Dollar Store Beats Walmart

50 Items Cheaper at the Dollar Store Than at Walmart

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Dollar Store Beats Walmart

dollar stores vs. walmart

Walmart built its reputation on frugality, but dollar stores such as Dollar Tree and Dollar General have long maintained that their prices are as cheap as it gets. You'd think stores where most items cost $1 would win a matchup with Walmart more often, but the real struggle comes down to unit price. To keep that dollar price tag, the stores often have to shrink their packaging and offer less than they did a few years back, while Walmart can put out cheap, somewhat bulkier items and come out ahead on the per-item, per-ounce, or per-fluid-ounce cost. We did find 50 items where dollar stores sell for far less than Walmart — items that help build Dollar Tree and Dollar General's reputation among the most frugal consumers.
Water Bottles
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water bottles: 85.4% cheaper

Walmart's The Pioneer Woman brand unit price: $6.84 per bottle
Dollar Tree's unit price: $1 per bottle
No, the Dollar Tree doesn't have a 34-ounce water bottle like The Pioneer Woman model, nor does it have a non-plastic option. But you can get a 54-ounce bottle for a dollar or still make out per-ounce with a BPA-free 25-ounce bottle.

Mini Aluminum Flashlights
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flashlight: 83.6% cheaper

Coast G5 Silver LED brand unit price: $6.01
Dollar Tree's generic brand unit price: $1 per flashlight
Little LED flashlights make great gifts, but are also great to stash around the house or car. It's tough to beat Dollar Tree's, which require AAA batteries but come with carabiner clips and are a buck each; Walmart uses the more complicated AG5, watch-style batteries, comes on a key ring — and has only a 45-minute runtime.

Travel Mugs
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travel mugs: 83.2% cheaper

Walmart's Bubba Travel Mug brand unit price: $5.97 per mug
Dollar Tree's unit price: $1 per mug
Get it in plastic, aluminum, with your picture on it, with a handle, without … Dollar Tree doesn't care. It's all $1. Walmart has a broader selection, but the $5.97 starting price offers a single option and size (albeit in three colors).

Beach Ball
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beach ball: 82.2% cheaper

Walmart's Waverunner brand unit price: $5.62 per ball
Dollar General's H2O Go! brand unit price: $1 per ball
Walmart doesn't even stock a standard beach ball; its offering looks like something people on watercraft might use to play the world's most obnoxious game of dodgeball. The standard beach ball is a classic, and Dollar General puts it within reach.

Swim Goggles
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kids' swim goggles: 82.1% cheaper

Walmart's National Geographic brand unit price: $5.58 per pair
Dollar General's Aqua Splash brand unit price: $1 per pair
Think your kid might outgrow those first goggles in a hurry? So does Dollar General. The eyewear may not be recommended for deep sea exploration, but it'll fare just fine in the family pool.

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sunglasses: 80% cheaper

Walmart's unit price: $5 a pair
Dollar Tree's brand price: $1 per pair
Cheap sunglasses are built to be lost, scratched, and otherwise brutalized. They aren't long for this world, which is why the dollar store's approach makes sense: selling packs of six that brings its lowest price for glasses to about 20 cents apiece. Meanwhile, Walmart's sunglasses threaten to slip out of stock midsummer.

Arm Floaties
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arm floaties: 79.9% cheaper

Walmart's Bestway Swim Safe brand unit price: $4.99 per set
Dollar General's H2O Go! brand unit price: $1 per set
It isn't easy when you're little and just learning how to swim. Floaties help you get your pool legs and keep your head above water. For a dollar, they won't be missed when a child no longer needs them a season from now.

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headphones: 79.5% cheaper

Walmart's Onn brand unit price: $4.88 per pair
Dollar Tree's E-Circuit brand unit price: $1 per pair
If you've chewed up and mangled enough earphones at the office or in the gym to see headphones as expendable, you're already familiar with the low end of the market. Earbuds are even more costly than over-the-ear models at Walmart (starting at $5.94) compared with Dollar Tree).

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vases: 77.8% cheaper

Walmart's Lerman Decor brand unit price: $4.50 per vase
Dollar Tree's price: $1 per vase
You don't necessarily need a vase to hold flowers. If you want to store corks, keys, or other decor, it works well. Walmart didn't have anything even approaching Dollar Tree's prices on vases.

