13 Household Necessities You Should Be Buying at the Dollar Store

Take Charge on 04.06.12
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Photo: AKZOphoto/Creative Commons

I love the dollar store. Truth be told, I just love shopping, period, but if I can combine bargain with value, that's a win-win in my book. One of the places I save money is at my neighborhood dollar store. While there are some places where only the name brand will do, there are also instances where you can swap out the higher-priced original for its lesser-known cousin. So here are some of my favorite dollar store scores and though some are more than a dollar, deep discounts can definitely be found, if you look around.

1. Nail Polish

nail polishPhoto:Melissa Reese Etheridge/Creative Commons

If you are like me and have a teenage girl in the house you know that cute nails are a must. But they don't stick with one color between manicures; they switch it up, often several times in a single day. The good news is you can stock up on every color under the sun and not go broke. Pick up nail polish remover while you're at it.

2. Lip gloss

This also goes for my teenage daughter (and her mother). They sell similar colors here that you might find at the drug and department stores and it's a great way to try out new trends for the season without spending a ton of cash.  

3. Lotions

I'm not sure if my kids drink lotion or apply it to their body, but you know what? Now that I've found a more cost effective choice, I ask the question less. This is an option you might want to skip if you have very dry or sensitive skin.

4. Candles

candlesPhoto: hans s/Creative Commons

I use candles as a lighting and calming source that adds subtle fragrance to the house. At the dollar store you can find all sorts and sizes;  I love buying plain, white tapers for special occasion dinners. If you're going to go with scented, give it a sniff to make sure you like it and that it's not too overpowering. On the plus side, if you get home, light it and it makes the room look and smell like a 70's era disco, you can throw it out without fearing you wasted too much money.

5. Gift wrap and bags.

I loved how there were birthday and holiday themed items in this category.  Now I can avoid the rush - and by rush I mean me heading to the store the night before a kid's party - as I will have all the necessary supplies I need to wrap gifts of any kind.

6. Party favors

The trinkets here are great if you're throwing a birthday party for a school-aged girl. Magnetic frames, nail polish and candy (among other things) placed in an inexpensive but decorative purse make for great party favors.

7. Hangers

I don't often buy hangers, but we are now a lot more organized in my house with the hanger deals that I found at the dollar store. They're excellent for little one's closets too; hey, it's never too early to teach good habits.

8. Baskets and bins

binsPhoto: b*lota/Creative Commons

Speaking of organizing, who couldn't use a container or five to spruce up areas where you find kids toys, junk on the counters or bathroom toiletries? You can find all kinds of storage units at the dollar store.

 9. Accessories

I am all about looking good for less. There are ample choices in hats, bracelets, sunglasses at the dollar store if you use a discerning eye. Every now and again I find a score that will definitely complement my wardrobe.

10. Household cleaners

Sponges, spray bottles, gloves are all on hand (pun intended) at the dollar store. These are all items we buy just for the sake of cleaning so why spend a whole lot on them? That goes for outdoors too; the next time you wear out your gardening gloves, take a look at the dollar store.

11. First aid items

Hydrogen peroxide gets out blood in clothing. Did you know that? Well, it also gets out a lot of other stains, and you can find plenty of peroxide, alcohol, and band-aids at the dollar store. 

12. Picnic utensils

picnic basketPhoto: expertwitness/Creative Commons

Instead of bringing your good cookware to barbeques this summer, you can bring one of the containers I mentioned earlier and plastic utensils you buy at the dollar store. They are sturdy and you won't mind if they get misplaced in all of the outdoor fun. Look for a cool basket to put it all in too.

13. Minor electronics

Tired of yelling at the kids to get up in the morning? How about getting them their own alarm clock? Looking for new DVDs for your baby? Need an extension cord or two? Yep, you guessed it; you can find them all in the aisles of the dollar store.

Pet acessories, extra toothbrushes, and coloring books are a few more things I like to stock up on. Do you frequent the dollar store? What's the best buy you ever got there?

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