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Dollar Tree and Dollar General might sound the same. But if you go into both stores hoping that everything will cost just $1, you’ll surely be disappointed.
Whether your goal is to get the absolute lowest prices, use tons of coupons, shop fresh produce, or even score free delivery, let me show you how these two stores compare. Both Dollar General and Dollar Tree have a lot in common, but there are some noteworthy differences, too.
Use this guide to decide which store — Dollar Tree vs. Dollar General — will be your new go-to for everything on your list.
For more smart shopping tips and savings hacks, text HACKS to 57299.
1. Dollar Tree sells most items for $1.25, while Dollar General offers only a tiny selection of $1 items.
What’s the biggest difference between Dollar Tree and Dollar General? Price.
Dollar Tree prices almost everything at $1.25.
On the other hand, Dollar General only has a small selection of items priced at $1 (in their $1 aisle), but almost everything else is under $10. You can even find a few items at Dollar General for over $20, like Rachael Ray dog food for $21.50.
So in case you’re wondering, Dollar General isn’t a dollar store at all. It’s more comparable to Family Dollar — which is Dollar Tree’s more expensive sister store.
Related: Want to cut through the clutter and jump to only the hottest deals at each store? Check out these handpicked Dollar Tree and Dollar General deals.
2. Check Dollar General’s $1 aisle — it’s cheaper than Dollar Tree and similar to Target’s Dollar Spot.
Dollar General has their own version of Target’s Dollar Spot. But everything in the Dollar General aisle is marked at $1 or less. Which beats even the $1.25 price you’ll find when shopping at Dollar Tree.
But don’t expect to find as many cute seasonal items in the $1 aisle as you’d find at Target’s Dollar Spot. The Dollar General $1 aisle has more practical everyday items on your list, like snacks, toiletries, and household items. Check out DG’s current Dollar Deals to see what I mean.
TIP: Many of the $1 items at Dollar General are only trial size, meaning they’re smaller than what you’d find in a typical store selection. Some of the items, like Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix, are marked less than $1 at just $0.75.
3. Use manufacturer coupons at either store to get items under $1.
You can use manufacturer coupons at either store to score items for under $1.
For example, if you have a $0.50 off Colgate Toothpaste coupon and the item costs $1.25, you’ll get it for $0.75.
TIP: Always read the coupon’s fine print. Manufacturer coupons often exclude certain sizes. So if your item is a trial size or just a seemingly unusual size — like many of the Dollar General $1 products or Dollar Tree’s brand-name products — then your coupon might not work.
4. The Dollar General app lets you clip digital coupons to stack with manufacturer coupons.
The Dollar General app is free to download and is where you’ll find all the coupons to stack with other savings.
The DG app works similarly to the Target Circle app. You can either add product-specific DG coupons or just scan barcodes of whatever is in your cart to search for deals.
Dollar General coupons can be stacked with manufacturer coupons as long as there isn’t an exemption listed in the fine print.
Look for a $5 off $25 to use every Saturday at Dollar General. The coupon is only valid on Saturdays and will be printed at the bottom of a receipt or found in your Dollar General app.
Looking for the easiest way to keep manufacturer coupons on hand? Just download the free The Krazy Coupon Lady app.
TIP: You can’t use any coupons at all when using DoorDash for Dollar General delivery.
5. Dollar Tree makes you print out your manufacturer coupons before shopping.
Dollar Tree wants manufacturer coupons printed. You can easily print manufacturer coupons right off our site or check our current Dollar Tree Deals to plan your trip.
Dollar Tree accepts up to two Internet coupons per person per day and up to four manufacturer coupons at a time. Check their full coupon policy here.
The biggest issue you’ll have using coupons at Dollar Tree is finding brand-name items that fit the coupon size requirement. They purposefully avoid stocking shelves with products that fit manufacturer coupon requirements, but there should always be some exceptions.
Bottom line: Always, always, always read the fine print to make sure your item isn’t excluded.
TIP: You can also purchase a newspaper at most Dollar Tree stores for around $1. Then open it up and use all the manufacturer coupons inside.
6. Stack Ibotta rebates with manufacturer coupons for freebies at both Dollar Tree and Dollar General.
Use our favorite rebate app, Ibotta, to get cash back in addition to your manufacturer coupons. DG shoppers can also stack DG app coupons in combination with manufacturer coupons and Ibotta rebates, too.
Ibotta is free to use, and you’ll get even deeper savings by unlocking instant rebates on items you’re already buying.
If you stack the discounts just right, you could even get items for free. For example, if your manufacturer coupon takes an item like mouthwash down to $0.50, and then you get a $0.50 rebate from Ibotta, it’s like getting the item for free.
Related: We can teach you more about Ibotta and some of the other ridiculously easy-to-use rebate apps right here.
7. Shop penny items on Tuesdays at Dollar General.
Penny items are clearance items that should have been pulled from Dollar General shelves. The penny prices are discounted every Tuesday and will most likely be found in the store’s clearance section.
Something you need to know: certain stores or employees won’t even sell these penny items to you, even if you find one on the shelf.
Related: Check out our current list of Dollar General penny items.
8. Score items as low as $0.10 during seasonal clearance sales at Dollar General.
When holiday- or season-specific items are past their prime, Dollar General will clearance the items for up to 90% off.
That means items previously listed for $1 will get marked down to $0.10.
On the other hand, Dollar Tree clearance only gives items a 50% discount, so most items only drop to around $0.63. Still not a bad deal, though.
9. Get the same $1.25 prices delivered when you shop Dollar Tree using Instacart.
Instacart marks up most store items by around 15% – 20%, depending on the retailer. (Costco delivery, I’m looking at you!)
But there’s a little “In-store prices” button next to Dollar Tree on Instacart.
That means you’ll still get that low $1.25 price on your items with no Instacart surcharge. Additional fees include the Instacart service fee — about $3, depending on where you’re located — and a tip for the driver.
TIP: Look for frequent Instacart coupons and promos like free delivery from Dollar Tree to save even more.
10. Use free in-store pickup at Dollar General instead of DoorDash so you can use DG coupons.
Order on your Dollar General app and choose free in-store pickup. You can still stack on your DG app coupons and rebate apps like Ibotta after your purchase.
But know this: manufacturer coupons aren’t accepted with DG pickup.
And if you use DoorDash for same-day delivery, you can’t stack on any coupons at all.
TIP: Once you place a DG in-store pickup order, you only have 30 minutes to cancel the order if needed.
11. Both stores have a refrigerated and frozen food section, but Dollar Tree’s prices are better.
Most frozen items at Dollar Tree are single servings or much smaller than usual but still a great deal at just $1.25.
And even when both stores carry the same frozen item, like Fast Bites Cheeseburgers, the Dollar Tree price is still $1.25. The same item at Dollar General comes in at $1.50.
TIP: If you have a Dollar General Market near you, you’ll have the bonus of fresh foods like produce, meat, dairy, and more refrigerated goods. Take a look at our DG Market deep dive for a look into how lucky you DG Market shoppers are.
12. Ship FedEx packages at Dollar General.
Who doesn’t love killing two birds with one stone with it comes to running errands? You can cross both shopping and shipping off your list when you make a trip to Dollar General.
Just bring your fully sealed FedEx packages to Dollar General and let them handle the rest.
You can also choose to pick up your FedEx packages at your nearest Dollar General. Just present a government-issued ID when you arrive.