People Share The Most A Dollar Has Gotten Them
A good lesson that parents try to teach their kids is the value of a dollar. Saving money for a rainy day is always a good idea, yet a dollar in it of itself can actually stretch quite a ways. From amazing thrift store finds to actually scoring a new car, this is the most one dollar got these lucky people.
#1 Dollar Tree Finds
My OBGYN once told me that the Dollar Tree pregnancy tests are great. I actually used them a while ago and got a positive when I was definitely pregnant. As a matter of fact, I used multiple tests from them because I bought so many. All positive. I spent $10 too much on too many tests because they’re so cheap.
#2 Scary Purchases
I used to rock the Lifestyle brand protection from Dollar Tree back when I was a frisky teenager. My buddies thought I was crazy. They were probably right. Those things ripped and literally disappeared 95% of the time. I had numerous scares, yet I purchased multiple packs. The best thing a dollar got me was the Friday the 13th collection from Super Pawn, though.
#3 Pretty Much Free
I was going through some clothing at a thrift store. I bought an interesting-looking silk blouse at a pay-by-weight Goodwill outlet. $.99 per pound, so it was less than a dollar, technically, since it weighed only a few ounces. As it turned out, it was a rare vintage Versace. It originally sold for around $700.
#4 My First Car
When I was 16 years old, my aunt and uncle were kind enough to donate a car to me. They wanted to give me an old hand-me-down car that both my cousins used when they first got their licenses. But, because of tax purposes (I think), it made more sense to “sell” the car to me. I bought my first car for one dollar.
#5 River Tour
A wife. Almost a decade ago now, I signed up for a river tour in a foreign country. It cost me an extra dollar to ride in the first boat leaving (I didn’t want other boats in the way of my photos). I wound up meeting someone on that boat who later introduced me to her cousin. We’ve been married for eight years.
#6 Best Cookie Ever
One time, I bought a cookie for a dollar at a bake sale. However, I didn’t really want it later on. I decided to pass it on rather than chuck it in the trash, so I gave it to a lady I worked with. She loved me for it and I was her favourite after that. That lady was my awful boss, so it was the best dollar ever.
#7 Knowledge for a Dollar
I found a huge book at this hole in the wall thrift store. It’s basically diagrams and explains everything about how an automobile works, but it was printed in the early ‘80s. So, it was pretty out of date. However, it still taught me quite a bit and I’m essentially invulnerable against mechanics trying to pull the wool over my eyes. The knowledge was worth way more than one dollar.
#8 Friend of Mine
I live in Europe and we actually don’t have dollars here. When I came back from New York, I had some dollars left and had them in my wallet for a long time. Once, I was talking to a girl I met and started talking about America. She had never been there and I remembered that I had a dollar in my wallet. So, I gave it to her and she was really happy. I’m still talking to her to this day, only a bit less than we used to. But safe to say, I can call her a friend of mine.
#9 Back on His Feet
I bought a McDonald’s burger for this homeless guy near my old job. The guy was grateful, so he taught me how to make origami cranes and we became friends. He got back on his feet and now has a nice apartment and a really annoying, yappy dog. He teaches craft classes at a local community center. He teaches crafts, that is. His dog doesn’t teach; that’d be silly.
#10 Dinner and a Movie
A full evening’s entertainment. I’d bet my friend a dollar he wouldn’t break into our university’s football stadium. He did. But, he did so right in front of a security guard who then proceeded to chase him around, flashlight waving the whole time. It all happened in full view of the rest of us outside a fence.
This chase went on for probably five minutes, through the stands and across the field. My buddy came flying out a different fence, but ripped his pants open in the process (sharp top to the chain-link). So, he was running down the street away from a frustrated security guard while giving said guard the full moon. That led to getting drinks while watching cop cars drive around the neighborhood slowly, I can only assume looking for a guy with no butt to his pants. Totally worth a dollar.
#11 Cheap Pizza
I used to work at a motel doing the night audit. There was a Papa John’s across the street, and in an “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” agreement, they would deliver me a 10-inch pizza for a dollar as often as I liked. I would tip a dollar to the driver and suggest Papa John’s to any patrons looking for a bite to eat.
