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For years, the dollar store had a bad reputation. There is a misconception that everything at the Dollar store is low-quality or cheap.

Although the saying “you get what you pay for” might be true for many items, there are some incredible deals around dollar store items. To determine the best dollar store buys, Kiplinger spoke with shopping experts and scoured the aisles. These are 15 of the best items to buy at dollar stores in North Carolina.

  • 1. Greeting Cards

    My greeting cards are usually bought at the Dollar Store. They usually cost $1 for higher-quality ones and 50 cents for two. They aren’t the most diverse, but you can occasionally find a gem.

  • 2. Pregnancy Tests

    Pregnancy test kits from the dollar store? Yes, you can. As stated by Kiplinger, “paying a buck to see if you might be pregnant seems a risky proposition,” says Kyle James, founder of the shopping deals website RatherBeShopping. “But the tests have been done, and they’re just as good as the $10-$15 variety you’ll find at major drugstores.” At Dollar Tree, the Assured pregnancy test kits, promising “over 99% accuracy,” are $1.

  • 3. Candy

    I always head to a dollar store whenever I go to the movies to get my candy before the movie starts. Not only is it cheap, but it is also good. The $1 boxes also are great little pick-me-up gifts for those you love.

  • 4. Cotton Swabs

    100% I get my cotton swabs from the dollar store. I will go out of my way to get them here.

  • 5. Reading Glasses

    My mom ALWAYS got her reading glasses from the dollar store. Why? Because they were cheap, worked, and honestly not that ugly. Also…if she sat on them (or I did) the fact they were only $1 wasn’t so bad.

  • 6. Hair Accessories

    According to Kiplinger, “Anyone who uses hair accessories like ponytail holders and bobby pins likely know that they can disappear frequently,” says Ramhold. “You can typically get more bang for your buck by buying at the dollar store, and, as these aren’t usually seen and just serve utilitarian purposes, there’s no reason to spend more at other stores. Additionally, if you do end up losing them, you’ll likely feel okay if they didn’t cost a pretty penny in the first place.”

  • 7. Picture Frames

    I’ve done it. They work, they look good and they save your wallet some green. All sizes of frames at Dollar Tree are $1. At Walmart, for example, 8×10-inch picture and document frames started at $1.93 and went to $17.27.

  • 8. Plant Things

    During the planting and gardening season, you might be spending a lot of time at big box stores. But, little do you know the plant supplies at dollar stores are worth it and just as good.

  • 9. Tape

    I just got 6 rolls of tape, for only $1. Yes, it’s magical. A two-roll pack of Scotch transparent tape, totaling 500 inches, is $1 at Dollar Tree — or .002 cents per inch. A two-roll pack of Scotch transparent tape, totaling 1,200 inches, was $6.49 at Staples — or .005 cents per inch, more than twice as costly as the dollar store.

  • 10. Gift and Party Supplies

    I resell a lot of my old clothes and when something buys, I like to wrap it in tissue paper before I send it. I always go to the dollar store for tissue paper, tape, bags, and other gift-wrapping party supplies. They work are they are just as cute.

  • 11. Picnic Supplies (and Our Condiments to the Chef)

    According to Kiplinger, “Whether you need a small number of paper plates and cups or even themed decorations, the dollar store is an ideal place to shop for these items,” says Ramhold. “You typically only need them for one gathering, and those flimsy tablecloths will usually only last one party anyway, depending on how rowdy your guests are. Why pay more for those items when you can get the same quality for a lower cost? And the savings on party supplies can be put toward the things that everyone is really interested in — food and drinks.”

  • 12. Vases

    In the spring, when those gorgeous flowers you planted last fall are blooming, you can never have enough vases. How can you justify overpaying for them? The answer is don’t! This year I got some awesome milk bottle vases from the dollar store. I used them to grow my vines and gave them as birthday gifts to friends.

  • 13. Cleaning Products

    MY GRANDMA…will not get her cleaning products from the dollar store. I use to think she was a little crazy…but now that I have my own home to clean I understand her claim. They are affordable, they get the job done and sometimes there are even name brands for sale.

  • 14. Toiletries

    Picking up name-brand toiletries at the dollar store is a no-brainer, our shopping experts note, especially the smaller versions made for traveling and other purposes.

  • 15. School and Home Office Supplies

    With remote learning putting even more of an onus on parents in the last year, seeking out and scoring school supplies at bargain prices has become even more of an imperative. Don’t overlook dollar stores when stocking up.