Dollar Store Hacks for Your Bargain Shopping

Dollar Store Hacks for Your Bargain Shopping

Meieli Sawyer

Meieli SawyerNov 23, 20173 min read

Are you a hardcore dollar store shopper? Part of the thrill is the hunt for great items at a bargain price. You can find treasues in dollars stores if you know just what to look for. 

Here are items to be on the look out for and pro tips for your bargain shopping:

Pantry goods

Snack foods are expensive, and that’s why we recommend taking advantage of tasty treats at the dollar store. Pretzels, black tea, molasses, raisins, and crackers are all fair game (and the ingredients are comparable to name brands in other shops). When shopping at a dollar store in person, look closely at the list of ingredients for meat and dairy products. This is the most common place where quality slips.

Pro tip: Don’t forget about the dual-duty pantry items that can also be used for beautifying, like vinegar (used as a toner) and oatmeal (on the skin and in the bath).


While plastics used for food storage may be a health hazard, glassware from bargain shops is attractive and plentiful. Goblets, juice glasses, and butter dishes are all nice buys (especially at this time of the year). Swing by the pet food section to look for pet dishes in stainless steel.

Pro tip: Look for display dishes for candy, pencils, and more.

Toiletry basics

Do you shave or moisturize with baby oil? If you do, then you’re in luck. While bottles of basics tend to be smaller, they are also easy to stockpile and are way cheaper than your local pharmacy. Take advantage and save! Look for name-brand lotions, baby shampoo and basics like dandruff formulations), and branded styling products that we’ve even seen at our hairdresser. Steer clear of sunscreen, unless it’s branded, because you shouldn’t forgo proven UV protection for price.

Pro tip: Consider downgrading expensive basics and going for the simple stuff instead. Shaving cream, basic body lotion, and dental floss are all good examples.

Cleaning supplies

Dish detergent, dishwasher tablets, and sponges are great buys at the dollar store. Look for brands you know, and don’t scrimp on the potential to organize your kitchen with sponge holders, soap dishes, plastic bag organizers, and more.

Pro tip: Don’t forget about snack bags!

Seasonal goodies

Do you enjoy decorating for the season? If you like sprinkling leaves around your office and hanging garlands, the dollar store is the perfect place to stock up on the festive stuff. You’ll find this type of decorations right up in the front, as you walk in.

Pro tip: Get bows, wrapping paper, ribbon, and gift bags when you’re there, too. We also love the fun decorative boxes.

And don’t forget -- there are lots of online dollar stores, too. We’ve linked to a few below, to make your shopping even more streamlined:

  • Hollar: This dollar shop has a surprising number of nice swimsuits and basic tees.
  • Dollar Tree: This classic dollar store is worth checking out, both online and in-person.
  • Dollar General: Get free shipping from the comfort of your own home.

Happy Shopping!