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What Could I Get For Four Dollars?

Updated on January 14, 2016
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Nightcat is a Jane of all trades and likes to pass on tips she’s found useful around the home.

Grabbing Your Camera Is Still Free

A lot of things are still free, like grabbing your camera and going for a walk.
A lot of things are still free, like grabbing your camera and going for a walk.

More Than I First Thought

As much of the world knows by now, three winners have been found in the biggest Powerball to date. And while I’m a winner, you don’t get press coverage when you win four dollars. But you do get a good laugh and a chance to dream of what to do with your wealth. Some folks would put it in the bank or buy penny stocks, but I wanted to have a little fun with my newfound wealth. So, what could I get?

Surprisingly, four dollars will still get you something, though, obviously, you have to be creative and think of how you are going to spend it. This article is for entertainment purposed only, so please don’t think this is meant to be advice for other winners. My advice would be to save it, which I actually did.

My advice would also be to not play any lottery. Yes, I won. First, and most likely last time ever. I got a ticket for entertainment reasons only. Still, it was fun looking around online to see what I could get if anything.

As always, all writing and photography are my original work. If borrowed for Internet use, credit and a link back are appreciated. All videos are included for educational and informational purposes only.

Local Possibilities Exist

There are still free or low cost things to see and do.
There are still free or low cost things to see and do.

What Does Four Dollars Get Locally?

A bus ride. Exciting, eh? This is the least exciting option, but four dollars in my area is exactly bus fare if I’d ride one zone and back. But as there isn’t anything paticularly exciting in this area, I’ll give that a pass.

I could also get other yawn worthy items such as a newspaper, perhaps a loaf of bread at the local gas station and the like, and then I’d have change left over. But let’s think bigger and more fun. There’s a lovely place to eat in town, the local diner. For four bucks I could get either a basket of fries, and I mean a fryer basket full, a burger, or a cup of coffee and have enough left over to leave a tip. Keep in mind I’d only get one of the above.

Another option is to hit the local library. I could sit and read all day, buy a used book for a dollar or buy a coffee for around a buck twenty five, or candy for two dollars. This would leave me change and make a day out of the house to boot, and those used books are tempting. It would also be a way to give back to my community while treating myself to a day out.

But let’s say I could somehow skip bus fare and get anywhere locally. This is a game, remember? OK, then let’s go to a fast food place running a promo. I can get much smaller fries, a double cheeseburger with wee patties and coffee for a dollar each, plus tax. Enough leftover to donate to the charity the place runs so we are getting somewhere.

I Could Make A Diaper Clutch


I love the dollar store and sales bins. Provided you hit the store at the right time, you could get three items at a dollar, think three good books, movies, what have you, or six if they are getting rid of stock at half off. True you have to luck out and time your visit right, but there is good stuff there and often a chance to support local charities by buying food, gloves, toys, etc.

So maybe get a treat for me, two in fact, and something for the less fortunate. This is starting to sound like fun as I’ve actually found some of my favorite CDs in the dollar store, ditto books.

Online gives you more options. I can type in any amount into Amazon and if it isn’t feeling too fussy it will dutifully cough up results in any category I desire. Four bucks could buy several items and free shipping, though I’d have to keep taxes in mind.

Just a quick search unearthed pretty notebooks, stylus pens and more. And there are always low priced candy treats, books they just couldn’t move and the like. For those wondering why I am not hitting the used store? Local prices have gone through the roof, and four dollars would get you, perhaps, one item. Maybe.

Shopping Online Can Uncover Surprising Deals

I just have to keep in mind not to grab stuff I'll never use.
I just have to keep in mind not to grab stuff I'll never use.

Clothing And Jewelery

Dollar stores sometimes carry gloves, caps or scarves this time of year, so I could have a new outfit if needed. A trip to a box store might yield something out of the dollar or two dollar bins such as a piece of funky jewelry. I’d have money left over this way, enough to go to the fast food place, grab a coffee and donate my leftover pennies to the charity.

Sales bins are also a great place to check out and almost any store has bins of items they just couldn’t move. Going to the crafts section might yield enough materials to make my own creation.

Dollar Bill Secrets

What Could I Get For Free?

There still a ton of options in this world that are free. Imagining that I could teleport anywhere and avoid travel costs, here are several. Walking parks and trails. Most places are still free and open to the general public, so is a walk in the woods, though you have to keep your head on a swivel.

A lot of funky museums are actually free to the public. These places tend to be offbeat, cater to the funky, and include gift shops, but admission is free, or used to be. It is also totally free to walk most anywhere and window shop.

There are plenty of free, or nearly free concerts in the park, free movies for the local communities, tons of things to do we can all get in on for free. Then the four dollars is yours to keep, or buy a cheap loaf of bread and maybe dollar store pb and jelly and share the wealth with your newfound friends.

Don’t like crowds? You can read free books online, or if you have an Amazon Prime or other type of memberships you can watch free rentals. OK, they are usually of such abysmal quality that you couldn’t give them away, but there are also gems hidden in the rough, too.

I could also, in theory, be enjoying music, but I haven’t got around to that yet. That’s what iheartradio is for, after all, an awesome and totally free app that let’s you stream radio stations from all over. It’s a pretty cool way to share your local culture with friends, and pssst, a great way to follow sports teams for free. Shhh.

Overall, I got my entertainment value out of my ticket. I brought it home, put it on one of the altars, and could feel the excited buzz in the house. I’m actually happy I didn’t win, it’s more fun being a small winner, and my first win did not tempt me to invest my winnings back into the lottery.

I got lucky, and that’s something we all should remember. Any game of chance is just that, a game. A select few win big, most of the time the house wins. The lottery, while occasional fun, I usually buy one ticket a year on my birthday, is just one more form of entertainment. You likely have far better odds of finding change on the street as you do of winning.

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