Oh, the Dollar Store. What a collection of things barely worthy of production and treasure trove of steals mixed into one. It’s truly one place where you don’t know if you’ll regret walking in or be pleasantly surprised on what you saved a few bucks on. I don’t usually make trips to the Dollar Store a common thing, but this isn’t commonplace in my family . My sister loves a good bargain (one of my many nicknames for her is Bargain Bonnie) and always like to have people come along to the store with her to share in thrifty fun. One day she convinced me to go along with her to find the best and worst supposedly sellable items in the Dollar Store, and here is what we found.
We’ll start off on a good foot with the 11 best finds:
11.) Air Wick/Glade Home Fragrances
We found odor-absorbing gels, sprays and those little cone things (I don’t know the name, sorry) that usually sit in the bathroom. These usually rack up to $5 – $8 or so in most stores, so it’s quite a deal to find these brand names at the Dollar Store.
10.) Scented Soaps
These may not be brand names, but they are equivalent to what you will find in department stores, Bath & Body Works or possibly the Body Shop. They smell wonderful (and I’m quite picky), come in cute boxes and are a good size. Save the $8 you normally pay at larger stores. You’re only paying for the label there.
There were a few brands to choose from, most notably Banana Boat and Nature’s Gate. Normally around $4-$10 each, these are a steal. I may make a big deal out of sunscreen more than a lot of people. It’s not because I’m worried about UV rays or skin cancer or anything else from the burning ball in the sky. It’s because on my first trip to Greece I bought a few bottles of the cheapest stuff I could find at Target, which was about $4 a bottle of Target brand stuff, and then ran out in Greece. Greeks apparently believe it is gold, because they were charging 15€ per bottle. Ever since all of this, I’ve learned the value of buying sunscreen cheap. This is definitely a bargain for the upcoming summer.
8.) Toothbrush Family Pack & Toothbrush Holder
This is a 6-pack of toothbrushes in the holder. Seems really simple, basic and nothing special. And it is. That’s what’s cool. This shouldn’t be significant, just cheap and easy. The only notable thing is the fact toothbrushes are about $1-$3 each at Wal-Mart and Target and the holder is of course extra. This is a great deal for families with kids or college kids. I had to pick one up for myself, because I despise running to Target and getting overcharged for little things like this. Maybe I’m more like my sister than I thought……..
Remember using these in middle school?…..Or maybe you still use one for the gym? They normally cost about $6-$15, but because this lock is so basic, there’s no need to buy an expensive one hoping that it will work better. There are also plenty of bike locks at the Dollar Store, which could be just as good as any other bike lock, but because there are so many different kinds of bike locks, it’s hard to say if this is a good deal or a hunk of metal for $1.
6.) Belly Flops
My sister loves these. They’re simply misshapen Jelly Bellies. Due to the fact that they didn’t come out in that perfect kidney shape, they don’t cost outrageous prices. I think it’s actually more fun to see the weird shapes you get rather than seeing the same kidney-like objects over and over. My nephews do too, as they were laughing at each piece they pulled out. Definitely one of the tastiest and most entertaining things you can pick up at the Dollar Store.
5.) Bags of Brand Candy
This is personally my greatest reason to go to the Dollar Store. I’m not talking Skittles bags, either. I’m talking legitimate bags of candy reserved usually for Halloween. It’s all brand candy, too. Bags and boxes of Blow Pops, Laffy Taffy, Twix, Butterfingers, Life Savers, Baby Ruths and soooo many, many more are only $1. It is heaven for a kid, and I guess I never truly grew out of that. These bags are normally $4-$8 each at grocery stores and big box stores year round, and have even more cringeworthy prices at movies theaters. No more buying one full-sized candy bar at the grocery store for 50¢ or 75¢. There is also more high-end candy there if your palate is so inclined, such at Toblerone, English Toffee and European chocolate bars with high cocoa content. No matter which way you slice it, the Dollar Store is a golden ticket for your sweet tooth.
4.) Sniffles N’ Sneezes
My sister got really excited when she saw this (as she does with many bargains), because she is a mother. Apparently, this stuff works miracles at the first the sight of a cold. It prevents kids from getting a cold before it fully develops and has saved a few sick days for my sister. Naturally, she had to stock up on a few. They normally cost $6-$12, so this is great for all families.
3.) Wii Wheel for Mario Kart
Wii equipment can get expensive and I’ve seen my fair share of plastic breaking with my nephews’ Wii system. It’s best to save on the little accessories as much as you can. Mario Kart Wheels cost about $7-$20, but since it is only a holder for the remote, it can be bought cheaply here.
2.) Vitamins and Supplements
Vitamins can be tricky, but there are some that are so basic that you can buy them from almost anywhere. Instead of dropping $10 per bottle at the health food store or Wal-Mart or Target, buy the Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Calcium vitamins Fish Oil and many many more at the Dollar Store. It may sound very odd, but it is exactly what you will find at Wal-Mart and Target, many health food stores and online retailers. This is definitely a pleasant surprise at the Dollar Store.
The greeting card business is one of the biggest rackets still in existence. Everyone experiences being at their mercy, too. At least once a year, you go to the store to get a birthday card and are insulted by the price on this card. This little piece of cardboard with some pictures and about 15 words costs about $5. You know it’s not worth it, so you get mad, put it back and look for a cheaper one, but of course there aren’t any, or if there are, they aren’t any good. So, you suck it up and pay the extortionist prices, thinking the entire time that you could make something better for $5. Well, not anymore! The Dollar Store has stocks of cards sold in bundles or separately for all occasions. So, no more fueling the Hallmark machine! ;-)
Honorable mentions: Paas Easter Egg Kit, Hall Cough Drops, Chapstick Ultra Smooth lip balm, lint rollers, packing tape, GE nightlight and Crystal Light Pure Fitness
Come back tomorrow for this list’s worse half, the 11 worst finds in the Dollar Store!