Ever wonder whether the dollar store really has better prices on everyday purchases than Walmart, or any number of drugstores and supermarkets?
Off-beat personal finance blogger Len Penzo wanted to get to the bottom of this so badly that, even though he hates shopping, he headed out on multiple stealth shopping missions. The results are mixed, with his dollar store (actually a 99¢ Only) beating out the competition for best prices on items such as razor blades, tissues, batteries, and Goldfish crackers. Walmart, on the other hand, had the lowest prices on chili powder, two-liter bottles of soda, and socks.
Unfortunately, because prices change so quickly and sales come and go, it is unwise to assume that one or another of these stores will always have the best prices on tissues, soda, or anything else. To confirm you’re getting the best deal on these and other goods, you’ve got to do your own shopping missions.
If there is one broad conclusion to be drawn here, it’s this: The mainstream supermarket (in Penzo’s case, Albertson’s) and drugstore (Rite Aid) almost never had the best prices in Penzo’s stealth shopping experiments, which should serve as a reminder of the good values to be had at dollar stores and Walmart.