Have you checked out your local dollar store lately? You might be pleasantly surprised! Dollar stores no longer sell junky, useless items that aren't even worth spending a dollar on anymore. Now, with sections that cater to holiday decor, party items, household goods, food stuff and everything in between, a person can come away with a decent stock of goods for the house with enough cash leftover to splurge on that fancy dinner or new TV they've been dreaming about.

But, the Quality?!

Dollar stores sell a lot of off-brand items, especially in their clenaing and food section as well as some name-brand steals like Betty Crocker, Puffs, Reynold's Wrap and Crest. Often times, the off-brand items may be diluted or the amount of Reynold's Wrap may be less than at a larger store, but if the goal is to save money, who cares? A diluted cleaning product will still clean those dirty bathrooms. If you are wary of the off-brand products, compare the ingredients to those in a name-brand product and you'll see that the ingredients are largely the same.

While there are a lot of really great ways to save money at the dollar store, there are also some things that are better left bought at a larger retail store.

Best Items to Buy

Cleaning Products

For a dollar, who cares if the solution is diluted! This could be where you get the biggest bang for your buck considering many larger stores sell their cleaning products for up to five times the amount. Dollar stores also have a wide variety of cleaning supplies like gloves, sponges, and buckets.

Kitchen Ware

We all want a stocked up kitchen and the dollar store is the best place to buy all the essentials. You won't find specialty kitchen ware, but you will find a large supply of mixing spoons, cheese graters, can openers, spatulas and knives. As long as you aren't feeding an army, then the dollar store is the best place to have a full kitchen on a budget.

Tupperware is another great deal. The same brands are found in larger retail stores but sell for $6-7 dollars compared to $1.

Bath and Beauty Supplies

This is where you'll want to use your best judgement, but if you aren't picky dollar stores offer a wide variety of body wash and soap for a lot less. Brushes, hair clips, bobby pins and make-up remover are all essential for most women, so save a few dollars by buying from a dollar store and buy a nice shirt.

Party and Seasonal Decorations

Who wants to spend half their paycheck on party decorations? Check out dollar stores for party and seasonal needs. Often filled with cute trinkets, nice wrapping paper and other odds and ends, this is the place to go when you're only going to use something for a day or two.

Home Goods

Candles, candle holders, room fresheners, picture frames, vases and flowers are all sold at most dollar stores. Sturdy drinking glasses and plates are also sold at most stores, giving you the option to stock up on different colored dishes when you get bored for a reasonable price.

What are you waiting for? Get out there and save money while you shop!