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10 Thanksgiving Items to Buy at Dollar Stores This Year

Get festive home decor, colorful tableware, scented candles and more​

spinner image an array of thanksgiving decorations from dollar general including thanksgiving paper plates  candles napkins and containers
Courtesy of Dollar General

Large family gatherings are back this Thanksgiving, with the guest lists up to pre-pandemic numbers (an average of nine people), according to a Butterball report. The more the merrier, right? True, except maybe when it comes to your Thanksgiving hosting budget

How can you be the hostess with the mostest without breaking the bank? ​

​The answer might be as easy (and as close) as your local dollar store. With everything from pumpkin decorations to scented candles, dollar stores often have affordable and stylish holiday home decor and decorations.

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The best part: most items really cost around $1, especially at 99 Cents Only Stores, Dollar General and Family Dollar. At Dollar Tree costs are slightly higher at $1.25 and at Daiso, the Japanese dollar store, upwards of $1.50. If you see something in bulk you like, especially online, that may also cost more at most retailers. 

What’s trending this year? Everything warm, cozy and bursting with fall colors, says Kristin Tetreault, chief communications officer for Dollar Tree and Family Dollar. She adds that classic seasonal motifs like trucks, pumpkins, plaid and autumn leaves seem to be popular. 

Get your house Turkey Day-ready on a budget with these 10 great finds at dollar stores. 

1. Get back to nature

Incorporate items found outdoors, including acorns, leaves, mushrooms and pumpkins, into your home decor, said Dollar General spokeswoman Katie Ellison. Not only can these items add a touch of rusticity but they typically come in warm neutral tones. ​

Whether wooden, plush, burlap or beaded, artificial versions of those kinds of items can be found for 99 cents to $5 at dollar stores. White or cream-colored pumpkins are especially popular because they match any other decor.

2. Create a warm glow and a lovely scent

Candles, lights and lanterns create a cozy glow inside or outside. Wrap string lights around the fireplace mantel, windows and front door. You’ll find mini LED string lights shaped like pumpkins at Dollar General for $1 and at Dollar Tree for $1.25.

Most dollar stores sell candles and candleholders in all shapes and sizes for $1.25 and up. Scents include autumn day, caramel cornucopia, cranberry jalapeño jelly. Add a bit of elegance to your dinner table with tall taper candles, $1.25 for two at Dollar Tree.

3. Hang autumn wreaths to welcome your guests

Your front door or entryway is the first thing guests see. Start your Thanksgiving decorating there to welcome people into your home. 

Autumn wreaths are a simple and beautiful way to do that, with different types and sizes depending on your style. At Dollar General, dried flower or pumpkin wreaths come in two sizes for $6 or $9.

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4. Use crockery that celebrates the season

Spice up your Thanksgiving table with ceramic or stoneware plates, bowls and mugs in autumn themes and colors. Dollar Tree offers white ceramic plates, bowls and coffee mugs with an orange leaf pattern for $1.25 each. For $3, you’ll find other kinds of staples for your kitchen or dinner table at Family Dollar, such as a spoon rest and a set of salt and pepper shakers — all in pumpkin shapes.

And for easy post-meal cleanup, many dollar stores offer disposable paper plates, cups and napkins in various fall colors and themes.

5. Lay a table like the experts

Feel like finding your inner Martha Stewart? Dollar stores provide everything you need to create a beautiful tablescape for you and your guests. 

Fabric or vinyl tablecloths in harvest themes, like pumpkins, or in a shiny festive gold cost $1.25 to $10. If you will have children at your table, consider buying a color-your-own paper tablecloth for $1.25. Adults are allowed to color too. ​

For a more rustic look, especially if you have a wooden table, skip the tablecloth and simply use a table runner ($1.25 to $6 at dollar stores) or place mats ($1.25 to $3) in a solid color or Thanksgiving theme.

6. Put festive flowers around the house

Adding fresh flowers to Thanksgiving decor or on the table is popular this year. Play off the autumn colors already in your home or bring in different colors. Some 99 Cents Only Stores sell fresh flower bouquets or potted flowers such as chrysanthemums and roses for $5.99 to $14.99.

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If you or your guests have allergies or you want something reusable, consider artificial flowers, grasses or berry stems. Most dollar stores stock a variety of artificial flora, from 99 cents to $1.25. Dollar General also has floral arrangements in a basket, wooden box or vase for $6 to $12.

7. Add sparkle and shine with metallics

Glittery home decor in metallic finishes is still hot this year. Dollar Tree has large charger plates in silver and gold as well as orange metallic pumpkin-shaped trays and leaf-shaped metallic bowls in green and orange. 99 Cents Only Stores offer large plastic trays, serving dishes and cutlery starting at 99 cents — all in shiny gold, silver and bronze. To create more of a fun, party atmosphere, get a disco ball at 99 Cents Only Stores for $4.99

spinner image a living room decorated with fall themed items from family dollar
Courtesy of Family Dollar

8. Create cozy and comfortable guest rooms with pillows and throws

Indulge yourself or overnight guests with autumn-themed pillows or throw blankets even if they cost more than $1. It’s also an opportunity to decorate the living room or guest bedroom. Dollar General sells plush pillows adorned with pumpkins on a plaid background or phrases like “Happy Harvest” for $5 and $10. It also has a harvest plaid aqua throw for $15. Dollar Tree offers fleece throws with sunflowers or leaves on plaid for $5.

9. Skip the scrubbing with foil bakeware

Dollar stores also offer more practical items, especially if one of your main goals is easy cleanup after Thanksgiving dinner. Large foil pans, some with travel-ready lids, range from $1.25 to $4 at various dollar stores.

10. Not seeing something you like? DIY craft supplies to the rescue

Dollar stores offer ample supplies, such as ribbon, garland, pine cones and bells, to make your own Thanksgiving wreaths, table displays and other crafts.

They also provide plenty of inspiration based mostly on products they sell. Family Dollar’s website provides some budget-oriented table display and fall decor ideas. Dollar Tree’s Value Seekers blog offers step-by-step instructions on how to make fall wreaths and candy corn table decorations.

Editor's note: This article was published on Nov. 10, 2021. It has been updated to reflect new information. 

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