If thrift were a religion, the dollar store would be a place of worship. You step inside, and thousands of items hastily stacked on shelves greet you, each only costing a dollar–or thereabouts. Elation fills your spirit as you think about all the deals you'll get.
That said, the devil is in the details. Only certain items in the dollar are worth the low price tag. Batteries, pet food, and knives are better sought at other establishments—and some things at the dollar store could be dangerous. Putting those aside, these are the 19 items you should always get at the dollar store.
1. Greeting Cards
When it comes to greeting cards, it really is the thought that counts. If you're sending a card to someone who expects a fancy, singing monstrosity, then they are not worth sending a card to–unless they are a small child.
It's not about where you get your spices, but how you use them. The potency of spice is based on its freshness. If the expiration date is a ways off, then the stuff inside is good to go!
3. Mailing Supplies & Stationary
The quality of envelopes don't vary enough to warrant an increase in price. The ones you find in the dollar store will suffice. Spending a lot on envelopes won't make them get to their destination any faster.
4. Reading Glasses
Reading glasses should be all about functionality. If you can read this list with them, then it doesn't matter where they came from.
5. Gift Wrapping Supplies
Nine times out of ten, bows and wrapping paper get torn anyways. As long as the recipient knows what you're giving them is a present, then it's about what's inside.
6. Name-Brand Cleaning Supplies
Remember what you find at the dollar store is probably going to be smaller than what you find at other retailers. As long as you're okay with getting less, what's inside the package is just the same.
7. Rubber Gloves
The science of modern rubber was perfected in the 19th century. Gloves at the dollar store were created by the same process. That means they'll protect your hands from the scourge of soapy water as well as any pair bought at a nice store.
8. Storage Containers (for non-food items)
As long as there aren't any holes or cracks, one container is much the same as the next one. However, food containers should be avoided, as dollar store variants are more likely to contain toxins.
9. Hair Elastics
If it's stretchy, it's good. Don't spend a lot on hair elastics because you're going to lose half of them anyways.
10. Picture Frames
It's what's inside the picture frame that counts. Aside from dusting, most picture frames receive minimum handling, so they don't need to be made from top-notch material.
Ornaments only need to look good one week out of the year. Unless you're one of those people that keep their tree up year round. Let your kids help decorate the tree, and if a few ornaments break, it's okay because you only spent a dollar on them.
We're not talking about socks for hiking or working out. Dollar store socks are about sitting around the office or keeping your feet warm at home.
13. Tin Foil
There are only two kinds of aluminum foil: heavy duty and not. All other distinctions are moot. You can spend a lot on name-brand foil, but it doesn't protect your food any better.
14. Coffee Filters
Just admit it, you drink coffee for the caffeine. As long as the filter doesn't keep that out of the cup, you'll be happy. Besides, a good cup of joe is about the method of preparation and the quality of the beans.
It's not like you're going to reuse them. You can get the most expensive balloon in the world, and it'll still deflate over into a sad state.
16. Party Supplies
Parties should be about the guests, not the decorations. If you're relying on your decorations to make the party, you're doing it wrong.
17. Drinking Glasses
The theory that drinking glasses are about all the same holds water. Fancy glasses aren't going to make your orange juice taste any better.
See drinking glasses. As long as your flowers are getting water, they don't care how much the vase costs. With a little hunting, you can find vases that are as attractive as any you find at a department store.
Towels that you use in the garage or for cleaning up around the house should come from the dollar store. Just give them a wash first and don't use these for post-showering, as cheap towels can shed fibers like nobody's business and nobody wants that on their skin.