The Dollar Store Guide

    The Dollar Store Guide

    Oct 30, 2019

    If you are anything like me (a frugal college student), you’re probably ballin’ on a budget and constantly looking for the ultimate prices on basic items. Don’t get me wrong, I am totally a “bang for your buck” kinda gal, and I am a firm believer of “you get what you pay for” (especially when it comes to box color hair dye, but that’s a story for another time) but I promise there are some gems that you can find at any dollar store! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to the local dollar store and said to myself, “hey, I didn’t know they had that here!” after spending so much more at other larger retail stores. So we here at ERA Donahoe Realty are going to highlight the coolest finds at the dollar store that you'll love and that won’t break the bank. So save your hard earned moola for other important things… like quality hair dye.


    Pens, highlighter, poster boards and all things school:

    I am notorious for losing my pens, paper clips and rubber bands, but luckily the dollar store sells these babies in bulk, so I’ll never run out! Other great finds that many dollar stores have in stock is tape (great if you have to duct tape your side mirror to your car door, don’t ask me how I know this) poster boards for school or work projects, foam boards that make for the ultimate backdrop for photo shoots and batteries! I always stock up on these babies when I make my routine run to the dollar store!

    Gift supplies and Cards:

    Have you ever noticed how expensive greeting cards are? Other larger retail stores typically sell birthday, anniversary and greeting cards for $4-$6, easy. That’s a lot for a card that just says “happy birthday!” Luckily, dollar stores have cards in stock for any occasion for just a dollar. They also have a large variety of gift supplies like gift bags and gift wrapping paper for any occasion, and they’re great quality too! So don’t blow your cash on the little things, let the dollar store take care of that for less.

    Party supplies:

    Okay, maybe you won’t be able to find everything necessary for a party at the dollar store, but you will surely find color coded decorations, streamers, confetti, napkins, plates and balloons for only $1! This will not only save you loads of time, but money too! Seriously have you seen the balloon prices at Party City? Yeah, no. Be smart with your spending, and save a little on great quality things. 

    Spray bottles: 

    Seems random, but these babies work for hair products, cleaning supplies and doubles as both a dog training tool and a kid loving squirt gun. I’ve seen these bad boys go for $3-$5 each in big department stores, but you can find them for just $1 at your local family dollar store. Pro-Tip: Put vinegar and a few drops of essential oils in the bottle for a cleaner, or you can try filling the bottle with half fabric softener and half water and voilà, homemade Febreze.

    Fabric Softener:

    As mentioned above, fabric softener could always double as your own homemade Febeze, but you can also find some good quality products that will work great with your clothes as well! I mean, why not? It’s worth the dollar and won’t hurt to try!

    Hand Soap:

    You can never have too much hand soap! And when I say stock up on them, I don’t mean the little single use hand soaps, I’m talking about the big jugs that are purposed for refilling the little push pumps. Some dollar stores have these babies for just a dollar. Just something to keep in mind because germs are everywhere!

    Medical Supplies:

    It is always a good idea to load up on health supplies like: band-aids, gauze, hydrogen peroxide, hand sanitizer, scissors, Q-tips, cotton swabs and so on. In fact, you can even make a mini first aid kit for under $10 as an emergency pack to keep in a nearby place, because trust me, accidents do happen. So next time your kid scrapes their knee at the park (like all kids do), you’ll be prepared! 

    Aluminum Disposable Pans:

    Seems random but with the holiday season quickly approaching, these babies will be flying off the shelves! Some retailers (ahem, StaterBro’s) sell these foil pans for upwards to $6-$8 each! Not only are these pans good for baking the Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas Day ham, but they are also great for baking mac and cheese, storing large amounts of goodies like cupcakes and cookies for work events, or for storing frozen food, like lasagna and enchiladas. My advice would be to purchase maybe 3 or 4 large foil pans so that you will have some set aside and ready for the holiday season, because they are the ultimate find at any dollar store.

    Wipes and Cleaning Supplies

    It never hurts to have extra wipes around to clean the interior of your car or your coffee stained laptop (okay, maybe that’s just me). Dollar stores are notorious for selling big bags of wipes for just one dollar. In fact, you can score on some awesome cleaning supplies for cheap. I’ve even gotten a sturdy carpet scrub for my car for only a dollar! Moreover, dollar stores also have emergency cleaning items like toilet scrubs, dish sponges and some pretty good car detailing items. If all else fails, at least pick up a car air freshener! But regardless of what you decide to buy, the dollar store will have everything you need for a clean home, on a budget.


    Dollar stores are the mecca for large bags of candy and chips! Personally, I lean towards other items like tea, pretzels and hot cheetos, but the list of goodies goes on. It’s never a bad idea to make a trip down the snack aisle to see what tasty treats you can find, so load up on these bad boys, after all, it’s just $1!

    Overall, there are some great items that you can score on at any dollar store! Keep in mind that not everything there is probably the best quality, but the items listed above will be worth every penny! Next time you head to a dollar store, keep these items in mind and see how much moola you can be saving thanks to ERA Donahoe Realty!