3 Items I Always Buy at the Dollar Store Despite Having an Amazon Prime Membership

The $139 credit card charge I incur each year for my Amazon Prime membership is more than worth the money. That fee gives me access to unlimited two-day shipping, and it spares me numerous trips to the store every month for things like birthday gifts, household items, clothing, and more.

But while my Prime membership has bailed me out on many occasions, there are certain scenarios where I have to turn to my local dollar store instead of Amazon. Here are three things I always buy at the dollar store — and why I do so.

1. Goody bags and fillers

As Class Mom for several years running, I’m constantly putting together goody bags for a room full of kids. On Halloween, those bags are typically filled with things like plastic bats and ghost erasers. On Valentine’s Day, there’s usually some sort of heart-shaped chocolate.

The reason I turn to the dollar store for goody bags and fillers is because it pretty much always results in savings compared to Amazon. For example, right now, Amazon is selling a 30-count package of goody bags for $4.99. But I only need 24 bags for my daughter’s class, and lo and behold — I can get a 24-count at my dollar store for just $1.25 (sadly, as is the case in many areas, $1.25 is the new go-to price point at my local dollar store).

2. Last-minute school supplies

My kids are constantly running out of school supplies — or they’re constantly forgetting to tell me when they need new items. I often have to make a last-minute run for school supplies. And while Amazon Prime gives me the benefit of free two-day shipping, sometimes, I don’t have two days to wait.

Also, I tend to find that Amazon’s prices aren’t so great for school supplies. Recently, my daughter needed colored pencils, and Amazon had a box of 24 for almost $6. I’d rather spend $1.25 at the dollar store for the same quantity — and stock up on extra for the next colored pencil emergency.

3. Brown paper bags

I run a number of programs at my kids’ school where I need paper bags to send home purchases or giveaways. On Amazon, a 500-count package costs $24.99, which is $0.05 per bag. But my local dollar store sells a 30-count package for $1.25, which is slightly less expensive per bag (more like $0.04). And since I’m usually buying these on behalf of our school’s Parent-Teacher Organization, I have to be mindful of savings, even if it’s a small amount.

Also, as is the case with school supplies, sometimes, brown paper bags are something I need in a pinch — such as if we’re running a school program and need more bags on the day of. So in that case, two-day shipping doesn’t do me a ton of good.

My Amazon Prime membership has worked wonders for my budget. But sometimes, it pays to turn to the dollar store rather than rely on Prime. If you’re used to buying just about everything on Amazon, the next time you have an opportunity, check out prices at your local dollar store and make a list of the items you regularly buy that are cheaper there. That’ll help you decide which source to turn to the next time you need those items specifically.

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