Dollar Store Beats Walmart
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The Best Things to Buy at the Dollar Store

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Dollar Store Beats Walmart
RiverNorthPhotography/istockphoto

Dollar Store Deals

If you think the dollar store is just a repository of cheap junk, you’re missing out. While there are plenty of products you should leave on the shelves, other items are budget-friendly treasures just waiting to save you some cash. To help you navigate the aisles, we’ve compiled a list of best dollar store buys.

Prices and availability are subject to change. Note that shopping in-store for some items might be advisable due to minimum-quantity requirements for online purchases.

Birthday Party Supplies
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Party Supplies

Dollar stores teem with party supplies like helium-filled balloons, favors, invitations, disposable tableware, and occasion-specific decorations, all for much cheaper than you’ll find at the big-box or specialty party store. For those all-important presents, you'll also find wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue paper, and tape.

Related: 20 Party Essentials You Should Always Buy at the Dollar Store

Bright Tissue Paper
Dollar Tree

Bright Tissue Paper

Price: $1 (4 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Accustomed to overpaying for tissue paper and other wrapping supplies during last-minute trips to buy presents? Snag this gift-bag filler in bulk at the dollar store and you’ll save both time and money.

Pre-Inflated Mini Birthday Balloons
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Pre-Inflated Mini Birthday Balloons

Price: $1 (24 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Use these small stick balloons to embellish a centerpiece, floral arrangement, gift basket, or anything else when you want to spread birthday cheer on the cheap.

Plastic Table Covers
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Blue Plastic Table Covers

Price: $1 (4 ct. minimum)
Buy It
If your next event involves rows of bare tables, dress them up with disposable plastic table covers in an array of colors.

school supplies 2010
school supplies 2010 by EvelynGiggles (CC BY)

Office and School Supplies

While many school supplies are best bought in August during back-to-school sales,  the dollar store is a good place to stock up year-round for many office and school needs, including dorm room essentials. Finds often include mailing supplies, pens, pencils, sticky notes, basic calculators, staplers, planners, and binders.

Related: 25 Dorm Room Essentials to Buy at the Dollar Store

Jot Protective Document Pouches
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Jot Protective Document Pouches

Price: $1 (24 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Try these pouches for a more secure alternative to folders. The zipper closure and water-resistant plastic can keep documents well-protected on the way to work or school.

Dry-Erase Board
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Jot Dry Erase Board

Price: $1 (1 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Great for a dorm room or refrigerator door, this basic dry-erase board is an obvious place to leave reminders and other quick notes. It comes with a convenient eraser-topped marker.

Assorted Binders
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Vinyl 1” 3-Ring Binders

Price: $1 (1 ct. minimum)
Buy It
You know basic 1-inch binders will pop up on your kids’ school lists most years, so why not stock up at the dollar store for less?

Books
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Books

As long as you don't walk in expecting to find the latest best-seller, you may be surprised at the books and other reading material available at most dollar stores. Two especially popular categories are religious reads and children's books, with the latter category including everything from storybooks and nursery rhymes to coloring and puzzle books.

Sesame Street Board Books
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Sesame Street Board Books

Price: $1 (4 ct. minimum)
Buy It
These educational board books with thick die-cut pages feature Elmo, Big Bird, and the rest of the gang.

Nine Fruits of the Spirit Devotional Books
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Nine Fruits of the Spirit Devotional Books

Price: $1 (24 ct. minimum)
Buy It
From patience to peace to faithfulness, these books focus on how to weave a range of virtues into your daily life. Space for notes and questions is included, too.

Questions and Answers Educational Books
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Questions and Answers Educational Books

Price: $1 (24 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Young readers can learn about history, animals, space, and the world around them with these colorful 32-page books.

Kids’ Art Supplies
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Kids’ Art Supplies

The dollar store offers some relief for cash-strapped parents with kid-friendly craft supplies like ribbons, marbles, glue, clay or play putty, and sand-art or watercolor project kits to spark little imaginations.

Activity Dough
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Activity Dough

Price: $1 (4 ct. minimum)
Buy It
No need to spend big on the name brand — this non-toxic activity dough is a well-reviewed, much cheaper substitute.

Creative Kids Water-N-Color Art Kits
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Creative Kids Water-N-Color Art Kits

Price: $1 (24 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Let your little artist express themselves without the mess. A swipe of the water-filled pen reveals the colors with these clever kits.

Roselle Construction Paper
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Roselle Construction Paper

Price: $1 (48 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Construction paper is endlessly useful for so many kiddie projects, and the dollar store offers it on the cheap with these 36-page pads.

