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Prices are up this year, but people still want to celebrate the winter holidays in a big way. Dollar stores offer a wide variety of holiday essentials — from greeting cards to decorations and gifts — at affordable prices.
In fact, more than one-third of U.S. households say their financial situation is worse than last year, according to the 2022 Deloitte Holiday Survey. As consumers look for ways to beat inflation, their budget for Christmas gifts, stocking stuffers and decorations may stretch further at dollar stores.
“If you’re short on time and need a quick stocking stuffer, the dollar store needs to be on your short list of stores to hit,” says Michael Helwig, an interior decorator in Buffalo, New York. In addition to countless smaller gift possibilities, such as earbuds, keychains, magnets and nail polish, shoppers will find larger items like books and dinnerware.
They’ll also find a wide mix of holiday accessories. Stephanie Andrews, owner of Balance Design in Atlanta, found some dollar store websites “beautifully organized, and I did not feel overwhelmed by too much clutter, as I do when I go into the stores.”
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Most items really do cost $1 at such retailers as 99¢ Only Stores, Dollar General and Family Dollar, though some things can cost more, especially if you shop online, where you may have to buy in bulk. Items at Dollar Tree now typically cost $1.25 or more, and most products at Daiso, the Japanese dollar store, cost more than that.
Here are 10 Christmas ideas from dollar stores.
1. Wrapping supplies
“Dollar stores are great places to save a bit of money on things like gift wrapping paper, gift bags, ribbons, bows and anything else you need [for] a spectacular gift,” says Michael Helwig, an interior decorator in Buffalo, New York. You’ll also find practical supplies like cellophane tape and scissors.
2. Toys for tots
Dollar stores are a treasure trove of inexpensive toys for children. At Dollar Tree, you’ll find a variety of Black dolls, puzzles and Mattel Hot Wheels cars for $1.25 each. For a little more, try Dollar General online, which sells popular Disney and Marvel Lego kits for $10.50 and $20. When purchasing, consider that some dollar stores have been criticized for selling low-quality children’s toys that may break easily or contain parts that are choking hazards.