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21 Dollar Tree Steals: Flashlights, Whales Crackers, Teddy Bears

from the dollar treeOver the course of my adulthood, I have slowly discovered the amazingness of the dollar store. An item that typically costs $4 or $5 at another retail establishment might only cost $1 at the dollar store. After a few of these purchases, the savings could really add up! So why not just put a list together of the things we should be purchasing from the Dollar Tree?

Before I dive into my list of 21 things I always get from the Dollar Tree, I want to make a very important note. All dollar stores are not created equal. In addition to the Dollar Tree, you might also notice Family Dollar and Dollar General in your area. While Family Dollar and Dollar General might have the occasional good deal, not everything is $1.00. There are some items priced at $5, and others that are priced up to $10! If you’re looking for a low-priced deal, then I suggest stepping foot into a Dollar Tree – absolutely everything in the store is $1 or less. No tricks, no gimmicks, just $1 or less. Honestly, I don’t even bother walking into those other dollar stores anymore. Dollar Tree is my choice, every time.

21 Things I Always Get From the Dollar Tree

This list of 21 things will not suddenly make you rich or allow you to go out and buy a new car on your savings, but if money is tight (and I know it is for many of us), then these tips could very well save you $20 every month, which might be just enough to get you through the next month. So without further ado, here is the complete list of things I always get from the Dollar Tree!

from the dollar tree#1. Greeting Cards

When a birthday or special holiday was coming up in the past, I used to head to Target or Meijer to buy my greeting cards, which would cost me between $3 and $5 a piece! At the Dollar Tree, the selection is actually pretty good and many of the cards are only $0.50 (and at times, they have packs of 8 for only a buck!). I love it! If I need a greeting card these days, I get it from the Dollar Tree every time.

#2. Wrapping Paper

Wrapping paper is typically $3 or more at any other retail store, but at the Dollar Tree it’s only $1. Granted, the size of the roll is smaller, but it’s honestly more convenient this way. Instead of trying to buy one huge roll for all possible occasions (which doesn’t work by the way), I have enjoyed buying multiple smaller rolls that are catered to the exact occasion that I’m wrapping for. (If you want to get really cheap, then wrap your gifts with old newspapers – use the comics for kids and the business section for adults.)

#3. Party Plates and Plastic Utensils

Having a party? The Dollar Tree has party plates packaged 20 for $1, and utensils 48 for $1. Spending less than $8 on plates and utensils for 100 plates and forks is a pretty decent deal in my book!

#4. Gift Bags

Don’t want to wrap your gift? You can get a wide variety of gift bags from the Dollar Tree (only $1 of course)!

from the dollar tree#5. Stuffed Animals

Instead of buying a one year old an expensive gift that they probably won’t care about and will never remember (they usually end up just playing in a box anyway), why not spend wisely on something that they might actually like that costs you practically nothing! My purchase of choice for one year olds is the Dollar Tree stuffed animals. They are plush, soft, and almost every kid loves them!

#6. Kid’s Books and Puzzles

When those kids get a little older, the Dollar Tree is still a great place to pick up their gifts. There are tons of Sesame Street books, Disney books, and a wide assortment of puzzles for all ages. And of course, each of them are only $1. (As a side note, if you want REALLY cheap kids books and don’t mind used ones – head to Goodwill or garage sales where they’re often 25 cents or less.)

#7. Mittens

These aren’t on the shelf all year long, but when winter is approaching be sure to stock up on mittens and gloves for yourself and your kids from the Dollar Tree. Since kids often lose their mittens anyway, it’s great they’re only $1 instead of the $5 or $10 ones from the regular retail stores.

#8. Winter Hats

Just like mittens, winter hats are seasonal as well. But, they’re only a dollar and they keep your head warm all winter long! I honestly can’t tell the difference between a $20 hat at the retail shops and the quality winter hats that they sell at the Dollar Tree (other than a stupid logo of course).

#9. Envelopes

A box of 40 plain white envelopes are a dollar at the Dollar Tree. Pretty tough to beat that!

from the dollar tree#10. LED Flashlight

Need a simple flashlight for your nightstand or for your tent when you’re out camping? LED flashlights are a perfect for situations like these and they cost only a buck!

#11. Batteries

I used to be able to buy batteries for a dollar at Target from their dollar deals display in the front of the store, but I haven’t been able to find them recently. Instead of spending $4 or more on Energizer or Duracell batteries, I decided to scour the Dollar Tree. Sure enough, they sell packs of 8 AA batteries for just a buck!

