Shopping on the cheap: Dollar Tree prices vs. Walgreens, other stores'
Mike Moffitt, SFGATE Facebook Twitter Email57
In San Francisco —a city where the median 1-bedroom rent easily exceeds $3,000, where a coffee and even toast can sell for $4 — dollar stores offer some sanctuary from rampaging prices.
It's no secret that you can save a lot at stores like Dollar Tree and Dollar General, but not every item for sale is a great or even a good deal.
Some products are exactly the same as those sold at supermarkets or drugstores. They're the easy ones.More for you
Judging the value of generic items is more difficult. Does the low price merit buying an item of less quality? Would buying a better product in bulk at a big-box store be a better deal, even if you have to make more room for storage?
One good thing about a dollar store is that it costs only a buck to try out a new item. So that can of mackerel that seemed like a good deal actually tasted like carp marinated in paint thinner. It's a cheap lesson learned.
We decided to take a look at random items sold at Dollar Tree and compare them to other stores' prices, especially Walgreens'. The dollar store deals were then given one of four rankings: Best, Good, Just OK and No Thanks.
Note, store inventories change frequently, and some items listed here may not be available at all stores.Written ByMike Moffitt
Reporter Mike Moffitt has been writing and editing stories for newspapers and news websites for more than 25 years. Before joining the SFGate team, he worked at the San Francisco Examiner, Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette. He covers news, politics, science, sports, outdoors and Bay Area history.