Use the Nice Plates
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Dinnerware

Dollar stores are a reliable source for glassware, plates, and utensils. What's more, you can set your entire table with dollar store purchases — decorative items like tablecloths, place mats, and cloth napkins are also on the shelves.

Glass Pint Jar Mugs
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Glass Pint Jar Mugs

Price: $1 (4 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Add a little country charm to your table with these sturdy 16-ounce glass mugs. Reviewers also love using them as a base for wedding and baby shower favors.

Gold-Rimmed Stoneware Dinner Plates
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Gold-Rimmed Stoneware Dinner Plates

Price:$1 (6 ct. minimum)
Buy It
These gold-rimmed plates are so elegant that no one will believe you picked them up at the dollar store. Matching mugs, bowls, and dessert plates are also available.

Round Silver Plastic Napkin Rings, 6 ct.
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Round Silver Plastic Napkin Rings, 6 ct.

Price: $1 (24 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Keep cloth napkins neat and tidy with these sturdy napkin rings, or use them as a blank canvas and add bling or other embellishments for more formal occasions.

Redundant Kitchen Tools
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Kitchen Tools

While the dollar store’s kitchen tools may not stand up to constant abuse from an enthusiastic home chef, they’re just fine for us mere mortals who also order takeout from time to time. Look for peelers, tongs, bag clips, and plenty more convenient kitchen accessories.

Betty Crocker Salad Tongs
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Betty Crocker Salad Tongs

Price: $1 (24 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Made with a fork on one side and a spoon on the other, these cherry-red plastic tongs are all you need to deftly serve those healthy greens.

Cooking Concepts Scoops
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Cooking Concepts Scoops

Price:$1 (24 ct. minimum)
Buy It
The perfect tool for digging around in large bags of nuts, beans, pet food, or more, these large scoops have soft, easy-to-grip handles.

Power Clip Novelty Bag Clips, 3 ct.
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Power Clip Novelty Bag Clips, 3 ct.

Price: $1 (48 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Keep your favorite snacks fresh with these whimsical little animal clips with strong metal hinges.

Baking Powder and Flour
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Baking Supplies

Any experienced baker knows that having the proper tools on hand can be the difference between success and failure, and the dollar store is a great source for inexpensive pans, mixing bowls, and other baking tools.

Cookie Sheets
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Cooking Concepts Steel Cookie Pan

Price: $1 (4 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Reviewers say these 13-by-9-inch steel pans are surprisingly sturdy for the price, and many say they’re also a great base for crafts.

Plastic Mixing Bowls
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Plastic Mixing Bowls

Price:$1 (24 ct. minimum)
Buy It
A good mixing bowl is a non-negotiable for bakers, and these have plenty of convenient features like a spout, handle, and non-slip base.

Betty Crocker Silicone Double Spatula
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Betty Crocker Silicone Double Spatula

Price: $1 (1 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Scrape and spread batter like a pro with this flexible silicone spatula that has become a go-to baking tool for many of its buyers.

Cleaning Supplies
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Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning products can get pricey, especially if you buy name brands. Save by opting for off-brands and all-purpose or specialized cleaners from the dollar store that will still get the job done. Alternatively, there are always empty spray bottles that can be used and reused for your own homemade cleaners.

LA’s Totally Awesome All-Purpose Cleaner
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LA’s Totally Awesome All-Purpose Cleaner

Price: $1 (24 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Hundreds of reviewers say this 20-ounce cleaner really does live up to its “totally awesome” billing, raving that it is especially effective as a degreaser and spot cleaner.

Scrub Buddies 2-in-1 Quick Eraser, 2 ct.
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Scrub Buddies 2-in-1 Quick Eraser, 2 ct.

Price: $1 (24 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Add water and watch stubborn scuffs and smudges magically disappear. Flip it over and find a regular sponge on the other side to assist with clean-up.

Plastic Bucket With Handle
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Plastic Bucket With Handle

Price:$1 (4 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Sometimes nothing will do but an old-fashioned bucket of sudsy water and your favorite cleaner. This plastic bucket holds up to 9 quarts and includes a metal handle and spout.

Proper Storage
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Storage Containers

Trying to get organized? You'll find an array of storage containers at the dollar store, from colorful bins to open baskets. While you won’t find the enormous containers that are rugged enough for garage or attic storage, there are plenty of choices for taming indoor clutter.

