The Best Products to Buy at the Dollar Tree (and the Worst)

I can’t go more than a few weeks without writing another post about the Dollar Tree – I’m a little obsessed!

But, it seems like I’m in good company, because so many of YOU seem to be just as big of fans.

One of the hard things about the Dollar Tree is knowing what products are actually a good find, and while products, are, well, worth a dollar (or less).

I will say that I’m a little more hesitant to buy off brands from the Dollar Tree – but fortunately, they carry MANY brand name products for great prices (make sure to read my secrets to shopping at the Dollar Tree for more insider tips).

So, I thought I’d share a few of the times that either I LOVE, or that I’ve been told is amazing. I recently did a survey on Facebook about this very topic, so I’m excited to share these with you (as well as a few items that I’ve found to be junk!).

Make sure to let me know what I may have missed!

Don’t forget to join our Dollar Tree Finds, DIY, Deals and More Facebook group!

Click here to sign up for the Dollar Tree Value Seeker’s Club – it’s free!

1) Bubbles 

We bought our boys some of these for Christmas, and I am AMAZED at how good they are. I’m sure there are different kinds of bubbles there, but these were the Spiderman ones (it says Powered by Miracle Bubble). I believe it’s these licensed character bubbles. Bubbles for days!

2) Greeting Cards

This is one of the #1 things people recommended from the Dollar Tree, and I have to agree. Greeting cards are other stores are getting more and more expensive – it is crazy. There are some really weird ones at the Dollar Tree, but you can find a lot of really nice ones, too.

3) Socks

I especially love the fuzzy socks!

4) Sharpies

5) Floss Picks

6) Pregnancy Tests

I have actually heard that a lot of doctor’s offices get pregnancy tests from the Dollar Tree. It may not write out the words “pregnant” for you, but it gets the job done. You can start saving for baby by buying these!

7) Bag Clips

My mom loves these little metal bag clips that you can buy at the Dollar Tree. Perfect for chips!

8) Bows for Gifts

My mom said that she sometimes has a hard time finding these, but when they are in stock, you should stock up!

9) Soaps

The Dollar Tree has lots of kinds of soap – liquid hand soap, bars of soap, dish soap…it’s all great!

10) Foam board

Now, most of you probably have no use for foam board, but it’s rather popular for bloggers. While it’s several dollars at most other stores, you can get white and black (sometimes) for just $1.

11) Parchment Paper

12) Wrapping Paper

The rolls aren’t that huge, but they have some cute prints. I found that one roll wrapped about 4-5 medium sized presents this Christmas.

13) Balloons

The helium balloons are hard to beat. However, one of the Dollar Trees near our old house hardly had ANY in stock. I’ve found that most normally do, but I would call ahead if you are looking for something super specific.

14) Glow Sticks

We love glow sticks at the Dollar Tree! They have so many different kinds – necklaces, bracelets, wands, glasses….my boys love these.

15) Vases

One reader said that she got a great deal on vases for a wedding. I recently looked at the vases at the Dollar Tree, and they seem to be pretty good quality!

16) Carpet Cleaner/Deodorizer

17) Q-Tips

18) Craft Supplies (pom poms, glitter, etc.). 

19) Tissue Paper

20) Poster Board

21) Toothbrushes

22) Toothpaste

While I had several people recommend this, one person said she heard it wasn’t very good. I think if you stick to the name brands that are sold, you should be okay though!

23) Netty Pot

24) Scotch Tape

Two packs for one dollar – we loved these at Christmas time!

25) Toilet Bowl Cleaner

26) Disinfectant Wipes

27) Saran Wrap

28) Gift Bags

My mom said she wasn’t a big fan of the BIG gift bags. However, I like most of the gift bags I’ve gotten there. I think the baby shower ones are especially cute.

29) Packs of Thank you cards

30) Activity and Coloring Books for Kids

31) Aluminum Pans

These are great for freezer meals, taking dinner to other people, etc.

32) Picture Frames

They are pretty cheap, but this is where we buy most of our frames! Picture frames can be so expensive! They have a wide variety, as well.

33) Candy for Movies

You know those boxes of candy they sometimes sell at the movie theater for like $5? Just stop by the Dollar Tree first and pick up a few boxes for $1 a box. Much better deal!

