Small mesh bags dollar tree


We’re all trying to be a little more earth-friendly these days, in any small ways we can. Did you know over a million plastic bags are consumed per minute, worldwide? You might already use reusable grocery bags when you go to the store, but how about those plastic produce bags? Here’s a solution that is cheap, practical, and cute! Customize some drawstring mesh bags from the dollar store to use as reusable bags for your fruits and veggies.


The bags are already made and come in packs of four, so if you just want to use them as-is, they are a really inexpensive solution. I like to craft it up, though (and admit it, you do too, which is why you’re reading this right now!), so I wanted to add a strip of cute fabric to my mesh bag to dress it up a little bit. Can you believe I found this veggie -printed fabric in my stash? This is an ideal project for stashbusting because you only need a small strip of fabric.

Project Estimate:

  • Mesh bag, $.25
  • Strip of scrap fabric, on hand
  • Sewing machine & thread, on hand

Total: $.25

If you can’t find these readymade mesh bags at the dollar store (I found mine in the cleaning supplies section), you can follow my instructions for making a loot bag to make your own. Just use a see-through fabric for produce bags so your grocery store checker can easily see your veggies and ring them up without hassle.

To Make:


1. Open up a mesh bag and lay it out on your work surface. Cut a piece of scrap fabric to fit the bottom of the bag (leave the fabric extending about a half inch on each side, for seam allowance.

producebag62. Cut the bottom seam off the mesh bag.


3. Cut up side seams from bottom of bag to the top of where the scrap fabric lies (about three inches, in my case).


4. Lay scrap fabric right side down against outside of produce bag (I laid mine about two and a half inches from the bottom of the mesh bag). Sew across the edge closest to the bottom of the bag.


5. Flip fabric down so right side is facing outward.


6. Topstitch mesh to scrap fabric to reinforce. This is optional, but I did it to make it look nicer, and also because I don’t want one of these bags to break open at an inopportune time, so the extra reinforcement is a good idea.


7. Speaking of reinforcement, you’re going to do “french seams” to finish the bag, for extra reinforcement. Keep the bag right-side out, and sew the scrap fabric to the back panel of mesh (you should be sewing around the sides and the bottom of the bag to close it up).


Turn it inside-out, making sure corners are turned all the way out (use a pointy device like a chopstick to make sure they’re turned out… this photo shows a corner before it’s pointy). Sew around the already-sewn edges of the scrap fabric and the mesh. Make sure the mesh is completely sewn closed.


Your bag is done! Now you have a cute and eco-friendly bag to use to bag your fruits and veggies! Now go put it in the car so you don’t forget it when you go to the store!



Heather Mann is chief editor of Dollar Store Crafts, and specializes in transforming inexpensive materials into stylish and simple craft projects. She has appeared on the Martha Stewart Show, in Reader’s Digest and the New York Times. DSC has been recognized as named one of’s Top 10 Best Overall Craft Blogs (2011 & 2012) and Apartment Therapy’s 10 Crafty Blogs We Love (2010). Her work has been viewed by millions on the cover of FamilyFun magazine and on top websites such as RealSimple, Huffington Post,, and others.

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Top 10 Things You Should ALWAYS Buy at the Dollar Store! (And the Top 3 Things to Avoid)

Dollar Tree is a great place to stock up for cheap on some of the essentials in your life. It's also a place that you can easily waste your money. Learn what to buy at the dollar store to get the most bang for your buck, plus what you should steer clear of! 

Tips for what to buy at the dollar store, from Fun Cheap or Free

Occasionally, when I'm in need of supplies, I'll make a quick stop at Dollar Tree. It's one of my favorite go-to's for, well, lots of things. Having 8 kids, 10 and under, I don't get to go shopping as much as I used to. (Downer for me, better for my wallet…) 

Sadly, it's been a while since I've been to my favorite store-o-cheapness. As I was walking around, I kept saying “Wow, this is great!”…”and this!”…”oh, this is a great deal…” (yes, aloud. I'm totally turning into THAT person…) Embarrassing? Maybe. True? Totally!

