A “Bold on a Budget” Post

“So, like… I don’t know… because… at the Dollar Store… everything is a dollar. But, then again… everything is a dollar…” – Dr. Christopher Salute 

Yes, that was me… a PhD and frequent writer… describing the “Dollar Tree.” What had happened was….

No, here’s the deal. As you know, we just moved to our offices and home to Las Vegas. Well, in New York, we didn’t have any 99 cent stores… 

And, by god… they are glorious! 


So, I was at the register and super excited. I said to the cashier “I’ve never been here before!” 

She asked “Really? 

Yes! Really! 

I really hadn’t been to one. And, here’s what I was trying to say: 

At stores like “Dollar Tree” everything is a Dollar. 

At the “99 Cents Store” items actually START at $.99. This is such a crazy concept

Why is that important? Well, while I totally and fully support buying a dish towel for $1.00, a more quality dish towel for $2.99 may actually last longer. There are also items like pots, pans, lamps, and clothing that just don’t fit that $1.00 price tag for me. 

You can easily spend more money at this newfound playland of inexpensive treats, the “99 Cent Store.” I walked out with Christmas Decor, bath mats, even some groceries! But, I did end up spending $163+ That would be pretty challenging to do at a “Dollar Tree” location. 

So, I thought I might go through some items that I typically buy at dollar stores, discount stores, and then those that I pay full price for (which are few). This is in NO WAY meant to shame anyone for shopping all of their items at certain stores. Just something from my own personal experiences, that I thought might be helpful. 

For the purposes of this article, I will use “Dollar” (for stores that only carry items for $1), “Discount” (for stores that carry overly discounted items), and “Other” (for stores that carry items at full price, without major discounts).  I also asked some friends what they thought! Here’s the list:

  • Cleaning Supplies – Dollar
  • Canned Food- Dollar
  • Candles – Dollar (but others prefer not to due to the soot that comes from them)
  • Holiday Decorations – Dollar, Discount
  • Placemats – Dollar 
  • Glasses – Dollar
  • Plates – Dollar 
  • Paper Goods – Dollar
  • Hand Soap- Dollar (but others but others prefer not to) 
  • Body Wash- Dollar, Discount (but others prefer not to) 
  • Greeting Cards- Dollar
  • Toys and Trinkets- Dollar
  • Books- Dollar
  • Office Supplies- Dollar, Discount
  • Weird Snacks – Dollar
  • Fake Flowers- Dollar
  • Meat- Other
  • Eggs – Discount
  • Produce/Veggies 
  • Makeup Brushes – Dollar
  • Hair Brushes and Scrunches – Dollar 
  • Gift Bags- Dollar 
  • Wrapping Paper- Dollar
  • Foil and Disposable Kitchen items – Dollar
  • Condoms – Other
  • Medication – Other 
  • Pregnancy Tests – Other*
  • Tupperware and other storage- Discount or Dollar 
  • Bath Bombs and Spa Items – Discount or Other (due to skin allergies and health reasons) 
  • DVDs – Dollar or Discount 
  • Pet Food and Treats – Other 

*I did later speak to a few friends who said they’d used Dollar Tree pregnancy tests and they were very accurate.

There are plenty of items that you can find at a discount. And, there’s no right or wrong answer to the above items. This is just a survey of what works for me. And, trust me, I’ve had those months where if I could buy my clothes and food from the dollar store only, I would.

What are some great finds you’ve found at dollar or discount stores?