15 Pantry Staples You Can Get for Less at the Dollar Store

Get more bang for your buck with these pantry staples that won't break the bank.

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Updated July 18, 2024
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When you're on a tight budget, it is crucial to find affordable groceries.

Clipping coupons and buying in bulk to cut your per-unit costs help. Another great way to get ahead financially is to shop for pantry items at your local dollar store.

Check out some of the following options at dollar stores that can help you save money.

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Baking mixes

marija/Adobe pouring water into dry dough mixture

Baking mixes for biscuits, cookies, cakes, and other items are great to stock away.

You can use them for dinners, desserts, or whenever you need to make a quick dinner for a birthday or other celebration.

Pasta

kuvona/Adobe variety of types and shapes of Italian pasta

Pasta is an easy-to-make dinner item. On a busy night when the family is hungry, grab some and toss it into boiling water.

Check out the different options at the dollar store that can help you make everything from pasta salads to casseroles and spaghetti dinners.

Coffee

wideonet/Adobe black coffee in white cup with smoke and coffee beans

Start your morning right with coffee from your local dollar store. Remember to grab some coffee filters, which you can store in your pantry.

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Condiments

anaumenko/Adobe A variety of sauces

Get your grill out and throw on some burgers and hot dogs to celebrate with friends and family. You can find condiments such as ketchup, mustard, pickle relish, and more.

Cereal

monticellllo/Adobe bowls of cereal

Most dollar stores also carry several types of cereal. And you might even find oatmeal that will give everyone a good start to the morning.

Pro tip: Shopping for groceries at a dollar store can help cut your costs. Take the money you save and use it to keep more cash in your wallet.

Chip snack packs

manassanant/Adobe potato chips in open bag

It can be chaotic in the morning trying to pack lunch for you or snacks for the kids. But you can make things easier with snack packs of chips from your local dollar store.

The chips come in a variety of flavors that are sure to please everyone and are an easy grab-and-go snack when you’re heading out the door.

Canned soup

azurite/Adobe bowl of broccoli and cheddar cheese soup

Canned soup can be an easy lunch or dinner option after a long day at work. You can find plenty of options at your local dollar store.

You may also want to grab soups that you can use in other recipes and stock up on things like cans of chicken broth or cream of mushroom soup.

Ramen noodles

minimum/Adobe instant ramen

Another easy dinner option is ramen noodles, which require boiling water for a quick meal.

Mix the noodles with chicken, veggies, or other items to make a delicious and hearty stir-fry.

Rice

sasajo/Adobe rice in bowl and scattered near

Rice can be a filling side dish or a good base for a new recipe with other ingredients mixed in or served on top.

See what kinds of rice options your local dollar store offers. It might have white or brown rice and flavored rice sides to add to dinner.

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Spices

monticello/Adobe variety of spices on kitchen table

Spices are a great way to give an extra kick to bland meals or foods.

Grab some oregano, paprika, garlic powder, pepper, salt, or other options at your local dollar store and step up your meals.

Candy

Heorshe/Adobe Edeka supermarket in Berlin

Satisfy your sweet tooth with plenty of candy choices at your local dollar store. Grab some gum, hard candy, chewy caramels, and more.

Pro tip: Need a special treat for someone else? Pick up a small candy jar from the dollar store. Then, decorate it and fill it with the gift recipient’s favorite sweets.

Bread crumbs

sea wave/Adobe breadcrumbs

Bread crumbs are a great ingredient for meatloaf dinners or to coat chicken before tossing it in the oven.

Look for regular or panko bread crumbs and add some spices to make them even tastier in different recipes.

Canned fruit

Olga Kriger/Adobe natural organic canned mandarin orange in syrup

Canned fruit can be stored in your pantry for some time until you’re ready to use it, making it a good option for a snack or a recipe.

Check out options such as pineapple, peaches, or fruit cocktail to pack your pantry.

Beans

shaiith/Adobe tasty baked beans with garlic and fresh tomatoes

Dollar stores often have plenty of options when it comes to beans. Stock up on dry beans for different recipes or grab some canned beans for a side dish.

Crackers

you3/Adobe crispy crackers with salt in a wooden bowl

Pick up an easy snack at your local dollar stores by purchasing crackers.

Get some snack packs of crackers to toss into lunches or pick up fancy crackers to serve to guests with cheese or other add-ons.

Bottom line

dusanpetkovic1/Adobe man on checkout is paying with credit card on pos terminal

Shopping at dollar stores offers a great way to save money on groceries. The items on this list are inexpensive and can sit in your pantry for a long time until you are ready to use them.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen

Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.