Learn why everything is usually cheaper, and what items are the best deals at your local or chain dollar or discount store.

We know everyone buys unnecessary things

shopping in supermarketSong_about_summer/Shutterstock

Whether you shop at a chain dollar store such as Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Family Dollar, or your local 99 cents store, not everything that’s on sale is necessarily worth purchasing. Bryan Waring, a former Dollar Tree employee, says that you’re not alone in buying more than is necessary from these stores. “It seems basic, but everyone falls for this trap,” he says. “You go into a store where everything is cheap, and you walk out with things you don’t need.” He suggests going into a store—yes, even the dollar store—with a checklist of things you truly need.

It might be less expensive to buy in bulk

Natural soaps over a rustic backgroundOndacaracola/Shutterstock

In a Reddit AMA, an Assistant Manager at a Dollar Tree says most hand soaps for sale smell nice and work well—but there are probably better deals buying these products in bulk, rather than at the dollar store. Here are 9 things you should never buy in bulk.

Everything is cheaper after the holiday season

Christmas Wrapping Paper RollsEarthly Anika/Shutterstock

Patricia, a seasonal worker at a Dollar Tree who prefers not to share her last name, says that the post-Christmas season means even more deals on everything from decorations to sweets. “After Christmas, all the gift wrap paper went to 50 cents, and all Christmas items were half price,” she says. “Even candy bars are 89 cents versus $1.”