Author Topic: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?  (Read 13962 times)

Eric

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What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« on: August 07, 2014, 12:47:46 PM »
Do you shop at the Dollar Store?  If so, what do you buy there?  I was in one last weekend for the first time in a long time and I found it hard to wade through all of the junk to find the good deals.  Plus the packaging (sizing) is just so different that it made comparisons harder for me.  The two things that I noticed were condiments (especially mustard) and greeting cards.  So what do you buy there?  What deals should I look for on my next trip?

Angie55

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2014, 12:54:25 PM »
The grease cleaner is awesome. To me its probably the most toxic thing on the planet. But I keep it to clean the stovetop only and it works miracles.
Some spices are cheaper (chili powder, onion powder, sea salt, kosher salt, paprika)
Lime juice - seems to be gone lately.
Hand soap refills (to dilute and refill foaming dispensers)
Epsom salt
Sunscreen
Small organization baskets
Floss
Playing cards (mine sells used casino cards)
Grill lighters (supposedly refillable)



I have a few do not buys though... ice cube trays, spray bottles. Never ever again.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 12:59:01 PM by Angie55 »

Eric

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2014, 12:59:08 PM »
I have a few do not buys though... ice cube trays, spray bottles. Never ever again.

Hahhahaha.  I think that's what I bought the last time I was in there which is why I hadn't been back in so long!  Terrible.  Just terrible.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 01:12:35 PM by Eric »

OSUBearCub

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2014, 01:27:45 PM »
Our dollar store is a "Deal$" prices vary above a single dollar.

- Greeting cards
- Paper products and ziplock bags (including aluminum "take-out" containers with lids to portion freezer meals)
- Spices when they drop to 2/$1
- Party Balloons - the fancy mylar kind are only a dollar, you can get an awesome looking kids party bouquet for $5-10
- Generic poptarts, it's a guilty indulgence but they're priced better than anywhere else

theonethatgotaway

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2014, 01:30:36 PM »
The grease cleaner is awesome. To me its probably the most toxic thing on the planet. But I keep it to clean the stovetop only and it works miracles.
Some spices are cheaper (chili powder, onion powder, sea salt, kosher salt, paprika)
Lime juice - seems to be gone lately.
Hand soap refills (to dilute and refill foaming dispensers)
Epsom salt
Sunscreen
Small organization baskets
Floss
Playing cards (mine sells used casino cards)
Grill lighters (supposedly refillable)



I have a few do not buys though... ice cube trays, spray bottles. Never ever again.


I've read from While Foods forums that their Best actual deal is the bulk spices. Just fyi

gimp

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2014, 01:31:58 PM »
I buy shit I expect to get rid of within the year. Anything that I don't care about lasting, dollar store. Cheap plastic shit.

I used to move every 2/4/6/8 months so I've made lots of trips to the dollar store for this reason.

MillenialMustache

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2014, 01:41:02 PM »
This is for the Dollar Tree in particular:

-Greeting cards (2/$1)
-Bread (ours often has about to expire 100% whole wheat bread for $1 - and yes, I do have a bread machine)
-Balloons - especially "Happy Birthday"
-Party supplies in general
-Discontinued food (recently got a bag of Honey Bunches of Oats granola for $1)
-They accept coupons so every now and then when I see a coupon with no size restrictions I get stuff for free (toothpaste, deodorant, Advil)
-Popsicle sticks - 100 for $1
-Any kind of glass I need for one purpose - ie wedding centerpieces, if I can't find them at thrift stores
-Picture frames - I think they look fine on the wall with my other, more expensive frames

minimustache1985

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2014, 01:49:58 PM »
Baby shower gifts.  The store by me has evenflo bottles, basically every sesame street baby product I've ever seen from infant scratch mits to toddler utensils, dora the explorer teething rings, etc.

Greeting cards and gift bags in general- sometimes they even have 3 packs for 99 cents.

Picture frames, soap refills, cheap kitchen tools like a punch top can opener.

