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8 Best Deals at Dollar Tree

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Dollar Tree is a popular store for frugal shoppers, but many customers may not realize how much they can actually save by shopping there. From housewares and party supplies to pantry items and toys, there are incredible deals around every corner.

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But not everything at Dollar Tree is a steal—the key is knowing which items give you the best bang for your buck and which are best left on the shelf. GOBankingRates did some research and came up with a list of what to buy and what to skip on your next trip to the Dollar Tree.

1. Dollar Tree Seasonal Items

Dollar Tree usually has a section dedicated to seasonal items, including home decorations, craft supplies, party supplies, costumes and candy. This is a great aisle to shop for inexpensive items that can be given away or donated once the season is over. Especially valuable items can probably be used even for years to come. Right now, the Dollar Tree has graduation-themed items, summer flip flops, gardening supplies, and beach and pool toys on sale – all for just $1.25.

What should I buy:

  • Seasonal decor

  • Greeting cards

  • costumes

  • Candy

  • Craft supplies

What to skip:

Nothing, since you’ll only be using these items for a short time anyway. Compared to seasonal decor prices at Target and even Walmart, you’ll save a ton on items that usually don’t get much use.

2. Party supplies from Dollar Tree

Dollar Tree is an incredible store to get everything you need for stocking and decorating your next party. From streamers to gift wrap, you can find just about anything you need to liven up your event. Since most of these items are thrown away anyway, you should spend as little as possible. Just a few bucks at Dollar Tree get a wrapped gift, for example, versus over $8 or more at larger retailers.

What should I buy:

  • Wrapping paper

  • Ribbon

  • CARDS

  • balloons

  • Streamers

  • candle

  • Gift bags

What to skip:

3. Baby and pet items at Dollar Tree

You can find tons of items for the whole family (including pets) at Dollar Tree. Kid-friendly items, from toys to crafts, are so inexpensive that you can keep a stash of them aside for rainy days, road trips, play dates, and vacation days. For pets, you can also find litter box liners, treat jars, dog waste bags, and a whole host of supplies that you need to have on hand when you have pets. Fun fact: I keep a basket of inexpensive toys and crafts from the Dollar Tree to reward my kids for doing chores throughout the week. It’s less expensive than an allowance and I don’t have the skin off my back when they eventually get lost or broken.

What should I buy:

What to skip:

  • Stuffed animals or dolls: Especially when they have small parts or loose buttons, these items can be a choking hazard. Well-made animals and dolls are safer for children.

  • Cat and Dog Food: It’s worth spending more to feed your pet high-quality food that’s specific to their breed, age, and size.

  • Dog and cat toys: Some of these items are not well made and can also be choking hazards.

4. Dollar Tree Housewares

From organization and storage containers to dishwashing liquid, Dollar Tree is full of household goods at great prices. For example, a 40-ounce bottle of Pine Sol costs $3 or more, while the same amount of Pine Glow is only $1.25 at Dollar Tree. Dollar Tree also sells many popular brand name household items for $1.25, such as Ajax Powder, Lysol Multi-surface Cleaner, and Spic & Span Antibacterial Cleanser Spray.

What should I buy:

What to skip:

  • Tools: Tools must be well made and durable. Many of these items at Dollar Tree are not.

  • Brooms: Brooms must also be durable. Focus on quality, not price, as having to replace this item every few months would add up quickly anyway.

  • Dish soap: Some Dollar Tree dish soaps aren’t tough enough on grease. Stick with your favorite brand that can do the job well.

  • Trash Bags: No one wants to deal with a trash bag that comes apart. Spend a little more for a brand that can really last.

  • Toilet paper, tissues, or paper towels: It might go without saying, but these items deal with pretty delicate areas of the body. More expensive brands are usually softer and stronger.

  • Hangers: Don’t even bother with cheap hangers that break and bend and drive you crazy.

  • Light bulbs: Investing in CFL light bulbs can be expensive, but they use 75 percent less energy and last 10 times longer, according to Energy Star.

5. Kitchen items from Dollar Tree

Like the housewares section, Dollar Tree’s kitchenware is a steal. The only items we couldn’t recommend were generally made of flimsy materials and should be more durable. But everyday or disposable kitchen items are a particularly good deal at Dollar Tree, such as plastic storage boxes with lids, nesting baskets, reusable ice packs, glass bowls and more that can make complete kitchen. Compared to the plastic container section at Target or the glass bowls at Walmart, these items are a real bargain.