*Note: When you click the links in this post, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

I get asked these questions a lot:

  • “What should I buy from the dollar store?” 
  • “What are the best deals at the dollar store?”
  • “Is everything there junk?”
  • “Is everything there a good deal?”

Since I feel like I'm somewhat of a pro on what to buy at the dollar store, it got me thinking… I might as well SHARE these great finds with all of you!


filling up a popsicle mold, from Fun Cheap or Free

First off, let's go over where they actually get their cheap products from and why they're so cheap.

  • Dollar store products are many times the same products you will find in other stores.
  • Sometimes, products hit the dollar stores because of damage or lack of freshness.
  • BUT, they are often just offered cheaper because they operate on slimmer margins than grocery stores.
  • Many items were surplus or overstock items from a company. That company might even sell their items at a loss to the dollar store, but it's cheaper than paying taxes, paying for warehousing to hold the items, and frees up their warehouse space for items that will make them profit.
  • Many times, the surplus items they buy are surplus because it was last season's color or an old style.
  • Dollar stores will often buy and sell anything that's cheap. They will buy entire containers of goods at auction from China, without knowing what's in them, and will sell whatever ends up in that container. Surprise!
  • Sometimes their products are name-brand products that don't advertise anymore, such as Bon-Ami Cleanser.
  • Sometimes dollar store products are name-brand products, only smaller. Irish Spring soap, for example, is the exact same bar you'd find in the grocery store, only smaller. Same with their ziplock bags. The box will only cost you $1 (rather than $2 or $3), but you might only have 7 or 10 bags, versus 20.
  • Dollar stores can sell the SAME items as grocery stores for cheaper because they have class-B or C locations, so they pay much lower rent than class-A locations.
  • They also have a small, low-wage staff, that's usually only about 10 employees per store.

So, all of that being said, we move on to what to buy from the dollar store, particularly Dollar Tree, in my opinion! 


potato casserole in an aluminum pan, from Fun Cheap or Free

Hands-down, if the only thing you walk away with learning from this mile-long post, it's BUY YOUR DISPOSABLE BAKING PANS AT THE DOLLAR STORE! For the love of pizza, people, you're crazy if you don't! They are sturdy, durable, practical, and oh yeah… A DOLLAR!  

As I mention in pretty much any food post, if you are going to take the time to cook, then double whatever you're making, throw half in a dollar store aluminum baking pan, and freeze it! It takes you no extra time and you'll have a stock of quick meals in your freezer for those days that you're tempted to order takeout because you just don't have time to cook. Every time you go, grab 2, 3, or 4 of these babies in various sizes.

Having a stock on-hand will help you when taking treats/meals to friends, and will save you a butt-load in cooking. (Yes, I just said butt-load. Yes, I might just be 12 years old…)  


They also have great kitchen items, such as popsicle molds, Disney sandwich cases, plates, cups, serving dishes, and bakeware (ceramic, metal, and plastic).

They also have kitchen tools that work fine, such as whisks, oven mitts, ice cream scoops, measuring cups, table runners, strainers, can openers, wooden spoons, and more. These all make great gift ideas that are super cheap!


shopping baskets, from Fun Cheap or Free

For the love of all the luscious organizing tools! The possibilities are endless with these babies. Remember my tub-toy laundry basket trick? Dollar store laundry baskets come in handy! Sure, they aren't sturdy enough to hold a heavy load of jeans day after day, but they are for toys, kids' clothes, dog toys, shoes, sports equipment, etc.

It could even be your closet catch-all basket or what you use to tidy up your house in 5 minutes. Their other tubs and bins are amazing also. Perfect for office supplies, toys, your lost-sock basket, gift baskets/bins, closet organizing, and so on. You can never have too many bins, in my book!

They have some great bins to organize closets, too! I have been organizing kids' closets, and was going to run to Target to get some square bins. Wouldn't you know that the dollar store had them in TONS of different shapes and sizes… and they are CUTE! For $1, their bins and baskets are a KILLER deal. Nearly identical ones are at Target. Seriously, why pay more?


I also buy some cleaning supplies from the dollar store. I don't buy mops or big things though, because you need those to be pretty sturdy and $1 won't cut it.

