...because i see this all over pinterest and i thought it would be cool to publicly document mine, since it already exists in my phone's notepad app! :D you should know that i have 5 children under the age of 12, and they are VERY curious and VERY hard on things...so a lot of this list is stuff we go through like water because of their mischief and/or play. :/
:: timers. i love timers and use them for everything. you can never have enough timers! my kids break things so this is the most affordable way to keep me in good supply.
:: baby board books
:: ziploc baggies
:: tiny trash can liners -- those super thin, scented ones on a roll that are the perfect size for a bathroom trash can.
:: emergency candles -- 6 pack! these sell out quickly. great when you use candles a lot, like at the dinner table or during story time.
:: kids watches. no special features (e.g. alarm), but they tell time! they also sell out quickly
:: seasonal decor (fake flowers, entry table decorations, etc.)
:: hair ties & clips -- since they get lost or broken so easily, i'm not paying 2-3x the price for the name brand ones!
:: funky nail polish and basic makeup -- i rarely wear makeup and the nail polish is just for kids' fun, so quality doesn't really matter. they get the job done. and they have a shade of lipstick that i LOVE, so it is affordable since kids tend to get into that and ruin it (and their easter dress...ahem) as well.
:: natural chap stick -- they have an all-natural beeswax chap stick that comes in 3-packs!
:: purse- or travel-size medications (ibuprofen, tylenol, gas-x, etc.)
:: pregnancy tests! same quality as in your doctor's office. (BUT, you can get a 20-pack for $5 on amazon, so that's definitely more worth it if you are TTC.)
:: liquid soap. this can be hit or miss as i once bought 3 bottles of the stuff that didn't even suds in our hard water.
:: bar soap. they carry the oatmeal/honey and the lavender bars i like so much. i recently started buying the 3-packs of dial natural (or something like that), and i cut them in half and use them as hand soaps -- my kids are huge soap-wasters so this cuts the cost down to about $0.17/"bar". this way, i only end up spending around $1/month on hand soap.
:: pot holders
:: butter dishes (flimsy, yes, but cheaply replaced when they break -- they always get broken no matter how much i pay for them!)
:: kitchen sponges & scouring sponges
:: bandaids & other basic first aid items
:: shoe laces (multipack of different lengths and colors)
:: some school/office supplies (pens, pencils, sharpeners, folders, dividers, sharpies, dry erase markers, scotch tape, workbooks for homeschooling)
:: mailing supplies (for mailing letters and shipping small things that i sell online)
:: magnetic dry erase boards (we have gone through a bunch of these since they are flimsy, but i use them to write my husband's to-do list on.)
:: wooden clothes pins -- i use them for all kinds of things, but most often as chip clips...the kids love to play with them so they get lost/broken a lot, so have to buy more every now and then.
:: kids clothes hangers. they are an affordable way to supply myself with plenty of hangers for the big semi-annual community consignment sale.
:: tiny bottles of goo gone. my kids tend to dump things out, so this is no big loss and i can keep them all around the house. my one complaint is that they don't have the squirty top.
:: duct tape -- small rolls, but since my kids are also tape-wasters, having a smaller roll around means less to waste! especially since a full roll is around $5.
:: spray bottles for DIY household cleaners (i keep them all over the house). another hit-or-miss item; some of them are just fine, others leak right off the bat, argh!
:: playing cards -- 2-packs! these are pretty much one-time-use items for my kids; they cannot keep a deck whole to save their lives!
:: sunglasses -- i have even found fashionable ones that fit over my eyeglasses! and no big loss when they get scratched or broken. i'm done buying $20 sunglasses!
:: twine. i use it to repair woven/wicker baskets that i use for decorative storage all around the house. also good for kids play/projects when i don't feel like having them waste a $5 skein of my yarn!
:: paring knives. i have mostly had success with these. once i had one that fell apart after a few uses, but the new line of brightly colored ones with matching sheath have held up just fine so far.
:: some of the storage containers -- leftover food containers seem decent, the plastic, handled tubs and baskets are too.
things that are NOT worth buying at dollar tree:
:: scrub brushes -- they break easily and the bristles just suck.
:: can openers -- they just straight up don't work. better off with a $1.97 one from walmart!
:: kitchen towels (unless you like the tea towel size -- i don't; they are just glorified wash rags!)
:: microfiber cleaning cloths -- they fall apart after one wash! i'll stick to my walmart ones, 8/$5. much higher quality.
:: some of the storage containers -- the plastic baskets and woven/chipwood baskets are super flimsy -- they do not hold up to frequent use AT ALL. the sterilite knock-offs are pretty thin and break easily, plus the tops
tend to not fit very well and you are liable to crack it trying to get
thanks for reading -- this was fun! :)