Shoppers Flock to Dollar Stores

By: Kaydee Ambas · February 06, 2023 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Prices on the Rise

Traditional personal finance wisdom will tell you that you can save money by buying groceries and eating at home. But with grocery prices up 10% on average last year, even eating at home can be prohibitively expensive these days. Prices for key staples like eggs and butter are up 60% and 31%, respectively.

With this in mind, shoppers are starting to visit dollar stores to buy their groceries at a discount.

Capitalizing on the Trend

More than 20% of Americans reportedly buy groceries from stores like Dollar General (DG) or Dollar Tree (DLTR). These discount chains have already started to lean into this trend by expanding their grocery offerings to include larger refrigerated sections, healthier foods, and more fresh produce.

Even if you don’t want to buy fruit or vegetables from a dollar store, it can still be a great place to stock up on non-perishables like rice, pasta, and beans.

Ways to Save

When it comes to optimizing your grocery budget, dollar store shopping is only one way to save. Here are four more strategies you can use:

•   Divide and conquer. Different stores tend to offer cheaper prices for different goods or different coupons. For example, you can buy your canned goods from a dollar store, but your produce from other cheap chains like Walmart (WMT) or Trader Joe’s. By visiting different stores, you can get a feel for which products to buy from where.

•   Brand name or no name? Generic brand or private label products tend to be 10-30% cheaper than name brand products. However, brand name products are more likely to go on sale. Be sure to compare the prices of both options.

•   Buy in bulk. You almost always get a cheaper price per unit when you buy more. It may seem counterintuitive, but spending more money upfront to buy non-perishable goods from wholesalers like Costco (COST) can yield significant savings throughout the month.

•   Leverage cashback. Credit cards or apps like Ibotta and Checkout 51 are great ways to earn cash back and subsidize your grocery bill.

On the bright side for consumers, inflation has decreased over the past few months. Hopefully it will continue to, and prices along with it.For now, these tips can help.

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