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Knowing what NOT to buy at Dollar Tree is the key to snagging $1.25 finds the smart way. Yes, if you can believe it, some Dollar Tree deals are actually bad deals — compared to what you’ll get at other retailers.
You don’t want to get sucked into buying smaller-sized items or generic brands at Dollar Tree and end up paying more than you would for a larger size elsewhere. Some items are even cheaper at regular prices at other stores when you compare them to Dollar Tree.
Here’s a list of 10 items you should NEVER buy at Dollar Tree because you can buy them for cheaper somewhere else.
Psst — don’t forget to use our tips for an amazing Dollar Tree haul for even smarter ways to shop!
1. Never buy colored pencils from Dollar Tree — they’re more expensive than Walmart.
Dollar Tree school supplies can save you a bundle when you grab the basics like scissors and calculators. But when it comes to colored pencils, never buy them from Dollar Tree. Instead, go to Walmart — they’ve got larger packs of name-brand colored pencils for a lower cost per pencil. And you’ll save even more with a coupon!
TIP: Don’t forget your Crayola coupons when you shop for colored pencils and crayons!
2. Avoid buying the generic Dollar Tree “Vaseline.”
A 3.53-ounce tub of petroleum jelly from Dollar Tree is $1.25. But you can buy a larger tub of Equate petroleum jelly from Walmart for just $1. So don’t buy the generic “Vaseline” brand from Dollar Tree. Instead, go with Walmart’s Equate brand for a better deal.
3. Never buy sugar from Dollar Tree — you’ll get four times the sugar at Walmart for less per pound.
At Dollar Tree, one pound of sugar for $1.25 is a bad deal. Especially when you can buy four pounds of sugar for just $2.84 at Walmart.
Dollar Tree sugar might seem like a good idea, but you can get four times as much for less than $1 per pound if you shop at Walmart instead.
4. Don’t buy AAA batteries from Dollar Tree — buy them from Amazon when they go on sale.
Dollar Tree AAA batteries usually come in a pack of four, so for $1.25 a pack, you’re paying about $0.31 per battery. This may seem like a good deal, but it actually isn’t. Not when you can buy Amazon Basics AAA batteries for just $0.07 per battery when they’re on sale!
5. Never buy Crest toothpaste from Dollar Tree — buy it from Walgreens when there’s a sale and a coupon.
Toothpaste prices are ridiculous, but buying Crest toothpaste from Dollar Tree won’t save you as much as you think. Yeah, you’ll pay $1.25 for one tube of Crest, but you can buy it for just $0.25 per tube at Walgreens when you stack a sale price with a coupon and then top it off with a Register Reward.
Related: Dissecting the Battle of Dollar Tree vs. Family Dollar
6. Don’t buy Dollar Tree’s generic soda; look for freebies on name brands instead.
When you can get name-brand soda for free, buying generic-brand soda from Dollar Tree for $1.25 seems like the worst deal ever.
All you have to do is wait for a sale and a BonusCash offer from Rite Aid to score 2-liter sodas (like Pepsi and MTN Dew) for free. Here’s what that looks like:
7. Never buy shampoo from Dollar Tree; you can actually MAKE money when you buy it from Walgreens.
A shampoo moneymaker from Walgreens puts Dollar Tree prices to shame. Instead of paying $1.25 per bottle of generic-brand shampoo at Dollar Tree, you can walk out of Walgreens with two free bottles of Garnier Fructis and an extra $0.78 in your pocket. To snag this Walgreens moneymaker, stack a coupon, promo code, and a Walgreens Cash offer like this:
8. Don’t buy hand soap from Dollar Tree — you can buy four bottles for less than $2 at Walgreens.
A 7.5-ounce bottle of Softsoap for $1.25 at Dollar Tree is a bad deal. Why? Because you can buy the same bottle for less than $0.40 at Walgreens when you stack, stack, stack those coupons.
9. Never buy Carmex lip balm at Dollar Tree — you’ll save $0.27 on each at Walmart.
Walmart sells three packs of Carmex tubes and jars that are cheaper than a single Carmex from Dollar Tree. You’ll pay just $0.98 per Carmex at Walmart, compared to $1.25 per Carmex at Dollar Tree.
10. And finally, don’t buy garlic powder at Dollar Tree — buy it at Walmart to save $0.21 per ounce.
Walmart’s store-brand garlic powder isn’t just cheaper than Dollar Tree’s, but you get more out of it. So don’t buy a 2.5-ounce container for $1.25 at Dollar Tree. Instead, you can get a 3.4-ounce container for $1 at Walmart.
What’s something you’ve learned NOT to buy at Dollar Tree? Leave it in the comments below!