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Money Savings

13 Do’s and Do Not’s of Shopping At The Dollar Store


This guest post is written by Stephanie, who blogs at She writes about real estate, side hustles and life in general. Wealth is a long journey for the average individual, and that’s the perspective she takes on her blog. She also hustles as a virtual assistant, loves her Boston Terriers and is nomadic at heart.




Doesn’t it seem like dollar stores are popping up everywhere these days? And I don’t know if it’s me, but I feel like they are carrying more and more items. It’s a mini Wal-mart in my city, but I need to be careful to not get carried away. Here’s my do’s and do not’s on shopping at the dollar store.


1. Food! Don’t shop when you are hungry: the most edible foods at the dollar store in my neighbourhood is junk food. Don’t shop when you are hungry, otherwise you will end up with a cart full of candy!


2. Use a list. Much like any store, I recommend going in with a list. Dollar stores are starting to sell so much more than just dollar items, and it’s easy to get into the browsing mode.


3. Household cleaning supplies: Don’t buy items regularly sold in regular stores unless you know your prices. Dish soap, for example, might seem like an easy deal at $2 a bottle, but I know Wal-mart sells them for $1.87 or less.


Read More: Unique Ways to Save Money


4. Office and school supplies: Do shop for office and school supplies. Very few places will have paper clips and post-its for less than the dollar store.


5. Temporary shoes: Do shop for flip flops or other few-time use shoes. I usually wear the fake crocs or flip flops in my house, especially when cleaning. They keep my feet from slipping or picking up anything on the floor, and they keep me motivated. Wearing shoes can help you stay focused when you just want to put your feet up.


6. Baking paraphernalia: Do shop for baking supplies. I am referring to cupcake liners, one-time use foil pans, etc. Best prices seem to be at the dollar store.


7. Crafts! Do check out the craft and home décor aisles. There are lots of projects to be had on the cheap.


8. Pet food: Don’t rely on pet food at the dollar store. The bags are smaller to accommodate for the low price, and you will find that, per gram, you are paying much more for the food and getting a cheaper product (less nutritious).


9. Pet treats: Do price out treats. I can get bags of chewy bones for the dogs for less than the box stores. I might need to purchase more packages, but the per item cost is lower.


10. Fresh items, like bread or buns: Do shop for those at the dollar store. More and more items are showing up at the dollar store for discounted prices.Bagels, buns, bread and more can be purchased for half the price of the box stores.


11. Electronic Accessories: Do check out things like cell phone chargers and covers, cases for tablets, extension cords and more. Prices are better than brand name and do the same job for less.


12. Hardware supplies: Do look for items such as picture hanging kits, gloves, ratchet straps, paint brushes, etc. The assortment is usually great, and the products will do the same job as higher priced kits at other stores.


13. Plant materials: Do check out pots and potting supplies. There’s a great assortment, including biodegradable bamboo pots, at the stores these days.




Keep track of your savings, and put the extra money into a safe place, like your emergency fund or paying off debt. Remember that half the battle is knowing your prices!


I hope you enjoyed my quick list of dollar store do’s and don’t’s. I am the best and worst at shopping at the dollar store, and can easily spend way more than I mean to!


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