This Is How Dollar Stores Actually Make Money

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Shopping at dollar stores is great. You need something cheap, you run in, you grab it and you’re on your way home, with tons of money still in your pocket.

But have you ever looked around at all those $1 price tags and wondered how this place even stays in business? They don’t ever seem to raise their prices to keep up with inflation like other businesses do — what gives?

The answer is actually surprisingly interesting. You see, dollar stores aren’t actually the best places to score deals on household items. This is because it’s almost always cheaper to buy something in a large quantity or supply, like what you’re able to find at Sam’s Club or Costco.

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Though dollar store prices may seem cheap, that’s because you’re only getting a tiny amount or quantity of a product. The stores capitalize on this higher per-unit cost.

This becomes even more confusing to suss out when a small amount or quantity of a product is sold in the same size box or container as that of a large quantity.

A 15-foot tube of aluminum foil sold at a dollar store comes packaged in the same size box as a 75-foot roll.

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All of this makes the dollar store strategy feel kind of icky.


Because some people can only afford to buy tiny quantities of things at a time. If you’re poor or just barely making ends meet, you may have to buy just a few rolls of toilet paper at a time because you can’t afford to spend $25 on a jumbo pack at Sam’s Club, even though that jumbo pack is cheaper when you break down the cost per roll.

What’s your favorite way to save money while shopping for groceries or household items?

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments!