Dollar Tree vs. Family Dollar: Where To Go for Top Household Items

"Miles and Miles of shelves of no-name stationary products, candles, flowers, summer items.
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You’re on a budget, so as a savvy shopper, you try to find all the household items you need at Dollar Tree or Family Dollar. Both stores offer great deals, but you feel like one might have better savings opportunities than the other.

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GOBankingRates wants to help you figure this out once and for all, so we compared the costs of 10 common household items at both stores. Here’s what we found.

Bounty Essentials Paper Towels

Dollar Tree: $1.25 per 40-sheet roll

Family Dollar: $5.75 for six 83-sheet rolls

The better deal here is clearly at Family Dollar, as the cost per double roll is just $0.96 cents. It’s also worth noting that you can purchase just one package of Bounty Essentials Printed Select-a-Size Paper Towels, containing six big rolls. This isn’t the case at Dollar Tree, where you are required to purchase a minimum of 30 rolls of paper towels (if ordering online).

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Charmin Essentials Toilet Paper

Dollar Tree: $1.25 for one 451-sheet single-ply mega roll

Family Dollar: $5.35 for six 176-sheet two-ply rolls

Speaking strictly by price, Dollar Tree has the better value. While the Family Dollar option works out to $0.89 per roll, the 451-sheet roll offered at Dollar Tree is two-and-half-times larger.

Despite that, many people strongly favor two-ply, so it’s largely a matter of preference. Plus, it’s worth noting that the minimum purchase at Dollar Tree is 36 rolls if ordering online, which equals $45.

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Dawn Dish Soap

Dollar Tree: $1.25

Family Dollar: $1.25

The only difference between the 7-ounce bottles of Dawn dish soap at the two stores is Family Dollar offers an original scent, while Dollar Tree has apple blossom and orange scents. However, for online orders, you’re required to purchase at least 18 bottles at Dollar Tree — totaling $22.50 — but only 12 at Family Dollar — totaling $15.

Cascade Complete Dishwasher Detergent

Dollar Tree: $5

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Family Dollar: $5.50

Both stores offer the same 60-ounce bottle of Cascade Complete Gel Dishwasher Detergent in Fresh Scent, but Dollar Tree has the better price. The minimum required purchase quantity for both stores is six, so be prepared to stock up.

Gain Fabric Softener

Dollar Tree: $1.25 for a 10-ounce bottle

Family Dollar: $4.45 for a 41-ounce bottle

When broken down per ounce, Gain Original Scent Fabric Softener costs $0.13 cents per ounce at Dollar Tree and $0.11 per ounce at Family Dollar. The latter is cheaper overall, but if spending less at the register is your goal, you’re required to purchase 12 bottles at Dollar Tree — totaling $15 — and six at Family Dollar — totaling $26.70.

Tide Laundry Detergent

Dollar Tree: $1.25

Family Dollar: $1

Both stores offer a 10-ounce bottle of Tide Simply Clean and Fresh Liquid Laundry Detergent, but Family Dollar has a better price. You’re required to purchase 12 bottles at both stores, with Dollar Tree totaling $15 and Family Dollar totaling $12.

Ajax Powder Cleanser With Bleach

Dollar Tree: $1.25

Family Dollar: $1

A 28-ounce container of Ajax Powder Cleanser is offered at both stores, but Family Dollar has the better price. Plus, there’s no minimum purchase requirement at Family Dollar, so if you only need one, that’s all you have to get.

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Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

Dollar Tree: $1.25 per scrubber

Family Dollar: $3.50 for a box of three scrubbers

Though slightly different styles, both stores offer this essential household cleaning product — Dollar Tree sells Mr. Clean Original Magic Erasers and Family Dollar Sells Mr. Clean Original Magic Erasers With Durafoam. Technically speaking, Family Dollar has the lower price, as the per-unit cost for each scrubber is $1.17.

However, Family Dollar requires you to purchase seven boxes online, which totals $24.50. On the other hand, Dollar Tree has a minimum purchase requirement of 12 scrubbers, for a total of $15.

Hefty Ultra Strong Trash Bags

Dollar Tree: $5 for a 25-count box

Family Dollar: $6 for a 20-count box

When it comes to Hefty Ultra Strong Fabuloso Scent 13-Gallon Kitchen Drawstring Bags, Dollar Tree is the place to shop. Breaking the cost down, you’ll pay $0.20 per bag at Dollar Tree and $0.30 per bag at Family Dollar. Dollar Tree also only requires you to purchase one box, while Family Dollar has a minimum purchase requirement of six boxes, which amounts to $36.

Disinfecting Wipes

Dollar Tree: $5 for an 80-count container of Lysol Wipes

Family Dollar: $6 for a 75-count container of Clorox Wipes

Unless you have a preference for Clorox, Dollar Tree has the better deal on disinfecting wipes. You’ll pay $0.08 per wipe for Clorox Citrus Scent Wipes at Family Dollar, compared with $0.06 per wipe for Lysol Lemon and Lime Blossom Disinfecting Wipes at Dollar Tree. However, you only have to purchase one container of Clorox wipes at Family Dollar, while the minimum purchase requirement for Lysol wipes at Dollar Tree is six, for a grand total of $30.

Conclusions

Essentially, both stores offer great deals. Which one to shop at largely depends on whether or not you want to buy in bulk online, or if you’ll be able to visit in-store.

While both stores often have minimum purchase requirements, several items above do not. Therefore, it’s best to make a list and comparison shop at both retailers before deciding which store to visit.

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About the Author

Jennifer Taylor is a West Coast-based freelance writer with more than a decade of experience writing about anything and everything. Since earning her MBA, personal finance has been her favorite topic, as she’s passionate about writing stories that educate, inform and empower. Specifically, she specializes in budgeting, debt repayment, savings and retirement.
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