NewsSmart Shopper


Do You Really Get a Deal at the Dollar Store?

Posted at 10:32 AM, Dec 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-09 12:24:47-05

dollar treeGRAND RAPIDS, Mich.- In a store like Dollar Tree, where everything is ONLY  a dollar, how could you possibly go wrong? As the Smart Shopper here at FOX17, I purchased 32 items, ranging from travel toothpaste for stockings to gift bags all the way to Betty Crocker Au Gratin box potatoes,  to see just how hard or easy it would be to compare prices. What I found, for the most part, is that you are pretty safe with the items that I purchased. However, there were a couple of cases where you need to be cautious.

I kept holiday parties and gift giving in mind when I picked out my items. Some very helpful FREE apps that I downloaded onto my phone helped along the way, too. These apps allowed you to scan the bar code in the store, and they would compare prices to those in nearby stores or even on the internet. However, what I found, is that Dollar Tree has items made specifically for them, so in some cases, I had to start coming weekly ads.

Useful apps to use:

Here is what I consider a deal for $1:(please note that I am comparing most notable items)


  • Festive 20 ct. holiday napkins/18 count plates:( Big Lots has 40 ct. for $3.50)
  • 4.7 oz. box of Betty Crocker Au Gratin potatoes (Meijer’s cost: $1.50)
  • 19 oz. can of Vegetable Progresso soup (CVS: 2/$2.50 with a coupon)
  • Bounty DuraTowel, 42, 2 ply sheets: (Target: $1.99)


  • 7 pk.  of mid-sized shatterproof ornaments
  • 2 rolls Scotch Transparent Tape 3/4″(Dollar General: $1.50)
  • 9 ft. roll of 2.4 inch wire-edge ribbon: (various craft stores have it on sale, often, so be aware of deeper discounts elsewhere)
  • 3 oz. Soy jar candles (Dollar General: $3.00)
  • Various gift bag sizes: (Big Lots also has great deals on these this week)


  • 4.5 oz. Palmer Peppermint Bark Bar (O’Ryans Village online: $1.49 on sale)
  • 48 piece mini Lisa Frank puzzles: (Ebay starting at $3.49)
  • 4 oz. Reusable Tootsie Roll bank filled with Tootsie Rolls: (Walmart cost: $2.00)


  • 20 sq. ft. of wrapping paper: (Please note that this does not go very far)
  • Lindor 1.3 oz. milk chocolate truffles:(CVS: .74 cents this week)
  • 5 ct. decorative tissue paper: (Dollar Tree has 25 ct. basic colors for $1)
  • 9 oz. box Mrs. Fields yellow cupcakes mix, yields 12:(Walmart has Duncan Hines for $1.13, makes 24 cupcakes)