100+ Useful Items You Can Get for $1 or Less

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you’ll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

You can still stock up on useful items even if you don’t have a lot of money to spare. Having these things on hand means you don’t have to make a dash to the closest (and possibly more expensive) store when you need them.

Some of these things can be found at stores like Walmart while others will be at your local dollar store. Remember that often the quality of one dollar items will not be as high as the more expensive ones, while other times it won’t matter at all. When I get dry foods from the dollar store, I always pop them in the freezer for a few days to kill off any larvae that could be lurking. (Check out this article about things you should and should not get at the dollar store.

Keep in mind there are many other places to get bargains such as yard sales and thrift stores, but this article focuses on new items.

Here’s a list of items that can be purchased for a dollar or less.

More than 100 useful items  you can get for $1

Without further ado and in no particular order, here’s a list to get the ideas churning!


  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Soap
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Witch hazel
  • Hair elastics
  • Dental floss
  • Nail clippers
  • Tweezers
  • Travel size toiletries for BOB
  • Lotion
  • Cotton balls
  • Cotton swabs
  • Baby wipes
  • Baby oil
  • Vaseline
  • Comb
  • Baby shampoo
  • Lip balm


  • Deck of cards
  • Coloring books
  • Crayons
  • Play-doh
  • Glow sticks
  • Solar garden lights
  • Pens and pencils
  • Notebooks
  • Puzzles
  • Small toys
  • Crossword and other puzzle books
  • Party supplies (You’ll still want to celebrate birthdays, etc. even if the SHTF)
  • Craft supplies
  • Games

First Aid

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Bandaids
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Calamine lotion
  • Travel size medicine packets for BOB: ibuprofen, aspirin, Neosporin, etc.
  • Alcohol pads
  • Instant ice packs
  • Elastic bandages


  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bleach
  • Bleach wipes
  • Antibacterial towelettes
  • Antibacterial soap
  • Cat litter (small bags)


  • Mini sewing kits for BOB
  • Zip ties
  • Needles
  • Thread
  • Wire
  • Rubber bands
  • Duct tape
  • Electrical tape
  • Super glue
  • Wood glue
  • Eyeglasses repair kit
  • Safety pins
  • Bungee cords

Household Goods

  • Batteries
  • Ziplock bags
  • Aluminum foil
  • Matches
  • Lighters
  • Candles
  • Can openers
  • Sponges
  • Dishcloths
  • Clothesline and clothespins
  • Kleenex
  • Steel wool


  • Salt
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Dried beans
  • Rice
  • Boxed milk
  • Pasta
  • Spices
  • Candy
  • Gallon water jugs
  • Coffee filters
  • Tea bags
  • Ramen noodles
  • Instant potatoes
  • Oatmeal
  • Vinegar
  • Cans of tuna
  • Popcorn
  • Pudding
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Chocolate
  • Sugar


  • Rain ponchos
  • Seeds
  • Gardening or work gloves
  • Garden supplies like small spades, etc.
  • Twine

Other items

  • Bandanas
  • Reading glasses
  • Scissors
  • Toothpicks
  • Contact lens cases
  • Eyeglass cases

What are your favorite $1 scores?

I’m looking for NEW items, not thrift store goodies in this one. What are your favorite things to purchase for a buck or less? Share your ideas in the comments below.

100+ Useful Items You Can Get for $1 or Less
Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is an author and blogger. She's the single mom of two daughters and credits extreme frugality and a good sense of humor for her debt-free lifestyle. She is the author of numerous books, the editor of TheOrganicPrepper.com, and is the founder of a small digital publishing company in the emergency preparedness niche.

10 thoughts on “100+ Useful Items You Can Get for $1 or Less”

  1. $1 Eye glasses repair kits at Dollar store. I keep several sets in a $1 eye glasses case.
    I get the tight locking food storage containers. $1 each. Several are in the workshop with small items stored in them. I also buy magnetic bowls to hold things like nuts and bolts while I’m working. $1 spray bottles of glass cleaner are handy in the vehicles.

    1. Those magnetic bowls are also great for stud earrings. The metal backs stick to the magnet and it keeps ’em in one place.

  2. All of these ideas are great and I totally agree, especially reading glasses, gift wrapping, and solar lights. My personal favorite is toilet brushes WITH the necessary containers they are stored in. Major win.

  3. Best reading glasses $1 at Dollar tree. Even have some wide frames. Better than the $20 foster grant ones from the drug store.

  4. Bandaids.

    you can get the non-brand names ones for a about a dollar, you can also get the more expensive large size ones 5-10 for a $1.

    Christmas wrapping paper (they sell the rolls of licensed stuff for kids if you watch for it and gift bags are cheaper there too. around $1-3.

    in winter Dollarama sells waterproof mitts, hats and such for under $5(in Canada that is about the equivalent price, sigh).

    I also get homeschool workbooks, crayola markers, sharpies, other office supplies and flash cards at dollar store when they have good stuff(hit and miss to find good stuff sometimes)

  5. Great article for those of us on a budget!

    Dollar stores also have storage containers, from freezer containers to portion out Sunday cooking, to decorative plastic baskets that hold paper and pens. I have a lovely pink vine covered box that holds printer paper in my bedroom, $15 in the department store but $1 at Dollar Tree. You do have to inspect what you’re buying since some stuff is shoddy, but quite a lot is as good as you’ll find in other stores at a fraction of the cost. Ruled notebook paper for 3 hole binders also (take a piece of paper that fits your binder – sometimes they’re cheap because the holes are off). If you have a writer at home, get them some of the composition notebooks when they’re on two for a dollar. There’s another section in our Dollar Tree for teachers which has calendars, spelling and math guides, and all sorts of classroom decorations for a homeschooling corner. We usually visit the dollar store once every quarter to stock up on school supplies, toiletries, and decorations which we keep and reuse. If you’re going, do it soon since the increasing troubles with the economy and trade friction may mean we get less and less low cost goods from overseas.

  6. I buy alcohol wipe prep pads. Burn cream, buckets and tubs and dish pans. Brillo pads to clean cast iron. They also have all metal long-handled spoons and spatulas. How about dish towels dish cloths and pot holders for outside or open pit cooking. There are brooms of all configurations, mops and dust pans. They sell on a different isle for kids the compressed round washcloths that can and will go in a first aid kit, toiletries and in a kitchen tub for use whenever. If you have kids let them pick out their favorites to be used later. Of coarse there’s alum. foil, wax paper etc and all sizes of zip loc bags. I also find and use a small box of bowl covers in three or four sizes. They have elastic around the edges and I try to reuse them if possible and fit most of mr pots and bowls. Soaps of all kind,deodorant, and cornstarch. Over the door hooks and inside the shower storage for soap And shampoo. Backscratchers, and bath brushes. You get the idea. Go in with a list on one side of the paper and then list everything else on the other side. I have shopping carts full, never know what will be there next week. Also like to play a game with myself to see how many categories I could list it in

  7. Many grocery stores have a dollar section too. Don’t forget to double check how much you are getting in the packages also. For example, at Dollar Tree you could get a couple individual sized packets of pain reliever for a dollar or you could get a bottle of 100 aspirin for a dollar. Their aspirin is actually pretty good, by the way.

  8. I love the Dollar Store greeting cards. Many are two for a dollar, although some of the fancier ones are a dollar each. Sure beats the other stores, which charge 2 or 3 dollars, often more, for just a greeting card. I sometimes get a child’s birthday card to send to an older adult, esp. if they have a good sense of humor — they really seem to get a kick out of it.

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