34) Candy Bars

When I was talking to my mom, I mentioned that I didn’t think candy bars were very good deals here. She said, “Are you serious? Candy bars are often more than $1 nowadays.” I guess I don’t buy a lot of candy bars! But they do have a large variety of full-size candy bars (as well as the little strips of miniature ones).

35) Spices

36) Reading Glasses

This one kind of blew my mind. I had no idea you could buy glasses at the Dollar Tree. However, a lot of people recommended them, so I decided to check them out. And guess what? They seem to be great quality!

37) Dishes

I’ve bought a few different dishes from the Dollar Tree. Some of them break easily, but for the most part, I’ve been pretty pleased with them.

38) Ibuprofen and other medications

39) Stocking Stuffers/Goodie Bag Items

40) Holiday Products – check our posts on Dollar Tree Christmas and Dollar Tree Halloween ideas

41) Air Fresheners 

42) Solar Powered Decorations

Forrest and I LOVE these. They have them for almost all the holidays, and they are super cute. We look forward to getting them with each holiday. (I actually just saw they have solar powered garden lights. Super excited to try these out!).

43) Party Supplies

The Dollar Tree is definitely my go-to place for party supplies (they are great for baby showers, kid parties, as well as for getting table cloths, paper plates and plastic forks, etc.).

44) Artificial Flowers

45) Ribbon

46) Makeup

I say this with a caveat – the brands you recognize are good. If you don’t recognize them…I would probably shy away.

Five Things to Avoid at the Dollar Tree

1) Toys

Okay, not all the toys at the Dollar Tree are bad. We like the little cars. However, for the most part, I find most of them to be just kind of junky. You just have to be careful (but in all honesty, it’s a dollar, and the kiddos might like it). Just don’t be too disappointed if something doesn’t work the way it should.

My mom bought some little toy phones at the Dollar Tree once. They work, but you can’t tell at all what they are saying. It kind of makes me laugh – one of them really sounds like it says “mama milk.”

2) Batteries

Just go to Costco instead and buy their batteries. Dollar Tree batteries really don’t last long.

3) Truffles

This was a suggestion from my mom – she said that she has bought many truffles there that have been smooshed or otherwise unappealing. We bought some at Christmas, and they certainly left something to be desired.

4) Plastic Kitchen Tools 

I like a lot of their kitchen supplies, but many of the plastic kitchen utensils do not stand the test of time!

5) Spray Bottles

This is another suggestion from my mom – she said they leak really easily.

6) Crayons

This is one I’ve heard from many people, and I agree. They just don’t color very well, and you can get better quality crayons for around the same price at Walmart or Target.

7) Cleaning Supplies with Nozzles

Once again, another suggestion from my mom. She said that these often stop working, and she doesn’t feel they are worth buying.

8) Electronics

Just say no to Dollar Store Electronics.

9) Tools and Knives

These are things worth investing in. They don’t last very long when you buy them from the Dollar Tree.