#12 Dollar Dogs
A rather bossy loud woman came into our shop to talk to my brother. My six-year-old nephew told her she needed to leave so he could finish his homework. She laughed and left. I gave my nephew a dollar for getting her to leave. (I didn’t tell him why he got the dollar). Then on Black Friday, the local animal shelter had a special on any black dog or cat for a dollar. So, my nephew bought a dog with his dollar.
#13 Make it Count
To preface this, we grew up really poor and every now and then we would go to this cheap store where everything was expired. My mom would let me and my siblings (there are four of us) have a dollar each to spend. So, we would try to make it count and I think the most I ever got was a sucker, a tootsie roll, an apple juice box, and eight gumballs.
#14 Winning the Raffle
I once bought a raffle ticket for a buck and ended up winning an advent calendar of Jim Beam whiskey valued at $45. It was only 12 days worth and I drank it all on the first day, got really out of it and slept with a chick who got pregnant. Now I’m in crippling debt because she had a baby, left me and filed for child support. Best one dollar ever.
#15 Priceless Moment
My great-grandma used to give all of her great-grandchildren a dollar every time she saw us. It was a sweet gesture and all of us would love seeing her and enjoy the free money. She’s recently been moved to a nursing home due to the risk of falling because her body is extremely weak (she’s 95). I moved in with my boyfriend in August and went through my things while I packed.
I found, concealed in a child’s bible, one dollar wrapped in a note which read: “Dear baby, I can’t wait until you’re born! Here’s your first dollar, make sure mommy keeps it. I love you very much!” A few weeks later, my mom, sisters and I went to visit her in the home. I pulled the dollar from my pocket and read the note aloud. My great grandma’s eyes lit up and she beamed. “Oh wow, look at that! I’m glad mommy didn’t spend it all!” It was a pretty priceless moment.
#16 Early Busking
When I was very young (around six, I think), I was sitting on a curb trying to play my new toy guitar. An old man came and then put a dollar bill at my feet. I was absolutely flabbergasted and tried to give it back to him, but he explained he was “tipping” me. I was then introduced to the wonderful and lucrative world of busking, from which I have received lots of enjoyment and cash in recent years.
#17 Hidden Money
I have this thing where I always look at the tops of books in thrift stores. That way, I can see if anyone has left notes, bookmarks, recipes, pressed flowers, etc. This one time, I saw a book and opened it slightly, but oh wait! There was money in there. I went and bought it for one dollar. When I got to my car, I realized there was $35 bucks in it.
#18 Best Soda I Never Drank
I was working retail. One of the old ladies who used to come in and look at the TVs while they waited for the bus back to their living facility came over all faint. She asked if I had anything sweet she could have. I got a Coke from the drinks machine in the breakroom and she drank it slowly, holding onto my arm. My manager had called her an ambulance and they loaded her up and took her away.
Diabetic. The EMT said the Coke was just the thing for her and slapped me on the back. I still remember her little wave as she left. She lived. I didn’t save her life or anything, but that dollar made the difference between her consciously getting into the ambulance with dignity versus being unconscious and sick. She told me later that she might have had to move from independent to assisted living without it. So, that was a good dollar. Best soda I never drank.
#19 My Future Wife
My husband spent a dollar to meet me. My dating website inbox was full and the website gave him the option to pay one dollar to have his message delivered anyway. He mulled it over for a long time before thinking, mostly sarcastically, “What if this is my future wife?” He then paid the dollar. We were married a year later.
#20 Vending Machine Steal
I once used a single dollar to buy about 100 bottles of soda and $25 in quarters over the course of several weeks. There was a vending machine at my old school that dispensed sodas. They had it for three years. There was a flaw in the system, though, and basically, you could put a dollar in and quickly yank it without ripping it. If you timed it right, the system registered the dollar. For every two times you did this, you got one soda, and one quarter for free. I did this 100 times in a row without getting caught or messing it up.
I could have told the popular kids or at least sold them vending machine soda at a reduced price for a profit, but to heck with those guys. They bullied me very frequently. I was sad to see the vending machine was gone when I came back for senior year. They claimed they got rid of it because it promoted unhealthy diets, but they still let us bring in outside soft drinks to class.
