Can You Do Your Holiday Shopping at Dollar Stores Without Looking Cheap?

what to buy at the dollar store
Sergey Ryzhov/Shutterstock

Would you shop at a dollar store to save money during the holidays?

At first thought, it might sound tacky. Are you picturing cheap toys, decorations that fall apart after a few days and Christmas dinner on plastic dishes?

Saving money doesn’t have to look so cheap.

Everything adds up this time of year, as Kiplinger points out. You have a lot of opportunities to cut costs on those extras you might not think about when considering your holiday budget.

Dollar stores like Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and Dollar General may not supply the bulk of gifts on your shopping list.

But they’re great sources for the extra items like cleaning supplies and cookware that are easy to forget about when you’re budgeting for the holidays.

Here are a few things you can buy at a dollar store to save money this holiday season:

1. Cleaning Supplies

Added visitors and lots of cooking means extra cleaning before and after the holidays. But it doesn’t have to be an extra expense.

Load up on one-time-use cleaning supplies at the dollar store to prepare for the task.

You may have to use a little more, because some cheaper cleaners are more diluted than their name-brand counterparts. But they’re just as effective and can be an affordable solution during this busy time of year.

2. Disposable Bakeware

Only cook this much once a year? If you don’t have the space to keep the variety of bakeware you need to prepare a holiday meal, buy disposables for a buck apiece.

What a stress reliever it will be to just ball up that giant roasting pan and toss it in the trash after dinner! No more worrying about how to clean it, where you’ll store it — or how you’ll afford to get  it in the first place.

3. Gift Wrap and Bags

Beautiful presents in fancy wrapping make a lovely sight under the tree. But then… that expensive wrapping is torn apart in a matter of minutes and thrown away.

Go to the dollar store for affordable wrapping paper and gift bags you don’t mind throwing in the trash.

Instead of splurging on the expensive paper, make those gifts beautiful with some personal DIY touches. Decorate your own gift bags or let the kids color pictures or write personalized messages on the wrapping paper.

4. Holiday Decorations

The dollar store is a great place to find pieces for DIY holiday decorations at a fraction of the cost of even Walmart.

Find ribbon, bows, candles and candleholders for $1, and deck your halls without breaking the bank.

5. Holiday Greeting Cards

The important part of a holiday card is the message inside, right? Unlike (maybe) the gifts or food, your friends and family aren’t judging your holiday greetings based on the caliber of card you send them in.

You can pick up a box of 20 cards with envelopes at Dollar Tree. That’s versus $10-$20 for a similar-sized box of cards at Walmart!

For more affordable Christmas gifts and holiday supplies you can find at the dollar store, read the full article on Kiplinger.

Your Turn: What is the biggest expense on your holiday shopping list? What tricks have you found to cut costs?

Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for Huffington Post,, Writer’s Digest and more.