How Shopping Experts Would Spend $20 at the Dollar Store

ViktorCap / Getty Images/iStockphoto

ViktorCap / Getty Images/iStockphoto

When looking to save a buck, why not head to the almighty retailers named after that very thing? We’re talking about dollar stores.

Surging in popularity in recent years, these bargain destinations have new locations popping up in droves. Stores such as The Dollar Tree and Dollar General are able to tout rock-bottom prices by keeping staff at a minimum and buying overstock products.

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But are all dollar stores created equal? And if they’re so great, what would bona fide shopping experts buy there? GOBankingRates interviewed retail analysts and other pros to get the lowdown on what they’d purchase from dollar stores (and which one) if they had just $20 to spend.

Shannon Vissers, Merchant Maverick

Vissers, a shopping analyst and reviewer with, would buy the following $20 worth of items from Dollar Tree, which she finds “tends to have a higher quality item selection.”

Here’s what she would purchase and why:

School/home office supplies. “Tape, notebooks, poster board, pencil cases — you’ll save on all of these and other home and school supplies if you stock up at the dollar store vs. any other store,” Vissers said. “This makes dollar stores the perfect place for back-to-school shopping.”

Holiday items. “A dollar store is the cheapest place to save on holiday items such as holiday decor, stocking stuffers or goodie bags with party favors for your kids to hand out at school on special days.”

Picture frames. “The dollar store is the cheapest place to buy picture frames, period.”

Personal toiletries. “Dollar stores usually sell some name-brand toiletries such as Colgate and Mr. Bubble,” Vissers said. “Sometimes the quantities are

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