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  • You mentioned the plastic kitchen utensil., They may not work long term, but they are wonderful for taking to cook outs or bring a dish to pass. They are full size serving tool, but not expensive enough to care about if they get left behind.
    • This is a great point! We actually did this very thing over Christmas when we were at a beach house and found ourselves missing some kitchen tools. Thanks for bringing this point up :)
    • Katie....Not all plastic utensils are bad. Our Dollar Tree where I live they have a large assortment of Utensils .I do buy all my Betty Crocker Utensils there for $1.00 and I have had them for years now and they hold up very well. Love our Dollar Tree too....
        • I agree the Bettype Crocker ones last quite awhile!! I've had some going on 3yrs now and not an issue at all!! The othere I would stay away from, unless you are taking then somewhere and only using them once then you don't have to carry them home!! Thanks for the other tips though I've always wondered and now I can shop for MUCH LESS!!!!
  • Hi. Mostly I agree with your suggestions, but on the subject of batteries.... maybe we use them for different purposes. I mostly use them for my exercise bike and clocks. I've found the 8/a dollar ones last just as long as the much more expensive ones from Walmart or Target. Also I get pancake turners and bowl spatulas at Dollar Tree. They work well, wash easily and can be thrown out without guilt when they get nasty. One more item I love are the big root beer mugs. They hold ice and a full can of soda and the heavy weight keeps things cold longer and don't tip over as easily.
    • Hi, Sandy! Thanks for your input :) I think it could definitely vary depending on use. I haven't had the best luck with the batteries, but I'm glad they have worked well for you! Good tips on the pancake turners! I haven't ever checked out the root beer mugs. I'm going to have to check those out! Overall, I've been pleased with their plates and cups that I've used.
    • Hi, Kathy! Thanks for your thoughts. I supposed to each their own - I surveyed quite a few people and went off of my own experience, and most of these items were recommended by multiple people :)
    • Hi this is Nora in AZ, I SHOP THERE A LOT AND MY FAVORITES ARE, THE RUBERMAID STOAGE CONTAINERS W/ SCREW ON LIDS. I also get the freezer bags, candy, bins, plastic dish pans, bins. A lot of their cleaning supplies are good & 25-50%cheaper than elsewhere. I'm a crafter, gardener,voracious cook, doing large batches to freeze THIS STORE SAVES ME AT LEAST 30.00 A MONTH..It's a God send on disability. .
    • You are at the Dollar Tree. You aren't going to get fabulous quality like some expensive brands. So, for us poor folk, it is top of the line for dollar items. I get the comet foaming bleach and the dust wand dusters. Are they like expensive brand? No. But they are adequate and I can pay my bills. The do not buy suggestions are not even close to adequate.
  • Hi Katie! I am a merchandiser for the American Greetings company which is the brand of cards sold in all Dollar Trees. You would be surprised (then again maybe not!) just how many Dollar Tree customers comment to me about how "nice" our cards are for $1 or less. And our packs of cards seem to sell really well. I'm glad people appreciate that because we all work really hard to keep them in the stores in an orderly, up-to-date way. And I love that you used one of our card departments in your main image! :) I would like to also point out that I buy ALOT of sunflower seeds from Dollar Tree. The exact same bag sells at Walmart for $1.24! So the cost of buying 4 bags at Walmart would have yielded 5 bags at Dollar Tree. That really adds up!
    • Hi, Lori! Thanks so much for commenting. American Greetings is certainly a great company, and I certainly appreciate your company's hard work :) And that's a great tip about the Sunflower Seeds - I had no idea!
  • I, also, agree that the batteries work just as well from Dollar Tree as Walmart/Target.since many are name brands, I'm not sure where they are sold makes a difference. PS. My husband "thinks" they are not as good either! What does he know? :-)
    • Haha! Well, if we are talking about the name brand batteries, that's another story. I'm referring to the Dollar Tree "Sunbeam" brand. My mom was telling me the other day that she has issues with them fitting correctly into things. ha!
  • I love dollar tree.... Although with some items like in grocery department you don't get a good quantity. By time you average out how many packages you would have to buy at dollar tree to equal to a normal size package at Walmart you're spending the same amount or more. Other than that little comment everything else is good. I like the little "fish bowls" I bought them for center pieces for parties etc. They also have a lot of different things you can do crafts with if your a mom that likes to do crafts with your kids
  • I haven't had a problem with spray bottles either. I mentioned above about the grocery I can't complain about the spices we use a lot of spices in my home