Here a few of my favorite cleaning supplies to buy:

  • Gloves
  • Sponges
  • Rags
  • Buckets
  • Squeegees
  • Cleaning supplies

Only some cleaning supplies are a good deal (I love the dollar store “windex”). Keep a price notebook so you can learn your prices and know where you'll get the best bang for your buck. Usually, I stock up on most of the cleaning supplies that I use at Costco.


beach ball in a pool, from Fun Cheap or Free

Now, it's no surprise to anyone that dollar store quality isn't the best money can buy. So I will say, that is the case with pool toys. “So then, Jordan, why the heck do you recommend we buy them?” Great question! Let me enlighten you with my crazy logic. Think about it…whether you pay a lot or a little for your pool toys, they tend to get TRASHED by the end of the season.

Trust me, I've tried deflating or drying them, putting them in a bin in the garage, and holding onto them year after year. It just doesn't work (for me, anyway)! When I go to blow them up the next year, they are wilted, misshapen, stinky, and don't ever seem to hold their air well any more.

Now, here's my disclaimer… for FLOTATION devices in the pool, you really get what you pay for and I totally recommend getting the nicer stuff. But when it comes to having cheap, simple, “give my kids something to play within the pool and I don't care if they trash them” toys, the dollar store is your place.

They even have Disney goggles! I'm guessing the quality of the goggles isn't great, but for $1, can you really complain? P.S…online I found most of the same goggles for $15!!! WHAAAT?!

And of course, you can't go wrong with the $1 pool noodles. Once again, not the biggest or best around, but for the use that my kids put them to (hitting each other with them in the pool), they serve their purpose at 100%. Plus… Rather than taking up valuable room in your garage holding on to those pesky buggers for an entire year, cut them up and use them in your boots like I do!  

And heck, I even found baby girl swimsuits there. Once again, it's no Nike suit, but for a baby girl who hardly moves when in the water and will outgrow it in 5.3 seconds anyway, $1 is a KILLER deal and it will serve its purpose just fine.


hair products at a dollar store, from Fun Cheap or Free

One day in high school, I dropped yet ANOTHER hand mirror (for the 3rd time in 2 days, it felt like…). I got SO MAD when I ran to the store and paid over $5 for another crappy mirror, that I was bound to break – yet again – in a matter of time.  

I wised up and started buying my mirrors from the dollar store, and I've never looked back since! It's a mirror for dang sake! If you can look in it and see yourself, it works. Whether it's $1 or $5, it won't change how your face looks. Darn it all… 😉

I used to be okay with their brushes and combs, BUT I'm now a HUGE fan of Bathpack! They're only $5, but they brush through tangled hair so well. No more tears for my girls! Use code JORDAN for 10% off.

My daughter LOVES accessories. The last time I was at Walmart, I paid $3.50 for a small pack of cheap headbands. Then I went to the dollar store, and saw a nearly identical pack, for $1. Doh! You better believe Walmart will be getting a pack of cheap headbands returned to them in the next few days! The dollar store's hair accessories, clips, claws, and headbands work perfectly fine, especially for young girls.  


organized bathroom drawer, from Fun Cheap or Free

This one may shock many of you, but I LOVE dollar store makeup! Not all of it, of course, but many of it works great. If you watched how I do my makeup, you'll see that I'm an advocate for buying a good primer, then using cheap eyeshadow. The primer makes it so that even the cheapest of cheap-o eyeshadow stays on all day and looks vibrant.  

As I explained above, many times their products are surplus, or out-of-date colors. I have bought many a lip gloss, lipstick, eyeliner, lip liner, makeup pencil sharpeners, and eyeshadow from the dollar store. And guess what? I get complimented on my makeup all the time. Same goes with cotton face pads, swabs, sponge applicators, and cotton balls. They seem to work just fine. However, I am picky about my Q-tips and hate flimsy Q-tips, so I don't buy any Q-tips from there.

Nail items are also great! I've gotten Maybelline nail polish from there before. It's probably an old or overstock product, or is an outdated color. But for $1? Not bad! Nail polish remover is also great here. I haven't tried their tweezers, so I'll have to try them sometime…  

My advice? Try it! If you don't like it, you're only out $1. If you do like it, you've saved yourself many dollars. *Just remember that you can't return or exchange things to dollar stores, so don't go too crazy.  


