The truth is, most of the items for sale in a dollar store are not worth your money. Many of the items are very low quality and/or not worth the $1 you pay for them. I, however, have found my local dollar store to be the only place to buy some essentials. I have done a little research at my local target to provide some price comparisons my point.
The dollar store is the best place to buy…..
1) Greeting cards. Many of the cards are 2/$1, and there are some that are $1 each. Many of the cards have the original prices on the back. I bought a birthday card the other day for $1 that had $3.99 printed on the back. No one would know the difference. Usually at the beginning of the month I will make a list of everything I could need a card for during the month and take one trip to buy them all at the dollar store. Last month I bought 6 cards for $8. Voila, instant savings.
2) Dryer Sheets. The dollar store brand smells great, works well, and costs $1 for 50 sheets ($.020/ sheet).
Aldi 80 for $1.99 ($.025/ sheet)
Target store-brand 120 for $3.99 ($.033/ sheet)
or 240 for $6.29 ($.026/ sheet)
Bounce dryer sheets 180 for $6.99 ($.039/ sheet)
Snuggle 276 for $8.49 ($.03/ sheet).
3) Dishwasher Detergent. I was making my own homemade dishwasher detergent out of A&H Super Washing Soda, baking soda, salt, and Borax. The recipe worked fine and was very cheap to make, however it left a slight grainy film on the dishes. In order to fix that issue I would have had to add citric acid to the recipe, which is quite expensive and would negate the reason I had for making it in the first place. I went to my dollar store to see if there would be a discount option there. I found 2 different types: a liquid, environmentally friendly 32oz bottle for $1 ($.031/oz), and a 26oz dry detergent for $1 ($.038/oz). I picked up both and they work amazingly well. The liquid one is a little runny, but it did the job well with the same amount I would have used of other detergents
Target brand liquid detergent $2.74 for 75oz ($.037/oz)
Cascade liquid detergent $4.49 for 75oz ($.059/oz)
Target brand dry detergent $3.24 for 75oz ($.043/oz)
Cascade dry detergent $4.49 for 75oz ($.059/oz).
4) Puzzles and children’s books. My nephew loves puzzles and I quickly found out that several $1 puzzles from the dollar store kept him happy for a long time. When I couldn’t make it to the library to get some books for us to read, I bought a few at the dollar store. $5 kept us busy for quite a while.
5) Cleaning products. I am just putting the entire group here, because nearly every one of them is cheaper at the dollar store. Some of them are runnier and less perfumed than you might be used to, but they do the job and you usually don’t have to use any more than usual.
6) Gift Wrap. We bought my aunt a big gift last year and I ended up spending $6.99 on a gift bag that was big enough for it. At the dollar store they have cute gift bags in every size. Their wrapping paper is also nice and they have different ones for nearly any occasion (not to mention the large selection of bows and ribbons). I also bought a large stack of tissue paper which will last me quite a while.
7) Office/School supplies. There’s a large variety and you’d be surprised by the quality. I have a pair of scissors I bought a few years ago that I am still using. I can’t tell the difference in quality between them and ones from another store.
There are other great things you can get at the dollar store, but these are the ones I buy. The savings are worth the extra trip once a month, especially over the long-run.
*The dollar store I go to is the Dollar Tree chain