A few weeks ago I visited a dollar store near my mother's hometown and the thought struck me like a lightening-bolt, “it would really be interesting to compare prices at a dollar store to those at another grocery or discount store..” Now, I doubt I'm the only finance blogger to have thought of such a thing. But the idea intrigued me. So, I got out the iPhone and jotted some prices down.
I then visited a nearby grocery store and a well-known discount store (you've all been there I'm sure). And I have to say – what I found out was not what I had anticipated.
Before you read any further – would participate in a quick poll?
What I did was priced two food items and two non-food items at the dollar store. I made sure I got the price per unit – not just the price of the product, in case there were size discrepancies between the stores.
I repeated this at the grocery and discount stores. I was initially gonna price out 5 items – but had to disqualify one of the products because it was too inconsistent. I made sure all these products were the same at each store: brand name, etc.
Now, this was by no means a “scientific” study. Far from it. I probably should have had about 10 food items checked and 10 non-food items. But, this is what you get for free. ;)
Here are the products I price compared:
- Tide 40 oz.
- GE Soft White Light Bulb – 60W
- Kraft Mac and Cheese 7.25 oz.
- Kelloggs Corn Pops 12.5 oz.
And, the results:
|Store||Kraft Mac||Ge Bulbs||Tide||Corn Pops|
|Dollar||$1.00||$0.46 / each||$0.15 per oz.||$3|
|Discount||1.52||1.99 / each||0.15 per oz.||3.14|
|Grocery||1.58||0.65 / each||0.15 per oz.||3.8|
On almost ever item, the dollar store beat the others stores, hands down. Remember, these were compared based on the same brand and size.
Now, I don't know about you – but I do not shop the dollar stores perhaps as much as I should. For me, it's a convenience factor. Dollar stores aren't known for selling meat and dairy – so I'd have to make several trips if I shopped them consistently.
(BTW: Dollar stores are a great place to find knick-knacky stuff you can find for Easter celebrations! Hint-hint.)
Have you found the dollar stores to be cheaper on most items as well?