Oh, and I'm not sure what category to put this in, but, PREGNANCY TESTS! They are a great deal here, and yes, they work. Don't trust it? Buy two, take two tests, and you'll STILL save yourself tons.  


pipe cleaners and pom poms, from Fun Cheap or Free

I could go on and on about what to buy at the dollar store in terms of art and crafting. They have great wreath forms, poster board, pony beads, and paints for the kids for a fair deal. They also have stickers and foam stickers, popsicle sticks, and wiggly eyes – all great for crafts with the kids, all for a good deal – especially the wiggly eyes!

Many dollar store items – anything from plastic shot glasses to puff balls, coloring books, beads, and charms – SAVE ME on long road trips. While you can get big boxes of crayons for a better deal at stores like Walmart, I have to say that I love their simple, small packs, which are great for road trips. They even have Disney ones, and I love their double-sided jumbo crayons.

Gem rocks are the cheapest I've seen anywhere else. They are fun for projects with the kids, to put in centerpieces and candle vase thingies (technical term, yes), and even a project like THIS wreath.  


I think one of the most overlooked aisles is the CLASSROOM aisle! Many dollar stores have an area dedicated to charts, bulletin board borders and signs, calendars, charts, and other helpful tools to use. They're great whether you are a teacher or NOT! I use these types of calendars and charts all the time for when organizing, teaching my kids, decorating their playroom, or working on behavior.

Their dry erase boards and markers are a GREAT deal at just $1. I picked myself up a cute calendar dry-erase board. It even has magnets on the back, perfect for meal planning and grocery shopping.

Now, with the office supplies, you just have to know your prices. A small box of pencils at the dollar store, while only $1 obviously, might not be the best deal around because it probably has LESS pencils than a box of pencils on sale at Walmart near back-to-school time. BUT – in general, many of their office items are a good deal. What caught my eye here were the calculators and sticky notes. $1 for a pack of 6 mini sticky pads is a great deal. And really, who doesn't need more sticky notes??  

I will advise you to avoid their spiral notebooks and packets of loose-leaf paper. You can get much BIGGER packets/notebooks for $1 or less at your local store, especially during back-to-school time. Just watch the sales.  


birthday party decorations, from Fun Cheap or Free

Mylar balloons, streamers (2 for $1!), vinyl table cloths, gift bags, tissue paper, bows, greeting cards, basket fillers, party signs (especially around holidays), favor bags/boxes, party favors, and decorations. You name it, they've got it – all for a great price. They even have wedding and baby stuff! This is my go-to place for party favors, like for my son's birthday party and my friends' bridal shower.  


When I say “toys,” I'm not talking about a “here's your one and only, super amazing birthday present this year, Johnny! I hope you treasure and use it for always!” toy. I'm talking about your SMALL toy; the one that's perfect for stocking stuffers, road trips, behavior rewards, goodie bags for birthday parties, festivals, etc.  

For $1, you can make a kid's whole universe by introducing them to random knock-off barbie, poorly-painted pony, or the baby bottle with the disappearing milk (my daughter STILL gets a kick out of that thing months later). I have been able to stock and restock my son's green army guy supply, Priya's play kitchen with small dollar store packs of plastic kitchen food, and even some small dollhouse furniture. No, they aren't going to be toys to pass down to your grandkids, but yes, they will do the trick in entertaining your kids for a while.  

I love stocking up on travel games and anything magnetic for road trips and keeping them quiet in church.  

Oh, and I will say that if you have a small dog, the pet toys are a good deal too. A 100lb dog would eat them in 2.3 seconds, but for the little guys, great bargain.  

So there you have it! Those are only SOME of the things that I regularly buy from the dollar store. Now on to…


Here is the big question… What should you avoid at the dollar store?


Mainly the canned food, but you have to be careful with bagged food, baking goods, seasonings, and frozen food. Much of it ends up being a higher price per ounce than it would be at the grocery store. So just grocery shop like I do and you'll get things MUCH cheaper… and probably better quality.