Pot and Pan Brush
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pot and pan brush: 77.7% cheaper

Walmart's Scotch Brite brand unit price: $4.49 per brush
Dollar Tree's Scrub Buddies brand price: $1 per brush
Why pick up cleaning supplies anywhere else? Not only is the Scotch Brite version of this brush more than four times more expensive, but the reviews of the Dollar Tree brushes suggest they're the more durable.

Cereal Containers
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cereal containers: 74.2% cheaper

Walmart's Mainstays brand unit price: $3.88 per container
Dollar Tree's Sure Fresh brand unit price: $1 per container
Dollar stores aren't great about stocking storage containers, and Dollar Tree in particular has a hard time sneaking them in. But these cereal containers are right in Dollar Tree's sweet spot and fit as well on the store's shelves as they will on yours.

Laundry Bags
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laundry bags: 71.4% cheaper

Walmart's Woolite brand unit price: $3.50 per bag
Dollar Tree's Essentials brand unit price: $1 per bag
Different approaches: Walmart sells a "sanitized" laundry bag for $3.50, while the dollar store lowers the cost per unit until needing to move on to the next one in the package doesn't hurt.

Shampoo and Conditioner
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shampoo and conditioner: 72.7% cheaper

Walmart's Suave brand unit price: 11 cents per fluid ounce
Dollar Tree's Silkience brand price: 3 cents per fluid ounce
Boasts of being enriched with vitamins, aloe vera, and soy protein make the dollar store product sound more impressive than the basic Suave at Walmart.

All Purpose Cleaner
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all-purpose cleaner: 71.8% cheaper

Walmart's Oxi Clean brand unit price: 11 cents per ounce
Dollar Tree's L.A.'s Totally Awesome Oxygen Orange brand price: 3.1 cents per ounce
You have to pay $12.48 and take on more than 7 pounds of Oxi Clean to get Walmart's best per-ounce deal. At Dollar Tree, all you have to do is spring for the orange variety in the bonus size. Even if you go with the original formula at just 16 ounces, it's still 6.2 cents per ounce.

Flash Cards
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educational flashcards: at least 70.8% cheaper

Walmart's Mead brand unit price: $3.42 per pack and up
Dollar Tree's Playskool brand unit price: $1 per pack
Not only do the Dollar Tree's flash card packs come in far cheaper than Walmart's, but with Playskool, Sesame Street, and Disney-themed packs to choose from, you can tear your child away from screens without cheaping out.

Kitchen Storage
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kitchen storage containers: 70.7% cheaper

Walmart's Rubbermaid brand unit price: 37 cents per container
Dollar Tree's Sure Fresh brand unit price: 10 cents per container
There are a whole lot of uses for these cheap and reusable containers, but it always helps to have a bunch around. Walmart does its best with 24 containers for $8.98, but Dollar Tree has a bunch of $1 sets at its disposal. This one has 10 containers.

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bandages: 67.1% cheaper

Walmart's Curad brand unit price: 3.8 cents per bandage
Dollar Tree's Assured brand unit price: 1.3 cents per bandage
If you're klutzy around the kitchen, can't venture into the garage or garden without slicing yourself, or have a cat that hates you, it helps to have a lot of bandages. A box of 80 assorted bandages costs $3.04 if you buy the Curad brand at Walmart, but only $1 if you opt for Assured-brand bandages at Dollar Tree.

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makeup: 66.7% cheaper

Walmart's e.l.f brand unit price: $3 per package
Dollar Tree's Colormates brand price: $1
We could go through the makeup aisles of each store and the result would be the same: Dollar Tree is significantly cheaper. Walmart has a wider selection, but when you just need small items quickly and don't want to pay a lot for them, the dollar store does the trick.

Dish Wand
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dish wand: 66.4% cheaper

Walmart's Scotch Brite brand unit price: $2.98 per brush
Dollar Tree's Scrub Buddies brand price: $1 per brush
Dollar Tree sells a Scrub Buddies scrubbing brush with a soap reservoir for $1. The only comparable item at Walmart was a Scotch-Brite for $2.98. For the average person's needs, the former will be more than enough.

Contact Paper
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contact paper: 66.3% cheaper

Walmart's Con-Tact brand unit price: $2.97 cents per roll
Dollar Tree's Con-Tact brand unit price: $1 per roll
This adhesive liner comes in handy for preserving and cleaning shelves or for just keeping drawers tidy, but Walmart's cheapest option costs two-thirds as much while providing less paper: A roll at Walmart's price gets an 18-by-9-inch sheet. For just a dollar at Dollar Tree, you'll get an 18-by-54-inch roll.

