When you stroll into a dollar store with a wad full of singles and everything on the shelf is a buck, it might seem like there's no way you can't get a bargain. Food is a huge part of the sales formula for dollar stores, after all, and while they might not be what most people think of when they picture a grocery store, they actually sell more food than Whole Foods — though, let's be honest, you can probably expect a lot less of it to be labeled "artisan."
A lot of what makes up dollar stores' food sales would fall under the snack category, but it turns out that grabbing chips from the dollar store shelf may not be such a score after all.
Are dollar store chips a good deal?
Money Crashers set out to see just how great the deals were when it came to food at a typical dollar store and noticed pretty quickly that customers weren't getting all that much bang for their buck. That bag of Doritos, Lay's, or some other name brand chip just isn't going to have much in it. On an ounce-by-once basis, the chips sold at dollar stores for $1 don't compare well with what you might pay at a grocery store. Basically, dollar store chips are just as bad of a deal as buying chips at a gas station — which, by the way, isn't a good deal on your dollar either (via Popular Mechanics).
Need more proof that your dollar doesn't go too far when it comes to buying chips at a dollar store? Consider a bag of Takis Fuego chili Hot Chile Pepper and Lime chips. At Dollar Tree, a bag might only set you back $1, but you're only getting 3.2 ounces – barely a handful. At Walmart, a bag of the same flavored Takis will cost you $2.68, but you're getting 9.9 ounces. Dollar Tree charges you 31 cents per ounce, while Walmart only charges 27 cents per ounce. (And depending on where you live, that Walmart price might be as low as 20 cents per ounce, while the dollar store is still charging $1, regardless of location).
Just something to think about next time you're searching for crumbs in the bottom of that bag of dollar store Takis.