However, I will say the dollar stores often times carry brands or items that grocery stores no longer carry, which is helpful. But in terms of everyday groceries, I say avoid the dollar store!


I'm sorry, I just don't trust them. But ultimately, the price-per-pill isn't that great. Buy that kind of stuff at Costco and you'll get a better value.


Do I really need to explain why a $1 electronic is not a good investment? Just stay away from any of their electronics because you're basically throwing your money down the toilet!

WHEEW! So next time you go to one of my favorite hangouts (aka the dollar store), be aware of what you're tossing into that little green cart so you don't walk away carelessly spending your hard earned dollars. What do YOU love buying from the dollar store? Leave a comment and share!

image that reads "what you need to know to shop at the dollar store", from Fun Cheap or Free

If you want some more great ideas to stick to your budget and live frugally, then you've got to check out Budget Boot Camp! It's a super fun online video program that makes tackling your finances fun again. Seriously!

Sounds great, right?! I'm so sure you'll love it that I even offer a 100% money-back guarantee if you don't save at least what you paid for it. What have you got to lose? Use the code FCFBLOG for 10% off at checkout, just because!


Want some more great ideas?

  • Learn about one of my most vital budgeting principles that I teach – the 70% rule.
  • Keep track of your food by inventorying your pantry, fridge and freezer using our free printable!
  • Tired of searching for “fun things to do near me” and coming up short? Use these tips and hacks to get the best results!

Happy bargain shopping!

Jordan Page Signature from Fun Cheap or Free

what not to buy at the dollar storewhat to buy at the dollar storewhat to buy at the dollar tree

  1. Karma and nagisa
  2. Small gold elephant figurines
  3. Adobe manage plan
  4. 35 742 bl

Ever wonder what products are worth your buck at the Dollar Tree?

dollar tree birthday stuff

Dollar Tree is definitely one of our fave places to shop!

If you’re still overlooking Dollar Tree, you’re seriously missing out! There are great finds popping up every day in various departments, including brand-name goods, home decor, and even food!

Check out our list of the top items you should buy for only $1 (or less) at Dollar Tree instead of spending more elsewhere – and see which products we think you REALLY should avoid that aren’t worth the $1 cost.

What to Buy at Dollar Tree:

dollar tree candles

1.Candles and candle holders

Candles are beautiful, from their scents and packaging to the ambiance they create. But when did it start becoming popular to spend over $60 on a jar of scented wax?! 😱 Check out the selection at Dollar Tree and you’ll even find dupes for well-known scents for just a buck!

Dollar Tree seed starter pots

2.Planters and gardening supplies

You’ve probably seen your local hardware stores full of tools and supplies to get your garden growing. However, at Dollar Tree, you can find trowels, planters, and even soil to get things blooming for less!

Note that these products may be seasonal items at your local Dollar Tree, depending on your area’s growing season.

glass vase and flowers at dollar tree

3.Glass vases

The assortment of $1 vases at Dollar Tree is MASSIVE — tall, short, round, square, clear, colorful… seriously, you can find just the vase you’re looking for without paying more than the flowers.

makeup section at dollar tree

4.Makeup and cosmetics

This one is for the beauty lovers out there! Dollar Tree’s makeup section is full of cheap finds from popular brands like e.l.f., L.A. Colors, and Wet ‘N Wild — all for only $1! You’ll find everything you need to fill your makeup bag on a budget.

Even sweeter, you can use coupons at Dollar Tree for some significant savings on name-brand cosmetics! Take some time to scope out the beauty/personal care section for name-brand items mixed in with all the other stuff.

storage bins

5.Organizational products

Dollar Tree’s organizational products are a must-have for any neat freak on a budget! They have everything you’ll need to put together the perfect storage solution for your space without breaking the bank. Whether you’re looking for plastic, canvas, or wire mesh, you’ll find a ton of organizational products in a variety of shapes and sizes.

classroom supplies dollar tree

6.Classroom supplies

Teachers, rejoice! We know you spend your own hard-earned money outfitting your classrooms to be fun and functional for your students. To make your space beautiful on a budget, give Dollar Tree a look before the school year starts. You’ll find educational decor, learning tools, classroom supplies, and more!

