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18 Things You Should Always Buy at Dollar Tree, and 5 to Avoid

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glass vases at Dollar Tree

Dollar Tree is 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 items you should buy for only $1 at Dollar Tree instead of spending more elsewhere – and see which products we think you REALLY should avoid.


What to Buy at Dollar Tree:

1. Candles and candle holders

Dollar Tree candles on a store shelf

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 similar to the Capri Blue Volcano (a Hip2Save team favorite) for just a buck!


2. Planters and gardening supplies

Dollar Tree seed starter pots

You’ve probably seen your local hardware stores full of tools and supplies to start working your green thumb. However, at Dollar Tree, you can find trowels, planters, and even soil to make your garden blossom for less!


3. Vases

Dollar Tree vases on the store shelf

The assortment of 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.

Hip Tip: Check out this fun custom photo DIY using Dollar Tree vases!


4. Makeup

Elf Cosmetics at Dollar TreeThis one’s 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! Stock up for less than the cost of your makeup bag.

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.

Wet N Wild Mascara at Dollar Tree

Brittany says: “I LOVE the Wet n Wild mascara in the teal tube. It layers really well, doesn’t clump, washes off easily-yet doesn’t smudge, streak, or run while wearing it. I highly recommend it.”


5. Organizational products

Dollar Tree acrylic storage

Whether it’s for your makeup, your bathroom counter, or your junk drawer, acrylic organizers are a must-have for any neat freak! They come in a variety of sizes and layouts so you can mix and match for your own perfect set. But that’s not all — they have a TON of other organizational products for your home!


6. Classroom supplies

things to buy or avoid at dollar tree – teacher classroom decor

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

Chantel says: “I love their school supplies. I don’t get pens and pencils, but I do get dry erase markers and things from the teacher section. The calendars and posters are 2 packs for $1.”

Hip Tip: For the kiddos, check out these 15 finds at Dollar Tree to make back to school easier!


7. Picture frames

things to buy or avoid at dollar tree – picture frames

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

Hip Tip: Lina used Dollar Tree frames to make these! 😍


8. Gifting supplies

Dollar Tree gift bags

Buy inexpensive cards, bags, and wrapping paper at Dollar Tree so that you can allocate the majority of your gift-giving budget toward the actual gift! My all-time favorite buy at Dollar Tree is their LARGE assortment of gift bags!

gift bag at Dollar Tree

One Hip reader says: “We buy our greeting cards and gift bags there! You can’t beat $1!”


9. Clothing care essentials

clothing storage bag at Dollar Tree

You’ll find everything you need to help care for your clothes with the laundry essentials and storage bags from Dollar Tree!

Hip Tip: Near this section, they have so many items that make packing for travel a cinch!


10. Batteries

things to buy or avoid at dollar tree – batteries

We’ve received so many comments from readers saying they’ve found batteries at Dollar Tree that work just as well (if not better) than popular name brands, that we just HAD to add these to the list. While the user experience varies, most think the performance power of these batteries merits snagging a few while you’re at Dollar Tree.

Jen says: “Dollar Tree is the ONLY place I buy batteries! Have never been disappointed yet!”


Joan says: “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!”


Tim says: “I buy all my batteries at the Dollar Store. Look for ‘alkaline’ marked on the package and avoid the batteries marked ‘heavy duty.'”


11. Reading glasses

things to buy or avoid at dollar tree – reading glasses

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 several dollars at other stores.

sunglasses at Dollar Tree

Also, if you’re anything like me and have lost or broken expensive sunglasses in the past, you may want to grab a couple of pairs of $1 sunglasses to have on hand!


12. Bread products

Collin with bread at Dollar Tree

You really can’t beat $1 for name-brand bread! If it’s close to the expiration date, just throw it in the freezer. There are different varieties from multigrain loaves to mini-bagels — take advantage and stock up when they have a nice selection.

Hip Tip: Take a look at some of Collin’s favorite Dollar Tree products she picked up on a prior trip!


13. Books

things to buy or avoid at dollar tree – books lined up on a shelf

You may be able to find best-selling books (by authors such as Nicholas Sparks or Janet Evanovich) priced at just $1 each! These books retail for over $8+ at your local bookstore, so this is a great deal for new reading material.


14. Pregnancy tests

things to buy or avoid at dollar tree – pregnancy test box

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.

Jackie says: “I was unsure at first but they work just as well, if not better, than regular tests. I found out I was pregnant with my daughter using one.”


Briana says: “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. 🙂”


15. Toys and kids’ gifts

My Little Pony toys at Dollar Tree

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

For younger children who are prone to put objects in their mouth, you may want to reconsider purchasing any small toys that could become a choking hazard.

