Are The Dollar Stores Really Cheaper? - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/4/04 - Tyler

Are The Dollar Stores Really Cheaper?

From the "Family Dollar" stores to the "Dollar Tree", they promise the consumer lower prices. But can you really save some big bucks by shopping at the dollar stores instead of Wal-mart?

We put them to the test.

"I'm on a budget and it's like shopping reasonable and I find lots of bargains here," says Cynthia.

Dollar stores are trendy but are they really cheaper? To find out we started at the Family Dollar store shopping for products consumers told us they buy at a dollar store. "Detergent, household products, hair products," says Cynthia.

We purchased Alberta VO5 shampoo, Tide with bleach, Sparkle paper towels and Downy fabric softner. Then we went to Wal-mart.  Here's the cost difference.

At Wal-mart the paper towels averaged at $ .62 per roll and Family Dollar was $ .66 per roll. 

But the tide changed with the laundry detergent. Tide with bleach at Wal-mart is $6.50. It's the exact same price at Family Dollar.

There is a pretty significant difference for Downy fabric softner. At Wal-mart it's $4.85 while it's only $4 at Family Dollar.

Remember that shampoo? It's only $ .88 at Wal-mart but it's $1 at both Family Dollar and Dollar Tree.  At the Dollar Tree we found prices are significantly cheaper, they're only a dollar, but there isn't much selection and the quality may not be as good either.  But some consumers say that's a trade off that's just fine by them. "Yeah it's like a little cheaper but it's still. Paper towels are paper towels as long as they clean up," says Brieona Jackobs.

There are some specialty items that are real value for instance birthday items. You can buy decorated plates 20 for a $1 or even gift bags for just $1. Wal-mart's prices usually aren't that low.

Amy Tatum reporting.

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