I live in a small town. A small town. There is one small, locally-owned, largely-overpriced grocery store, and there is a Dollar General. In the last month, crews have broken ground to build both a Fred’s Super Dollar and a Family Dollar.
With the closest Walmart fifteen miles away in the next town, it makes sense for me to do as much as grocery shopping as possible at one of these local stores. But as someone who is constantly aware of my family’s budget and the price of the items we’re buying, I want to make sure I’m not trading money and quality for time and convenience.
I scoped out the aisles of my local Dollar General and was surprised to find that many products were significantly more expensive than at Walmart.
Here’s what I found:
1. Cream Cheese
Name brand cream cheese at Dollar General costs $.87. I typically buy a store brand of cream cheese, which Dollar General doesn’t carry; in that case, the savings would be even more significant.
2. Party Pizzas
These small pizzas are $.39 more expensive at Dollar General. We don’t buy these pizzas, but I know that the people who do rarely purchase just one.
Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner cost $.50 more at Dollar General; if you buy a bottle of each, that’s $1.
Spices at Dollar General cost $.50 more than at Walmart- that’s twice as much! Of course, Walmart doesn’t offer all of their spices for that price, but they have several, including many popular ones like cinnamon, chili powder, and Italian seasoning.
5. Granola Bars
I know the products shown aren’t of the same variety of granola bar, but Walmart was out of their Oats & Chocolate on the day I was there. The prices are still accurate, though, so the Dollar General bars are $.25 more per box.
While none of these price differences are staggering, they still provide food- haha, food- for thought. Imagine I go to Dollar General and buy two of everything pictured: two bricks of cream cheese, two party pizzas, a bottle of shampoo and a bottle of conditioner, two bottles of spices, and two boxes of granola bars.
If I only purchase two of everything pictured above, I will have paid $.5.02 more than if I’d made the same purchases at Walmart. In our house, $5 is a significant amount.
Keep in mind that these prices vary by region, but the idea is the same. Just because an item sits on the shelf at a discount store does not mean it’s always going to be less expensive than at a larger chain. The key is to be aware of what things cost to avoid overpaying.
Are you discount store loyal? Don’t worry, I’ll soon be sharing a few of the items that are less expensive at Dollar General.
I want to know: what items have you found to be more expensive at Dollar General, or your local chain discount store?