Monday, March 7, 2011

Tuesday’s Tips and Tricks: Shopping at Dollar Tree

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Welcome to the new Tuesday’s Tips and Tricks party.  Same rules, only the day is new.  This is your opportunity to share your great ideas.

We all know Dollar Tree is a great place to find craft supplies and seasonal décor, but what about everyday household items?  Is $1 really a good deal for these things?  I decided to do a little sleuthing and find out.  I used Walmart as my price comparison store, because in general, they have the lowest prices on pretty much everything.  Turns out there are some great deals at DT, and some that really aren’t so great.

One thing I usually buy at DT is Softsoap.  Obviously, the 11.25 oz refill is a better deal than the 6 oz pump, so I buy the refill.  As to how it compares to Walmart:  6 oz Softsoap is $1.47, so that’s a significant savings.  However, W. has a 56 oz refill bottle for $4.47, which works out to about 8¢ per ounce.  The 11.25 oz for $1 works out to about 9¢ per oz.  So in the long run it’s actually a little bit cheaper to buy the larger refill at Walmart.



Next item:  cotton balls.  One hundred “triple size” 100% cotton balls, $1 at DT.  One hundred jumbo size at W, $2.04.  DT is a better deal, unless you are really picky about your cotton balls.  I’ve noticed that DT’s tend to unroll a little bit, but they work fine for my facial toner and nail polish remover.



Movie candy is the same price at either store, but DT had a much larger selection than my Walmart.




After you eat all that candy, you’ll need to visit the dental care aisle, where you can get a package of 50 Plackers flossers for $1.  I find these make it easier for kids to floss, and I’ve started using them too most of the time (no more cutting off the blood flow to your fingers as with regular floss).  That’s 2¢ a piece.

At Walmart, 90 Plackers are $2.76, or 3¢ each, but another brand, Dentek, is 90 for $2.44.  That’s just over 2¢ each, and rounds up to 3¢ each.  Either way, DT is not a huge savings.



A 3 oz tube of original Colgate toothpaste is actually cheaper at Walmart at 97¢.  But on this trip to DT they had the 4.6 oz stand up tubes of whitening Colgate, which are $3.16 at Walmart, so that’s a great deal if that’s what you like to get.



I personally don’t care for any of the shampoo brands they have at DT, but I get the cheap stuff for the kids, who go through shampoo like crazy.  V05 is under $1 (84¢) at Walmart, and while my W didn’t have White Rain, a 22.5 oz bottle of basic Suave was $1.38 (6¢ per oz) as compared to 5¢ per oz for the White Rain at DT.  Negligible savings.IMG_7725


DT has some cute hair accessories,  but I’ve found that some of the elastics aren’t the best so it’s kind of hit or miss.  But here’s a pack of 27 Goody elastics for $1, which sells for $3.27 at Walmart, so that’s a good buy.  In fact, I’m not sure why I didn’t grab these.  You can never have too many hair elastics with a little girl in the house.



Dollar Tree has their own sock brand (Max Gray), which I don’t buy because they are usually synthetic, and I prefer cotton.  However, DT often has cotton socks that originally came from Walmart, usually in packs of 2, and lately I’ve also found Froot of the Loom cotton socks for Pinkerbelle, cotton with cute ruffled ankles.  Two pairs of nice socks for $1 is a pretty good deal.



Well, this certainly didn’t cover all the bases, but you can see that while it is possible to get a deal at Dollar Tree, not everything is a money-saver.  It’s always smart to comparison shop.

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Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Dollar Tree does have some pretty good deals. I do check out their greeting cards at 2 for $1. Today I found BLUE water goblets that I have searched the whole town for. These were Libby MADE IN USA!!!! Woo-hoo!!! I was thrilled to finally find blue ones. Thanks for your price comparison :-)


Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

I've never seen the prices broken down like that before! That's great. I automatically just assume that DT will be cheaper b/c it's the DT. ;) I love their gift bags too!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips. I live at the Dollar Store. I just love it.

Wendy @ Ramblings from the Sunshine State said...

I have found myself shopping at Dollar Tree more lately. Not really on household items as much, but party stuff! Now I'm wondering why I ever paid party store prices for things like paper plates. From now on, my first stop will be Dollar Tree!

Mom to Many said...

Woo hoo Holly great detective work!
I buy my flossers at WM too, but had never compared the price. :o)
I am with you on polyester socks. I have a silly reason for not wearing them. I was walking down the stairs many years ago and my polyester socks caused me to slip. It ended in a tumble down the stairs and a dislocated shoulder. It wasn't fun.
Great post Holly!

So, I am sold on natural fiber socks. (I'm not usually such a cluzt.)

Lisa said...

Great tips! I buy all my toothpaste at Dollar Tree (check expirations) and it saves a lot of money. I also stock up on that soap you use. I've only found a couple things cheaper at Walmart/Target so it's almost always a bargain!