If you are a mom who is trying to stick to a budget, or simply a wise woman who knows that there is no point in buying your kids expensive things, there is no better place to find a trove of ideas than your local dollar store.
I shop there frequently myself, so I’ve put together a list of my favorite dollar store hacks for parents. Plus, I made sure they were super-simple ideas that won’t take up a chunk of your time, because if you are anything like me, every single second counts!
For convenience, I’ve added links to products on Amazon that are similar to the dollar store items. The cost is a little higher, but I wanted to give you options because so many of us don’t have time to make a trip to the dollar store.
(THIS POST PROBABLY CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. OUR FULL DISCLOSURE POLICY IS REALLY BORING, BUT YOU CAN FIND IT HERE.)
Related: Cleaning Hacks for Parents
Easy Dollar Store Hacks for Parents
I did my best to keep all these dollar store ideas general as each region and area has different kinds of dollar shops available. If you are especially lucky, you may even have a mini-dollar store within your local Target!
Related: How to Simplify Life as a SAHM
Plus, the inventory of each store differs. To help save time, I broke up these dollar store hacks for parents into different categories so you can head to that area of the store, grab your supplies and go!
Organization Dollar Store Hacks for Parents
There are so many ways you can organize using dollar store finds. You basically could redo every closet and cabinet in your home using supplies from there.
Trust me, it’s worth the time and effort to add some organization into your home–especially those high-traffic areas where everything is always a mess. Here are some easy ideas to try.
Grab a half dozen or so magazine holders from the dollar store (or here from Amazon if you want to pay for convenience). You can use them in so many ways—here are a few of my favorites:
- Use them to keep mail sorted—one for bills, one for correspondence, one for catalogs or magazines, and one to dump directly into the shredder or recycling bin.
- Keep one holder for each child’s artwork. If you have school-aged children you can also add a file folder within for their school papers and homework assignments.
- Use one in your pantry to hold your rolls of aluminum foil, parchment paper and cling wrap vertically
- Grab a few to group and store flip flops—one per person with a clear label may encourage your children to put their own shoes away!
- If you use paper plates, store them vertically in your pantry using a magazine file. You can do the same for paper napkins.
- Of course, you can use them to actually hold your magazines too! 🙂
Another organizing item to stock up on is a cereal holder. Here’s how to make it into a dollar store hack in a few different ways:
- Use a cereal container as an easy trash can for your car. It’ll come in handy more than you’d think!
- Store your food inside these containers. Yes, of course, cereal will fit nicely but so will goldfish crackers, nuts, and chips. A row of these lined up will look much nicer than ripped cardboard boxes—plus they will keep your food from going stale as well.
- Cereal containers make the perfect storage bin for small toys as well. A row of these filled with different colored Legos is one way to utilize. You can also store puzzle pieces or game pieces in one as well.
Looking for more ways to organize your home on a budget? Here are some more organizing dollar store hacks for parents.
- Use command hooks attached to various appliances to wrap and hide cords
- Self-adhesive hooks can also be attached to cabinets and used to hold pot lids (look what these guys did)
- Trays can corral everything from remotes to coffee pods to toiletries
- Grab inexpensive bins to organize fridge and freezer items or items stored under the sink
- Tension rods meant to hold cafe curtains are a great way to organize cutting boards and pans vertically
- Depending on the size, a spice rack can be the perfect thing to hold nail polish or essential oil bottles (or spices, of course!)
- Purchase thin baskets and hang them from self-adhesive hooks within the shower. This keeps them off the bathtub edge, making it easier to clean while reducing mildew
- If you are always losing your hair bands, grab a carabiner to keep them all in one spot
- Round laundry baskets can be used to hold stuffed animals, rolled towels, shoes for each member of the family or anything else that needs to be corraled together
- Storage baskets can be used to hold muffin tins and baking pans instead of taking up valuable cabinet space
Toy and Game Dollar Store Hacks for Parents
Now that you have your house perfectly organized, it’s time to have some fun! 🙂 There are so many great toys and activities for kids at the dollar store. Yes, you can purchase a toy straight off the shelf and let them play, but that isn’t much of a dollar store hack. Here are some fun and creative ways to play with your kids using dollar store items:
- Make a giant game of tic tack toe. Use an outdoor tablecloth, some tape and different colors of frisbees to play.
- Speaking of outdoor tablecloths, grab a few extra to use for arts and crafts time.
- Grab everything you need to make sensory bottles with glitter – a fun dollar store craft!
- Grab some ice cube trays to store crayons in along with some dollar store blank notebooks and let your kids sketch different items in your home.
- Stock up on pool noodles! There are so many fun crafts that can be made with these. A fun one to start with is lightsabers.
- Cut sponges into slices. Kids can build a tower with them or use them to paint with.
- Use tape to make indoor hopscotch or roadways for toy cars to travel down.
- Pizza rounds or baking sheets can be mounted using foam tape, then used as a magnet play area for letter magnets.
- Grab some extra laundry baskets with handles and label one for each child. Throughout the day, place items belonging to that child within the basket—they are responsible for putting it all away (with your help if necessary) at the end of the day before bed.
So there you have it! There are a ton of ways you can keep your home organized, kids entertained and sanity together all from items purchased at the dollar store. What are your favorite dollar store hacks for parents? I’d love to hear your ideas!