Produce is also ridiculously cheap, selection is seasonal and gets picked over quickly but if they've recently gotten a delivery it's good.

meadow lark

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2014, 05:37:27 PM »
One of my favorite stores!  Dishwashing liquid, hand soap - I buy based on quantity - so if I can find a 28 oz container of shampoo for $1, then put it into my hand soap containers at home.  I will substitute body wash, shampoo, or dish detergent, depending on what the biggest bottle is.
Toothpaste.  Epsom Salts.  Aluminum foil.
I stock the restroom at work (we all take turns stocking it) with baby powder and mouthwash. 
Soy milk.  Notecards for thank you notes.  (a pkg of 8/$1.). Flower and veggie seeds (usually 4pkgs/$1.)
Sudoku books.  Craft supplies.  Dog bones (I only buy the ones that say Made in the USA - too many recalls.)
When I had long hair I bought my barrettes, hair ties, and head bands there.
Great.  I need nothing, but I completely want to go to a dollar store.  Thanks a lot.

luigi49

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2014, 06:51:29 PM »
bleach, shower cleaner, toilet cleaner (blue liquid), shampoo but no longer because i got 40 suave free from walmart(lol).  Greeting cards, sponges, shower curtain(dorm),  bike tail lights.  carpet cleaner for dorm,  dish detergent (dorm),   

NCGal

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2014, 08:09:18 PM »
The Totally Awesome cleaner really is.
I get small plastic bags they sell in a roll and also another type in the baby section they sell as diaper bags.  I use them for wiping out cat food bowls, coffee grinds and other wet things I don`t want gunking up my kitchen trash bag. Much cheaper than using paper towels. I also buy tin baking trays that are usually 2 or 3 for a dollar. Much cheaper than the Hefty brand in the supermarket. And I buy zip lock quart and gallon size freezer bags.

Gimesalot

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2014, 08:18:38 PM »
I buy the following at the dollar store:

Toothbrushes
dental floss
craft supplies
100% whole wheat bread
gnochi
ziplock bags
cleaning supplies
kitchen spoons
frozen fruits and veggies

Eric

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2014, 09:24:05 PM »
And I buy zip lock quart and gallon size freezer bags.

The ziplock bags seem like a great deal.  The one I ventured into only had the "slider" top kind, and I hate those so I passed.  Were yours the real (old school) kind?  I need to look around more I guess.

avonlea

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2014, 09:35:07 PM »
A friend told me today that school supplies at Dollar Tree are cheaper than at major department stores.  I am going there tomorrow. She said that Dollar Tree probably won't have all the items that we need but they should have quite a few.

taekvideo

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2014, 09:40:26 PM »
The only dollar store near here is "dollar general" and they're pretty much always more expensive than the nearby walmart and with a weak selection... wasn't impressed hah

imustachemystash

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2014, 09:43:59 PM »
I go a few times a year.  I too buy the greeting cards.  I also get some random things I might need such as spray bottles, laundry bags, craft supplies.  I even bought some funny fake mustaches to play around with. 

horsepoor

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2014, 09:51:05 PM »
I need to check back in at the Dollar Tree again.  While we were on vacation in California, I stopped in Walgreen's for chapstick and sunglasses, but they didn't have sunglasses, so I put the $2.29 chapstick back and went next door to whatever dollar store it was - $1 sunglasses and $1 chapstick.  Actually, the chapstick might have been 79 cents.  A few years ago I was making up this goop for my horse as a hoof treatment, and it involved Neosporin, athlete's foot cream and diaper rash cream.  It was going to be like $20 to get everything at the drug store, and lo and behold, it was all available at the dollar store, so I made a big batch for like $5.

Ralphus27

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2014, 10:04:08 PM »
Greeting cards are the only reason I go to Dollar Tree.  Last time I made a trip to Wal Mart to make a last minute greeting card purchase, I ended up paying $5.50 for a Mother's Day card.  Never again! 

Peony

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2014, 07:30:44 AM »
Reading glasses! When I can find them, they are something like $5 for a 3-pack, and they're equally crappy as the $19 ones at the drugstore.

Greeting cards and gift-wrapping supplies. Dishwasher soap.

Also, it's the only place I can find those stainless-steel scrubber things (chunkier than steel wool) that really get the gunk off of crusty pots and dishes. A must-have in my mustachianly kitchen-centric household.

pachnik

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2014, 07:43:23 AM »
I buy greeting cards and wrapping paper at the dollar store and that's about it.

JoyBlogette

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2014, 07:56:06 AM »
I love the dollar store!  I buy a few things there regularly and then always some candy when I go.  Regular items:
- ziplock bags (the regular kind)
- sponges
- doggy poop bags
- hot chocolate (name brand)
- cards/wrap like others have mentioned and party supplies like balloons, etc

Other things that are a great buy are lightbulbs, kitchen utensils (spatula, etc) and baking pans and glass baking dishes.

