Why Pay More? Here Are 4 Things You Should Always Buy at the Dollar Store

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  • Shopping at dollar stores could help stretch your paycheck.
  • There are certain dollar store staples it makes sense to load up on, such as gift bags, party favors, and school supplies.

There's no need to pay a premium for these common purchases.

Some people will tell you that the items you buy at your local dollar store are apt to be of lesser quality than the items you'll buy at a regular supermarket or big-box store. And the truth is, that's questionable.

It's easy to make the case that a toy you buy for $1 won't hold up as well as a toy you buy at a regular store for $10. But there are certain dollar store items that definitely don't warrant spending more than $1, or $1 and change. And so stocking up on the following essentials should really help you stretch your paycheck at a time when inflation has made living costs so unbearably high.

1. Gift bags

If you have kids, then your calendar is probably loaded with birthday parties for their classmates and friends. And you probably don't have the time or patience to wrap gifts every weekend. That's where gift bags come in.

Now if you go to the supermarket, you might spend $3 or more on a gift bag. And even big-box or craft stores might charge a lot more than $1. So you might as well purchase gift bags at the dollar store since, let's face it -- no one really cares about the bag so much as what's inside it.

2. School supplies

If you're a parent, you're probably constantly restocking your school supply stockpile. And since kids have a tendency to lose things like glue sticks, tape, and markers, there's no sense in paying extra for what may or may not be higher-quality items when they're not likely to last very long. A better bet is to just purchase school supplies from the dollar store and call it a day.

Along these lines, if you're a teacher tasked with stocking your own classroom, you might as well turn to your local dollar store. There's no sense in spending more of your hard-earned money on things like extra crayons.

3. Party favors

Those birthday parties we talked about? Chances are, you're going to get roped into hosting one. And if not, there may come a point when you need to send in party bags for a classroom event or celebration. In that case, buying small favors at the dollar store makes sense, since you're likely purchasing a lot.

4. Greeting cards

It's nice to acknowledge people's birthdays and special events. But the cost of a single greeting card could easily exceed the $2 mark, which makes spreading good wishes needlessly expensive. A better bet is to buy your greeting cards from your local dollar store. Often, you'll be able to get two cards for $1, not just one.

There are certain items you may want to buy at the supermarket or at a non-discount retail location. These include groceries, apparel, and housewares. But when it comes to the purchases above, there's really no need to rack up a higher credit card tab than necessary. So if you have access to a dollar store, you should make it your go-to spot for these specific items.

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