Would you shop at a dollar store to save money during the holidays?
It might sound tacky. Are you picturing cheap toys, decorations that fall apart after a few days and Christmas dinner on plastic dishes?
But saving money doesn’t have to look so cheap.
There are 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.
What to Buy at Dollar Stores to Save Money for the Holidays
Here are a few things you can buy at a dollar store to get more bang for your holiday buck
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 that expensive wrapping is torn apart in a matter of minutes and thrown away.
Instead of splurging on the expensive paper, pick up much cheaper alternatives at the dollar store. Reuse gift bags or let the kids color pictures or write personalized messages on the wrapping paper.
Make your gifts extra special with some personal DIY touches and repurposing items around the house for cheap gift wrap.
4. Holiday Decorations
The dollar store is a great place to find the makings of 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. Compare that to spending $8-$20 for a box of cards at Walmart (some of those only have 12 cards!).
Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a former branded content editor at The Penny Hoarder.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.