Mr Mark

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2014, 09:35:03 AM »
Reading glasses. I usually buy about 10 at a time, and distribute them around my environment,  car, bedroom, office, etc etc. Every year or so, they all seem to dissappear,  so I top them back up.

NCGal

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2014, 09:52:33 AM »
And I buy zip lock quart and gallon size freezer bags.

The ziplock bags seem like a great deal.  The one I ventured into only had the "slider" top kind, and I hate those so I passed.  Were yours the real (old school) kind?  I need to look around more I guess.

I incorrectly referred to them as ziplock but I actually buy the ones that snap together. Yep I hate the slider ones too - I usually break them. Occasionally I buy canned corn at the dollar store, and a few snack items and hand soap. If you have one with refrigeration, often the milk is cheaper. (Milk is also a good price usually in drug stores.)

The bags I mentioned that come on a roll I also use for scooping out the litter box. I run out of plastic food bags I store up from the supermarket since I've been shopping much more at Aldi where you bring your own bags. We've got 2 or 3 of them close by, one of which is huge.

guitar_stitch

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2014, 11:27:52 AM »
Batteries!  I play a wireless guitar rig that uses AA batteries, so I burn through a lot of those...

MoneyCat

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2014, 12:06:56 PM »
We bought most of our storage containers at the dollar store.  You can get some decent big plastic bins there for very cheap and they are great for organizing stuff.

Hannah

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2014, 12:31:01 PM »
Pregnancy tests (seriously).

Anything that falls into the world of consumer packaged goods (including foil, waxed paper, etc.) is not a good deal at a dollar store unless they accept coupons (sizes are smaller to meet profitability standards) or it happens to be a wholesale deal, but the cheap plastic goods can't be beat. I bought a silverware organizer, and few food storage containers that I've been pleased with.

Gift cards are cheap if you have to get one.

Eric

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2014, 12:51:51 PM »
Pregnancy tests (seriously).


Ha!  I was more drawn to the Home Marijuana Tests right next to those for $1.  I immediately envisioned some poor kid "failing" this cheap ass test and getting the full wrath of mom and dad. 

Melf

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2014, 01:33:28 PM »
The only reason I generally ever go to Dollar Tree is to get greeting cards.  Two for a dollar sure beats $3 to $5 each every where else.  All of their other products just don't seem to be all that good of a deal when you compare size and/or quality.

Eric

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #28 on: August 08, 2014, 04:57:02 PM »
All of their other products just don't seem to be all that good of a deal when you compare size and/or quality.

That's what I thought too Melf, but posters in this thread seem to think we need to look closer.  So far the consensus seems to be:

Greeting cards
Cleaners & Cleansers
Ziplock or other plastic storage
Any party or craft supplies
Spices

Here's a Yahoo article that covers a lot of these suggestions (including home pregnancy tests!)

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/definitely-buy-15-things-dollar-160041589.html


Not mentioned in the article, but Office Supplies would seem to be a good one too (expanding on Back to School that avonlea mentioned above).  Even without looking, I can pretty much guarantee that anything you'd find at a dollar store would be cheaper than Office Max/Depot or Staples.

tracipam

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #29 on: August 08, 2014, 06:57:13 PM »

Frozen fruit is one of my favorites--I use them for smoothies, and the supply and type of fruit varies but totally worth it when it's around.  Seems like they're 3-4 bucks at other places. 

Greeting cards, definitely.
Ziplock bags, definitely
Wine glasses (or regular drink glasses) on occasion--I'm amazing at breaking wine glasses in particular
Neosporin, bandaids,  anti-itch cream
sunglasses (another thing I lose and break regularly)
Tortillas.  I don't know why tortillas at the grocery store are so bloody expensive
Cleaning supplies
Gift wrap, because I don't use much and $1 worth is the right amount for what I need.
Mailing supplies (padded envelopes, manila envelopes)



greenmimama

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #30 on: August 08, 2014, 07:23:56 PM »
Hand soap refills
Double AA batteries
Some home schooling workbooks

various other things, the had some nice measuring cups and tablespoons too.

greenmimama

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #31 on: August 08, 2014, 07:30:26 PM »
Do you shop at the Dollar Store?  If so, what do you buy there?  I was in one last weekend for the first time in a long time and I found it hard to wade through all of the junk to find the good deals.  Plus the packaging (sizing) is just so different that it made comparisons harder for me.  The two things that I noticed were condiments (especially mustard) and greeting cards.  So what do you buy there?  What deals should I look for on my next trip?

