Finding Deals at the Dollar Store {Holiday Edition}

>> 12.10.2009

I’ve walked you though the ins and outs of finding the real deals at dollar stores before, but with the holidays in full swing, it’s a whole new ballgame. There are some big mistakes to be made out there in the dollar store, but also a few brilliant buys. So, step away from the glitter for a moment while I give you my take:

The Dud: “I’m at the end of the roll already?!” wrapping paper
Not only is the amount of paper in a roll deceiving, but the quality is as well. This stuff will rip open before your kids even get to it.
The Deal: the gift bags
Here, what you see is what you get. For those oddly shaped or large items, there are plenty of cute (but also not-cute) bags to chose from.

The Dud: wreath window decals
Window decals are never deals.

The Deal: ornament packs
Still can’t get over the fact that I won’t let you buy a wreath for your window? Why not take a few of these $1 ornament packs and go the diy route?

The Dud: fake poinsettias
It doesn’t matter the season, this $1 faux plants aren’t going to fool anyone.

The Deal: colorful holiday ribbon
Don’t want to shell out the bucks for real poinsettias? If you want to make a big holiday statement, why not add a beautiful ribbon bow to one of those plants that you’ve brought in for the winter?

The Dud: the single ornament
It’s has a fun dried cranberry look, but you can do better than $1 for this lightweight piece of plastic.

The Deal: the ornament pack
Not only do these large star ornaments make a glittery statement, but also they stretch your dollar by coming in pairs.

The Dud?: holiday dishware
These dishes are cute, but do they pass the dollar store dish test?

The Deal: holiday dishware
Yes! They’re microwave and dishwasher safe!! I love being able to set an entire table for the cost of one placesetting :).

Do you dollar store for the holidays? If you've made any amazing projects, please comment me a link so that I can check it out!

I'm linking this post up with the 11th Penny Pinching Party over at The Thrifty Home.
Head over to join in with the fun!


Coree December 10, 2009 at 10:26 AM  

I bought 4 holiday placemats at the dollar store and love them. I didn't want to spend a lot of money for something that sits on the table for a month, so dollar store placemats are the perfect solution!

Amanda December 10, 2009 at 10:35 AM  

I hear you on the wrapping paper- so not worth $1! The gift bags are where it's at- you'll pay at least 2-5 times that at any other store. Another thing I like at the dollar store are toys for my nieces and nephews. They are too young to know (or care) that it came from the dollar store, so I like to get them a stuffed animal, a fun wig, or some type of art project. I give them a slightly nicer gift as well, so the dollar store gift is just for bonus points. Pretty cheap for the adoration of the little ones!

Danielle and Clint December 10, 2009 at 11:03 AM  

I usually find that dollar store wrapping paper is pretty thin and you can see through it. So at times, I had to double it so the kiddies wouldn't see what I got them. They do have deals, but like you pointed out, it depends.

Angela December 10, 2009 at 12:03 PM  

Thanks for sharing these deals! I love the ornaments and the holiday dishes. Looks like I'll be making a trip to the dollar store...

Bromeliad December 10, 2009 at 12:20 PM  

Love gift bags. Also loving the disco ball ornaments at our neighborhood dollar store - I have some non-holiday plans for those.

Ashley @ AshleysBusy December 10, 2009 at 1:10 PM  

What great tips! they just put in a new dollar store right down the road from my house, I need to go check it out!

The Sale Rack December 10, 2009 at 1:26 PM  

the holiday dishware is so cute!

Sara @ Russet Street Reno December 10, 2009 at 2:28 PM  

Oh yes, dollar store gift bags are the bomb! I also buy $1 hardcover books there, remove the cheesy dust jackets and use them to beef up my collection of books on my living room shelves! No one ever reads the spines, anyway.

katiejennings128 December 10, 2009 at 9:59 PM  

I am LOVING the $ store this season, we coordinated our Christmas tree with dollar store items!! I was able to get some crafting items, and they have plain white gift boxes that are 4/$1!! Wrap it up with a big red dollar store ribbon, and you have a classy gift wrap on the cheap!

Virginia December 11, 2009 at 3:17 AM  

Great post, I am going to need to grab some gift bags and ribbon from the dollar store. Thanks for the tip on the wrapping paper, I have never tried it and now I know not to!

Nicole R.J. December 11, 2009 at 10:13 AM  

Don't forget the fab tins {for homemade sweets!} and pretty boxes as a great gift-wrap alternative.

While many of the ornaments are a waste of a dollar, some a a real steal! I picked these retro trees up a year or two ago and really wished I nabbed more, as my local store doesn't have them this year:

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog December 11, 2009 at 10:33 AM  

@Amanda- You're right, you can grab some great toys at the dollar store. I'm always impressed witht the selection of High School Musical brand toys.

@Nicole- I agree, you can't count out all of the ornaments! It's all about comparing the quality with what you would pay in other stores. Oh, and I haven't counted out the tins! I actually snagged a few to pass out with my holiday treats :).

Meg December 11, 2009 at 11:42 AM  


This is one of my favorite holiday posts! The wreath part cracked me up and I gave you a mental high five at the ornaments and ribbon part.

I've decided I'm a metallic person for holiday decorating, and I've tried to be thrifty with gold and silver ornaments and ribbons to perk our house up.

Um, and I didn't even know they carried such cute holiday dishes! I'm hitting up some dollar stores this weekend!

Jaimie December 11, 2009 at 9:30 PM  

Thanks for this! I hadn't thought about going to the dollar store!!

Kim December 12, 2009 at 8:48 AM  

Good points. I agree - and I didn't realize they had dishes.

Alexis L. of One Grand Home December 13, 2009 at 3:51 AM  

Nice finds. I have not gone to a Dollar Store in years. You've inspired me to return to my thrifty roots. December 16, 2009 at 6:59 AM  

Wow great post
I do dollar shop for the holidays and decorate with the dollar tree too!
In fact I have 2 kidish decorations that I just completed on my blog!

TidyMom December 16, 2009 at 7:30 AM  

YES!! I had fun using the dollar store for my holiday decorating this year!! I have a few posts about it!

Love your post!! -we bought some of the holiday mugs, they've made drinking cocoa and lattes feel like a special treat!


cmluvs2stamp December 16, 2009 at 9:18 AM  

I love your blog!!!! I'm now a follower. Yes, I love the dollar store esp for seasonal items cause they are not used for very long before they get packed away

Anonymous,  December 31, 2009 at 5:25 PM  

I love their halloween pencils which are good for trick or treaters. Parents love it too.

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