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5 Best Things to Buy at Big Lots, Retail Experts Say

There are a few aisles you don't want to skip in this discount store.

The product recommendations in this post are recommendations by the writer and/or expert(s) interviewed and do not contain affiliate links. Meaning: If you use these links to buy something, we will not earn a commission.

There are some stores that you visit less for your daily essentials—things like food, clothes, and hygiene products—and more for the thrill of the chase. Big Lots is one of those places. The discount store typically gets its merchandise from overstock and closeouts, so its products are often inconsistent—and that's part of the fun! However, retail experts say there are a few aisles you should always check for steals. Read on to learn the best things to buy at Big Lots.

RELATED: Big Lots Closing More Stores in the Coming Weeks—Here's Where.

Baking supplies

Young woman putting tray of cookies in oven

Big Lots has you covered for baking staples as well as fun accouterments and supplies to use for decorating your creations.

"Especially when it comes to mixes from big brands like Pillsbury, you may be able to find specific flavors and varieties at Big Lots that are harder to find elsewhere," says Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst with the shopping comparison site "For instance, I saw things like peppermint frosting, Funfetti sugar cookie mix, Funfetti hot cocoa cookie mix, Nestle hot cocoa and marshmallow morsels, and tons more."

The same is true if you're gluten-free since Big Lots carries Bob's Red Mill products. "You can get standards like steel cut or rolled oats, but also their 1:1 baking blend, pie crust, and brownie mix make gluten-free baking easier," says Ramhold.

RELATED: 4 Dollar Store Items That Are Better Than the Name-Brand, Retail Experts Say.

Seasonal items

Red Wooden Front Door Decorated with Wreath,

Seasonal items are one of the best things to buy via a "treasure hunt" at Big Lots—after all, they're never a real "necessity," so the lowest price you can find on them, the better.

"From Halloween costumes and decorations to patio furniture and outdoor toys, you can snag insane discounts just after the peak season ends," Andrei Vasilescu, CEO and founder of DontPayFull, says. "Think 70 percent off Christmas ornaments in January."

You'll have to plan a year ahead, but as soon as you see the number of options at Big Lots, the more you'll be inspired to do an early holiday haul.

Discount furniture

Happy couple sitting comfortably while examining sofa at warehouse store
Antonio_Diaz / iStock

Big Lots has tons of furniture, from sectionals to recliners to bedroom sets. But Vasilescu says one of the store's best categories is its furniture clearance section.

"Keep an eye out for unique pieces with slight imperfections or discontinued models at ridiculously low prices," he says. "You can score a stylish dresser or bookshelf for a fraction of the cost."

At the time of writing, the retailer had name-brand mattresses from Sealy and Serta as low as $150 and sofas as low as $500.

RELATED: 9 Secrets Kohl's Doesn't Want You to Know.

Healthcare supplies

vitamins and supplements with brown bottle

Developing an at-home first-aid kit can be expensive. You just never know what supplies you'll need next! However, if you snag a few items when you see them on clearance at Big Lots, you'll save big time.

"What often flies under the radar is Big Lots' assortment of wellness and first aid products," says Russell Noga, CEO of "You can find items like blood pressure monitors, thermometers, and diabetic care supplies—crucial for creating a home health kit, particularly for families or individuals with specific health conditions."

The store also has a large selection of generic vitamins and supplements, which Noga says are worth the purchase: "These alternatives provide the same nutritional benefits as pricier brands, ensuring your health isn't compromised by your budget."

Pet food

pouring pet food / Shutterstock

Big Lots is also a great place to shop for your furry friend—even veterinarians sign off on it!

"Big Lots often offers competitive prices on various pet foods, including dry and wet options," says Mollie Newton, founder of PetMeTwice. "To find the best deal, compare ingredients and nutritional value to pricier brands for a high-quality, budget-friendly alternative."

The stores also stock a few brand-name pet foods, like Iams, Pedigree, Beneful, and Milk-Bone.

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Juliana LaBianca
Juliana is an experienced features editor and writer. Read more
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