  • All good suggestions! I also recommend basics such as deodorant (name brand), toilet paper (not great but not bad) -- same with paper towels. Plus Dawn dish soap, freezer bags, foil, trash bags, drawer organizers, candles, and (my fa🙄🤗vorite) organizing bins! I use them in my closets and dresser, they're terrific for keeping order under sinks, and I started using various sizes to organize my refrigerator and freezer. I echo your review of reading glasses from Dollar Tree. They're not top-of-the-line but they work perfectly and actually fit me better than glasses by Foster Grant I got from Walgreens -- plus, at a dollar per pair you can pick up a variety! Happy Shopping ☺ PS I am actually a fan of Dollar Tree batteries. I use them in my remote and it's still going strong. Thumbs up from me!
  • I use Sunbeam batteries from The Dollar Tree for candles and Christmas candles, as well as Christmas window candles for 2-3 weeks, estimating usage 6 hours/night.. I remove the batteries when I dismantle decorations, place the used ones in plastic container separate from my new batteries. I have used the(Christmas batteries) for 3 years and hope to use the used batteries again next year. If I have to replace them next year I will purchase the Sunbeam batteries from The Dollar Tree. Thanks!
  • I love Dollar Tree, no doubt about it. However, as far as the party supplies, Walmart has brighter, prettier colors than Dollar tree for $.94 (tablecloths, forks, spoons, and plates). It depends on what you're looking for but I was super disappointed when I seen the better looking pink and blue at Walmart! Oh also, they have pain relieving cream at Dollar Tree that works wonders!!
  • I live in a small college town and the Dollar tree is a life saver for many students on a small budget. I am retired now and on a smaller budget so I also find many useful items there... my grandchildren also love the Dollar tree...they can always find something. Pet lovers can find Friskie soft cat food and cat litter at a great price. Also, a lot of the stocking and lay-out of the store depends on a good manager there.
  • Over the weekend we had an ice storm that left me without power for a few hours...I had bought a few portable lights to put around a vanity I am making in my bedroom. I realized I had forgotten to buy candles, I gathered them all up and placed them around my house. When the electricity went off they were perfect. My house had light wherever I needed it...I was even able to do my nails....They were powered by DS batteries also. As far as toys go...My grandaughters love the dress up clothes...They last about as long as thier attention span so perfect really.
  • I have to disagree with you on the knives. I bought some little ones and i would rather use them then steak knives. Those are my favorite. I use them to cut veggies, raw and cooked meats, boiled eggs almost anything.
  • My daughter used to work at a DollarTree. She said the local restaurants used to order in the glasses and stemware by the case. Seems it was cheaper than going thru a restaurant supply store. The glassware is made by Anchor Hocking.
  • I just bought a pill organizer there it's a weekly M-F pill organizer it's circular rather than a rectangle anyways the pill organizer is AWFUL ! I have bought the rectangular ones at Wal-Mart and Walgreens before and they were maybe $1.50 but were much better than this dollar tree pill organizer. The dollar tree pill organizer does not have a tight seal so it wouldn't be good to carry in your purse it basically must lie flat at all times on a shelf. Until I get another one I am keeping mine in a baggie in case one compartment opens and pills spill they will at least be contained in the baggie. Also did you list the single nail clippers and manicure sets as a worst yet? The single clippers and the clippers that come in the manicure sets are dull, buy these at Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens instead also.
    • Good to know! I will make sure to keep an eye out for those pill organizers. I've seen different kinds at our DT> And I haven't tried the nail clippers or manicure sets, but that is also good to know to avoid them.
  • Lovely article and very true, especially the tape comment!!!! I love the dollar tree for buying shelving brackets to make shelves in garage, store front, for a TV, etc Can't beat two brackets for $1 Also sparkling and painting supplies are very valuable at Dollar Tree
  • I disagree about the electronics. I buy $1 ear buds and $1 phone chargers all the time. Both are constantly getting lost or left somewhere and Dollar Tree provides a cheap, steady steam of them. I will admit that, rarely, I will get a set of ear buds with only one functional bud.
  • I have used the round pill organizer for a while now I carry it in my purse and rarely have I had an issue with it popping open. Usually when i over stuff my purse assnd it gets bumped around. KimAfter alot of use, I do find that the individual tabs that close are prone to falling off, but hey it's only a dollar. If I get 6 mos out of them, usually, I think that's pretty good.