#12. Sunglasses

After breaking my $20 pair of sunglasses just a few months after purchasing them (dropping sunglasses on pavement is NOT advised), I decided that enough was enough. If I was going to break a pair of sunglasses every summer, then I would rather it only cost me a dollar. When checking out the Dollar Tree, I was actually surprised at the selection and quality of their shaded specks. After six months of constant wear, I haven’t yet broken them and no one has any idea that I got them from the dollar store!

from the dollar tree#13. Whales Crackers

Whales crackers are the knock-off versions of Goldfish crackers, and honestly, I like them better! They come in a 7 oz. box and are of course only a dollar when you get them from the Dollar Tree!

#14. Cooking Utensils

Liz and I do a fair amount of camping and often like to take soup along with us to cook over the campfire. Rather than use one of our good cooking spoons to stir the soup, we have purchased some from the Dollar Tree. They have held up pretty well and were cheap enough to justify the added expense.

#15. Cologne

I can’t stand spending $40 for a name-brand bottle of cologne! After all, most of that cost is due to the constant marketing of the product. The Dollar Tree has a wide selection of perfumes and colognes that smell great and are even modeled after the smells of some of the top-selling name brand fragrances. For a buck, I have never gone wrong with this purchase.

#16. Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets are an absolute must if you’re drying your own clothes in a machine. To be completely honest, the Dollar Tree dryer sheets aren’t the best I have ever used, but they work perfectly fine for any cotton apparel (and they do make your clothes smell nice). For dress pants and silky shirts, it’s best to use two sheets at a time to avoid static cling. Even with this method though, buying dryer sheets from the Dollar Tree is still cheaper than buying from the typical retail store.

from the dollar tree#17. Toothpaste

Surprisingly enough, the Dollar Tree has Crest, Colgate, and many other brands of toothpastes that work quite well. You just have to be careful about how many ounces are in the tube you’re buying. Find a larger size for a buck and you’re definitely saving money over the typical cost elsewhere.

#18. Dental Floss

About a week ago I really needed dental floss, and I had to buy it in a hurry while I was at Menards (our local Lowes basically). All of their products are typically pretty reasonable, but their dental floss was $3.50! Since I needed some I bought it anyway, but I was kicking myself for not buying it at the Dollar Tree a few weeks prior.

#19. Carpet Cleaner

Now that I have inherited a couple of dogs from my fiance, Liz, there are few more “accidents” around the house. Thankfully, I don’t have much carpet so the cleanups are often easy. However, when they decide to take a dump or throw-up on one of my carpet slabs, my Dollar Tree carpet cleaner works surprisingly well and hasn’t failed me yet!

20150427 - boxed candy dollar tree#20. Car Fresher

The Dollar Tree car freshener trees are actually pretty weak, so I wouldn’t advise them if your car has a noticeable odor that you’re trying to get rid of, but if you can find the spray, that works far better and eliminates pretty much all of the odor while leaving a more pleasant fragrance behind.

#21. Movie Candy

I rarely watch movies at the movie theater, but if I do, I’m certainly not going to pay for their pricey movie theater candy! Instead, I’d rather buy that same box of Milk Duds or Sugar Babies from the Dollar Tree and bring it into the theater in my coat pocket (I know I know, I’m not supposed to, but I don’t really care…what are they going to do? Fine me the $2.oo upcharge?). Boxed movie candy is one of the things I love to get from the Dollar Tree, even if we’re just watching a movie at home. 🙂

Are you a fan of dollar stores? What do you like to buy from the Dollar Tree?

Money Save Money


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. You’re so right! I love dollar stores. I also buy a lot of food there. They often have inexpensive cans of smoked oysters and other odd things that are usually expensive.

    You might be stretching it with the cologne though, haha.

    In Canada we have The Dollar Store and Dollorama that are pretty good.

    • Well, no one has taken a whiff of me and said, “You smell terrible!” so I’ll consider the cologne a win. 😉 Honestly though, it smells pretty good, and it’s lasted me for almost a year now. One of the best dollars I’ve ever spent.

  2. Yes,I love the Dollar Tree as well. I like to buy their pretzel sticks, crackers, creamed cheese, and Sudoku books. My little solar hula dancer, which was purchased over a year ago, is still doing the hula on the dashboard of my car.

    • Yup, the crackers are definitely good. Ha, and your hula dancer made me laugh. 😉

  3. I sometimes use Dollar General and you’re right, not everything is a dollar, but it is frequently much cheaper than at the supermarket. Laundry detergent and toilet paper are two things that come to mind…and I’m not talking generic either.

    • Good to know. I have walked into the Dollar General a few times to find something specifically for a dollar or less and it doesn’t often happen. I guess I just went in there with the wrong mind-set.

    • I know this post is old but, I agree with you about Dollar General and the toilet paper! I prefer Cottonelle and for a 12pk double roll its only $6, compared to the supermarket where its upwards of $9 or $10 dollars. Same with detergent. And that is the regular price of those things there. If you download their app, and use the digital coupons, it makes it that much more of a deal!

