Dollar Store Finds for a Festive Cinco De Mayo Celebration

Chips and Salsa.
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One hundred sixty years ago, on the fifth of May, the Mexican army defeated France at the Battle of Puebla. Since then, Cinco de Mayo has been a small but lively holiday that is most popular among those with Mexican heritage. But let’s be real: Americans will take any excuse — culturally relevant to them or not — to party like it’s 1862. 

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Generally calling for classic Mexican fare such as guacamole, tacos and tequila, Cinco de Mayo parties aren’t meant to be high-pressure, stressful affairs. They’re all about having fun and celebrating freedom and, often, the imminence of summer. But even the most low-key festivities can cost a pretty peso to execute, which is why celebrants should consider dollar stores for their party needs. 

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From snacks to dining ware, you can get all your Cinco de Mayo essentials for as little as $1.25 a pop.  

Chip and Dip Trays

“Shop at Dollar Tree to get plastic chip and dip trays for around $1.25 each,” said Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at “These 12-inch trays are perfect for serving up homemade salsa and guacamole with your favorite tortilla chips to party guests and are easy to clean when the party’s over.”

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Margarita Glasses

“These are a Cinco de Mayo must-have, but buying specialty glasses can get expensive depending on where you shop,” Ramhold said. “Dollar Tree offers a couple of different styles, including a cactus-stem one for $1.25. Not only are they perfect for whatever your margarita of choice is; but, should the party get lively and a glass end up broken, there’s no reason to worry since they only cost just over $1 each.”

Make Your Money Work for You

Plastic Pitchers

“The last thing you want to do during a celebration is to continually worry about making drinks,” Ramhold said. “Pick up plastic pitchers in various sizes and make drinks in bulk, whether that’s iced tea, margaritas or even fruit punch for the younger partygoers.”


“These can be fun for kids and adults alike, to be honest, so why not pick one up and fill it with your treat of choice for your party?” Ramhold said. “Dollar General has them for around $12, which isn’t bad at all considering similar ones at other stores will cost between $25 and $30.”

Hanging Pom-Pom Garlands

“Colored pom-pom garlands are $1.25 each at the local Dollar Tree and can be bought in red, green and white colors to decorate your area for Cinco de Mayo,” said Chloe Choe, owner of Off Hour Hustle

Rainbow Honeycomb Tissue Decorations 

Zhoosh up the fiesta vibe by scattering these rainbow honeycomb tissue decorations around your space. At Dollar Tree they cost just $1.25 each. Ideally you’ll want to load up on a few so you can make your party pop from all viewpoints. 

Make Your Money Work for You


“Whether you opt for plastic or not, (tablecloths) are so useful for parties because they provide a barrier to messes and also can help expedite cleanup at the end of the celebration,” Ramhold said. “You should be able to find one for around $1, depending on which store you shop — and in festive colors or prints as well.”

Mexican Cokes 

Tequila is great, but there is arguably nothing more refreshing than a true Mexican Coke, which is made with cane sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup. At Dollar General, you can pick up a case in-store depending on your location. 


“Dollar stores have plenty of festive (chips) available from standard tortilla chips to spicy Takis and even plantain chips,” Ramhold said. “The best thing about these snacks is that they’ll only cost around $1.25 per bag, so it’s not a huge investment to try something new.”

Nacho Cheese Dip 

“You can also find nacho cheese sauce, jalapeno cheddar dip, and nacho cheese dip if you want easy snacks without having to make anything from scratch or as toppings for your taco bar,” Ramhold said. 


Of course, no chip-and-dip combo is complete without salsa. You can cheaply DIY this dish with RoTel Original Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies. Ten-ounce cans of this zesty mix cost $1.25 at Dollar Tree.  

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About the Author

Nicole Spector is a writer, editor, and author based in Los Angeles by way of Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, the Atlantic, Vice, and The New Yorker. She's a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, "Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray" received laudatory blurbs from the likes of Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and was published in the US, UK, France, and Russia — though nobody knows whatever happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.
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