#21 No Regrets
92 dollars. I worked a coat check at an auction and we weren’t supposed to have a tip jar. Well, someone placed an empty glass on the counter and eventually someone else thought it was a tip jar and started tipping. I said nothing. It got so full that I had to empty it, and then people no longer tipped because it was just an empty cup. So I put a dollar back in, which made people assume it was a tip jar again. Then the tips came flowing again. The second wave of tips made 92 dollars. So, putting a dollar back in made me 92 dollars. I regret absolutely nothing.
#22 Sweetest Memory
One hundred Swedish Fish. My local public pool sold them by the penny when I was a kid. My mom would send us in with enough money for admission and if we were lucky enough that she gave a large bill to break for change, we’d go to the concession stand. Treats at home were rather scarce, so I cherished any candy I could get my hands on. It’s one of my sweetest memories, in a literal and figurative sense.
#23 Going to Good Use
I once played a game at a fundraiser that had a one dollar entry fee. I had to slide the money as close to the bottle as possible. I then somehow ended up winning a litre and a half of brand vodka. The following weekend me and some friends went camping for a few days. It’s safe to say that bottle went to good use.
#24 Hitting the Jackpot
I did this thing with scouts where we were given a quid to buy something with and then had to try and swap it for something better. I ended up with one of those VR headsets you put your phone in, a pair of glasses with a fake nose attached, more perfume sticks than any rational group of 16-year-olds could ever need, and a poster for a musical happening in the town that week.
#25 Making a Profit
For those who don’t know, a dollar is about 50 pesos in the Philippines. That was enough to buy a pack of ice popsicles several decades ago. During summer breaks, I’d buy a pack and sell each piece to our neighborhood kids. I’d restock from my initial capital plus earnings until the new school year started. I’d earn about 500 pesos.
#26 Things are Looking Up
Literally my entire life for the last three years. I took a break at work, bought an Arizona tea can, and had a breakdown. I was working a bad job, living in a bad apartment with a terrible roommate and I was in a city I didn’t know. That breakdown led me to quit, move, find a better job, a better roommate, and a better city. Now I’m making four times what I had been three years ago. I also just had an interview for a massive promotion.
#27 Just in Time
I told my mom when I graduated college that I was going to buy myself a GoPro to take with me on a music tour that following summer. She told me to use her credit card rewards and see what I could find for the points she accumulated. Turned out, she was 10 points short of earning the exact camera I wanted. I called customer service to ask if I could just pay the difference, and they told me I only had to pay one dollar for the camera. A few days later, I received a brand new GoPro 5 just in time for my music tour.
#28 Opening Up
I once bought a bag of chips and left it on a co-worker’s desk for her birthday. We were all broke, so I just spent 75 cents on her favorite kind. She was thousands of miles from home and apparently having a terrible time. She was so moved by the tiny gesture that she opened up to me so it was a huge payoff for such a small gesture.
#29 Rich the Seller
In California, guys will sell oranges at five bucks for a 20-pound bag. I was passing a guy and he had two bags on his truck left and it was getting late. I pulled over thinking I had cash, and he looked relieved. But, I opened my wallet and all I had was one dollar in there. The seller said, “Give me the dollar and take the oranges.” I thanked him and grabbed a bag.
He said, “No, both of them. I just want to go home.” I gave so many away to friends that they were tired of them. From then on, I made sure I had cash and when I saw that guy selling any of the fruit or veggies, I stopped and got some at his full asking price. His name was Rich and I make a point to help him out whenever I can.
#30 Back and Forth
Back in junior high, I liked a girl and flirted with her quite a bit. One time, during a band trip, we stopped at a gas station and she bought me a pack of gum. I tried to pay her back one dollar, but she refused. So, I slipped the bill in her pocket. She then slipped the dollar in my backpack and so began the back and forth with the one dollar bill.
We found silly ways to give it back and forth. I mailed it to her house. She stuffed it in a gum wrapper and offered me a piece. I then decided that I would ask her out on that bill. I wrote, “Will you go out with me” on it and put it in a note and gave it to her. She said yes. About four years later, I still had the same dollar kept away. On our anniversary, I wrote “Will you marry me” on the bottom of the dollar. We’ve been married for 15 years and have three awesome kids. We still have that dollar stored away.
