You're likely seeing more and more dollar stores popping up around you, but are they really offering up the top deals?
The ABC15 Investigators wanted to know if they really offer you the best bang for your buck when compared with Walmart.
To find out, we shopped Dollar General, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree, and compared them with the prices at Walmart.
We checked prices on 15 items you might buy every month. We bought toothpaste, soap, cereal, pain relievers, soda and more.
Because packages come in different sizes, we looked at the unit price for a fair comparison and rounded to the nearest penny.
First up, Irish Spring soap. At Dollar General, it's 20 cents per unit, 22 cents at Family Dollar, 20 cents at Walmart. The winner was Dollar Tree at 16 cents a unit.
How about a deal on breakfast? Pop Tarts were 15 cents a unit at Dollar General and Family Dollar, but they're 13 cents at Walmart and just 10 cents a unit at Dollar Tree.
Our unofficial survey found prices similar at all of the stores, with a couple of exceptions.
Take M&Ms as another example. We found them for 59 cents a unit at Dollar Tree, 26 cents at Dollar General, 77 cents at Family Dollar, and just 24 cents at Walmart.
Crunching the numbers for all 15 items, Family Dollar had the highest prices per unit at 3.69, Dollar Tree the next highest at 3.43, and Dollar General offered the best dollar store prices at 3.12.
But none beat Walmart -- just 2.96 -- for the 15 items we chose.
While Walmart won on price, some say they still prefer the smaller dollar stores because many times they are more convenient and quicker.
Here's our complete list comparing products and prices at dollar stores and Walmart.
Do you find the best prices at dollar stores or Walmart? Email me or "like" my ABC 15 Facebook page and tell me about it there.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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