5. Crafts. I’m not crafty either, but at the dollar store you can afford to unleash your financial stress onto a blank canvas or other potential work of art. For one dollar each, you’ll find bags of sequins, beads, shells, magnets, neon erasers, markers, chalk, faux feathers and wooden buttons. Not impressed? They also had kits to make your own wallets, spaceships, dog tags and costumes. Let the pop art begin!
6. Beauty. Can you really put a price on beauty? The dollar store can. One-buck nail files, eyelash curlers, pedicure sets, tweezers, loofahs, aromatherapy soaps, bath oils, and back brushes mean you can bring your spa habit home for a ten spot. No tip required.
7. Socks. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a wall of socks. Floor to ceiling, every color from black to neon, every length from footie to tube, and pattern including solids, stripes, argyle and herringbone. It’s a total trip. A quick online comparison found similar styles $8 and up.
8. Barware. Call them shot glasses, call them bud vases, call them dessert flutes—I found an array of multipurpose cylindrical beauties next to the mother load of cocktail steals, including glasses for martinis, wine, juice and [insert creative use here]. Plus, corkscrews, bottle openers, shakers and more…an intoxicating buck each.
BONUS: A few solid deals for just more than a dollar. Even more sweet steals abound if you’re willing to spend a few bucks: $8 Sony (Stock quote: SNE) speakers, $3 MP3-friendly headphones, $25 stock pots ($80 and up at kitchen stores), $5 sushi sets, $3 mod lampshades, $2 aged balsamic vinegar, $3 men’s loungewear pants, $7 B.U.M. backpacks, $6 fitness medicine balls, $8 paper shredders, $4 five-function alarm clock radios and $12 platters (retailing for $45 and up at hip home retailers). Let the savings begin!