Nicole has a degree in psychology, and is a mom to four young sons. She loves all things art, and enjoys writing about her experiences.
1. Greeting Cards
Greeting cards have gotten ridiculously expensive over the years. While purchasing an $8.00 card that plays music when you open it may be fun and cute, it gets a little pricey for the pocketbook! One of our friends also brought up the interesting point that greeting cards were initially created for sending to loved ones who lived far away. It kind of makes sense that, you wouldn't necessarily need to give a greeting card to someone you see in person all the time, when you could just relay those birthday greetings by literally saying "Happy Birthday" to them! If you do still really want to purchase a greeting card, the 99 cent store is a great place to find an affordable one. Yes, some of the cards are cheap-looking, but some of them are actually really quality for what you're paying, and have very lovely sentiments inside. You might be surprised by what you can find!
2. Birthday Party Decorations/Supplies
Birthday party supplies can add up pretty fast, but they don't have to. The 99 cent store has quality Mylar balloons, streamers, plates, cups, napkins, utensils, adorable gift bags, and almost anything else you could ask for, all for only $1.00! It's a way better option than going to an over-priced, over-hyped party supply store. I love to purchase gift bags at the 99 cent store, because they are just as cute and fun as the ones you find at more expensive stores, but at a bargain price! This way, you don't have the guilt that comes with over-spending for a gift or going over your party budget! Even if you want some fancier plates that match your party theme, you can purchase all the other cups/utensils/napkins at the 99 cent store in a solid color that matches your theme, to save some cash!
3. Makeup, Nail Polish, Feminine Products (Even Pregnancy Tests!)
If you don't use any special makeup or have a problem with the ingredients in standard makeup, consider picking up some at the 99 cent store. It's definitely more affordable than even Wal-Mart or Target!
There's lots of feminine products at the 99 cent store, too. You might be surprised to learn that dollar pregnancy tests are just as valid as the more expensive counterparts, which can cost as much as $10 or $20 just for a couple of tests! Yes, they are higher quality and actually may say the words "pregnant" or "not pregnant", but if you're looking to save money and don't mind a lower quality test (and especially if you're taking lots of tests) the 99 cent ones are the way to go!
4. Holiday Specialty Items
I've learned to go to the 99 cent store right before every major holiday, as they carry a lot of useful items that are way more economical than those sold at regular grocery stores or box stores. You will want to go a week or two before the holiday though, or all the good stuff will be gone! For example, a couple of weeks before Mother's Day, I rolled on into the 99 cent store. You would not believe how much cute stuff they had for Mother's Day! The most adorable floral gift bags with pretty handwriting that said "Happy Mother's Day", cute little mugs that said "Best Mom Ever", and tons of cute gardening stuff, frames, etc. Seriously, these items were just as cute as anything you might find at Wal-Mart or Target, and they were only $1.00 y'all! I grabbed a couple of mugs for my mom, mother-in-law, and cousin and a couple gift bags. I totally felt like I scored and I didn't have that yucky guilty feeling like I spent too much! Whew!
5. Paper Towels, Napkins, and Toilet Paper
Running low on cash until your next payday? I totally know the feeling. If you've run out or are running low on paper towels, napkins, and toilet paper, consider purchasing those paper goods at the 99 cent store instead of your local grocery store. Yes, the napkins will likely be a littler smaller and not very thick, and the paper towels won't be as sturdy, either. The rolls of toilet paper are not as large or as high quality as the regular kind, either, but hey, if you can make it last and tide you over until payday, it might be a good option for you! As I type, I have 99 cent store napkins in my kitchen and they're working just fine.
6. Presents for a New Baby
Surprisingly, the 99 cent store has some cute items for a new baby. Even if you just got a cute fuzzy blanket, a few bows, a little cheap onesie and some diapers and wipes (they have small packages of them there), that would still be a fun little gift for a new baby, and it wouldn't break the bank. Someone can always use an extra little cheapie onesie in case of a major blowout, or diapers and wipes... yeah, they'll need lots of those for a long time! Ha! (I speak from experience, with two kids!)
7. Gardening Items
Gnomes, quality pots for a dollar, cute little signs, and more is available in the gardening section of the 99 cent store. Your grandmother (or your own self) will thank you!
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8. Home Decor
Of course some of it is too cheap/cheesy, but there are actually some neat items in the Home Decor area of the 99 cent store. Some of it, you might think came from someplace fancier like Home Goods or Hobby Lobby -- but nope, just 99 cent store here!
9. Cleaning Supplies
Why spend twice or three times as much on the same quality items, when you can get them at a fraction of the price at the 99 cent store? I buy toilet bowl cleaner, hand soap, dish soap, and tons of other cleaning items there quite frequently. It's already bad enough that you have to spend precious time cleaning, right? Might as well save some money while you're doing it! (But on the flip side, at least we're blessed enough to have belongings to clean, right? See, there's always a silver lining.)
10. Hand Soap, Shampoo, and Conditioner
Clean your house or apartment for cheaper. Clean yourself for cheaper, too! Just watch what brand you get, because some of them can leave your hair damaged afteward! I like to use Suave or Pantene, if those are available, but everyone's hair is different. Softsoap hand soap is sold there and it's quality and works well for our family.
11. Discounted Toys & Activity Books for Kids
I was shocked (pleasantly, I might add) to find Melissa & Doug sticker activity books at the 99 cent store last time I went. Yes, you can bet I totally snatched up one for my son to have some fun with. The best part is that the quality is not any less than what you would get with any other Melissa & Doug product (we are big fans of their toys and activities in this house). You can also always find stickers, coloring books, fiction and Bibles, and lots of other toys and activities for youngsters at the 99 cent store. Recently, they have even started selling discounted toys that are a little bit more than 99 cents, but still might be a better value than what you would get somewhere else. For example, I recently saw Bratz dolls there for about $5.99 and I'm thinking that's probably less than at other stores. There were also some discounted toys from the movie "Inside Out". You really never know what you can find there, and some of the items might make really good birthday gifts for the young ones in your life, if you don't have the cash to spend on really expensive toys (or don't feel the need to!) There are lots of neat ideas there!
Questions & Answers
Question: Does 99 cent store sell stevia sweetener?
Answer: I have never seen it there, but I’m not sure!
Nicole K (author) on September 30, 2017:
Thanks, Victoria Lynn! Bread for $1.00--now that's an excellent value! I'll have to look at mine and see if they do the same! The cost savings really can't be beat!
Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on August 20, 2017:
I totally agree with this! We don't have a 99 cent store, but we do have a dollar tree. I have bought most of these things there. My favorite go-to items are cleaning supplies and greeting cards (50 cents each!). Ours even sells bread for a dollar--good bread that is 2 to 3 dollars at Walmart. Great article!