As the holidays are approaching, Americans are flocking to dollar stores for affordable holiday celebration supplies.
A recent survey by GOBankingRates showed that a mere 2% of Americans consider dollar stores their favorite places to do holiday shopping. But that doesn’t mean people don’t shop at those spots; there are a few things that people really like to get at the budget stores.
With most items priced at $1, it’s no secret that shopping at dollar stores can help you keep more money in your wallet while stocking up on certain quality items. Particularly when it comes to party supplies and decor, shoppers can’t beat the vast array of options and low prices the store offers.
According to our survey, the most popular dollar store holiday items include wrapping paper, cards and decor. So, which items are actually worth buying at the dollar store?
Prioritize Buying Holiday Cards and Candy From the Dollar Store
Shopping for holiday supplies at dollar stores is a smart financial move because you can purchase decor for an affordable price and likely will use the products for just a month or two. That said, it is important to be aware of the holiday supplies you should prioritize at these popular stores — and the ones you’re better off purchasing elsewhere.
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According to the survey, 52% of Americans purchase holiday cards from dollar stores.
“If you’re still mailing out holiday cards to every friend and family member once a year, then you can’t go wrong with stocking up at dollar stores,” said Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at DealNews.com. “They often have at least a small selection to choose from and prices that are way better than some custom print jobs.”
The dollar store is the place to go for name-brand holiday candies. Our survey found that 20% of dollar store shoppers are stocking up on this holiday item this winter.
“You can find plenty of seasonal candies as well as regular name-brand items at dollar stores for a decent price,” Ramhold said. “Some are individually wrapped as well, which makes them perfect for candy bowls or serving as stocking stuffers. Look for things like candy canes, festive marshmallows, peppermint bark and caramels, as well as seasonal versions of things like Nerds and Fun-Dip, plus bags of fun-size candies like Snickers, Twix, Milky Way, M&Ms and more.”
Since you likely will be using your holiday decor for just a month or two, you’ll get great bang for your buck when you stock up on affordable decorations from dollar stores. Americans are in on the secret that shopping for holiday decor at dollar stores is the way to go. According to the survey, 36% of Americans are shopping for decor at dollar stores this holiday season.
Women are also far more likely than men to be stocking up on holiday decor at dollar stores. The survey found that 44% of women are purchasing this item at the store, vs. just 23% of men.
Opt Out of Buying Wrapping Paper at Dollar Stores
While it might seem like a great deal to buy wrapping paper at dollar stores, experts say otherwise.
“Dollar store wrapping paper is notoriously cheap in more ways than one,” Ramhold said. “It might not cost much up front, but it also can rip very easily if you aren’t careful — and sometimes even if you are. This could translate to wasted paper if you have to use more than you planned or have to start over because of a rip, which means the upfront value isn’t as great as it originally seemed.”
While the wrapping paper may not be high quality, it is still flying off the shelves. According to our survey, 61% of Americans are stocking up on this item at the dollar store.
The majority of Americans shopping for wrapping paper at dollar stores are those ages 45 to 64, as over 65% of respondents who responded in this way fall into this age bracket. Buying wrapping paper at the dollar store is also far more popular for women, as 65% of women responded in this way and just 55% of men did.
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Methodology: GOBankingRates surveyed 1,025 Americans ages 18 and older from across the country between Oct. 17 and Oct. 21, 2022, asking 18 questions: (1) Do you plan on spending more or less on holiday shopping this year?; (2) With the current state of inflation, how much more do you expect to spend on holiday shopping this year?; (3) What is your favorite place to shop for the holidays?; (4) Do you have to change any of the following holiday traditions this year due to rising costs?; (5) Where do you do the majority of your holiday shopping?; (6) How much do sales factor into your holiday shopping?; (7) How much time do you take off from work during the holidays?; (8) How much would you typically spend on a gift for a family member?; (9) How much would you typically spend on a gift for a friend?; (10) Where have you noticed rising prices for holiday shopping/expenses this year? (Select all that apply); (11) When did you start or plan to start your holiday shopping this year?; (12) As the holiday season approaches, which of the following applies to you?; (13) How much do you plan to spend exclusively on gifts this holiday season?; (14) How much do you plan to spend on travel during the holidays?; (15) Who do you tip for the holiday season?; (16) Do you tip extra to service workers (food delivery, Uber, hairdresser, etc.) during the holidays?; (17) What is the primary way you plan on paying for your holiday spending?; and (18) What holiday purchases do you make at the dollar store? (Select all that apply). GOBankingRates used PureSpectrum’s survey platform to conduct the poll.