Extreme Couponing Tip: What to Buy and What to Skip at the Dollar Store

A store where you can get anything for a buck lures in many frugal-minded shoppers. The truth is, some products are a great deal at $1. However, many items are actually cheaper elsewhere when you combine a coupon with a rock bottom sale price. Start saving with these examples:

 Buy It!

  • Food: Lasagna, 1 pound box; minced garlic, 8 oz; frozen fruit, 10 – 16 oz like sliced peaches, strawberries, or berry blends
  • Crafts: dried flowers, photo frames, Thank You cards and invitations (8 – 10 pack), poster board
  • Kitchen: glassware, rubber spatulas, plastic wrap (150 feet), plastic storage containers, terry washcloths
  • Decorations: wind socks, window clings, wreaths, garland, ornaments
  • Personal care: pill organizers, aspirin/ibuprofen, hydrogen peroxide, pregnancy tests, cotton swabs (250 count)
  • Cleaning: sponges, all-purpose cleaner, scrub brushes, bathroom cleaner, spray bottles, dusters
  • Children: puzzles, coloring books, stuffed animals, pool noodles, glow sticks, beach toys, squirt guns
  • Party: paper plates, table covers, plastic utensils, gift bags, gift tissue paper, party favors, balloons
  • Baby supplies: bottle brush, bath bubbles, books, baby spoons
  • Miscellaneous: shoelaces, flashlights, night lights

Skip It!

  • School supplies: Back-to-school sales are just around the corner, and many of these basics are $0.50 or less. Stock up for the coming year on everything from rulers to erasers, pens, glue, paper, markers, paper clips, notebooks, folders, scissors, white correction liquid, mini staplers and rubber bands.
  • Cookware: That tiny muffin pan and mini sauce pan are cute and cheap, but it is better to invest in high-quality supplies that will perform consistently for years. If you can’t afford new, check out your local Goodwill or other thrift store.
  • Personal care: Many toiletries are cheaper at national drugstores when you combine store and manufacturer coupons with reward programs: think toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, deodorant, feminine liners.
  • Food: Some foods are far less expensive at the grocery store when store coupons and promotions are paired with manufacturer coupons: boxed pasta, candy bars, frozen veggies, paper towels, canned beans, brownie/cake mix, salad dressing, cream soups, tuna, macaroni & cheese, marshmallows, ketchup, and soy sauce.

Most dollar stores do not accept manufacturer coupons, so your mileage may vary if you’re lucky enough to have a location that does! Also, selection and varieties may vary by region.