picture frames at dollar tree

7.Picture frames

Dollar Tree has picture frames galore! Similar picture frames may cost $5 or more at other stores and look just the same. While they may not be the highest quality frames, they’re great for crafts and inexpensive decor. A quick tip — before purchasing, check to make sure that the hanging bracket or hook on the back is securely attached.

dollar tree greeting card

8.Greeting cards

Dollar Tree’s greeting cards are sold in-store only, but we’ve found them to be totally worth the trip! Most of the cards are just $1, but you’ll find some that are two for $1 (so just 50¢ each!), and we stock up on these every single time we set foot inside Dollar Tree.

dollar tree greeting cards section

These greeting cards are made by a division of the Hallmark company, so they’re surprisingly high-quality for the price. Stock up and keep them on hand for children’s birthday parties and all of life’s other occasions. You can’t beat that price!

gift bags at dollar tree

9.Gift bags

One of Collin’s all-time favorite Dollar Tree buys is their huge assortment of gift bags! Pair one with Dollar Tree’s inexpensive tissue paper or shreds, and it’s the absolute easiest, most cost-effective way to wrap up a pretty present in no time at all!

clothing storage bag at Dollar Tree

10.Clothing storage essentials

You’ll find everything you need to help care for your clothes with the laundry essentials and storage bags from Dollar Tree! The vacuum pack bags are some of our readers’ favorites and they’ll save you big when compared to brand name competitors.

reading glasses on display

11.Reading glasses & sunglasses

Glasses for a buck?! Seems like a bargain to us! 🙂 Keep your eyes peeled for prescription-strength fashion reading glasses for just $1 per pair, which normally sell for much more at other stores.

sun glasses on display

Also, if you’ve been known to lose or break expensive sunglasses in the past, you may want to grab a couple of pairs of $1 sunglasses to have on hand!

hair accessories at dollar tree

12.Hair ties & styling tools

Personally, I find myself buying more and more hair ties all the time because, before I even blink, half of them are gone! For something that women (and some men) need so often, Dollar Tree has a huge, affordable selection.

grabbing bag of Oroweat bread at Dollar Tree

13. Bread products

You really can’t beat $1 for name-brand bread (sold in-store only at Dollar Tree)! If it’s close to the expiration date, just throw it in the freezer. There are lots of different varieties to choose from, including multigrain loaves, mini-bagels, and tortillas. Take advantage and stock up when they have a nice selection!

books on shelf at Dollar Tree


You may be able to find best-selling books at Dollar Tree priced at just $1 each! These books retail for much more on Amazon or at your local bookstore, so this is a great deal on new reading material.

childrens books at dollar tree

Dollar Tree also has a pretty impressive selection of children’s books, activity books, and puzzle books for both kids and adults, all for just a buck!

pregnancy test at Dollar Tree

15.Pregnancy tests

Why pay $8-$10 (or more!) for a pregnancy test at the drugstore when you can find pregnancy tests for just $1 each at Dollar Tree!? Most readers seem to agree that these tests work just the same as other name-brand tests.

“I can confirm that the pregnancy tests at Dollar Tree work JUST as well as the expensive ones you find at Walgreens. With my first pregnancy, I spent at LEAST $50 (probably more) on 7 pregnancy tests. With my second I wised-up and went to Dollar Tree so I could take as many tests as I wanted without breaking the bank. I got very clear results 4 days before I was supposed to take the test. I’ll never buy them anywhere else again. 🙂” – Hip reader, Briana

star wars toy at dollar tree

16.Toys and kids’ gifts

You’ll find some of your kids’ favorite characters in the aisles of Dollar Tree — seriously! These are perfect for party favors, stocking stuffers, and rewards for your kiddos. And they’ll have no idea you only paid a buck for them!

Just pay close attention to the age recommendations on these toys, as many of the smaller ones are rated for ages three and up.