Essentials Plastic Storage Boxes
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Essentials Plastic Storage Boxes

Price: $1 (4 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Gather craft supplies, toiletries, or any other small items with these shoebox-size bins. The clear plastic means it’s easy to see exactly what’s inside without rummaging.

Clear Plastic Storage Trays
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Clear Plastic Storage Trays

Price: $1 (12 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Clean up that drawer full of hair ties, rubber bands, push pins, or other small items with these three-compartment storage trays. The open tops keep items easily accessible.

Essentials Collapsible Storage Bins
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Essentials Collapsible Storage Bins

Price:$1 (4 ct. minimum)
Buy It
These fabric-covered bins will not only look great on your shelves while corralling small items, they’re easy to fold and collapse when they’re no longer needed.

Seasonal Decor
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Holiday Decor

The dollar store is a gold mine for anyone who enjoys holiday decorating. Most locations have a dedicated section with affordable décor to suit each season — ornaments, lights, and tinsel for Christmas; eggs, baskets, and basket-stuffers for Easter; teddy bears and roses for Valentine's Day; and even plastic shot glasses, beads, and feather boas for Mardi Gras.

St. Patrick’s Wooden Sentiment Signs
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St. Patrick’s Wooden Sentiment Signs

Price: $1 (4 ct. minimum)
Buy It
If you just can’t let St. Patrick’s Day go by without crooning “Danny Boy” and guzzling a pint of Guinness, this wooden sign will help you set the mood.

Metallic Beaded Party Necklaces, 8 ct.
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Metallic Beaded Party Necklaces, 8 ct.

Price:$1 (48 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Celebrate Mardi Gras with plenty of shimmer and shine. These beaded plastic necklaces in assorted colors are inexpensive enough to layer up and toss around.

Bright Easter Eggs, 18 ct.
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Bright Easter Eggs, 18 ct.

Price: $1 (4 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Whether you need to stock up for the kids’ Easter baskets or a full-blown Easter egg hunt, these plastic eggs are easy to fill with treats and come in a range of vibrant colors.

Electronic Gadgets
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Electronic Gadgets

The dollar store is worth a look for cheap headphones to go with your smartphone or tablet, especially if you’re always losing more expensive pairs. Other items to look for include device stands and cases, USB charging cables, and flashlights.

USB Car Chargers
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USB Car Chargers

Price: $1 (48 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Keep your devices charged up on the go with a colorful car charger from the dollar store. At this price, you can even stow a spare or two in the glove box.

Self-Adhesive LED Push Lights
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Self-Adhesive LED Push Lights

Price: $1 (24 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Need some light in a closet, display cabinet, tight hallway, or other awkward space? These convenient little lights need just three AAA batteries and turn on and off with a push.

E-Circuit Pre-Moistened Electronics Wipes
Dollar Tree

E-Circuit Pre-Moistened Electronics Wipes

Price: $1 (24 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Let’s face it: All those screens get grimy. Safely clean TVs, computers, phones, and other devices with these anti-scratch wipes.

Personal Care Items
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Personal Care Items

The dollar store should be one of your first stops for toiletries like shampoo, body wash, deodorant, or oral hygiene products including toothbrushes, toothpaste, or denture care items. While you'll find brand names off and on, the generics often perform equally well.

Travel Hand Sanitizer
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Assured Travel-Size Hand Sanitizer, 2 ct.

Price: $1 (4 ct. minimum)
Buy It
These 2-ounce containers of hand sanitizer are a must for purses and backpacks, helping keep germs at bay even when soap and water aren’t available.

Oil of Life Moisturizing Body Wash
Dollar Tree

Oil of Life Moisturizing Body Wash

Price: $1 (12 ct. minimum)
Buy It
If you prefer body wash to old-fashioned bars of soap, the dollar store is a great place for stocking up. Owners say this one is a good bet for its mild smell and rich lather.

Pure Silk Twin-Blade Razors, 5 ct.
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Pure Silk Twin-Blade Razors, 5 ct.

Price: $1 (6 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Razors can get pricey quickly, and this is about as cheap as they come. Moisturizing bands and dual blades help keep your shave smooth and comfortable.

Reading Glasses
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Reading Glasses and Eye Care

If you find yourself squinting at small text, a pair of reading glasses from the dollar store may be a cost-effective solution. Stores also often sell eyeglass repair kits, cords, eye drops, and dollar sunglasses — another must-have if you're constantly breaking or losing more expensive pairs.

