Just last week, I visited Dollar Tree for the first time in my life—and ended up leaving with a new appreciation for "dollar store" franchises. I always assumed dollar store merchandise was nothing more than poorly-made knockoffs of everyday goods, and with the growing prevalence of generic house brands everywhere, I'd written off dollar stores as obsolete.
But I was pleasantly surprised by some of the cool stuff at Dollar Tree! Everything in the store is literally priced at $1, but some of the stuff is absolutely worth more than that. You just have to know what's a hit and what's a miss, which can be tough if you don't shop often—and if you have a discerning eye, you can find some geeky gems hidden between the aisles.
Here are some of the geekiest things I saw at Dollar Tree. You can order these online or check out a local Dollar Tree near you and grab them in person!
Movie Night Popcorn Buckets
These popcorn buckets are perfect for movie nights! Instead of passing around a freshly popped bag of hot kernels, hand one of these buckets to everyone. You'd be surprised how much a small thing like this can do to make your home feel a little more like a movie theater.
Travel Cable Organizers
Tired of earphones and USB cables getting tangled in your purse or pockets? These pocket-sized cable organizers are convenient for just that—and as a bonus, your cables will last much longer because they won't always be stressed in tangles.
Cat+Dog Screen Cleaning Cloths
Keep your phones, tablets, Nintendo Switches, and computer monitors clean with these cute microfiber screen cleaning cloths. Nothing says "geek" more than taking good care of your devices!
Car Cell Phone Mounts
If you've never used a phone mount in your car, these cheap cell phone mounts will convert you. You'll wonder how you ever drove without one—and eventually you'll want to upgrade to something better, but these will serve you fine until you do. They clip right into your car's vents!
Car USB Chargers
If your car doesn't have built-in USB ports, or if they're already occupied by other cords, you can add two more USB ports with this dual-port car USB charger. It plugs into the cigarette lighter. You'll never have a dead phone while on-the-go ever again.
Word Magnifiers With LED Light
For those who love reading physical books but have a hard time reading small text, or anyone who wants to read in the dark, these magnifiers are pretty neat. The built-in LED light can be turned on to illuminate the text as you pass over it!
Faux Leather Bookmarks
Another one for bookworms: actual bookmarks! Stop folding down page corners to mark your spot—using a real bookmark will keep your books in fresh condition for longer. They also look much nicer than makeshift bookmarks made out of dollar bills, stray receipts, business cards, etc.
Laser Pointer Key Chains
Few things are geekier than a laser pointer—especially one that's hanging off of your key chain. Useful in a pinch when you want to point something out but it's just too far away for your finger!
Hang a few of these up around your house, whether to leave messages for your housemates or simply as decorations with inspiring or geeky quotes.
Magnetic Dry Erase Planners
Are you a strict schedule type of person? These dry erase planners will keep you on task week after week, and they're fun to use! Who doesn't love the satisfying wipe of dry erase?
Wood Craft Project Kits
Wood craft projects are awesome, especially if you have kids. Not only are they fun to build, but you can leave them around the house as decor when you're done. And if you're learning how to paint figures, they serve can a double purpose!
The quintessential icon of nerds. Calculators may not be strictly needed anymore now that we have smartphones in our pockets, but you can always store one away in your office drawer for convenience—or nostalgia!
Coffee Time Kitchen Towels
If you're like me—an enthusiast for all things coffee—then these kitchen towels may be just the thing to spruce up your home with a bit of personality.
Coffee-Themed Vinyl Placemat
Another nifty item for coffee geeks: a vinyl placemat that adds a bit of your personality to the dining table. It features espresso, coffee, and latte—the trifecta of modern coffee.
These cute mirrors are better used for decor than actual mirroring needs—but they're cute, and that's all that really matters for decor anyway, right?
There are licensed media franchise merchandise goodies in every nook and cranny at Dollar Tree, including bags, figurines, puzzles, and more. Here are some of the geekier ones I've found at $1 a piece, although there are others as well—you'll have to discover them yourself!
- Incredibles Figurines
- Toy Story Figurines
- Nickelodeon Figurines
- Transformers Figurines
- Assorted Character Tote Bags
- Assorted Character Placemats
- Assorted Character Cups
- Disney Character Cups
- Disney Adult Puzzles
The moral of the story? If you have a Dollar Tree near you, it's worth checking out if you haven't already! A lot of the stuff there is mundane and boring, but there are some neat gems that can fly under your radar if you aren't paying attention. Take a look and let us know in the comments if you find anything worthwhile!