“My younger two have grown out of the ‘puts everything in the mouth’ stage and are both now in the ‘constantly needs bribes to do ANYTHING’ stage. So, I bribe them with ‘credits’ that they can spend at Dollar Tree. They spend them on bubbles, balls, hula hoops, squirt guns, and other cheap toys. I know these toys aren’t going to last forever, but each child averages one ‘prize’ per week and actually cares about the toy half as long, so I don’t feel like I’m wasting money.” – Hip reader, Leighann

party supplies at dollar tree

17.Party supplies

You’ll love the selection so much in the Dollar Tree party supply section that you’ll start celebrating in the aisle! Throw the best parties on a budget with $1 finds, including tableware, decorations, party favors, and so many other party essentials!

Many Dollar Tree locations also have mylar balloons that they will inflate with helium for you while you shop for just $1 each!

seasonal fall decor at dollar tree

18.Holiday and seasonal buys

Spruce up your home for every season of the year without breaking the bank! You’ll have no problem finding HUGE assortments of holiday and seasonal decor, gifts, and accessories. The only issue you’ll have is finding the space to store it all. 🤔

Dollar Tree Christmas ornaments

“Another thing totally worth buying is the Christmas ornaments! They have absolutely BEAUTIFUL Christmas ornaments that sell out quickly. I’ve found amazing ornaments that looked like they cost way more than a dollar, and the ones that I’ve purchased get raves every Christmas.” – Hip reader, Gigi

Dollar Tree pool noodles

19.Pool toys and swim goggles

Get ready for frugal fun in the sun with Dollar Tree’s selection of pool and beach toys! Since they’re bound to get lost (or take a beating during the summer), you may as well pay the least amount possible for them!

pet supplies at dollar tree

20.Pet supplies

Dollar Tree has a pet department where you can pick up supplies like collars, leashes, harnesses, grooming tools, cleanup essentials, and more. They have some fun extras too, like toys and rawhides for your furry friends!

dinner plates at dollar tree

21.Dinner platesandserveware

We love Dollar Tree’s tableware! We’ve found their plates and dishes to be as durable as something you might spend a lot more on from another store like Target, and they seem to be of very similar quality.

For $1 a plate, it’s a really inexpensive way to set a pretty table for a large gathering, refresh your table setting for a new season, or just expand your collection of dishes!

silver serving platter

Check out Dollar Tree’s serveware, too. Their serving platters and bowls are great to have on hand for pot lucks, cookie exchanges, or taking a meal to someone. For just a buck, you don’t need to worry about leaving it behind, cleaning it, or getting it back!

pans and baking sheets on display

22.Baking Pans

Enjoy various options of reusable baking pans from cookie sheets to casserole holders for only a dollar. They also sell Reynold’s Wrap aluminum foil.

spices at dollar tree


If you love to cook, you know how expensive seasonings and spices can get. Since when do you have to pay $10 for garlic powder?! No thank you! Dollar Tree surprisingly has an entire spice section, and you’ll be able to elevate your cuisine by paying only a dollar.

What to Avoid at Dollar Tree:

ajax dish soap

1.Brand name cleaning products

These may seem like a deal, but more often than not, these cleaning products are packaged in smaller quantities than you’re used to seeing on the shelves of big-box stores. This means that you’ll actually end up paying more per ounce. 😯

Dollar Tree LA Totally Awesome cleaning spray

Instead, look out for the cleaning products from LA’s Totally Awesome and Fabuloso. Readers and reviewers LOVE these budget-friendly cleaning products from Dollar Tree.

cereal boxes on display

2.Brand name pantry foods

As with the cleaning products, either the packaging sizes for Dollar Tree’s name-brand foods are small, or the price isn’t any better than what they go for at the big box stores (especially if on sale)!

You may stumble upon a good deal from time to time, so keep your eyes open for exceptions to this rule. Sometimes you never know what you’ll find from one Dollar Tree to the next!

pet food on display

3.Pet food

The price per ounce on Dollar Tree’s name-brand pet foods can be much higher than if you’d bought a bulk bag at another store.

Also, experts warn about the lack of quality standards when it comes to non-name brand dollar store pet food. You may want to stick to pet stores and other retailers for larger quantity purchases and brands with stricter ingredient guidelines.