#31 Why Not?
One time, at a garage sale, I saw a wheelchair I fancied. I asked the guy how much and he told me one dollar. Alright, sold. Everyone asked me why and I said, “Why not?” A few years later, my mom got sick and that wheelchair came in real handy for my dad when it came to helping her get around. I’ll always consider that the best dollar I spent.
#32 Pizza Lunch
Back in the day, I worked at a casino as a security guard. I’d usually bring my lunch with me to work, but one day I decided to go to another casino and get their free pizza buffet. I put a dollar in the machine and immediately won $50. So, I decided to buy myself another 49 pizza lunches. I can’t say I regret anything.
#33 Costume Necklace
I once bought a “costume necklace” for 89 cents plus tax at a thrift store. Well, wouldn’t you know, it turned out to be an 18k gold with a fake clasp. I spent $40 on a new clasp and sold it for $500. To be fair, I could have not bought the clasp and sold it for $300 for melt, but the additional $40 was worth it.
#34 Turning 18
A new car. My grandma’s husband bought a new car, drove it around for about 6000 miles, bought another car, put that one in the garage and never touched it again. Six years later, I turned 18 and my grandma mentioned the car. I offered to buy it, though I only had a grand or so in savings. They ended up just giving it to me. I put a dollar on the title as an amount sold for (though I never actually gave them a dollar, just a ton of hugs, thank yous and grateful happy tears).
#35 Taking a Chance
While in college, I locked myself out of my apartment and only had a dollar in cash. The locksmith was going to cost $50, so without anywhere to go, I walked downtown to an area with casinos. I put the dollar into a .05 cent machine and won five bucks. As I kept playing, the cocktail waitress brought drinks. Soon, the five dollars was at $15. Being happy that I was at least getting intoxicated for free, I kept playing and got back down to my original buck. I then hit a $50 jackpot and was able to call the locksmith!
#36 Hay Money
I leased 4,000 acres for one dollar from an old man years ago who didn’t want anyone else on it. He ended up passing away a few years later. After nearly a decade, I still have the lease and free run of the land. All the heirs live far away, so I just hay it and hunt it like I own it. I then send them a check every year for their hay money. I’ve filled my freezer many times over with all the game, many beautiful mounts, and best fishing you could ask for.
#37 Best Money Ever Spent
I had a horse that was my best friend. I tried to buy him — my budget was $25,000 — but his owner wanted $30,000 and wouldn’t budge. However, he let me ride and show him for a year to get him marketed. I won a world championship with him. I was ranked second in the country with him. I won the average every single time we went out.
He was donated to a college team after that season because he had undisclosed health issues that wouldn’t allow him to be sold for her even higher price tag after our year of competition. I sent an email to the college one night about a year after he was donated saying I’d love to be put in his file as a home if he ever needed one.
Two years later, I got an email back from them asking if I wanted him since he no longer fit their program. I drove the four hours to get him, brought my checkbook, and wrote out the check for one dollar. It was the best money I ever spent. He lives in the first stall in my barn that I can see from the house.
#38 Packs of Cookies
When I was in high school, I lived near a grocery store that sold packs of ten cookies for one dollar. On the few occasions I had a dollar to spare, my favorite thing to do was go to after school sports practice, buy a pack, and eat them on the swings at the nearby playground.
A couple of years ago, I was back home for the holidays. I decided to recreate the tradition to remember a simpler time in my life. At that point, I was late in college with a steady job, so I had change. I went to the same store, bought the same type I always did, located the same swing in the same park, and prepared for nostalgia overload. And let me tell you, the cookies were terrible. If you have the means, treat yourself better than 10 cent cookies.
#39 Something Practical
I’d have to say that the most a dollar ever got me was my beloved horse. He was a rescue, so I paid a whole buck to ensure that it was a legal transaction. So, maybe the real answer is a lifetime addiction and thousands upon thousands of dollars lost that could have gone toward something practical, like retirement.