Leighann says: “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.”


16. Party supplies

unicorn Party supplies at Dollar TreeYou’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 – tableware, decorations, and other party goodies.

Mar says: “One of the things my kids, teachers, friends, and I look for at Dollar Tree is party favors — it’s awesome in that department!”


17. Holiday and seasonal buys

Halloween decor at Dollar Tree

Jazz up your home year-round 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

Gigi says: “Another thing totally worth buying are 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 Tip: Make beautiful holiday decor that your guests will never guess is from Dollar Tree!


18. Pool toys

Dollar Tree pool noodles

Dollar Tree supplies endless frugal fun in the sun with their 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.

What to Avoid at Dollar Tree:

1. Brand name cleaning products

Clorox at Dollar Tree

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 big box store shelves. 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 absolutely LOVE these budget-friendly cleaning products.

We love this Totally Awesome cleaner SO much that we actually wrote a post about it.

One Hip reader says: “Dollar Tree has some cool cleaning products not found anywhere else. Fabuloso smells amazing! Get the seasonal scents!”


2. Brand name pantry foods

Barilla Elbows at Dollar Tree

As with the cleaning products, either the packaging sizes for their name-brand foods are small, or the price isn’t any better than what they go for at the big box stores! You may sometimes stumble upon a good deal (like this one), but sometimes you never know what you’ll find from one Dollar Tree to the next.

Hip Tip: Give some of these brands a try — like this kid-approved list of Dollar Tree generics!


3. Pet food

things to buy or avoid at dollar tree – Purina puppy chow

The price per ounce on 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 markets for larger quantity purchases and brands with stricter ingredient guidelines.

Ash says: “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 the flea and tick products from dollar stores. I’ve seen dogs with chemical burns from cheap flea treatment.”


4. Brand name baby products

Huggies wipes at Dollar Tree

Brand name baby products are hit or miss depending on the size of the product you find, and most of the time, it’s better to locate these brands in bulk. That said, if you’re looking to put together baby gift baskets for friends or family, you can find these brand-name goods for basket fillers on the cheap!

Hip Tip: Save money on generic baby products with this top 10 list of highly-rated baby product options!


5. Tools

things to buy or avoid at dollar tree – tool wall 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 tool set during a sale or around the holiday season.

Some other Hip Dollar Tree Tips

Tide Clean and Fresh 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 multiple items, as long as the coupon amount does not exceed the combined retail price of the items indicated. Be sure to print the store’s coupon policy and bring it with you while 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.
Join The Discussion

Comments 59

  1. LaToya

    I like nice wrapping paper because I wrap like Martha – LOL – BUT for my husband and kids to use, I get theirs at Dollar Tree.

    And dog toys – grab my pup a rope or a rope ball often.

    And party plates and plastic table cloths – though 97-cents at Walmart and more variety, but sometimes Dollar Tree is more convenient.

    And the greeting cards. They have the $1 ones obviously and the 2/$1 ones – – I send out a whole lot more cards now that they have the 2/$1 ones.

    Also when we have something at school or church, I’ll bake and get a platter from Dollar Tree to take it on and just leave it there. Same thing with like a salad, I’ll get the bowl and the serving spoon there and take it to school or church or a friends and just leave it there. Easy peasy!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Great list, LaToya! Thanks for sharing your favorite Dollar Tree items to score! I like their platters, party items and greeting cards too!

      • TJ

        Totally agree about the platters and utensils. I keep some in my pantry. Also helpful when I’m taking a meal to someone. I just throw the meal and plastic serving spoons, etc. in a box and they don’t have to return anything to me or wash any dishes.

        • Jennifer

          I am another fan of the trays/utensils/bowls that you can leave at that party. Looks fancy yet cost hardly anything.

    • Debra

      thank you for taking the time with this post. lots of good info..i appreciate it..

  2. Mamamia

    Love their teacher section! I’m there all the time for stickers and bulletin board items.
    I also like their table cloths.
    They have great seasonal decor that I use in the class also!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh yes! I have noticed that my store has a great selection of classroom items too. I also can’t resist their cute seasonal decor! Especially the fall items!

  3. Rebecca

    I’m a DT addict lol, and I agree with MOST of this list. Their candles usually have little to no throw, so I avoid them. Sometimes they get value size, name brand food products (like cereal & snack cakes), and those are definitely a great buy. Also their pizza crusts! If your store has a frozen food section, check out the pretzels & cauliflower rice. Their feature item right now is Blu-rays,they have a lot! My favorite finds are usually seasonal decor(I swear it gets better every year!) and toys(like Star Wars collectibles).

