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7 Dollar Store Buys Worth Your Dollar

3 Minute ReadTopic: budget

It’s easy to walk into a dollar store to buy one thing and walk out with $40 worth of junk. People love the one-price-fits-all deals!

But that doesn’t mean everything at the dollar store is a waste. Between the bouncy balls and the foil balloons, there are still plenty of great things to buy at the dollar store—if you know where to look.

These seven safe bets will satisfy your inner bargain hunter and stretch your budget.

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1. Greeting Cards

Forget roaming the aisles at Hall-of-Cards for that perfect sarcastic greeting. At the dollar store, simple is the name of the game. Just pick a few minimalist cards and add your own DIY thoughtfulness. That’s twice the thought for half the price. They’ll be so impressed.

2. Stickers and Activity Books

Sometimes you need a distraction for your kids that doesn’t make a ton of noise. That’s where the dollar store comes in. Fill those fidgety fingers with activity books and sticker sheets, and then watch as your little ones stay occupied and quiet for at least 15 consecutive minutes.

3. Reading Glasses

At a buck a piece, there’s no excuse to keep misplacing your specs. Give yourself a break from combing the house top to bottom and purchase several pairs of reading glasses. Keep a pair at home, in your handbag, and at the office. Plus, you’ll finally have something that goes with that snazzy purple shirt in your closet.

4. Cleaning Supplies

Name-brand household cleaners aren’t limited to mega-retailers. Scan your local dollar store shelves for trusted names, or maybe give an off-brand a try. And while you’re disinfecting, stock up on dishrags, distilled vinegar and spray bottles. These are great items to keep on hand, along with new scrub brushes for your dishes, toilets and tubs.

5. Travel-Size Items

Leaving on a jet plane? Stop by the dollar store to load up on travel-size toiletries that will fit perfectly in your carry-on luggage. Bonus: You can even buy the empty travel-size bottles and then fill them up with your own products from home.

6. Table Centerpieces

Decorate your wedding reception or your family reunion dinner with dollar store decor by the caseload. Check to see if your local dollar store offers online bulk orders and free site-to-store shipping. It’s a great way to get tons of vases, candles and faux flowers at rock-bottom prices.

Related: 3 Steps to Keep Your Wedding Costs From Getting Out of Control

7. Balloons, Gift Wrap and Party Supplies

In addition to scoring great deals on superhero balloons, party planners (aka moms and dads) can find everything from cups to crepe paper at a sweet discount. And don’t forget to stock up on gift wrap, tissue paper and ribbons for all those big-kid presents.

The point of dollar store shopping is to save money, but it’s just as easy to blow your budget on tons of little things as it is on a few big-ticket items. So before you check out, ask yourself, Am I really getting a good deal, or am I just overspending with smaller bills? And put the bouncy balls back.

No matter what you buy at the dollar store, make sure it’s in your budget! For a free, easy, and on-the-go budget app, check out EveryDollar.

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