Dollar Tree vs. Family Dollar: A Wallet-Friendly Comparison

Cover Dollar Tree Vs Family Dollar

As inflation continues to affect consumers’ budgets, many are on the lookout for the best places to find affordable deals on various items, including household goods, art supplies, and even food. The Dollar Store and Family Dollar have been long-standing go-to options for budget-conscious shoppers.

For certain items, from household goods to art supplies and even food, The Dollar Store and Family Dollar have long been affordable sources of necessities. But what’s the difference between these stores? Can you actually get a better deal at one over the other? With the help of several experts, we took a look at four main categories: Price, selection, coupons and location.

Dollar Tree Vs. Family Dollar 1


A lesser-known fact is that Dollar Tree acquired Family Dollar stores in 2015, resulting in a pricing alignment between the two. According to Nick Drewe, CEO of Wethrift, an eCommerce platform focusing on online consumer savings, “with both stores under the same umbrella, there aren’t significant pricing disparities between them.” However, there are nuances. Dollar Tree’s standard price for most items has shifted from one dollar to $1.25. They have also introduced “Dollar Tree Plus” products in the $3-5 range over the past year.

Drewe points out that Family Dollar often leans toward generic brands, providing them an edge. Dollar Tree, on the other hand, has traditionally maintained lower prices by offering products in smaller quantities. For shoppers looking to buy in standard quantities, Family Dollar may offer more cost-efficient options than having to purchase multiple smaller items.

In 2021, a price comparison conducted by The Penny Hoarder found that Family Dollar offered slightly lower prices than Dollar Tree for various products, including toilet paper, body wash, canned vegetables, pasta, laundry detergent, coffee, and cereal. Even brand-name items were slightly cheaper at Family Dollar, a conclusion echoed in a comparison by ABC affiliate WCPO of three dollar store chains, including Dollar General.

Dollar Tree Vs. Family Dollar 2


The decision on which store is more budget-friendly may not be straightforward, says Jane Kallinger of, a blogger and crafter who regularly shops for materials at these stores. Dollar Tree offers a broader range of products for a single dollar, while Family Dollar has a more limited selection but often features sales and discounts.

Ultimately, the better choice for your wallet depends on your specific needs and budget. Dollar Tree excels for generic items, while Family Dollar is the preferred option for those seeking name brands.

According to Kallinger, both Dollar Tree and Family Dollar provide substantial savings on craft supplies. However, Family Dollar stands out by offering a more diverse selection, including high-end craft supplies suitable for more sophisticated projects. Additionally, Family Dollar frequently offers sales on craft items, while Dollar Tree does not, making it the better choice for craft enthusiasts seeking deals.


Kallinger highlights that Family Dollar has a loyalty program that offers additional savings. They also frequently accept manufacturer coupons, digital coupons, and occasionally provide their own store coupons, along with weekly ad deals and special promotions. These opportunities allow customers to maximize their savings at Family Dollar.

In contrast, Dollar Tree typically does not accept manufacturer coupons since their products are already priced at one dollar. Nevertheless, they may occasionally offer store-specific coupons or participate in limited-time promotions. These discounts are typically tied to specific sales events rather than coupon-based savings.

Dollar Tree Vs. Family Dollar 3


While a couple of Dollar Tree locations may not represent the whole, Business Insider toured Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores to compare selection and layout and location details.

The Dollar Tree stores were often messy, with sloppy displays and crowded with unpacked boxes in the aisles that made it hard to walk by. Family Dollar was similarly messy, though less so than the Dollar Tree, and they found more items priced over $1 (this was 2019 before Dollar Tree began raising prices).

Kallinger said the kinds of available items can vary by location. And now, trying out a new strategy, the parent company has opened over 400 combo Family Dollar/Dollar Tree locations in case you want to comparison shop at the same location. (Just for comparison, as of December 2022, the United States had approximately 8,300 Family Dollar stores, whereas Dollar Tree had slightly over 7,800 locations.)

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