10 Things To Buy at the Dollar Store That Look Way More Expensive

Dollar Tree store
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If you’ve ever made a dollar store haul, you know you can get much more bang for your buck on certain items as compared to shopping at Walmart or the grocery store. But what’s even better than saving a ton on everyday household items is finding dollar-store items that look high-end but cost only around $1.

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Finds like these make it easy to stock up on arts-and-crafts supplies, buy emergency gifts or redo the wall art in the guest bathroom. From washi tape to helium-filled balloons, here are 10 things to buy at the dollar store that look way more expensive. 

Washi Tape 

“Dollar Tree has cute sets of five rolls of washi tape for $1.25 that look just as good as anything you’d find at a craft store, but for a fraction of the cost,” said Julie Ramhold of DealNews. “In fact, to get a similar set of only pastel colors (no patterns), you’d pay $10 for eight at some stores. They come in solid colors, glittery styles and prints, so they provide a good variety for your projects.”

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Decorative Picture Frames

Framing a personal photo to give to friends and family members can serve as a great gift that won’t break the bank. Sometimes it’s hard to find a nice decorative picture frame for a cheap price, but dollar stores often have these deals. For example, Dollar General offers a 4×6-inch frame for $1.50 and larger options for $2. The catch is that these deals are often found only in stores, so you might not be able to order online. 

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Faceted Bourbon Glasses

“These look so elegant and better than just a plain old-fashioned glass, and they’re only $1.25 each, which just can’t be beat,” Ramhold said. “You can easily buy four or six of these and pair them with a more expensive crystal decanter to serve as your own set or even as a special gift.”

Pilsner Glasses

“These look just like the ones you’d be served a beer in from your favorite pub, but you won’t break the bank buying a set,” Ramhold said. “They’re perfect for enjoying your favorite local craft beer, and no one will know how little you had to spend on them.”

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Charger Plates

“These really add an extra bit of appeal to your place settings and Dollar Tree has a ton of different styles of them, all made with plastic,” Ramhold said. “The metallic and wooden plates especially look more expensive than they actually are and are really great for elevating winter place settings in particular.”

Disney-Themed Gift Bags

Dollar stores offer serious discounts on Disney-themed gift bags, compared to stores such as Walmart. For example, you can find large Paw Patrol gift bags for $1 each at Dollar General. While Walmart does offer an extra-large Paw Patrol gift bag complete with tissue paper, it’s almost seven times the cost of Dollar General’s offering, at $6.98.  

Coffee Mugs

“The first thing that comes to mind when I think of dollar store items that look more expensive is coffee mugs,” said Brooke Grasley, founder of Restore, Decor & More. “You can find some really great-looking coffee mugs at the dollar store, and they don’t have to be cheap-looking either. There are some really nice ceramic mugs that look like they could easily cost $5 or $6 elsewhere. If you’re looking for a nice gift for a coffee lover or designing a cute coffee bar, dollar store mugs are definitely worth considering.”

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Other Types of Glassware

“In fact, the glassware section, in general, is a great place to look for dollar store items that look more expensive,” Grasley said. “There are some really nice wine glasses, champagne flutes and margarita glasses. And since everything is only a dollar, you can afford to buy a few pieces to create a really nice set. So, if you’re in need of some new glassware for a special occasion or simply want an upgrade on your everyday drinking glasses, be sure to check out your local dollar store.”

Small Wall Art

Whether you’re shopping for a small sign for your bathroom or you’re looking for a kitchen-themed piece of wall art, it can pay off to check your local dollar store to see what it may have in stock. For example, Dollar General has several small wall art signs that look like they could cost several dollars more, if you compare them to what you’ll pay elsewhere for similar products. These items change by the seasons. Right now, you might find beach-themed art, while close to the end of the year you can find holiday-themed items. 

Helium-Filled Mylar Balloons

If an upcoming party calls for a passel of helium-filled, fancy-looking balloons but you don’t want to spend upwards of $50, check the dollar store. The selection may be limited, but you can save big.

“Helium Mylar balloons are ideal for birthday parties and cost $1 at the dollar store instead of $3.99 at other stores,” said James Crawford, co-founder of DealDrop.

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About the Author

Cynthia Measom is a personal finance writer and editor with over 15 years of collective experience. Her articles have been featured in MSN, AOL, Yahoo Finance, INSIDER, Houston Chronicle and The Seattle Times. She attended the University of Texas at Austin and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.
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