Generally, Dollar Tree products rock. But the sneaky little thing about Dollar Tree is that some things you should never buy, because they’re actually more expensive than what you’d find at Walmart.

And some Dollar Tree items can’t even compete with what you’d pay for the same items after coupons at a drugstore. Dollar Tree is hoping you won’t notice.

The key to shopping smart at Dollar Tree is knowing what to scoop up and what to avoid.

Download the KCL app and we’ll tell you when we see a deal you should jump on, and in the meantime, here’s a short list of discount offenders at Dollar Tree.

 

1. Avoid generic crayons — they’re twice as expensive as Crayola.

Dollar Tree can be a good place to find some school supplies, like calculators and scissors. But watch out for items that are actually cheaper at other stores. Crayons fit into this category as Dollar Tree doesn’t even sell Crayola, so we are comparing Dollar Tree’s generic crayons to Walmart’s Crayola crayons, and Walmart is cheaper!

Crayola coupons

 

2. Don’t buy Crest toothpaste — buy it using a coupon at Walgreens instead.

You can use coupons at Dollar Tree and sometimes that results in a sweet deal, but sometimes item quantities at Dollar Tree make it so a coupon is unusable. For example, if you have a toothpaste coupon for $5 off 3, but in order to use the coupon, your toothpaste has to be 3 ounces or more in size, you won’t be able to use it on Crest at Dollar Tree that’s only 2.9 ounces.

In this case, it’d be better to use the coupon with a store promotion at a drugstore like Walgreens to beat Dollar Tree’s prices. With a coupon, Walgreen’s price beats Dollar Tree’s. Here’s an example of a toothpaste deal.

Buy 3 Crest Pro Health Advanced Whitening Toothpaste 5.1 ounces $3.99, sale price
Buy 3, receive $5 Register Reward
Use one $5/3 – Crest Adult Toothpaste 3 ounces or more, Mouthwash 16 oz or larger (walgreens.com)
Pay $6.97, receive $5 Register Reward
Final Price: $0.66 each, when you buy 3 (or $0.04 per ounce)
  • Dollar Tree’s Crest Toothpaste, 2.9 ounces: $0.34 per ounce

 

3. Run past the generic saltine crackers.

I mean it. Dollar Tree’s saltines are half the size (only two packages of crackers instead of four) and almost twice the price of Walmart’s generic saltines.

Cracker coupons

 

 

4. Buy garlic powder at Walmart instead of Dollar Tree for savings up to $0.10 per ounce.

 

 

5. Avoid Dollar Tree’s generic soda and save yourself $0.25.

If you’re buying generic soda, don’t assume it’s cheaper at Dollar Tree. Walmart generic soda beats Dollar Tree’s price pretty handily.

Soda coupons

 

RELATED: Walmart vs. Dollar Tree: Which Store Sells the Cheapest Name Brands

 

6. Skip Dollar Tree’s generic shave gel and get Edge brand with coupons at Target instead.

Whenever you can get a brand name item cheaper than generic with coupons, you should absolutely do it!

Sure, this is only a couple cents savings, but remember, you’re getting a way better brand of shave gel too.

Buy 2 Edge Shave Gel, 7 ounces $2.99, regular price
Use two $1/1 – Edge, Skintimate, Hydro or Schick Xtreme Gel (coupons.com)
And submit one $1.50/2 – Edge Shave Gel Can 7 ounces (ibotta.com)
Pay $3.98, submit for $1.50 Ibotta credit
Final Price: $1.24 each, when you buy 2 (or $0.17 per ounce)
  • Dollar Tree Assured Shave Gel, 5 ounces: $0.20 per ounce

Shaving cream coupons

 

7. Do not stock up on Softsoap hand soap at Dollar Tree.

Buy your Softsoap at Walmart and save a nickel per ounce over Dollar Tree. Have Softsoap coupons? Even better.

 

 

8. Avoid Dollar Tree pacifiers and save yourself $0.50 each.

Some baby items are a good deal, for example if you have Gerber coupons or Beechnut coupons you can use at Dollar Tree.

But don’t bother with Dollar Tree pacifiers. Walmart offers a 2-pack that comes out to half the price of Dollar Tree pacifiers.

Baby deals

 

9. Don’t buy Carmex lip balm at Dollar Tree — you’ll save almost $0.10 each.

Carmex coupons

 

10. Avoid the generic petroleum jelly at Dollar Tree.

You’d think Dollar Tree prices would be reliable for generic items, but nope, not always!

 

RELATED: Things You Should Always Buy at Dollar Tree

 

11. Even C&H granulated sugar is cheaper at Walmart than at Dollar Tree.

Sugar coupons

 

12. Don’t buy General Mills cereal at Dollar Tree, buy it at CVS instead.

When you’ve got cereal coupons, use them at a store like CVS instead of paying $1 for 3.4 ounces of cereal at Dollar Tree, which sells a much smaller box of cereal than regular grocery stores. Here’s what a Cocoa Puffs, a General Mills brand of cereal comes out to at both stores. I’m giving an example of a coupon deal from CVS so you can see how I got the price per ounce.

Buy 2 Cocoa Puffs, 11.8 ounces $1.99, sale price
Use one $1/2 – General Mills Cereal, CVS L2C Manufacturer Coupon (cvs.com)
Final Price: $1.49 each, when you buy 2 (or $0.13 per ounce)
  • Dollar Tree Cocoa Puffs, 3.4 ounces : $0.29 per ounce

 

 

13. Don’t buy generic powdered coffee creamer at Dollar Tree.

Creamer coupons

 

Don’t scroll up! Here are the articles mentioned:

Walmart vs. Dollar Tree: Which Store Sells the Cheapest Name Brands
Things You Should Always Buy at Dollar Tree

 

UP NEXT: Find out all of KCL’s money-saving secrets!

13 Dollar Tree Products You Should Never Buy