I have found quite a bit that wasn't a deal, so I feel bad for people not paying attention and just grabbing things thinking they are a great deal.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #32 on: August 08, 2014, 08:03:38 PM »
I realised there's a couple things I need to get (especially plastic containers for storing lunches) that the $2 shop would be perfect for. Thanks :)

I've bought car wash stuff at them before as well.

Emilyngh

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #33 on: August 08, 2014, 09:00:04 PM »
Cheap stuff for kids, especially holidays.

I usually only go a few times a year, definitely before xmas and Easter for small things for Easter baskets and stockings.   Things like (but not all of this for each holiday, just a few things):

-craft supplies
-stickers
-coloring books
-children's books
-sometimes small toys
-candy
-hair things
-possibly kids socks or other random items

Oh, and for party decorations, especially themed parties.  Or any storage bins or baskets I need that I can't gather from used items/around the house.

Really, I guess I only count on it for more disposable or decorative items.   I've been disappointed with general household items I've tried (eg: batteries were horrible and we use rechargable now, clothes pins I bought broke immediately).   We make our own cards for less than theirs, make our own bath/beauty for less, and don't eat most of the processed foods they have.

lemonlime

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #34 on: August 08, 2014, 09:59:30 PM »
wooden matches (essential for justice against farters)
child size clothes hangars
let the kid pick out halloween/thanksgiving/christmas decorations
comet (one time, in desperation where i needed chemical power)

Dicey

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #35 on: August 08, 2014, 11:15:53 PM »
There's a difference between Dollar Tree Stores and 99 Only Stores. If you're lucky enough to have a 99 Only in your area, check them out. DT buys things that they can get full mark-up on and still sell for $1.00. 99 Only Stores has a different philosophy. They try to buy things that generally sell for more than 99 Cents, but for whatever reason the manufacturer wants to get rid of. Subtle, but significant.

At 99 Only, recent purchases include Earthbound Farms Organic Produce, Dole salad greens. Scallions, cilantro, peeled garlic, Mountain High yogurt in 32 oz. tubs. Four packs of Jello Pudding for DH's lunch. I sometimes find Kraft Cracker Barrel Cheese. I always find whole wheat tortillas, 22 packs of Maizada Tostadas, toothpaste, sunscreen, glassware.

Knowing your prices/quantities and shopping there regularly are key to scoring good deals. It is really important to know standard quantities. At Dollar/99 Only type stores foil is typically only 25 feet. Zip-type bags tend to be 8/10/12 packs. Not good on a cost per unit basis.

Also 99 Only Stores charge 99.99 cents per greeting card. Dollar Tree slays them with cards priced at 2/$1.00.

Also for clarification: 99 Only recently increased their prices to 99.99 cents per item. They also sell gallons of milk and pounds of butter at higher prices. They have also begun introducing produce priced by the pound. Fresh grapes for .9999/lb, yes, ma'am!

rocketpj

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #36 on: August 09, 2014, 12:28:33 AM »
Every so often (every 2 months or so)  I'll drift through one of the bargain stores here in town and pick up a few things.  I always go for a reason, but there are always a few things worth buying.

The latest - a couple short sleeved plaid collar shirts (suitable for work, on clearance for $7).  A roll of wax paper, a bottle of bleach.  A couple 9v batteries for the smoke detectors.  Some clothespins.

Occasionally good for party balloons, balls & other beach toys.  Dollar tree often has cans of mixed beans for $1 each - I buy them by the dozen and use them on salads at lunch.  Some spices. 

deedeezee

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #37 on: August 09, 2014, 05:53:04 AM »
Sounds like many of us have a similar list - greeting cards, party supplies (paper plates, cups), balloons. 

I don't usually browse the other aisles b/c I am not a patient shopper and the shoppers in there drive me crazy, but sounds like I should take a closer look around next time.

FiguringItOut

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #38 on: August 09, 2014, 06:04:32 AM »
Do you shop at the Dollar Store?  If so, what do you buy there?  I was in one last weekend for the first time in a long time and I found it hard to wade through all of the junk to find the good deals.  Plus the packaging (sizing) is just so different that it made comparisons harder for me.  The two things that I noticed were condiments (especially mustard) and greeting cards.  So what do you buy there?  What deals should I look for on my next trip?