#40 Dollar to His Name
At a young age, I became homeless and had a single dollar to my name. Walking down the highway, I passed a pub I used to go to often. I knew happy hour was going on and that a drink was only a dollar. I bought one and sat there nursing it as long as I could. While there, I ran into a guy who owns his own business. I told him my story and he offered me work and a place to stay until I could get back on my feet. It was the best dollar I ever spent.
#41 Something of His Own
One time, a dollar once got me an appreciative smile from a destitute man sitting outside McDonald’s. He was by himself and looking for scraps from people’s leftovers. Honestly, though, he was so sincere and obviously blown away that I gave him five dollars so he could go inside and order something of his own.
#42 Christmas Treat
I went to Starbucks right as they were closing during the Christmas holiday. I was going to buy one of those cranberry bar things they sell at Christmas time. I forget what they’re called but I love them. Anyway, the guy sold it to me and I explained how excited I was because I love them so much and I had made it just before they closed by like a minute. He said they just toss them all after it closes and then gave me the whole tray. I spent around a buck and got maybe 20 of them.
#43 Ticket to Vegas
Me and my then-girlfriend came up on free plane tickets to Vegas. We were living in California, so the flight was super short. We booked a room at the MGM that weekend and just went. Sunday night, after a weekend of partying and gambling, we were sitting at a pub. She said I should put a dollar in this keno machine and if all my numbers hit, we would get married.
Well, sure enough, all the numbers hit and my jaw dropped. I don’t even remember the amount of money we won but we were off to a roadside chapel. Fast forward almost 10 years now and I am still married to the same woman with three kids, five animals, and a house in now Texas. So, I guess all that is what a dollar got me.
#44 Casino Lunch
I was at a casino for the first (and probably only) time. They had a promotional deal for new members: sign up and gamble with one dollar of your own money, we’ll give you a free meal and 10 dollars in our own casino credit for you to gamble with. I walked out of there having had lunch and with $22.50 in my pocket. Yes, I did decide to leave as soon as it was obvious I was ahead. I don’t gamble normally, plus this casino was over 500 miles from where I live. So, the odds they’re getting the money back is not very high.
#45 Going the Distance
During a very long bike ride by myself, I got a longish split in the side of my tire. I replaced the tube, but with a sidewalk cut, the tube will just poke out the split and flat again. I took a dollar, folded it and put it inside the tire against the split. This kept the tube in the tire and allowed me to ride home. So, 20 miles is about the farthest a dollar has gotten me.
#46 Well-Deserved Tip
A friend invited me out but I was broke. I walked in with five bucks and ordered a drink. It was four bucks, but I took the dollar change and forgot to tip. I felt bad when I realized, but figured it was too late to give it to the bartender, so I put it in a slot machine. I then won $50.00 Needless to say, I had plenty more and the bartender got his well-deserved tip.
#47 A Cool Box
The most a dollar ever got me was at an estate auction. There was a medium-sized box of tools that no one bid on, so as a last-ditch effort to sell it, the auctioneer offered it up for a dollar. Turned out to be a complete 1” drive Snapon socket set with the ratchet and extensions plus a 3/8” drive Snapon Torque wrench. Altogether, the one dollar box I bought was worth a cool $1500.
#48 Unique Home
A house. This is something that’s not uncommon as there has to be an exchange to have the title put in your name. But long story short, they were going to tear down a beautiful and unique old house, so we bought it for a dollar. The kicker was we had to pay for it to be moved (no small feat, and the Amish ended up moving the house for us).
#49 Rummage Sale
Some of the churches in my town do big rummage sales a few times a year. On the last day of the sale, they’ll do a one dollar bag sale where they hand you a grocery bag as you walk in. Whatever you can fit inside of it, you get for a dollar. I think my best takeaway was a few years ago, when I got a bunch of jeans, several shirts, a lot of jewelry and little trinkets, all for just one dollar.
#50 Free Food
When I first turned 16, my friend and I thought it was fun to go to drive-thrus and tell the employee that we only had a dollar and see how much we could get for it. It surprised us how much free food they would give us. Unfortunately, on another one of our drive-thru adventures, being new drivers, my friend scraped the whole drivers’ side of her car on the pole next to the drive-up window! All the free food we got would never equal the cost of the repairs.