The Real Difference Between Dollar Tree and Dollar General

Despite their names being so similar, these stores actually have one huge difference when it comes to your shopping experience.

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The dollar store is the perfect place to go to pick up some cheap party supplies or that other roll of paper towels. Chances are, you’ll leave the store having spent less than ten dollars. If you find yourself spending a little more than expected, it might be because you’re not actually at a “true” dollar store. (Pro tip: Find out everything else dollar store employees aren’t telling you.)

That’s right, despite the name, not all dollar stores sell every item in the store for just a dollar or less. Dollar Tree is an actual dollar store, but Dollar General is not. Even though Dollar General has the word “dollar” in its name, everything in the store doesn’t go for a buck; their merchandise is just low priced. Family Dollar is another chain that sells items for over a dollar. Even though the price tag is tempting, make sure you never, ever buy these items from the dollar store.

Whichever store you choose to shop at, you’ll still be getting a deal than you would for the same items at Walmart or Target. Just remember to look for “Tree” on the storefront before you go in expecting to snag those dollar deals. Next, check out these things you can buy on Amazon for less than a dollar.

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Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is an Associate Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She writes for, helps lead the editorial relationship with our partners, manages our year-round interns, and keeps the hundreds of pieces of content our team produces every month organized. In her free time, she likes exploring the seacoast of Maine where she lives and works remotely full time and snuggling up on the couch with her corgi, Eggo, to watch HGTV or The Office.