“I do not buy pet food from the dollar store. Besides being of questionable quality, it’s cheaper in bigger sizes from other stores. Also, NEVER use flea and tick products from dollar stores. I’ve seen dogs with chemical burns from cheap flea treatment.” – Hip reader Ash

Huggies wipes at Dollar Tree

4.Brand name baby products

Brand name baby products are hit and miss, depending on the size of the product you find. Most of the time, it’s better to locate these brands at a retailer that sells them in bulk.

tools on display at dollar tree


Don’t buy your tools at Dollar Tree unless you’re only planning to use them a couple of times. The quality just isn’t that great. Consider investing in a more expensive toolset during a sale (typically Memorial Day and Father’s Day have great tool offers), or wait until Black Friday.

tools at dollar tree

That said, if you’re painting around the house and trying to avoid the time-consuming task of cleaning paintbrushes, you may want to pick some up at Dollar Tree. They’re so inexpensive that you won’t feel too guilty about tossing them at the end of the job, rather than trying to get them clean.

For one day of painting, they’ll work just as well as the more expensive paintbrushes you’d get at the home improvement store, and it won’t matter if they’re not built to last!

“I buy paintbrushes at Dollar Tree and that way I don’t have to clean the brushes when I’m done painting. The kids are able to help paint and if the brush gets ruined, it’s not a loss. Our house is a testament that they work fine on trim and interior corners!” – Hip reader, M

The jury’s still out on this one item from Dollar Tree:

batteries at dollar tree


We’ve received so many comments from readers saying that they’ve found Dollar Tree’s batteries to work just as well (if not better) than popular name brands. At the same time, we know that many of our readers have had a much different experience with these inexpensive batteries.

User experience varies on this one, but if you’ve never tried Dollar Tree’s batteries, it might be worth a buck to see for yourself. Maybe snag a few the next time you’re there and give ’em a try. If you do, be sure to come back and join in the debate!

“Dollar Tree’s batteries run out fast and sometimes they have no charge to them when you buy them. However, I do have to say if you need a specialty battery like the ones that look like nickels and go in things like small electronics, those are awesome to get there because you can’t beat the price and they work.” – Hip team member, Jen

“I use a lot of batteries and have done a lot of research into which batteries are the best, and it’s my conclusion that the cheaper batteries are better than the name brand batteries. They sure cost a lot less so I will continue to buy batteries at Dollar Tree. I’m very happy with them!” – Hip reader, Joan

“Dollar Tree’s regular batteries don’t last long at all. But I do like buying the lithium batteries there (the flat silver ones), as they are so expensive elsewhere. Those seem to last ok.” – Hip team member, Angela

“DT batteries seem to be OK for items that don’t need a ton of juice, like a TV remote or flashlight. But a no-go for video controllers! We bought rechargeable batteries a few years ago and it’s definitely a better investment than having to fork out $$ for batteries every few months.” – Hip reader, Mel

“I only use Dollar Tree batteries and they are fine for me. We use them for remotes, my cordless mouse, battery string lights for crafts, and battery-operated pillar candles. For that they are great! I don’t use them as the battery backup for our wired smoke alarms, as I don’t trust they will last. For those, I do buy name brands. Otherwise, I think they work well for small stuff, considering they are just a buck!” – Hip team member, Amber

Here are a few other Dollar Tree tips:

laundry detergent at dollar tree

  • Looks can be deceiving! Compare sizes and prices to what you’d normally pay at your local grocery store after coupons. A 3-count package of size 4 Huggies diapers or a 6-load bottle of Tide Simply Clean & Fresh for $1 each may not end up being the best price per item/ounce.
  • At Dollar Tree, you can use manufacturer’s coupons or occasional store coupons for increased savings! Plus, they accept coupons for over a dollar on a single item, but the coupon value will be reduced to the purchase price of the item. You may find it helpful to print the store’s coupon policy and bring it with you when shopping.
  • If you have issues using coupons at Dollar Tree, contact Dollar Tree customer service by phone at 1-877-530-TREE, or via the contact form to share your feedback.

These are the 10 items you should be buying in bulk from!


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