    • Erica

      Yes! My son has a whole shelf of those Star Wars die cast figures and helmets I found one year.

      • Rebecca

        We have those too! Those were a great find!

    • Jennifer

      DT Hormel pepperonis are much less than Kroger/Walmart. Stays in my pantry at all times.

  4. Lindsey

    I always check DT for whole wheat bread and sandwich thins before I got to my regular store.

  5. Dana

    I love their tortillas and greeting cards.

  6. M

    I buy paint brushes 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.

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Great idea on the brushes, M!

    • Cristine

      Thanks for the tip! Those things are so expensive at the hardware store!!

  7. Gina G.

    I always have to get the Donald Duck apple & orange juices, extra frosted animal crackers, and the microwave pizzas, DT is the only place around here that still sells all of this.

  8. Lacey

    Hallmark greeting cards! Can’t beat it. I also like their basic craft/floral supplies.

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      YES! Love the craft supplies, Lacey!

  9. Kristin

    I always buy the 3 pack of Dial Basic soap! It’s a great deal and lasts long!!

    • VB Vee

      This is the only soap used by one of my adult sons. He has serious allergy triggers. It works well as a cleaning soap for him. It does not trigger his allergies. He’s been using this soap for many many years….since I first discovered it at Dollar Tree. I use a coupon when Dial puts out the $1/2 for a 3 ct or larger pack of soap.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh yes! I’ve grabbed that pack too!

  10. joni

    greeting cards and wrapping paper gift bags are good but batteries no way all the ones I ever bought didnt last a week.

  11. April

    I respectfully disagree on the batteries. On more than 1 occasion, the DT batteries leaked and ruined my electronics. Since then, I’ve switched to brand name or rechargable batteries.

    • mel

      Leaking can happen with almost any brand. Happened to me with Duracell not to long ago. The brands at DT 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 rechargable batteries a few years ago and def a better investment than having to fork out $$ for batteries every few months.

  12. Lee

    Agree with most of this but definitely a no on the batteries. Didn’t last a week. Also the greeting cards are a good deal. They are now my first stop for cards.

  13. Angie Connelly

    I would add to the list of things to avoid, any kind of medication unless it’s namebrand. If you will look at the boxes on dollar tree medications most of them are made outside of the country and are not controlled by our FDA. They have been found to contain trace elements like lead.

  14. Ivan

    DT is a great place to buy a soda or Gatorade when there’s one nearby. About half the price of gas stations. Same with their candy.

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      YES! So true, Ivan!

    • Michele

      Yes!!! Movie theater candy for $1 at DT!!

  15. Erica

    I stay away from the picture frames and toys since they have all fallen apart IME. Basically anything made by Greenbriar I don’t buy. Batteries, books, cleaning supplies, gift wrap, stationary, cards and anything name brand that I can’t get for $1, normally I will get. There are very few Greenbriar items that have been good quality.

    • Rebecca

      Greenbriar makes a ton of their stuff and I have to disagree, a lot of it is nice quality. I’ve never had a picture frame fall apart, and I do DIYs and different things with them.

      • Erica

        Well I have bought a lot of Greenbriar, and some things are decent, like the glassware, paper products etc. But other than that Greenbriar is mostly cheap and low quality, now that is just me. People buy different things but for instance all the toys I have ever gotten have fallen apart right away, and other things too so I stick to mosty name brand or other brands.

  16. Jennifer

    I just looked back at the link to Lina’s DIY lanterns made from the Dollar Tree picture frames. What a great idea to turn these into spooky Halloween table decor on the cheap. And they will carry over into fall/Christmas nicely. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      You are so welcome, Jennifer!

  17. Lydmonster

    I’ve always thought how fun it would be to do a Dollar Tree Challenge at a party. Either kids or adults. Give an expense limit and guidelines for a “project”. It can be an art project, building or even a food competition. Spend your limit on supplies and create. Vote for the best “Dollar Tree Throw Down”!

    If anybody does this let me know. Seems like so much fun that would get the creative juices flowing!!

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      I think that idea is awesome, Lydmonster!

  18. Nita

    Ugh I cannot tolerate things like Fabuloso etc. the chemicals n artificial scents are just not tolerable. There are too many good green products like Method and Trader Joe’s to name a few that do the job just as well, for reasonable prices n that aren’t filled with chemicals and artificial scents. 🤢

    • Hipperchipper

      Not everyone can afford those natural brands. The difference between a $1 bottle of fabuloso and a $4 bottle of Method is a gallon of milk for a lower income person/family.

      • Nita

        I respectfully understand but inhaling these chemical cleaners and artificial scents for kids especially, is not good in the long run. Vinegar and water is also an alternative.

