $1 — think knit penguins and Santas, glittery reindeer, and plush snowmen.

colorful glow sticks
Photo credit: DuncanL/istockphoto

GLOW STICKS

Glow sticks and anything else that can light up the night with vibrant neon color is a guaranteed hit for any kid's stocking. There are tubes of bendable, connectable glow bracelets and necklaces at the dollar store for a buck. Some may also carry glow wands, balls, and even glow-in-the-dark fidget spinners.

pile of socks
Photo credit: ruzanna/istockphoto

SOCKS

Everyone needs 'em, so stuff a pair or two in a stocking for cheap. While dollar stores often have big packs of basic white crew socks, they may also carry super-soft non-skid socks perfect for the winter, thermal or boot socks, and even toe socks for the kids. Some stores carry trendy items such as slipper socks and boot toppers for a few more dollars.

nail polish in rainbow of colors
Photo credit: vasiliki/istockphoto

NAIL POLISH

Stuff her stocking with vibrant shades of nail polish, available for only a buck at most dollar stores. Wet n' Wild and L.A. Colors, name brands that cost more at big-box stores, are among the options at several dollar stores. Some also carry small gift sets that are already ready to stuff in a stocking or put under the tree.

hand holding onto bag of travel toiletries
Photo credit: izusek/istockphoto

TRAVEL TOILETRIES

Frequent fliers will love a small kit packed with travel essentials easily found at most dollar stores. You'll find face wipes, small bottles of shampoo and hand sanitizer, miniature tubes of toothpaste, toothbrush holders, and purse-size packs of tissues. Put them in a cute toiletry bag for a great gift.

pair of woolen gloves, cap and shawl for woman
Photo credit: ratmaner/istockphoto

HATS AND GLOVES

Everyone can use a warm hat or an extra pair of gloves this winter, and most dollar stores carry this welcome stocking stuffer. Expect basic knit options in solid colors or traditional designs. Paying a little more might get you a cozy fleece lining, and there are often character options for kids for a slight premium.

pink lip gloss sample
Photo credit: Luda311/istockphoto

LIP GLOSS AND LIP BALM

Perk up someone's pout with dollar-store lip gloss and lip balm, perfect for stockings. While there are plenty of off brands, don't be surprised to spot tubes of Carmex, Blistex, Chapstick, Wet 'n Wild, Eos, Maybelline, and other familiar names.

10ct Spring Flowers Blank Notes
Photo credit: Courtesy of target.com

GREETING CARDS

There are many occasions to send thank you notes, get well cards, or birthday greetings throughout the year, so it's smart to have some ready. Greeting cards are a stocking stuffer people will actually use.

red journal
Photo credit: kyoshino/istockphoto

JOURNALS

A great gift for a tween or teen who needs a safe space to vent, colorful journals are often available on dollar store shelves. Options range from basic composition books and spiral-bound mini notebooks to hardback journals with elastic bands to keep them closed. For a few more dollars, some stores have kid-approved furry covers, journals with writing prompts, or even lockable diaries.

defocused image of people at bookstore
Photo credit: AzriSuratmin/shutterstock

BOOKS

As long as you don't expect to find the latest best-seller, you may be surprised at the selection. This goes for children's books, too. There's certainly no reason to spend a ton on something that's so prone to damage by little hands.

Young man looking at DVDs in a store
Photo credit: Jacob Wackerhausen/istockphoto

DVDS

Blu-rays and DVDs make excellent stocking stuffers. As with books, the selection may not be recent or overwhelming, but depending on who you're buying for, you might just be able to find a movie that fits their taste.

Cheapism.com participates in affiliate marketing programs, which means we may earn a commission if you choose to purchase a product through a link on our site. This helps support our work and does not influence editorial content.