I'm going to admit something to you all, don't be shocked!
(I do a lot of my blog-related and home related shopping at the Dollar Store)
I know, crazy right? I'm a lifestyle blogger, isn't it kind of my job to make my life look glamorous and exciting and enviable? To show off adorable things I buy and just nonchalantly say things like "Oh that little piece? I bought it at an exclusive, expensive boutique."
The truth is that sometimes I do invest in gorgeous, high quality pieces from boutiques. Just like with my clothes and style where I usually will keep things as realistic for my budget as possible, but will invest in amazing and quality pieces, I do the same for the rest of my life and home. And one of the best places I've found hands down to do that is the Dollar Store.
Today I'm sharing my super secret list of the top 10 things I always look for at the Dollar Store, and some of it includes items I use regularly for blog photographs. The new modern dictates that good design doesn't need to just be from expensive retailers, you can mix and match the inexpensive with your pricier pieces to achieve a realistic (and still adorable) aesthetic.
1. Office supplies
The Dollar Store is your surprise jackpot for cute office supplies. It doesn't matter if you need cute sticky notes, pencil pouches, fun pens and pencils (great for photo props too!) or basics like thumbtacks and tape, the Dollar Store is always my first stop. I mean, how adorable are those hashtag sticky notes? And that giraffe pencil pouch! My daughter immediately stole my new fluffy pens, too.
Along with office supplies, but these deserve their own category. Don't get me wrong, in August it's cheaper by far to go buy 10 notebooks for $0.29 apiece at any store during back to school sales. But the Dollar Store is awesome for things like these after the sales are over, and usually it's a treasure trove of little journals and planners too. And in such bright and cute colors!
I keep one of these with me all the time, so they get used up fast and it's nice to have a stash. Plus, they look adorable in pictures!
3. Gift bags (and of course wrapping paper!)
It is crazy to me how much wrapping supplies cost! You can spend almost as much on a cute themed gift bag and paper as you do on the actual gift! I never, and I mean NEVER, buy gift bags anywhere else. Bags like this would be $3-4 each at Target, and I found matching wrapping paper and tissue as well! These also make amazing backgrounds for certain flat-lay photos, and I've even framed them and made them into artwork!
4. Gift bag fillers
And what about things to put in those gift bags? This set of sticky notes, notebook, pens and pencil pouch was a total of $3, and would make an amazing teacher gift. And yes, I tested them and the pens work great!
5. Kids toiletries
Kid's toothbrushes, character shampoo, hand sanitizer with cute sparkly cases, water bottles for spring and summer playground season, and glowsticks for glowstick baths all make the cut here. As did the steak shaped coasters, because my kids love playing BBQ!
The Dollar Store regularly has character themed kid everything when it comes to toiletries!
6. Not a kids toiletry, but I had to add these Cheddar Whales
My. Family. Loves. These.
Surprisingly, these are maybe the best cheese crackers I've ever found. They're the perfect toasted cheese flavor, and disappear about as fast as I can buy a box! The boxes are a fairly good size, and no they're not made of crazy preservatives either, I checked the ingredients. Real, actual cheese, and about the same nutritional content as Goldfish. Not too shabby!
7. Small kitchen items (perfect for food photo props!)
A lot of the time, when I need a prop for a food photo the dollar store is one of the first places I look. When I threw my Valentine's Day dinner party this year I used basic dollar store wine glasses and plain white plates. And for $1 each I wouldn't really care if they get broken, and they're easy to replace because I can just go buy more matching ones.
Other notable kitchen goodies are mugs, serving dishes, and placemats. Colored placemats are one of my favorite things to buy here, because it's so easy to find cute matching sets for photos, parties, or even just decor.
This one sounds weird, but it's true. These adorable black and gold prints were both from the dollar store, and I've bought many, many other things I've found wall decals that were incredibly adorable and lasted forever, used as artwork there as well. I've used brightly colored placemats as artwork for my kid's room, and even re-purposed table clothes as party decor.
9. Hair ties, brushes and nail wraps. Sometimes there's treasure!
This is going to be blasphemy to die hard Jamberry fans but...I love dollar store nail wraps. Guess what? They last about the same amount of time, and they have a bunch of cute designs. And I get tons of compliments on my Dollar Store nails! Secretly I giggle every time. My daughter has had her Dollar Store nail wraps on for almost two weeks as we speak, and they still look awesome!
Some other great finds in the toiletries section: Hair ties, brushes and headbands (not pictured). Especially for my daughter this is the place to go. I just got that compact mirror/brush set for myself to go in my purse, and I love the mint green color.
10. Organization and storage bins
This is the big one, the one everyone mentions, but it's completely worth mentioning again because it's so useful. The Dollar Store is a jackpot for organizational bins in cute colors and patterns. My kid's bathroom, bedroom, my crafts and office space all owe their nice clean surfaces to dollar store bins.
How cute is that desk organizer? I mean seriously!
Bonus items you should be looking for:
11. Party supplies
There are paper plates, plastic silverware, tableclothes and napkins galore! When I created my football snack stadium I basically cleaned out the Dollar Store party supply section in brown and green.
12. Party favors
Perfect for favor bags, and helps make those birthday party favors more affordable.
13. Brand name make up
This only happens sometimes, but when it does it's awesome. I've found some very expensive drug store make up brands at the Dollar Store!
14. Seasonal candy (especially around Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter!)
This goes without saying, the Dollar Store is the best place to find cheap stocking stuffers, Easter basket fillers, Valentine's day treats, etc.
15. Holiday decorations
You can buy different ones each season and not spend tons of money!
I keep a stash of cheap sunglasses in my car for the days when I forget my good ones.
17. Helium balloons
These can be incredibly pricy at grocery stores, but only $1 and you can get all colors and themes.
Great for camping, and for kids reading in bed at night.
19. Kids coloring books
There are always a ton of licensed characters and kid approved themes, don't spend $3-5 on a coloring book when you can get them for $1!
My kids. Love. Stickers. We go through stickers like they're going out of style. This is the best possible place to score gobs of stickers!
Thanks for checking out my list! If you liked this one you should also check out my list of 10 gifts you should always buy at the thrift store as well.