Pregnancy Test
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pregnancy tests: 66.2% cheaper

Walmart's Equate brand unit price: $2.97 per test
Dollar Tree's Assured brand price: $1 per test
Lots of women swear by dollar store pregnancy tests — taken at the recommended time, they're incredibly accurate. If you don't like dropping a whole bunch of cash, the cheaper test isn't a risk: It's a discount.

Plastic Tumbler
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plastic tumbler: 66.2% cheaper

Walmart's unit price: $1.48 per tumbler
Dollar Tree's price: 50 cents per tumbler
The cups sold in packs of two for $1 at Dollar Tree aren't just far less expensive than the ones at Walmart, but 7 ounces larger per cup as well.

Travel Toiletry Bottles
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travel toiletry bottles: 65.7% cheaper

Walmart's iGo brand unit price: 97 cents per bottle
Dollar Tree's unit price: 33.3 cents per bottle
While Walmart offers six bottles for $5.82, Dollar Tree's three for $1 is a steal for anyone trying to get through airport security. And there's a spray-bottle option at the dollar store; Walmart's most comparable kit is all squeeze bottles.

Glass Cleaner
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glass cleaner: 64.3% cheaper

Walmart's Great Value brand unit price: 7 cents per fluid ounce
Dollar Tree's LA's Totally Awesome brand unit price: 2.5 cents per fluid ounce
Dollar stores were pretty much built on glass cleaner. At Dollar Tree, consumers can find a 40-ounce bottle of LA's Totally Awesome glass and multi-surface cleaner with vinegar for $1. At Walmart, the Great Value brand was $1.98 for 32 ounces. Refills are even more embarrassing for Walmart, with a Great Value 67.6-ounce refill selling for $2.94, or $1.94 less than the same size refill at Dollar Tree.

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batteries: 61% cheaper

Walmart's Go Green brand unit price: 32 cents per battery
Dollar Tree's Sunbeam brand unit price: 12.5 cents per battery
Dollar Tree customers can get a 8-count pack of Sunbeam AA batteries for $1. Walmart, by contrast, has Go Green batteries in 20-count packs for $6.40, more than twice the price per battery. Consumer Reports notes that dollar-store batteries contain less stored energy than brand-name batteries, but if you're using them in low-energy devices such as remote controls, they'll get the job done.

Laundry Detergent
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laundry detergent: 60% cheaper

Walmart's Sun brand unit price: 4 cents per fluid ounce
Dollar Tree's L.A.'s Totally Awesome brand price: 1.6 cents per fluid ounce
Dollar Tree has an even more generic brand that it sells in the same 64-ounce package, but for $1 we went with the better-reviewed version. Even at 188 ounces, a $5.97 container of Walmart's cheapest brand just couldn't compete.

Device Charger
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device charger: 59.8% cheaper

Walmart's CyonGear brand unit price: $4.98 for cable and wall tap
Dollar Tree's E-circuit brand unit price: $2 for cable andwall tap
Neither chain is going to give you an Apple product for anything less than Apple prices, but they'll give you everything you need to charge a Google Android device. While the few reviewers love the dollar store charging cables, they indicate you're likely getting what you pay for with the wall taps.

Birthday Candles
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birthday supplies (candles): 58.5% cheaper

Walmart's unit price: 4.1 cents per candle
Dollar Tree's unit price: 1.7 cents per candle
Sure, Walmart will sell you birthday candles for less than a dollar. But the 24 you'll get for 98 cents are less than half of the 60 you'd get by spending $1 at Dollar Tree.

Dinner Plates
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dinner plates: 49.7% cheaper

Walmart's Mainstays brand unit price: $1.99 per plate
Dollar Tree's Sure Fresh brand unit price: $1 per plate
The absolute bottom of Walmart's plate selection sells at $7.99 for four. Meanwhile, Dollar Tree has a surprising assortment of ceramic, stoneware, and glass plates that not only go for $1 apiece, but make it easy to cater place settings to your needs.

USB Cables
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usb cable: 48.9% cheaper

Walmart's Onn brand unit price: $1.96 per cable
Dollar Tree's E-circuit brand unit price: $1 per cable
That $1.96 cable at Walmart is just an extension cable. Should you need anything beyond that, prepare to pay more. Dollar Tree, meanwhile, has just about any USB cable you could need for $1.