Skin Nutritions Dark Circle and Puffiness Treatment
Dollar Tree

Skin Nutritions Dark Circle and Puffiness Treatment

Price: $1 (4 ct. minimum)
Buy It
You may be tired, but you don’t have to look like it with this roll-on under-eye treatment enriched with green tea extract and vitamins B3 and C.

Reading Glasses
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Fashion Reading Glasses

Price: $1 (36 ct. minimum)
Buy It
At this price, you can keep a pair of reading glasses every conceivable place you may need them. Need a different diopter? Several others are available.

Sun Tropez Beaded Eyeglass Cords
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Sun Tropez Beaded Eyeglass Cords

Price: $1 (48 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Stop losing those eyeglasses or sunglasses by attaching these embellished cords, available in a variety of styles.

Picture Frames
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Picture Frames

There's no better décor than pictures of friends and loved ones, but you could spend a fortune elsewhere finding frames for all your favorites. The dollar store's selection includes display easels, clothespin lines, and frames for the wall or desktop.

Related: 31 Holiday Gifts You Can Get at the Dollar Store

Picture Frames
Dollar Tree

Special Moments Coastal Weathered Frames

Price: $1 (12 ct. minimum)
Buy It
With a weathered look that’s great for that beachy or rustic vibe, these 4-by-6-inch frames are perfect for desks, shelves, or small groupings on the wall.

Picture Frames
Dollar Tree

Special Moments Two-Tone Black Plastic Picture Frames

Price: $1 (12 ct. minimum)
Buy It
There’s a reason most art galleries use simple black frames: They’re effortlessly chic. These 8-by-10-inch frames also come with white mats for that pro-photographer look.

Special Moments Mini Scroll Work Frames
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Special Moments Mini Scroll Work Frames

Price: $1 (24 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Add an accent on any small table or shelf, or use these roughly 3-inch frames for wedding table numbers or favors — either way, they’re elegant and unexpected.

Other Home Decor
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Other Home Decor

When you’re done decorating with photos, don’t overlook other accents that can add personality to tables and shelves. Items like candles, glass vases, welcome mats, and garden lanterns are often on dollar-store shelves, too.

Multi-Toned River Rocks
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Multi-Toned River Rocks

Price:$1 (16 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Great as a vase or bowl filler, these polished river rocks pair especially well with candles or bamboo to create a serene environment.

Decorative Plastic Frame Mirrors
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Decorative Plastic Frame Mirrors

Price: $1 (24 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Group a bunch of these vintage-vibe mirrors on the wall for a stylish accent no one will ever suspect came from the dollar store.

Ceramic Succulent Trinket Containers
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Ceramic Succulent Trinket Containers

Price: $1 (24 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Use these small, sleek ceramic containers to keep rings or other small items in one place, or simply admire their beauty on a dresser or a shelf.

Update Your First Aid Kit
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First Aid Items

Be prepared on the cheap with the dollar store’s large selection of bandages, gauze, ice packs, disinfectants, and other first-aid musts. They work just as well as their pricier big-box and pharmacy counterparts.

NaturePlex Triple Antibiotic Ointment
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NaturePlex Triple Antibiotic Ointment

Price:$1 (4 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Keep those cuts and scrapes from becoming infected with this ointment that’s less than half the price of the name brand.

Assured Digital Thermometers
Dollar Tree

Assured Digital Thermometers

Price: $1 (4 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Get an accurate reading in under a minute with this easy-to-read digital thermometer with an LCD display and temperature memory.

Carepak Travel-Size First Aid Kits
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Carepak Travel-Size First Aid Kits

Price: $1 (4 ct. minimum)
Buy It
These small starter first-aid kits include bandages and antiseptic wipes. There’s also room enough for other small items if you want to customize your stash.

Oil and Other Automotive Fluids
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Auto Supplies

If you're looking to spruce up your vehicle, you could save a good deal by looking for supplies at the dollar store before going to AutoZone. Some of the most reliable finds in these categories include brake fluid and motor oil, air fresheners, and microfiber cleaning cloths.

SMB Super Gas Treatment
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SMB Super Gas Treatment

Price: $1 (12 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Users swear by this gas treatment for helping their vehicles get better mileage. It also helps protect against frozen fuel lines, rust, grimy build-up, and more.

Driver’s Choice Microfiber Chenille Washmitts
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Driver’s Choice Microfiber Chenille Washmitts

Price:$1 (24 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Make washing your wheels a breeze with these reusable, absorbent, clear-coat safe microfiber washmitts.

E-Circuit Auto Cell Phone Holder
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E-Circuit Auto Cell Phone Holder

Price: $1 (24 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Go hands-free with this handy phone holder that clips onto vents. It can expand to fit phone screens up to 3 inches wide.

