My mom raised me to be a dollar store shopper. And while I’ll admit that most of the things you manage to get at the dollar store are of terrible quality — there are definitely a few great finds that you can score if you know what you’re looking for.
Fortunately, I’ve got dollar store shopping down to a science — a slightly inaccurate science that mostly based off opinion (but there have been experiments, many of them) — so here is my list of the best things you can get at the dollar store.
My absolute favorite purchase is hand soap for my bathroom. Yes, I’m aware I am the very definition of uncool but I often find soap to expensive because companies try to go all out when quite frankly, it’s just soap. Hence why when I found the perfect no-frills soap from the dollar store that smelled okay but wasn’t created with minerals from the dead sea or anything fancy like that (because you literally use it to wash OFF your hands) it became my favorite dollar store purchase.
I would love to share the brand of soap with you because I think it’s so great but it’s so generic that it actually has no name. The one I currently have is simply called “lavender vanilla soap” and the one I typically get is “shea vanilla soap.” But for all its anonymity and the fact that the soap bottle reminds me of something that belongs in my great grandmother’s vanity table, it’s a great quality soap.
Not forks, spoons and knives, because if you’ve ever purchased them from the dollar store you’ve likely noticed that they tend to be thin and bendy (which is not what you want when you’re cutting a piece of steak or fighting with a chewy bite of tofu) but the bigger kitchen utensils — flippers, spoons, potato mashers, those kind of things.
You can get these anywhere but they’re the same quality whether you buy them at the dollar store or elsewhere. Unless you’re running a cooking blog or are a professional chef, then fill your heart with Rachel Ray — you can probably write it off anyway.
My best kitchen towels were purchased at the dollar store. They’re the most boring kitchen towels you’ve ever seen, but unlike the fancier ones I’ve purchased from department stores or other fancier joints these don’t push around water, they actually pick it up which is the only thing I actually want from my kitchen towels. Any time I need to replace towels, I go back to the dollar store. I’ve tried towels from everywhere — it’s simply not worth it.
There are two main places I get toys for my pup from, the dollar store and the second-hand store. The dollar store has some pretty decent pet toys — squeakers, balls, and stuffies, pending your pup is a medium grade or less chewer (I have a pug so we’re golden).
Avoid pet-related items like food, treats, or pee pads (the latter genuinely don’t work). But if you have cats, most dollar stores that I’ve frequented carry a great littler box deodorizer.
Throughout the years, and especially in the very beginning when I was setting up my first apartment, I loved getting glasses from the dollar store. Though admittedly, I had to stop myself because I ran out of space. But beyond being inexpensive, I loved that the dollar store had glasses of all shapes and sizes — basically anything you were looking for! You can also purchase decent quality mugs there, but they aren’t going to be as fun as the ones you see on Instagram.
I would like to point out that I would recommend sticking to glass glasses purchases from the dollar store. While I’ve been able to find good plastic related items on occasion it can be touch-and-go, so it’s probably better to be safe than sorry. Drinking-related items that I don’t recommend purchasing from the dollar store include fancier glasses like your wine or champagne glasses.
What secret gems have you found at the dollar store? Share them with me below in the comments!
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Tae started out as a journalist before following the money into the corporate world. But it turns out that the grass isn’t always greener and now you can find her spending most of her time writing about all the things she loves. Namely, money, travel and business with a hefty dose of self-deprecating humor. She is a podcast fanatic, blogging aficionado and loves to find new ways to turn passions into cold hard cash!