It's no secret that I'm a big dollar store person. I'm a customer because it's always fun to see whats stocked on the shelves, and even if you don't like an item, at least you haven't spent a fortune trying it out. And the enjoyment of getting name brand or full size products is intoxicating for those of us on a serious budget. And if you find a dollar store that stocks produce or perishable items, even better. And honestly, even if I didn't HAVE to, I'd still WANT to shop at dollar stores.

Insider has a list of dollar store items that chefs and bakers pick up on a regular basis, and I wanted to pass it along. Some people might not have dollar stores at the top of their list when looking for ingredients for a gourmet dinner, but you might be surprised at what you can find. Spices, seasonings, cookware, there's lots to choose from. Their favorite picks are below. Pretty sweet, if I do say so myself.

  • Spices and seasonings. I've found plenty of name brands, and you can't beat the price if you only need a small amount for a new recipe
  • Honey. Not cheap, even at big box stores. Right now it averages $8.03 a lb, so if you can find some pure honey, or even a blend, grab some
  • Canned vegetables. There are always name brands on the shelf, and at much cheaper prices
  • Non perishable items. Honestly, I always get dried beans and dry pasta at the dollar store. Peanut butter is also a good choice
  • Storage containers. Lots of shapes and sizes to choose from
  • Disposables like toothpicks and skewers. Always handy when you're whipping up a fresh batch of something special.
  • Plastic bags, parchment paper, and aluminum foil. The parchment paper purchase is a must for me during the holidays.
  • Glassware and dishware. Doesn't have to be fancy, but sturdy is nice.
  • Disposable pans. Perfect for potlucks or family gatherings where you don't want to lug the good stuff there and home.Way cheaper than even discount stores.
  • Cleaning supplies. Always #1 on my list of dollar store purchases
  • Utensils. Plastic spoons and serving pieces at the fraction of the cost.