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sunscreen: 47.6% cheaper

Walmart's Equate brand unit price: 94 cents per fluid ounce
Dollar Tree's Max Block brand price: 33 cents per fluid ounce
If you're looking for broad-spectrum, high SPF coverage, you don't have to shell out for it. At Walmart, a representative deal for a consistently and widely available sunscreen is a 30 SPF dry gel for $1.41 for 1.5 ounces. At Dollar Tree, customers get a 3-ounce bottle.

Wine Glasses
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wine glasses: 45.9% cheaper

Walmart's Libbey brand unit price: $1.85 per glass
Dollar Tree's Brand Name Perception brand unit price: $1 per glass
We'll note that Walmart has exactly one set of glasses, a 12-pack of stemless Lumiarcs, that sells for $9.97, or roughly 83 cents apiece. That beats the Dollar Tree price on those same glasses, but if you want anything other than those glasses, your'e paying more than $1 a glass.

Dish Soap
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dish soap: 45% cheaper

Walmart's Ajax brand unit price: 6 cents per ounce
Dollar Tree's The Home Store brand unit price: 3.3 cents per ounce
The Dollar Tree's house brand dish soap sells for $1 for a 30-ounce bottle in stores. At Walmart, however, the Great Value house brand actually costs a cent per ounce more than Ajax, which still sells for $4.94 per 90 ounces.

Hand Sanitizer
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hand sanitizer: 43.5% cheaper

Walmart's Germ X brand unit price: 17.7 cents per fluid ounce
Dollar Tree's Assured brand unit price: 10 cents per fluid ounce
Hand sanitizers available at Dollar Tree (the Assured brand) and Walmart (Germ-X) contain more than 60 percent ethyl alcohol, the minimum recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the $5.97 for 33.8 ounces at Walmart still has a tough time competing with $1 for 10 ounces at Dollar Tree.

Birthday Banner
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'happy birthday' banners: 42.9% cheaper

Walmart's unit price: $1.75 per banner
Dollar Tree's unit price: $1 per banner
It's one of the cheapest elements of any birthday party, but even a cheery "Happy Birthday" banner gets a huge discount at the dollar store. It's these little savings that really start to add up when planning a full party.

Muffin Pans
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muffin pans: 40% cheaper

Walmart's Mainstays brand unit price: $1.50 per pan
Dollar Tree's Cooking Concepts unit price: $1 per pan
If you're looking for cookware to send to a novice chef's first apartment or to use on baking days with the kids until they're old and experienced enough not to destroy the good stuff, it's tough to beat Dollar Tree. Walmart tries its best, but Dollar Tree's $1 price on muffin tins, baking sheets, measuring cups, and other indispensable kitchen items makes it seem destination for folks seeking their first set of cookware.

Aluminum Foil
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aluminum foil: 37.5% cheaper

Walmart's Great Value brand unit price: 4 cents per square foot
Dollar Tree's generic brand unit price: 2.5 cents per square foot
Don't pay $5 or more for a roll of foil at the grocery store. At Walmart, 75 square feet of aluminum foil sells for $2.97 under the retailer's Great Value private label, while Dollar Tree's 40-square-foot nameless-brand roll costs $1.

Dishwasher Detergent
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dishwasher detergent: 33.3% cheaper

Walmart's Great Value brand unit price: 6 cents an ounce
Dollar Tree's Home Store Ultra Shine brand price: 4 cents an ounce
At $3.87 for 75 ounces, Walmart's powdered dish detergent is still 87 cents more costly than three 25-ounce boxes of Dollar Tree's generic brand. The same holds true for liquid detergent, though Dollar Tree still hasn't figured out pods, which are pricey compared with most Walmart offerings.

Pool Rings
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pool rings: 33.2% cheaper

Walmart's SunSplash brand unit price: $4.49 per ring
Dollar General's H2O Go! brand unit price: $3 per ring
Pool toys don't see much use once the pool closes. Going cheap on them makes sense, but especially in this case, when the less expensive option is made by the better-known brand and is shaped like a doughnut. On the other hand, Walmart lets summer gear go out of stock before it's even mid-July.

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sugar: 32.4% cheaper

Walmart's Domino brand unit price: $1.48 per pound
Dollar Tree's Domino brand price: $1 per pound
We'll note that Dollar Tree doesn't sell packages of sugar larger than a pound, so it wins out on this equal footing even if Walmart eventually wins with bulk sizes. It wins with brown sugar as well, with Walmart selling a pound of it for $1.36 compared with Dollar Tree's $1.

