If there was a way that I could buy everything that I use at the Dollar Store, I would do it. There are things that I won't compromise on like conditioner, body lotion, deodorant and mascara and I break down and buy these for higher prices because I like to have better quality with these products.
Think about what you use around your house. Do you really need to spend $10 on trash bags that you are just going to throw away anyways? I try to avoid using trash bags if I can, but I will buy these at the Dollar Store. They are not as strong as the more expensive bags, but I am not okay with spending money on something that I plan to toss out. Do you really need a $15 calendar when you can get one for just a dollar?
This is just stuff.
Consumable, use until it's gone stuff.
I see no reason to spend a lot of money on simple items.
Cleaning products I buy dish soap, wood cleaner, multipurpose cleaner, dish rags, towels, spray bottles for my own cleaning solutions that I make, buckets and toilet cleaning brushes. I do splurge on a little more expensive dishwasher detergent because I find that the Dollar Store Brands don't get my dishes as clean as I like. Same with the laundry detergent, I make my own laundry soap that lasts for a little over a year and it works very well.
I also like to dilute the multipurpose cleaner and put half into a an empty spray bottle and then fill both half empty bottles with water.
Beauty products I will get razors, teeth whitening pen (this shocked me, but it works and I love it). I also buy eye shadow colors that I just want to experiment with, cold cream, sunscreen, bar soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, hair ties, hair clips and headbands.
Household products I will get the long lighters, cleaning wipes for the car, candles, greeting cards, gift paper, gift bags, bows and gift tags, tape, envelopes, calendars, batteries, plastic storage containers for food, hand soap, baking pans, gardening gloves and random kitchen utensils.
I have saved a lot of money by checking my local Dollar Tree first to see if they have what I need first before breaking down to buy these things somewhere else. I have found that if you do miss shopping, that looking around the Dollar Store is very helpful in fighting that urge. It helps me realize that there are a lot of things that I don't need that I don't want to waste a precious dollar on and I end up sticking to what is on my list. I also think about where I am going to put a potential impulse buy and I end up putting it back when I realize that I don't really want the impulse buy at all.
When you have people over, no one notices that you don't have top of the line trash bags or top of the line cleaning products (or if they do notice, they don't say anything.) When given the chance to buy generic anything, I go with the generic. It is a lot cheaper and I love that I can put that money somewhere else like towards a vacation or towards my student loan debt or put in into savings.