  4. I am always buying supplies for our after-school program at Dollar Tree. The quality is not that great but it gets the job done. Not so sure about the dollar cologne Derek, but hey I have a mortgage and you don’t right?

    • Exactly, Paul. On some of the items, the quality isn’t amazing, but it doesn’t have to be because we don’t plan on keeping this stuff for years and years.

      As for the cologne, it’s actually pretty good! I have not yet been able to convince my fiance to buy the perfume though. I guess I know what I’m getting her for Christmas! 🙂

  5. Another item to add to this list is cleaning supplies. Who would pay 5 plus dollars for toilet bowl cleaner? Not me thankfully. I actually think a couple of brands they carry at the Dollar Tree work better than the expensive brands. They also carry brooms, mops, sponges and buckets that are perfect for messy jobs.

    • Ha, excellent! Toilet bowl cleaner will be on my list next time. Thanks Katie!

  6. Derek, smart guy shopping at Dollar Tree!
    My staples there are mittens, hats, summer toys for kids, plastic drink bottles(instead of juice boxes!), dryer sheets, bleach for towels, school snacks sometimes, tooth paste, tooth brushes, hair supplies, mouth rinse, dental floss piks, flip flops, birthday party supplies, gift giving supplies, coloring books, kids prize for good behavior(they get to free shop for one item), those flashlights you pictured above, batteries always…did I forget anything? Ooo candy for mommy!
    Our Dollar General costs more than Wal-Mart so don’t shop there. Also some items cost less at Wal-Mart than Dollar Tree so I keep that in mind as I shop.
    Luckily we have half a dozen Dollar Trees within a reasonable drive so if one store is out of something like mittens or flip flops I will stop at another when in that area.

    • Sheesh Dawn! Maybe we should have tag-teamed on this article! Sounds like you have it all figured out as well! Thanks for the comment.

      • Tis one of the best stores for a mom! I think you hit the best points…well not sure about the cologne but I saw hair dye…and my daughter told me no, lol.

        • Hahaha. Yeah, hair dye would be interesting! Who knows, maybe it’s the best hair dye ever! 😉

    • The batteries are a great deal! I also get their hand sanitizer, bars of soap, cooking spatulas, cooking knives, etc. I also get canned salmon there as a treat for my dogs. The kitchen knife I got there is fantastic. Iv been using it for about a year. I got a sharpening stone for it there and it stays razor sharp.

      • Yup! All great things to get from the Dollar Tree! Greeting cards are hands-down the best deal. I still go there any time I need one.

  7. We love our local Dollar Tree, and greeting cards are definitely #1 on the list of our purchases there, with gift wrap and party supplies coming in next. We also buy a lot of cleaning supplies at Dollar Tree. You can’t beat the price on those items. You just have to make sure not to fall into the trap of thinking everything is a bargain, and watch those product sizes (like you mentioned with the toothpaste).

    • Yeah, and I think a lot of people get suckered into buying candy bars that truly only cost 65 cents anywhere else. The Dollar Tree is my absolute favorite for greeting cards since nobody really cares about them anyway – they more care about the personal note that you write inside of it! Thanks for the comment, Gary!

  8. Floss and toothpaste at a dollar store. That sounds like it would be risking your teeth. Well, depending on the size/amount of toothpaste could be the answer as to why it’s so cheap. Like a 2oz tube or a 5ft thing of floss, verses a 10oz toothpaste tube or a 10ft thing of floss.

    • Thanks for the comment Phillus. I think my Dental Manager fiance would agree with you on that one, but with all the advertising for toothpaste I start to wonder if it’s really all just the same and the top brand is just the one that advertises best.

  9. Very true, there are a few different things that I believe are the same way. A lot of types of cereal for instance. It definitely warrants some more looking into.

    • Yeah, off brand stuff doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worse. I found that sometimes I actually like it better! Thanks for the comment, Phillius!

  10. My favorites are flip flops, wrapping paper, greeting cards, the long-handled lighters for candles (those are usually $4-5 each elsewhere), hand towels, pregnancy tests (never had to buy one but I understand they are just as good as any others), and over the door hooks.
    Sometimes the glassware and picture frames are decent as well. Oh, and dog toys (same idea for the stuffed animal for kids–if they’re going to tear through it, why pay more than $1?). And I have seen a hammer there a time or two.
    You’re right about the quality, use with caution.
    Great post, Derek!

    • Yup. I was just there today and picked up some liquid plumber as well! Works great for unclogging sinks, and at only $1, I was pretty impressed with the results. Thanks for the comment Bridget!

  11. you can also use $1. coupons.

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