  • I agree with your mom. The sunbeam brand of batteries don't always fit, PLUS they have a tendency to "explode" or burn up inside whatever item you are using them in. I have damaged a remote and a couple of flashlights with this brand. Just the other day I was trying to salvage a battery operated candle of sentimental value because I stupidly used the sunbeam batteries. I find that Panasonic brand batteries are the best. A great place to get button cell batteries too! Another bang for your buck...... diabetic socks! I buy them for my mom. She says they're just as good as the brand she purchased for 12.99/ pair. Another great buy...... ball point pens, gel pens and word find books! Happy shopping y'all!
  • Hello, I find the aerosol cans of bathroom cleaners and oven cleaner work great! Never have I had the nozzle stop working. I've purchased bowls and plates and never had them break or chip unless the edge was hit hard on the faucet....Any bowl would break😊 Candy, socks and nail polish are just as good as any other and I love the savings. Bread and cereal are also just as good as any other bought from a regular store. I shop at Dollar Tree often and go there before going shopping at a regular store. The savings really make a great difference. Laundry detergent isn't very good... Doesn't clean well at all. BTW I'm a Dollar Tree fan! Marina
  • Mylar Helium Balloons are THE BEST from the dollar store. They have decent styles/designs and they last forever! My coworkers birthday was Nov 16,2016 I got her 3 balloons, 2 of them are still standing tied to her chair at work and it's Feb 4, 2017!! Not that anyone would ever need balloons to last that long, but they can! We use the batteries from Dollar Tree at work for things like megaphones, flashlights, Wands, remotes, etc. They actually hold up pretty well and for the amount that we need to buy it works for us!
  • You mentioned the pregnancy tests. I used the Dollar Tree tests all three times I found out I was pregnant. They weren't always the easiest to read but they all worked and read fairly quickly.
  • Hubby and I LOVE The Dollar Tree. We buy all our greeting cards for family and friends and save bundles. The only thing we NEVER buy there are any medicines. We were once told it was not a good idea from a doctor and also read it in a local paper. I believe there was a concern on expiration dates and also the generic brands.
  • Hi, I just wanted to say I'm an assistant manager at dollar tree. I used to keep in mind that everything is worth it because u get what u pay for everything's a dollar. But working their I have came across some very good items that you would say wow only a dollar when in fact would of been 20 dollars at Walmart.
  • I was disappointed in the Valentine ink stampers. The ink was dried up. I did find a pack of 10 blank pink cards with envelopes that my Sunday school class can make Valentines cards with. Have them write a bible verse(about love), add some stickers and was going to use the ink stampers. Maybe I can find a cheap ink pad before then. The cards are very nice though. Oh, also a disappointment was the Valentines plastic treat bags. They had holes in the bottom. Had to tape them to hold the stuff in.
  • There's this cleaning spray, Awesome Spray, that my boyfriend introduced me too. Takes out baby poo stains, blood, wine, and just about anything! I would highly recommend! 32 oz for a dollar and some you can get a gallon for three dollars
  • I noticed you mentioned candy. While they are good, I strongly recommend checking expiration dates on them before buying. We walked in to buy the reisen bags and every single bag on the shelf had been expired for months. Same goes for toothpaste or anything you are putting in ur mouth.
  • My husband and I were looking to redo our front entry way. We are very DIY minded and ended up buying bags of river rocks from the dollar tree to lay in grout for the entrance. It took a weekend of work but it looks great and it was less than half the cost it would have been to place tile there!! I have also noticed the dollar tree seems to randomly get small amounts of some of the more pricey name brand products that they don't normally carry. I have come across medicines like Triaminic and Zarbees and I recently just bought Jello brand pudding kits that come with the themed molds for kids that usually run $5 or so. You do have to watch the expiration dates though as those "random" products do seem to be due to expire soon!
    • That's very cool! I'd love to see a picture of how that turned out. And I agree - they do randomly have name brand and pricey items. I definitely think it's worth checking back regularly!