Aluminum pans for cooking in the oven
Plastic wrap for food
Parchment paper
Wax paper
Sandwich bags
Paint rollers
Plastic covers for when painting
Paint brushes
Sponges for cleaning dishes in the sink
Dish soap
Plastic containers for kitchen storage
Shampoo/conditioner/deodorant/hand soap
Hair brushes and hair ties for kids
Balloons
Greeting cards
Holiday decorations
Cookies and snacks for kids school lunches
Jars of pickles
Lemon/lime juice
Pasta
Frozen fruit (this is probably the most important item we buy there.  The regular grocery size packages of frozen fruits that I NEVER buy at the grocery stor for $4-7 per package, are $1 and I buy a ton of them to keep in the freezer.  Kids love these for fruit smoothies or just snacks in winter time.  My store usually carries frozen strawberries, blueberries, mango, peaches, etc). 










OSUBearCub

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #39 on: August 12, 2014, 09:25:13 AM »
I would like to second the "Neosporin" mention above - and also add just about any pricey first aid cream, spray, or powder.  At Deal$/Dollar Tree, there's almost always a $1-3.50 generic version of:

Triple antibiotic cream (Neosporin)
Medicated powder (Gold Bond)
Athlete's foot spray (Tinactin)
Aloe sunburn relief
Sunscreen ointment (not spray)
Gyno-specific lady creams
Medicated lice shampoo (Nix)

^ Full caveat here, being in Florida, I generally try to stick to name brand sunscreen. I notice a quality difference that our unrelenting sun makes obvious in about 15 minutes by the pool.  Also, I'm single, male, and don't have kids.  I've not personally evaluated gyno-specific lady creams and lice shampoo but I see the generic versions regularly

blackomen

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #40 on: August 12, 2014, 09:37:40 AM »
I get this type of floss from the Dollar Tree:

http://www.plackers.com/

I used to buy floss from Target but frequent breakage caused me to try different brands..  now i found a cheaper brand that does the job better!

hybrid

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #41 on: August 12, 2014, 10:48:52 AM »
I used to find a decent deal or three at Dollar General (which sells at higher than $1, but is a similar concept store), but in general I've found better deals elsewhere over time. It's really hard to compete with Costco in any space that Costco decides to plant a flag (like detergent). Greeting cards and such are about all that's left for me.

2ndTimer

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #42 on: August 12, 2014, 11:01:52 AM »
Recently bought a thing with a sponge head on a plastic handle.  Just the thing for cleaning water bottles and thermos.

Rural

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #43 on: August 12, 2014, 06:29:26 PM »
Dollar General: almost everything except fresh food. Hands down the best deal on most things. Always toilet paper, litter, any OTC medicine they carry. Walmart has just gone up on coffee, so I'll be buying that at DG now. All of the few hygiene and cleaning products we buy. Pet food, though it varies week to week whether DG or Walmart has the best deal, so I have to check. But Dollar General is on my weekly shopping list almost every week.


Dollar Tree, on the other hand, doesn't have good prices on much. I get cheap sunglasses there (my husband drops/runs over/ loses/ hammers his on a regular basis). Greeting cards, glass or plastic leftover containers,  party supplies on the rare occasions I need them. They also have multipacks of foam paintbrushes for $1, a fact that was a lifesaver for me in staining a multitude of boards for Craftsman window trim. Oh, and tablet and smart phone screen protectors. Dollar Tree I get to less than once a month, as needed.

justajane

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Re: What do you buy at the Dollar Store?
« Reply #44 on: August 13, 2014, 11:01:11 AM »
Like others, we buy several over the counter medicines and creams like generic neosporin, acetominophen, antifungal cream, etc. The price can't be beat.

There's also one type of kitchen sponge that our dollar store sells that is identical to the ones I used when I lived in Europe. I love them and stock up, just in case they stop selling them.

Oh, and I found out I was pregnant with all three of my kids with a dollar store pregnancy test. It's really silly to pay 8x as much at Walgreens or CVS for exactly the same test.

I also buy The Works toilet cleaner, because it has a toxic cleaner in it that gets the hard water stains out of my toilet. I use it very sparingly (and wear gloves!), and one bottle lasts me a few years.

Other than these things, I buy most household items in bulk at warehouse stores.