For those of you living or visiting the west coast, a fun store to visit is Daiso Japan. It is basically a Japanese dollar store, but items cost $1.50. Some cost more and are marked as such.
I visited a branch of this store (several times!) in Gardena, California, after attending the Long Beach International Quilt show. They have a multitude of items that you didn't know you needed. For quilters, they had some rotary cutters 18 cm & 28 cm, along with small cutting mats, roughly 5"x 8" and 6" x 10" (I'm guessing here, they are metric and still in my suitcase!). They also have a bunch of scissors, yarn, knitting needles, ribbon, calligraphy ink, artist brushes, origami paper, various decorative doo, dads. The best thing for sewers trying to organize their sewing rooms or back to school shoppers are the vast, and I mean VAST, assortments of plastic containers, folders and other organizing items! I bought about 5 packages of origami paper and there was a plastic box right there that fit the paper exactly, $1.50 each.
There is also a vast assortment of kitchen gadgets, especially things for asian cooking (graters and the like). Chopsticks, various bamboo skewers, stoneware as well as some food stuff. For gardeners they have a great selection of plastic pots and I saw many that seemed to be 10"-12" inches for $1.50. They also had some lightweight ring trellises that would be good for vines.
I also bought several lovely paper fans for future gifts. They had easily about 50 different designs, flat and folded. I bought a mini tripod for digital cameras, socks, and 2 large bubble wands. I bought some mini plastic clips shaped like hands and some erasers shaped like sushi, also for gifts.
This is just a portion of what they had and I was limited by having to fit stuff into a suitcase. Now I am not saying that this stuff will last a lifetime, it won't. However it is a lot of fun and has a great deal of variety. It would be a fun place to stop with a bus load of people, children or adults. For new crafters, you can buy some things to get you started before investing in the more expensive items.
The store I was in had just opened but there appear to be many other stores in coastal states. There is a no return no exchange policy.
This is a fun place to shop on a budget!