10 Dollar Store Christmas Dinner Hacks

Tigard, OR, USA - Aug 10, 2020: A Dollar Tree store in Tigard, Oregon.
hapabapa / Getty Images

You’re hosting Christmas dinner this year, and you want it to be perfect. However, you don’t have a ton of time and money to dedicate to the festivities.

In 2021, consumers spent an average of $231 on non-gift holiday purchases, such as food and decorations, according to the National Retail Federation. You’re hoping to spend a lot less than that — and this is entirely possible by shopping at dollar stores.

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Major chains like Dollar General and Dollar Tree are stocked with items to make your Christmas dinner both magical and affordable. This will allow you to enjoy the holiday instead of stressing about your budget and having to spend the entire day in the kitchen.

Ready to start making your shopping list — and checking it twice? Here are 10 items you can buy at dollar stores to make your Christmas dinner easy, festive and cheap.

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Instant Mashed Potatoes

A holiday meal wouldn’t be the same without mashed potatoes. However, making them from scratch can feel like a time investment.

Sold by Family Dollar, each container of Idahoan Buttery Homestyle Mashed Potatoes has four servings. Prepare on your stovetop or in the microwave.

In a matter of minutes, you’ll have a bowl of soft and fluffy mashed potatoes. Quickly throw the bag away and no one will have to know you cut corners on this delicious side dish.

Stove Top Stuffing

If your family is like many, it’s not Christmas without stuffing. Of course, what many people don’t realize is a lot of time and effort goes into making this holiday staple.

Available at Family Dollar, Kraft Stove Top Chicken Stuffing is ready in five minutes and can be prepared in the microwave or on your stovetop. All you need is boiling water and margarine or butter to complete this delectable side dish.

Each box makes six half-cup servings, so plan accordingly. If you want to take full credit for this stuffing, be sure to hide the empty box.

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Christmas Decor

  • Price: $1 each

Give your dining room table some Christmas cheer with décor from Dollar General. The store has a variety of festive items, including a mini nutcracker, stocking, tabletop brushed Christmas tree and assorted Holiday Mini Tabletop House signs.

Buy a variety of these festive items to create a centerpiece that puts everyone in the Christmas spirit. These timeless décor pieces won’t go out of style, so after the holiday, you can put them away and use them again next year.

Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Few desserts are more Christmassy than gingerbread men, but you don’t have time to make a batch from scratch. No need to worry, because Dollar General sells Stauffer Iced Gingerbread Cookies.

Just buy one 12-ounce bag — or more if you’re feeding a crowd — and put them out on a plate for your guests. These work great on their own or mixed in with other cookies you baked or bought.

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Festive Paper Plates

In theory, serving Christmas dinner on fine China — or really any ceramic plate — sounds like an easy way to create a classy tablescape. However, this also means you’ll have to spend extra time in the kitchen doing dishes or trying to fit everyone’s plate in the dishwasher.

Thankfully, Dollar General offers an easy solution in the form of Christmas paper plates. You can’t go wrong with this idea, as they double as décor, while simultaneously easing the stress of cleanup.

Cookie Storage Tin

When you think about Christmas dinner, cookies probably cross your mind. The same goes for your guests.

Like any good host, you plan to serve a lot of cookies. However, there’s a good chance you’ll still have plenty left over.

If you want to get those cookies out of your house, stock up on Christmas Decorative Round Large Storage Tins, available at Dollar General. This is a cute and cheap way to give your guests delicious cookie leftovers to take home.

Red Plastic Tablecloth

Transform your everyday dining table into a Christmas delight with this 54-inch-by-108-inch Red Plastic Table Cover from Dollar Tree. When dinner is over, simply take it off the table and throw it away.

This tablecloth will both protect your table and save you from having to wash — and spend time removing stains from — the fabric one you might already have. Or, if you really want to use a favorite fabric tablecloth, use this one for the kids’ table.

Christmas Trays

Functional and festive, these 12-Inch Round Plastic Christmas Trays from Dollar Tree are perfect for serving everything from desserts to charcuterie. Choose from a variety of designs, including snowmen and Santa.

If you’re hosting a rowdy crowd or lots of little kids, you won’t have to stress about these plastic trays breaking. For this price, you can opt to wash them off at the end of the night and put them aside for next year or simply toss them.

Christmas Tree-Shaped Deep Bowls

Give your snacks some serious holiday flair by serving them in Christmas Tree-Shaped Deep Bowls from Dollar Tree. Everything from candy and cookies to pretzels and chips will fit perfectly into these festive bowls.

This is also an easy way to serve seriously easy appetizers, as your guests will be more focused on the fun bowls than the level of effort put into the food itself. Everything looks more fun and delicious when served the right way — and this is the secret.

Christmas Ice Cube Trays

Delight your guests by serving them drinks with ice made in Christmas House Flexible Plastic Christmas Icon Ice Cube Trays, sold by Dollar Tree. Choose from trays shaped as candy canes, wrapped candy, double bells with a bow and single bells with holly.

Absolutely no one will expect this small, but amazing, level of detail. This is the easiest way to make an ordinary drink extremely memorable.

Expect everyone to be talking about your festive ice cubes until next Christmas.

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Note that some stores require you to purchase a minimum quantity of certain items.

Prices and availability are accurate as of Dec. 6, 2022, and are subject to change.

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Make Your Money Work for You

About the Author

Jennifer Taylor is a West Coast-based freelance writer with more than a decade of experience writing about anything and everything. Since earning her MBA, personal finance has been her favorite topic, as she’s passionate about writing stories that educate, inform and empower. Specifically, she specializes in budgeting, debt repayment, savings and retirement.
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