  19. debby

    I have used the pregnancy tests for both of my pregnancies and they have never failed! Best bargain ever! Remember you cant get a false positive!!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing! Good to know how well they work!

  20. tpop

    The LA Awesome works so well that it slightly frightens me – I’m sure it must be caustic, but I use it diluted for very tough jobs, and open windows. I would assume the sunglasses are not quality UV blocking. I’d also watch the cheap candles and no-name makeup for lead.

  21. Dani

    I’m a huge fan of the Reynolds wrap foil sheets, their white dinner plates (Royal Norfolk) and drinking glasses! I’ve had my dinner plates for 4 or 5 years and only one has a small chip.

  22. Bonnie

    I love the 6 pack ‘refill’ of Tape (scotch type). It’s great for all the holiday and gift wrapping throughout the year, I don’t think you can beat the price. I’ve just saved my old Scotch Tape dispensers and popped these refills into them as I run out.
    My 3 yr old LOVES the glitter glue also!

  23. K

    I like to get parchment paper, dog poop bags, cards, rubber gloves, cosmetic cotton rounds and Sunday papers for the coupons if they have them

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for taking the time to share your favorite finds with us, K! We sure appreciate it!

  24. T

    We have a Dollar Tree just down the street from our local movie theater, although maybe not the most popular idea, we always stop there to stock up on $1 candy before going to the movies.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      We always stop at Dollar Tree before the movies too!

  25. Colorado Amy

    I haven’t had good luck with the toys. In my experience they are poor quality and never last long. I have found some good buys on name brand food. They always have Pillsbury cake mixes for $1, which is what I can occasionally get them on sale for at other stores. I have also seen, on a few occassions, the Betty Crocker Mug Cake mixes, which are typically $2.50 or more at other stores.

    • Ariel

      Yes, not all the toys are great quality at all. When they have dinosaurs, we get those. Sometimes they have name brand toys that woykdake great stocking stuffers. Their arts n crafts section is getting awesome.

  26. Sara

    Dollar Tree is pretty much the only place in my area that still sells non-concentrated Dawn.

    Dollar Tree is also the only place I can find unflavored flosser sticks. I can’t tolerate any mint flavor other than spearmint. Spearmint only has about 0.05% menthol, unlike peppermint which is about 40% menthol. Menthol makes me gag.

  27. Jen

    I was super thrilled to find that they had HALLMARK cards at Dollar Tree! They are beautiful cards and there is a great variety!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      I agree! They do have some great options to choose from!

  28. Mrs BK

    The greeting card section is excellent. I can always find what I need, sometimes it’s even hard to decide on a card with so many great options.

  29. Bree

    For single people or those with one child or picky eaters…the sizes of the cereal and some snacks are perfect! I realize you’re paying more per ounce but the amount of times I’ve purchased a full box of cereal only for the kiddos to decide they don’t care for it much after all. I’d rather get the smaller sizes and use the whole package up, as I feel I got my $1 worth. Also, please consider trying some fresh foods from DT. While Walmart is slightly cheaper on some things, I don’t spend extra money that I would in there (on clothes, larger toy items, electronics, shoes and other stuff I didn’t need before I went to Walmart). Another benefit to the smaller packaging is for those watching their sugar intake or fat intake etc. When it’s done, it’s done. Sometimes buying the megasize bulk package of pizza rolls because they were on sale wrecks havoc on an eating plan! I am super thankful for everything DT has…it is the perfect reward spot for kids of all ages 🙂 Plus, they have items many teens use and of course, the Mama’s and Daddies too. So yeah pretty much, it’s a part of our family from pregnancy and beyond. Lol 😉 Thanks Hip2Save for all you do to save us $$$

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Aww, You’re very welcome! Thanks a bunch for all of the helpful tips and suggestions, Bree! We sure appreciate YOU!

  30. patricialavenz-goff

    I stocked up on unopened gift wrap and gift bags (with tags still on them) and Christmas cards still in the boxes at the goodwill bins. I don’t need any for years I have stocked up so well. I love finding my holiday items there. It is amazing at the new stuff I find there.

  31. theresaburen-rhoten

    I always stop in for the greeting cards! 2 for $1! And the gift bags! But, lately I have been using for the little kids Birthday gift bags, are the reusable bags. Like minions or Batman, Superman or whatever theme they have. They are cute and did I say “reusable”!? The kids love them and moms always “say what a great idea”! Win win!;) And same price as the standard gift bag.
    I also, love their seasonal decor. Seems to get better each year.
    We also stop by for the candy before a movie! Shhh! Don’t tell!😜

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