Dollar Store: Deal or No Deal

I last posted about my Dollar Tree shopping trip the other day:

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It was a simple trip, only 9 items: 2 glasses of wine, a bottle of foot powder spray, a plastic soap saver dish, Blistex, Carmex, Vitamin C supplements, a splatter guard, and a two pack of ankle socks.

I left the dollar store feeling happy at the deals I got. It wasn’t until I got home that I felt a plagued by whether or not I was duped into a purchase because “Everything’s a Dollar!” so it must be a great deal, right?

And so I ventured to my local Target to seek out the exact same items and compare prices. The results were pretty surprising to me.

1. Foot powder spray. Yes, let’s start with the good ole’ foot stuff. I paid $1 for 3.5oz with the same 1% active ingredient. At Target:

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Target’s off brand sells it in 4oz bottles for $3.79. Which makes it 28 cents/ounce at Dollar Tree vs. 94 cents/ounce at Target. Savings by buying at Dollar Tree: $2.79.

Dollar Tree: 1          Target: 0

2. Vitamin C supplement drops. I paid $1 for a pack of 30 drops, each at 106mg of Vitamin C. That’s a little over 3 cents/drop. At Target:

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Target’s off brand Vitamin C drops sell for $2.04 for an 80 pack of drops. That ends up being about 2 and a half cents per drop. Savings by purchasing at Target: 62 cents, approximately.

Dollar Tree: 1          Target: 1

3. Soap saver. Make that bar last longer! Of course, it was $1 at Dollar Tree. At Target:

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1 cent cheaper is still cheaper. It’s worth noting that it’s the exact same soap saver in different packaging.

Dollar Tree: 1          Target: 2

4. Blistex lip balm. $1 for one Blistex lip balm stick at Dollar Tree. At Target:

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I didn’t see them for sale individually, but a 3pk is $3.04 which makes each one slightly more than $1.01. And so it goes…

Dollar Tree: 2          Target: 2

5. Splatter guard. In case you’re as unfamiliar with the concept as I was when I first heard about it, a splatter guard is just a convenient little wire mesh flat circle that you can place over a pan when pan frying food to help prevent oil from splashing all over and making a mess. I think it’s a little unnecessary but worth a $1 to give it a try. However, at Target, the only splatter guard for sale is this:

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A fancy schmancy one for $20 more than what I paid for mine. Of course mine is much lesser quality but it will get the job done for my infrequent frying needs. It’s tough to compare, given the huge difference in quality of product, but I say Dollar Tree wins this one for offering a cheap yet effective product at 20x less the price.

Dollar Tree: 3          Target: 2

6. Wine glasses. Having taken my Dollar Tree wine glasses for a test spin the other night, I can review with confidence that they are thick, weighted, and sturdy wine glasses. I’ll even bet that people would be surprised to learn that they’re dollar store material once they’ve handled them. Target had a pretty wide selection of cheap wine glasses:

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The above glasses seemed as close a comparison in quality as possible to the dollar store ones. These end up being $1.49/glass which isn’t bad. Alternatively, Target also offers $1 wine glasses:

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But they just feel so flimsy, lightweight, and cheaper quality that it just doesn’t seem fair to call it a draw. And so I’m giving this one to Dollar Tree for offering a better wine glass at a cheaper price.

Dollar Tree: 4           Target: 2

7. Carmex lip balm. $1 at Dollar Tree for a single 0.25 ounce pot of lip balm. At Target:

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Even ignoring the really great promotion for the gift card, the regular price for a 3 pack of the Carmex lip pots is only $2.79. That makes it 93 cents each at Target compared to $1 each at the dollar store.

Dollar Tree: 4          Target: 3

8. Ankle socks. 50 cents per pair is a pretty good deal at Dollar Tree. At Target:

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$1.50 per pair. A value pack on Black Friday is the only thing that brings the price down to the dollar store prices, otherwise the value pack just brings it down to $1.04 per pair. If the quality of the dollar store ones seemed despicable then I’d consider a draw, but the quality seems quite comparable. And so it goes…

Dollar Tree: 5          Target: 3

 

Dollar Tree for the win for this shopping trip comparison! I do think it’s worth noting that the price differences were so minimal that I’m sure utilizing sales and coupons at Target would beat out Dollar Tree prices by a long shot. I was quite surprised by how close Target prices were to dollar store prices.

I’m definitely going to be more discerning about my dollar store purchases for the remainder of this challenge.

 

 

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