They say you get what you pay for, so what about dollar stores? Are discount product stores like Dollar Tree worth an extra shopping trip? I put a few products to the test to find the best and worst Dollar Tree swaps.
The result: Some Swaps are Worth it!
- The Best Dollar Store Swaps
- The Worst Dollar Store Swaps
- Dollar Tree Favorites According to Instagram
The Best Dollar Tree Swaps
- Cleaning Supplies
- Party Decorations and Supplies
- Summer Toys and Outdoor Games
- Disposable Cooking Pans and Picnic Ware
Dollar stores are great places to find basic cleaning supplies such as sponges, microfiber cloths, and spray bottles. These items are often comparable in quality to their more expensive counterparts found at regular stores. Stocking up on cleaning essentials at the dollar store can save you a significant amount of money without compromising cleanliness.
LA’s Totally Awesome All-Purpose Cleaner, 20 oz.
This cleaner is now a household staple. It’s an all-purpose cleaner that you can use anywhere. It is safe on wood, glass, stainless steel, porcelain, marble, granite, and plastic. It doesn’t leave streaks, and the scent is pleasant but doesn’t overpower or linger in the air after use. It’s much more affordable than name-brand alternatives.
Party Decorations and Supplies
When it comes to hosting a party on a budget, Dollar Tree shines. From balloons and banners to paper plates and napkins, there are a wide variety of party decorations and supplies for all types of events. These items are typically used once and then discarded, so it makes sense to save money by purchasing them at a dollar store.
Tissue Festive Poms, 2-ct. Packs
These 3.5-inch pom decorations are adorable and much less expensive than similar options at party stores.
Summer Toys and Outdoor Games
Dollar Tree can be a fantastic destination for budget-friendly summer toys and outdoor games. Whether you’re looking to keep your children entertained during summer break or planning a fun-filled outdoor gathering, the dollar store has you covered. From classics like sidewalk chalk and bubble blowers to inflatable pool toys and outdoor sports equipment, you can find a wide variety of options.
Sidewalk Chalk, 20-ct. Boxes
The chalk sticks are vibrant with a wide variety of colors. The chalk is easy to handle and produces clear lines on various surfaces, making it suitable for sidewalk art, driveway games, or school projects. However, it is worth noting that the chalk may wear down more quickly than higher-quality alternatives, so expect some breakage during use.
Disposable Cooking Pans and Picnic Ware
Dollar stores often carry a range of aluminum foil baking pans in various sizes and shapes, making them perfect for baking and serving dishes on the go. These disposable pans are not only convenient but also save you from the hassle of cleaning up after the event. Additionally, Dollar Tree offers a wide selection of picnic ware, including disposable plates, cups, and utensils.
12.75x9x2-in. Foil Utility Pans with Plastic Lids
These pans are perfect for transporting food to parties and picnics. The lid is convenient and resealable for storing in the fridge or bringing home leftovers. The price can’t be bested by grocery store alternatives, and durability is about the same.
The Worst Dollar Store Swaps
While it may be tempting to grab a pack of batteries from Dollar Tree, the quality is usually not the same. Dollar Tree off-brand batteries tend to have lower capacity and shorter lifespans compared to reputable brands, so don’t expect them to last as long or use them to power essentials like smoke detectors. Name-brand batteries are much more expensive per unit at Dollar Tree, so you won’t save any money in the long run.
Electronics and Chargers
Electronics and chargers found at dollar stores are often of subpar quality, lacking durability and reliability. Inexpensive headphones, USB cables, and phone chargers are prone to breaking or malfunctioning quickly, leaving you with a wasted investment. It’s better to spend a little more on electronics from trusted retailers to ensure longevity and performance.
Personal Care Products
While Dollar Tree offers a variety of personal care products, including toiletries and cosmetics, it’s essential to exercise caution. Lower-priced personal care items may contain harsh chemicals, potentially causing skin irritations or other adverse reactions. For items that come into direct contact with your body, it’s better to invest in reputable brands that prioritize safety and quality.
Dollar Tree sometimes carries name-brand personal care products. The quality of these products should be fine, but they often come in smaller quantities which means you might be paying more per unit than you would at other stores.
Medications and Vitamins
Dollar stores often carry over-the-counter medications and vitamins at significantly lower prices. However, it’s crucial to be wary of their quality and expiration dates. The lack of regulation and oversight in dollar stores means that these products might be less effective or even expired. It’s always safer to purchase medications and vitamins from established pharmacies or reputable retailers.
As with toiletries, name-brand medications are available at Dollar Tree, usually in a small travel size. These can be a good option if you only need a small amount, but remember you’ll pay more per unit than full-size options at other stores.
Dollar Tree Favorites from YouTube
Looking for more Dollar Tree reviews? Check out these recommendations we found on YouTube by Do It On a Dime!