Party Balloons
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party balloons: 26.8% cheaper

Walmart's unit price: 9.7 cents per balloon
Dollar Tree's unit price: 7.1 cents per balloon
Walmart will give you 72 helium-ready 12-inch latex balloons for $7 if you have a party that needs some extra color. But Dollar Tree's 14-packs will give you a dozen more balloons for a dollar less.

Cotton Swabs
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cotton swabs: 25% cheaper

Walmart's Equate brand unit price: 0.4 cents per swab
Dollar Tree's Assured brand unit price: 0.3 cents per swab
Consumers can save on these essentials at Dollar Tree, where 350 swabs sell for $1. At Walmart, the best options are dual 500-count packages of the house brand for $3.68. Dollar Tree customers say the Assured brand swabs are sturdy enough, with paper sticks instead of plastic, though several warn that the cotton has come off in their ears.

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potholders: 24.3% cheaper

Walmart's Mainstays brand unit price: 44 cents per pot holder
Dollar Tree's Home Collection brand price: 33.3 cents per pot holder
Walmart will give you a basic pair of potholders for 88 cents, but Dollar Tree's smallest set packages two potholders and an oven mitt for a dollar. Walmart tries to get cute by offering seven-piece sets of potholders, oven mitts and tea towels for $5.97, but if you buy a five-piece set at Dollar Tree for $1 and pick up the remaining two pieces on their own, you're paying only $3 for the bunch, about 50% cheaper.

Baby Oil
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baby oil: 23.1% cheaper

Walmart's Equate brand unit price: 13 cents per fluid ounce
Dollar Tree's Angel of Mine brand unit price: 10 cents per fluid ounce
Parents use baby oil for newborns' skin, but it's also helpful when removing eye makeup or untangling jewelry chains. At Dollar Tree, 10 ounces of Angel of Mine baby oil goes for $1, whereas Walmart's Equate brand is priced at $2.47 for 20 ounces.

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coolers: 19.9% cheaper

Walmart's Igloo brand unit price: $24.97 per cooler
Dollar General's Igloo brand unit price: $20 per cooler
Dollar General doesn't stick to the "everything for a dollar" ethos of some of its competitors, so it drifts eventually into bigger-ticket items. Its cooler selection is smaller that Walmart's, but competitively priced.

Birthday Plates
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birthday plates: 19.1% cheaper

Walmart's unit price: 6.8 cents per plate
Dollar Tree's unit price: 5.5 cents per plate
At Walmart, $1.40 will get you 20 black plates, with fun colors and patterns costing from a little to a lot more. Dollar Tree, meanwhile, has every pattern of its birthday plates available for just $1 per 18 pack.

Party Table Covering
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party table covering: 18% cheaper

Walmart's unit price: $1.22 per cover
Dollar Tree's unit price: $1 per cover
In fairness to Walmart, it does offer a 98-cent table cover. It's the brown version of its round covering and you have to buy a minimum of two, but it exists. To buy a single table cover, though, prices starts at $1.22 for blue and only go up from there. At Dollar Tree, any table cover in any size goes for $1.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner
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toilet bowl cleaner: 16% cheaper

Walmart's The Works brand unit price: 5 cents per fluid ounce
Dollar Tree's The Works brand price: 4.2 cents per fluid ounce
Walmart gives you 64 ounces for your $2.76, but 72 ounces for $3 at Dollar Tree ends up being a better deal. It's a close call, but the dollar store still comes out ahead.

Picture Frames
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picture frames: several degrees cheaper

Walmart's unit price: $1-plus per frame
Dollar Tree's price: $1 per frame
Every Dollar Tree frame goes for a dollar, no matter the size or style. You have to buy a 12-pack of 4-by-6-inch frames to get that deal at Walmart, Otherwise, you're either buying frames in smaller sets or starting out with frames at least three times more expensive than dollar-store versions.

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spices: several degrees cheaper

Walmart's Great Value brand unit price: 24 cents per ounce
Dollar Tree's Supreme Tradition brand price: 21 cents per ounce
Walmart offers better deals on onion powder (31 cents per ounce to Dollar Tree's 50) and garlic powder (29 cents to Dollar Tree's 60), and a wider selection of spices. But the majority of spices at Dollar Tree come in cheaper than Walmart counterparts. Reviewers says dollar store spices are as good as supermarket brands, but watch the expiration dates.