WALMART VS. DOLLAR TREE
Dollar stores are brimming with bargains, and often beat Walmart on the price of many items. But Walmart can give shoppers more bang for the buck on some consumer favorites. Cheapism.com compared prices on similar items at Walmart and Dollar Tree, the nation's largest chain of dollar stores, and found 10 that are cheaper at Walmart. The savings are substantial on some items, and pocketing a few extra pennies on others can add up over time. (Although the products were comparable, they weren't always identical, as the dollar store carries relatively few name brands.)
A buck for a jar of Pace salsa sounds like an amazing deal, especially when compared with the $5.94 Walmart charges for a 64-ounce bottle of the same brand. But again, a larger size results in greater savings. Walmart comes out ahead with a cost of about 9.28 cents an ounce, while Dollar Tree's 8-ounce jar costs 12.5 cents an ounce, nearly 35 percent more per ounce. Dollar Tree customers have to spend $8 to get the amount of salsa that Walmart sells for less than $6.
While some office supplies, such as tape, are cheaper at Dollar Tree, others are cheaper at Walmart. Boxes of staples are one example. At Dollar Tree, a box of 3,000 sells for $1, but Walmart customers can get a box of 5,000 for $1.48. That's a little more than 11 percent cheaper, although either box will keep most households in staples for a long, long time.
Dividing out the cost of Hanover brand black beans from Walmart — $4.56 for six cans — shows that they're a better value than the canned beans at Dollar Tree, which are a comparable size and sell for $1 each. Walmart shoppers save almost 24 percent.
Buy sandwich bags in larger packages at Walmart to pare down costs about 40 percent. Great Value Double Zipper sandwich bags are priced at $5.12 for 300 (1.7 cents each) at Walmart, while a $1 package of Good Sense Zipper Seal bags at Dollar Tree holds 35 bags (2.9 cents each).
Preserving fruits and vegetables by canning is a smart way to save money and reduce waste. Save even more — nearly 50 percent — by purchasing the mason jars needed for the project at Walmart, where 12 pint-size Ball jars, including lids, cost $6.07, or about 51 cents each. At Dollar Tree, the same 16-ounce jars cost (you guessed it) $1 each.
At Dollar Tree, customers can snag a five-pack of size 3 disposable baby diapers for a buck. That's a good deal if just a few are needed in a pinch, but Walmart's house brand, sold in bigger packages, is a better deal. A 144-count pack of Parent's Choice size 3 diapers is $17.57, or about 13 cents a diaper — a 35 percent savings when compared with Dollar Tree brand diapers.
The staple of college students and anyone else trying to save cash, Top Ramen is cheap nearly everywhere it's sold. Dollar Tree sells a five-pack of beef flavor ramen noodles for $1, or 20 cents apiece, but Walmart has a better deal: A similar 12-pack sells for $1.98 — just 16.5 cents a package, a 17 percent savings.
DRY DOG FOOD
A mere $1 may sound like a good deal for a 3.58-ounce serving of Cesar dog food from Dollar Tree. But the same product, sold in bulk, costs less per ounce at Walmart. A 5-pound bag sells for $8.28, or about 10 cents an ounce, a 64 percent savings.
Dollar Tree offers 5-ounce bags of Canine Carry Outs for $1, or about 20 cents an ounce, but Walmart sells larger 25-ounce bags for $2.99, or 12 cents an ounce, a savings of 40 percent. Snausages in a Blanket treats are similarly cheaper at Walmart, where a 25-ounce bag costs about 4 cents less per ounce than Dollar Tree's 4.5-ounce bag, priced at $1.
BETTY CROCKER COOKIE MIX
For bakers who prefer the convenience of a store-bought mix, both Dollar Tree and Walmart sell Betty Crocker brand chocolate chip cookie mix. At first glance, Dollar Tree's version seems a better deal. Priced at $1, it's about half the cost of the $1.98 Walmart charges. But the price-per-ounce advantage goes to Walmart. Its 17.5-ounce pouch costs about 11.3 cents an ounce, while Dollar Tree's price is 13 cents an ounce, a 13 percent savings.