What should I buy:

  • Plastic and glass storage containers

  • Disposable baking dishes

  • Napkins and straws

  • Matches

  • Measuring cups

  • LIGHTER

  • Ice packs

  • Sandwich bags and lunch bags

  • Disposable cups

  • Dish sets

  • Children’s dishes and snack containers

What to skip:

  • Knives: Invest in a set of knives that will last a lifetime. Dollar Tree knives will not.

  • Kitchen Scissors: Again, this is a kitchen item that needs to be strong and durable. Don’t skimp on a great pair of kitchen shears.

  • Can openers and peelers: These items need to be tough enough to cut through serious material.

  • Metal flatware: A nice flatware set should be heavy and durable. Cheap cutlery tends to bend and bend easily.

  • Pots and Pans: Like a good set of knives, a great set of pots and pans can last forever. In addition, cheap cookware can heat unevenly and make it difficult to create a masterpiece in the kitchen.

  • Aluminum foil: Dollar Tree’s aluminum foil tends to be thin and tears easily, and it’s not much cheaper than its name-brand counterparts. Spend a little more for something more durable.

  • Towels: Towels should be durable and highly absorbent. Cheap ones will frustrate you when all you want to do is do the dishes and put them away.

6. Dollar Tree Health, Beauty and Personal Products

Dollar Tree has fabulous prices on health, beauty and personal care items, including brands sold at higher-end stores like Target and Walmart. A few things like hair color and makeup probably aren’t worth splurging on, but there’s a huge selection of high-quality items at low prices. For example, Dollar Tree has Carmex lip balm, VO5 and White Rain hair products, and compact mirrors for just a dollar, compared to $4 or more for comparable items at Walmart.

What should I buy:

What to skip:

  • Hairbrushes: Groom your locks with a hairbrush that’s built to last and specific to your hair type.

  • Soap: Be kind to your skin with a soap made with gentle ingredients.

  • Makeup: Cheap makeup can have fillers and oils that you want to keep off your face.

  • Feminine products: These items should be absorbent and well made. It’s not worth skimping on quality and risking embarrassment.

  • Vitamins: Buy vitamins from a quality manufacturer so you know exactly what you’re getting.

  • Hair color: This at-home hair treatment can go very wrong, so use the highest quality color you can afford to avoid a mishap.

  • Razors: Cheap razors aren’t as sharp and won’t leave you with the closest possible shave. Spend more on a razor you can reuse over and over again. You’ll probably save more in the long run and your skin will thank you for it.

  • Bandages: Thin, flimsy bandages won’t do your injuries much good. Spend a little more for a brand with staying power.

7. Groceries at Dollar Tree

You probably don’t want to do all of your shopping at the Dollar Tree, but they do offer some groceries at great prices, especially if you’re throwing a party. In some cases, even Dollar Tree can’t beat coupon deals from other grocers, so compare prices at both stores before you shop. Still, for just $1.25 at Dollar Tree you can get snacks like a 4-pack of Slim Jim Beef, a box of Nature Valley Oat Bars, a wide variety of condiments, and tons of baking supplies.

What should I buy:

  • Big bags of candy

  • Frozen fruits and vegetables

  • Rice

  • Oat

  • SPICES

  • Popsicles

  • Mixed drinks

  • SPICES

  • Chips, cookies and crackers

What to skip:

  • Juice: Many of the juices at Dollar Tree have a lot of sugar and artificial ingredients.

  • Canned food: These items tend to be limited and many have added salt or other unhealthy ingredients.

  • Cereal: These are usually on sale at larger grocery stores, and if you use coupons, you’ll likely get better prices and better quality than at the Dollar Tree.

8. Dollar Tree School and Office Supplies

You can save a bundle shopping for school and office supplies at Dollar Tree. Like everything on our list, some items are worth paying a little extra for, like calculators and computer paper, but it’s still worth stopping by this aisle for a few basics. For example, a bottle of screen cleaner at Walmart for $10 and a box of binder clips at Target is almost $11!

What should I buy:

  • Folders and Links

  • Band

  • Notice board

  • Mailing supplies

  • clips

  • Mobile phone screen protectors

  • Screen cleaning cloth and wipes

  • Paper for drawing or handwriting

What to skip:

  • Dry Erase Boards and Markers: Spend more on dry erase boards and boards that clean up well and easily.

  • Computers: These items are usually heavily used and must have strong battery life and reliable functionality.

  • Crayons: Cheap crayons break easily, which can lead to frustration and tears. A box of quality pencils at Target is only a buck or two and will last longer.

  • Computer paper: Cheap computer paper can jam in the printer.

  • Glue Sticks: Cheap glue sticks don’t work as well and dry faster. Spend a little more and one swipe will get the job done.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 8 Best Deals at Dollar Tree