It’s no secret that “outdoor living” has become the phrase du jour for homeowners. Folks everywhere have engineered seamless transitions between inside and outside, adding durable furniture and cozy accessories to our patios and yards to make it truly feel like we’re living al fresco.
And while it’s possible to go all out on your outdoor decor, you don’t have to pour your entire savings account into making your space sing.
In fact, in many cases, you don’t even have to spend more than a buck. Yes—one dollar!
Just head to your neighborhood dollar store to give your outdoor space a seasonal reboot on the cheap. And as you cruise the aisles, keep one material in mind.
“Plastic, plastic, plastic! These sweet, cheap, reliable-for-the-season accessories are the name of the game at dollar stores,” gushes Mim King, a professional organizer and money manager.
Don’t expect this stuff to last for years, she warns, but you can count on hearing “Aw, how cute!” when your bring it all out this season. (Summer picks from the dollar store also make perfect children’s party favors or gifts for a hostess or housewarming party.)
So what are you waiting for? Hit up the dollar store today for these summer staples.
1. Yard accoutrements
A surprising category where dollar stores shine? Outdoor decorations.
“You can pick up fun flags, banners, wind chimes, lawn stakes, and more for a warm weather look on the lawn or to use when entertaining,” reports Sarah Hollenbeck, a shopping and savings expert at Offers.com.
Poke around for other cute steals, including spinners, bird houses and feeders, lawn ornaments, and small statues.
2. Pool accessories
Candy-colored pool toys are great buys at the dollar store.
Hollenbeck touts floaties and other pool accessories as some of the best dollar-store finds.
“You’ll find these for a fraction of what they cost at the big-box home stores,” she notes.
Look for water wings, foam noodles, inner tubes, and beach balls, and be sure to stock up on replacements for the inevitable wear and tear from the kids. While you’re at it, pick up an outdoor basket that’s large enough to corral this gear poolside.
3. Whimsical lighting
When else can you use twinkle lights shaped like pineapples or flamingos? Pick these up at the dollar store on the cheap, and string them along the edge of a porch or in the trees, suggests Julie Coraccio, the organizing genius at Reawaken Your Brilliance.
“I also saw some cool tulip solar lighting at a dollar store that would be fun along the path to your doorway,” she adds.
Jeanine Boiko, a real estate agent and blogger at Okio B Designs, likes to snatch up prayer candles and repurpose them.
“Make over these deals with free decals and Mod Podge, and then group them on a tray in the middle of your outdoor table,” she says.
4. Garden gear
Forget the big-box home improvement retailer—make the dollar store your destination for landscaping on a budget. Pick out some new pots and planters for your roses and herb garden, and then grab some plant hangers, garden fences, and steppingstones.
“You can turn your flower beds into an oasis without blowing your entire budget,” Hollenbeck says.
Boiko found faux galvanized buckets at her local store and plans to use them on her front porch.
“You can quickly pop a hole in the bottom and turn them into planters, or fill a Mason jar with flowers and put it inside,” she says.
5. Durable dishware sets
Plastic tumblers and melamine dishes are a few summer items from dollar stores that’ll last more than one season. Reusing these plates and cups also reduces paper waste that comes from disposables.
Drew Henry of Design Dudes fell hard for a ceramic pineapple in the dollar section of his local Target store.
“I use it as an accessory on a serving tray where it looks fresh and fun when paired with some higher-end items,” he says.
And don’t forget about glass vases: Boiko fills her cylinders with pebbles and shells to match her beach theme.
6. Party supplies
Wire baskets and metal bins are ideal for warm weather parties, and the dollar store is the place to pick these up on the cheap. Fill a few with ice, beer, and soft drinks; place them on the corner of the deck; and let guests serve themselves.
Bonus: Grab some seasonal paper napkins and themed koozies for ultimate party hosting points.
7. Simple summer linens
You might not consider the dollar store for sheets and other home linens, but it’s just the place for lighter fabrics and textiles in bright summer colors that you can use outside. Think: vibrant tablecloths, place settings, and even chair pads.
In just a few minutes—and with a dollar or three—you’ve given your outdoor space a sweet seasonal touch. Now get outside and enjoy.