  • Frequent the Dollar Tree here.... I agree with you whole Do list. I' buy about everything you mentioned pretty regularly or at least have purchased, except socks. I'll have to try those. Including pregnancy tests for both of my pregnancies. (They were accurate and I was very early on, like 3 wks.) I also buy "Puffs" tissues. My husband's & kids' sunglasses. In the frozen section they have these cherry and lemon cups that are a delicious treat for only 1.00. They have single ice cream treats in a small freezer which is much cheaper than a gas station if you are only needing 1 or 2. I have bought iPhone cases there great ones w a case and belt holster as well as iPhone screen protectors. We have bought night lights for then kids' rooms. Cat/dog toys and dishes. Bungee cords, combination locks definitely organization containers/baskets and also baskets to make gifts. I buy my snack Sz baggies there. Light bulbs, binder clips, paper clips, cotton balls, valentines goodies, poster board, learning books for kids. We buy beach toys when we are on vacation and just leave them at the condo we stayed at because they were JUST a dollar. Pop up hampers and clothes hangers for vacation also. As for us the toys are usually okay buys as well dress up clothes, balls, whoop cushion (my son loves these) they usually last a day or 2 and by that time kids are ready for something different anyway. I have bought Betty Crocker kitchen utensils that have been great. Lots of scissors. Those don't last long but I usually lose them in such a short time that the 1.00 is worth it to me. Flash lights for the kids to play w on late nights in the summer. Just to name a few more decent buys from the Dollar Tree.:) One thing you can add to the DO NOT BUY list is a can opener. One of those sent me to the Clinic for stitches. (Yikes!) also, straws generally don't work out too well they always seem to have a small tear. Not all but quite a few. Anytime I need to shop I try to make the Dollar Tree my first stop then I proceed to WalMart or Target.
  • I love Dollar Tree, but I would highly caution customers about candy or food items. Many edible items sold at The Dollar Tree are made in China, so beware! The quality control standards are simply not the same as the US. Make sure any candy or food you buy is US made.
  • I found it interesting that you barely mentioned buying food at Dollar Tree. We buy our pasta there - 2 pounds for a dollar and it tastes like pasta. We also buy our tortillas there - we think they taste great and it sure beats paying $4 a dozen which is what Walmart charges (and other stores). If we had a good local place to buy better quality tortillas, this would be a different story but since all we have access to is cheaply made tortillas, I'm buying mine at the dollar store. Also, they carry Hormel pepperoni. It's cheaper than the grocery store (smaller package but the price per ounce is still cheaper). They have good pizza sauce and canned tomatoes as well. For someone who really has to stretch her grocery money, the dollar store has been a lifesaver. I wouldn't do all my grocery shopping there but I have been really impressed with the products I have mentioned (and we're rather picky food people).
    • Thanks for all your great insights! I actually haven't bought a ton of food a the dollar tree, so I appreciate your commenting. Great ideas!
  • One thing I never see on these lists is nasal strips. They work good and are a fraction of the price of the name brand ones. Their aluminum pans/containers are also good. These are great for picnics and parties where you'll set up a buffet station and send food home with people.
  • They have a sausage on a biscuit to die for! Well worth $1.00. I buy the eggs and feta cheese too. No problems . Gift bags great buy. Also wee wee pads. So baby things I buy there. Plastic bags all sizes! Wish we had thus store when I was divorced and raising two kids!
  • Hi, this is a great list. One thing we always purchase from Dollar Tree is gallon jugs of spring water. It's economical and has a good flavor. Another item we used to buy regularly is their scented diaper sacks with tie handles. Much better value than the ones I've seen elsewhere. I think I saw vases mentioned already, and it reminded me of the candle holders I bought for my daughter's wedding. Of course, I did examine them carefully to make sure I got the best looking ones.
  • I love the Dollar Tree for books! My grandma loves to read and goes through books so fast so whenever I am there I pick up 4-6 books. Many are hardcover but the usually are ones you have never heard of (though I have gotten some from bestselling authors in the past). Just a tip to look through their book section too :)
  • I love the Dollar Store cleaner Awesome!! This stuff is great you can use it on anything. I have had problems with the batteries "sunbeam " after they would die they would leak though my item or items they were in.
  • Screen protector for phones are an amazing deal they now have the tempered glass ones, even on amazon you cannot get this good of a deal and they work very well.
  • I like the Brillo basics pads . they are great for cleaning the frying pans. Those that are not supposed to stick, but do. They do not scratch the pans. I also like the packages of scouring pads that have 10 different colors per pack. They are hard to find anymore. I cut each pad into 4 pieces and divide them into about 24 pieces per tray and give them as gifts at Christmas. All the ladies in the family live them. Throw them away after you wear them out. They also will not scratch your ceramic stove top. A lot cheaper than 2 for $3.00 at Walmart for ceramic stove top pads.
  • I took a chance and bought some headphones. They aren't as loud but they still had great quality and I got them for 1.00 rather than the 10.00 I'd spend at Walmart.

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