Dec 20, 2012

Dollar Store Recommendations

No I am not getting paid to do this, but I once read a blog article on Dollar Store do's and don'ts and I found the recommendations so helpful that I wanted to share my own list of things I recommend purchasing from the dollar store.  In this case these are all things that can be found at Dollar Tree.  I think that is the best dollar store out there.  It is a true dollar store, as in-everything cost $1.00.  

1. Kids tooth brushes.  Unless your child is super set on a specific character getting a 2 pack of kids tooth brushes for $1.00 is a great deal especially since they are going to chew the heck out of them and you will need new ones in just a matter of a couple of months.  I once found Care Bear tooth brushes that play a little song at the Dollar Tree and they have been one of the biggest hits at our house.  I only wish I had the foresight to have bought all of them because I haven't found them since.
2. Kids shampoo/body wash.  You go through a lot of this.  You can sometimes get it for a good deal at Walmart but this is a good deal also.  I don't feel bad making bubbles with it in the tub or letting the kids wash themselves with it for this price.
3. Large storage bags.  These come in large, XL and XXL sizes.  There are 2 to a pack and they are good.  I am not going to say they are the best quality but I have used them for excess toys and also for craft supplies and I love them.  They are handy to put things in to store in a dirty basement or under your bed.  And they are big.  One of my fav's from the $ store.
4. Worcestershire Sauce.  Gourmet cooks everywhere would gasp if they knew you bought it at the dollar store but if you are like me and only use it for a few recipes it is a good deal.
5. Pretzels   I only buy them at the $ store.  Even the cheap ones at Walmart are more than $1.00.  
6. Paper cups.  Now if you are needing a ton of paper cups this would't be a good deal but if you are wanting only a few to decorate for a party with, or to repurpose into something else then these are a good deal because you can get a lot of different colors and they are good quality cups.  I intend to make a set of mini light lanterns with these (so stay tuned for that).
7. Serving trays-but not to serve on.  Rather buy them, spray paint them, make a cute set of magnets to go with them, pick up a picture stand while you are at the Dollar Store and you have an instant gift-a mini magnet board.  These are the perfect size for magnet recipe holders too.
8. Quick erasers   These are like Magic Erasers only a fraction of the price and they work like a charm.  I was skeptical but I have been impressed.  In fact because they have a sponge on one side of them I find they actually hold up better-but that is just my opinion.
9. Kosher salt-again the gasps from the gourmet cooks.  Really people, in my very plain jane, middle of nowhere opinion-salt is salt.  This salt just happens to be $1.00-that's all I am saying.
10. Minced garlic-gasps again.  It is super handy for a lot of recipes and comes in small jars so that you don't have a vat of minced garlic sitting in your fridge forever.  
11. Chicken broth (now the gourmet cooks are completely disgusted with me and have quit reading).  I don't know that there is that big of a difference in the taste of chicken broth from one brand to the next (don't answer that) but this is $1.00 for a large tetra-pack carton and that in my opinion is a great deal and I like the flavor.  
12.Pop up lid storage containers.  We use these for cereal, snack bags and even one for a trash bin in our van.  
13. Cookie sheets.  Don't buy these to use to bake on-they are much too flimsy for that.  Buy these to make magnet job charts for your kids, or a magnet photo board, or a magnet advent calender or...(the list goes on-search Pinterest).
14. Kitchen shears.  Could a pair that you pay only $1.00 for be that great??? Yep they can.  I love my pair and maybe they can't cut through chicken bones or anything but they can cut bacon, they can cut meat, they can open packages.  You could have 4 pairs (1 for each different job) for that matter and price.
15. Pom Poms.  I am not constantly on the look out for the cost of pom poms so perhaps you can get them cheaper some place else.  I find that these are a great deal.  They have lots of different colors and it is a good sized package.
16. Googly eyes.  Again I don't know if you can get them cheaper some place else but for a large assorted pack of googly eyes I think $1.00 is a perfect price.  I love them.
17.Styrofoam balls.  Look any place for styrofoam balls and you will be shocked at how much they are-like $4-5.00 for a pack of 4. It is just nuts.  This picture shows and assorted pack, but I recently found 6 packs of both large and small balls (and in fact the smaller size had more to a pack) for $1.00.  If you are lucky enough to find these stock up because they are hard to come by.  What a deal.
18. Kid puzzles.  These are 25 piece puzzles but they also have 50 and 100 piece puzzles and then wooden puzzles too.  My girls love doing puzzles.  These are fun to pick up as a "what did you bring me?" prize.  They are good quality puzzles and they have a ton of varieties.
19. Pregnancy tests.  I am just saying-I have used one and it was accurate and I have a 3 month old to prove it.  As my friend says, "if you are pregnant-you are pregnant." Just adding that I am not guaranteeing anything-so don't hold me responsible.  I would buy one of these when you pretty much already know you are pregnant but you just want to pee on a stick to make it official.
20. Preschool work books.  I love these.  There are so many different kinds.  I want to buy every one of them.  They are so helpful when I do preschool with my girls.  We don't use these exclusively but they have so many neat things in them.  The Strawberry Shortcake series is our favorite.

A few other things I always buy: 
balloons-I keep a bunch in stock for playing with.
foaming hand soap.  I buy a couple of containers and then refill them with my own homemade version after
dish soap-it is too cheap to wash dishes with but it is good for making shower cleaner with (they recommend using the good stuff but I made it with the cheap stuff and was still impressed with the results).
Kids socks and kids character face clothes.

And now for just a couple Dollar Store Don'ts:
-playdough-it is cheap and awful
-crayons-they don't work worth beans
-candy bars-don't be fooled.  You can get them cheaper almost any place else.
-Cleaning wipes-they are not worth your money
most of the toys-I still buy them occasionally but I don't expect them to last too long
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  1. I love this post! I did want to tell you that I have also used their pregnancy tests with both pregnancies. They worked just fine, in fact, the manager of our local Dollar Tree told me she always has orders from pregnancy clinics and OB offices because they are cheaper than a medical supplier. I'm a medical assistant and they were the ones we used in our office.

  2. I don't know where you find the time for all these great posts, but thank you for your time, tips and ideas

  3. AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I <3 our Dollar Tree for all the above mentioned!!!!! BUT I did not know about the food things!!!!! All my bubbles, toothbrushes, crafty/kid friendly things come from their!!!! And the pans are great too to paint/stencil names on for a super cute, easy, cheap gift! My kiddos use theirs on the long car trips to color/eat with as a tray! And I buy the Dollar Tree fridge magnets for them to play with in the vehicle (so what if we lose some letters!) GREAT JOB!!!! GREAT POST!!!!!

    I second the crayons! They are ONLY good for melting to do something else with!


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