Craft Supplies
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Craft Supplies

Specialty craft stores definitely aren’t interested in telling you that the dollar store sells some of the same basics for less. You may find staples like wooden plaques, wreath forms, beads, stencils, and scrapbooking materials, all without waiting for sales in order to stock up.

Floral Garden Wreath Form
Dollar Tree

Floral Garden Wreath Form

Price: $1 (4 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Why pay more for something you’re just going to cover up? Use this wire form as the base for a gorgeous wreath, whether you use fabric, flowers, moss, or something even more creative.

Clear Plastic Terrarium Globes
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Clear Plastic Terrarium Globes

Price: $1 (4 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Fill these plastic globes with small plants, figurines, holiday decor, or other goodies for an eye-catching home accent.

Decorative Adhesive Paper Craft Tape
Dollar Tree

Decorative Adhesive Paper Craft Tape

Price:$1 (36 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Whether you want to wrap a present with added flair or add some pizzazz to your newest scrapbooking masterpiece, there are plenty of uses for these rolls of fun decorative tape.

Beach and Pool Gear
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Beach and Pool Gear

Whether you’re envisioning a lazy day on the sand or a more active afternoon chasing the kids around the pool, the dollar store has you covered. Stores often stock sand toys, beach balls, pool toys, and other gear to make your day that much more fun.

Beach Pail and Shovel
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Beach Pail and Shovel

Price: $1 (6 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Plastic pails and shovels don’t even make it home from the beach half the time, so load up with these cheapies for a worry-free afternoon of castle building.

Ladies’ Summer Sun Hat
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Ladies’ Summer Sun Hat

Price:$1 (24 ct. minimum)
Buy It
For a buck, it’s no big deal if these ribbon-embellished sun hats get crushed in your luggage coming home.

Splash-N-Swim Beach Balls
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Splash-N-Swim Beach Balls

Price: $1 (4 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Beach balls definitely don’t need to be expensive to do their job, and these colorful 20” inflatables are ready to add to your fun in the sun.

Laundry Detergent
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Laundry Needs

Make the most inescapable of household chores a little less painful by getting everything you need at the dollar store for less. Detergent, dryer sheets, stain removers, small baskets, and hampers are among the most common finds.

Laundry Detergent
Dollar Tree

LA’s Totally Awesome Oxygen-Powered Laundry Detergent

Price: $1 (8 ct. minimum)
Buy It
Try finding a 64-ounce bottle of laundry detergent for a buck anywhere else. Even better, some devotees insist they like this formula even better than the name brands.

Stacking Plastic Laundry Baskets
Dollar Tree

Stacking Plastic Laundry Baskets

Price: $1 (36 ct. minimum)
Buy It
You might not be able to overload these plastic baskets with your heaviest laundry loads, but owners say they’re sturdier than they should be for a buck. They’re also handy for organizing toys, blankets, or other items.

Essentials Easy Peel 40-Sheet Lint Rollers
Dollar Tree

Essentials Easy Peel 40-Sheet Lint Rollers

Price: $1 (36 ct. minimum)
Buy It
If you have a pet or piece of furniture that leaves “souvenirs” all over your clothing, a few strategically placed lint rollers can be a lifesaver.

Reusable Shopping Bags
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Reusable Bags

Go green with the dollar store by stocking up on bags you can use again and again, eliminating the need for paper or plastic at the grocery store. A ton of varieties are available, from woven and fabric totes to laminated bags.

Large Laminated Mandala Fashion Tote Bags
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Large Laminated Mandala Fashion Tote Bags

Price: $1 (24 ct. minimum)
Buy It
These roughly 18-by-14-inch bags are large enough for groceries and other large items, and the plastic and polypropylene material can hold up to spills and resist tears.

Reusable Inspirational Fabric Tote Bags
Dollar Tree

Reusable Inspirational Fabric Tote Bags

Price: $1 (36 ct. minimum)
Buy It
These reusable fabric bags, about 14 by 16 inches, will do just fine for toting small items like craft projects, clothing, or lightweight toys. The fun sayings are just a bonus.

Ladies’ Clear Plastic Carrying Bags
Dollar Tree

Ladies’ Clear Plastic Carrying Bags

Price: $1 (48 ct. minimum)
Buy It
If you ask us, both men and women could get plenty of use from these 11-by-7-inch clear plastic totes ideal for carrying toiletries, school or office supplies, and practically anything else you can stuff inside.

Batteries
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