When To Avoid Shopping at Dollar Tree — and How To Make the Most of Your Trip (2024)

When To Avoid Shopping at Dollar Tree — and How To Make the Most of Your Trip (1)

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Dollar Tree is well-known for its low prices — only $1.25 for most items — and large array of goods. There are also many Dollar Trees throughout the country, with over 16,000 total storefront locations, making it a convenient and accessible store for people to shop at.

If you’re an avid Dollar Tree fan, you might already know that certain times and days of the week are worse to shop at than others. But if you’re not, or if you’re looking for the best time to plan your next shopping trip, here’s what you should know.

Worst Days To Shop at Dollar Tree: Saturdays and Sundays

Weekends tend to be the busiest times to go shopping, and Dollar Tree is no exception. This is primarily due to the fact that most people are off work or out of school, and so they’re running their errands or hitting up the local stores. This leads to more crowds, longer lines and potentially limited stock on the shelves.

“The worst times to shop at the Dollar Tree are during weekends, particularly in the afternoons,” said Andrew Latham, certified financial planner, managing editor at SuperMoney. “Saturdays and Sundays tend to be the busiest days when families and shoppers flock to the store. This can lead to crowded aisles, longer checkout lines and a higher likelihood of items being out of stock.”

Best Days To Shop at Dollar Tree: Weekdays

If you have some flexibility in your schedule, you may want to hit the Dollar Tree during the weekdays. Just avoid going in the late afternoon.

“Late afternoons on weekdays can be hectic due to people shopping after work or school, so it’s best to avoid those times if you prefer a more relaxed shopping environment,” Latham said.

Instead, go when the kids are still at school or people haven’t yet left their workplaces. This can help you avoid crowds and shop without feeling hassled or like you need to rush.

“The best times to shop at the Dollar Tree are typically during weekdays, especially in the morning. If you can manage to go early in the week, that’s even better,” Latham said.

If you’re looking for fully stocked shelves, you might want to go early in the week, as well.

“On Monday or Tuesday mornings, you’ll likely find the store well-stocked and organized from the weekend rush,” Latham said. “This means you’ll have a better chance of snagging the best deals and discovering new arrivals before they get picked over. Additionally, mornings are generally less crowded, allowing for a more relaxed shopping experience.”

Keep in mind that not all Dollar Tree locations receive their weekly shipments at the same time. Melissa Cid, a consumer savings expert at MySavings.com, added, “My Dollar Tree receives deliveries on Thursdays, so Friday morning is the best time to shop for all the new stock as it gets put out on display.”

Not sure when your local Dollar Tree receives their shipments? Ask the employees.

“It pays to be friendly with your local [Dollar Tree] employees, because shipments can change, and delivery days depend on each individual store,” Cid said.

Ways To Optimize Your Dollar Tree Shopping Trip

Whenever you decide to go shopping, there are several things you can do to prepare for your trip and make sure it goes smoothly. Here are just a few:

Use Coupons and Discount Codes

Even Dollar Tree sometimes has discounts.

“Before you shop at the Dollar Tree, it’s important to check for any applicable coupons or discount codes to ensure you’re getting the best deal,” said Samantha Landau, consumer expert at TopCashback. “Head to the store in advance to pick up a copy of Dollar Tree’s weekly circular, or visit their website… By looking at the items before you shop, you can compare prices and make a shopping list to save money without breaking your budget.”

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When To Avoid Shopping at Dollar Tree — and How To Make the Most of Your Trip (7)

Stick To Your List

Having a shopping list can help you stick to your budget, but it won’t do as much good if you deviate from it.

“Just like any other store, it’s essential to make a shopping list before heading to the Dollar Tree. Stick to your list to avoid impulse purchases,” Latham said.

Cross-Reference Prices

“Shopping at stores like Dollar Tree can lead to substantial savings across a wide range of everyday essentials,” Latham said. While your exact savings will depend on what you buy, here’s an estimate of potential savings, according to Latham:

  • Up to 50% on household essentials
  • Up to 70% on party supplies, like balloons and decorations
  • Up to 40% on basic cleaning supplies
  • Up to 50% on personal care goods, like toothpaste and shampoo
  • Up to 70% on school and office supplies
  • Up to 60% on basic kitchen essentials
  • Up to 40% on pantry staples and snacks
  • Up to 60% on party favors and craft supplies
  • Up to 50% on basic clothing accessories, like hair ties and socks

“Even though you can [get] great deals at Dollar Tree, you can also waste money on things you don’t need or even want,” Latham said. “To maximize savings, consider making a list, check both generic and brand names, compare prices and look out for party supplies, seasonal bargains and kitchen essentials.”

Use a Cash-Back Site

To save money when shopping online, Landau suggested using a cash-back site.

“You can also stack your savings by using the right credit card when you shop,” she said. “Look into the terms of your card’s program to determine which spending categories give you the most rewards.”

Bottom Line

Although every Dollar Tree is different, the weekends are generally the worst time to go shopping, because it’s when most people go. Depending on where you live and when your local store receives its shipments, weekends might also be when the shelves are a little less full.

If you want to avoid the lines and get the most out of your shopping experience, try planning your trip on a weekday afternoon or early in the morning.

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When To Avoid Shopping at Dollar Tree — and How To Make the Most of Your Trip (2024)


When To Avoid Shopping at Dollar Tree — and How To Make the Most of Your Trip? ›

Just avoid going in the late afternoon. “Late afternoons on weekdays can be hectic due to people shopping after work or school, so it's best to avoid those times if you prefer a more relaxed shopping environment,” Latham said. Instead, go when the kids are still at school or people haven't yet left their workplaces.

What is the best day of the week to shop at Dollar Tree? ›

days of the week to hit Dollar Tree are typically Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays.” On these days, Dollar Trees tend to be less crowded, since most people are busy with work or school. Many stores are also restocked over the weekend or Monday, meaning you'll find a greater selection.

What is Dollar Tree's strategy? ›

Dreiling discussed More Choices, the company's multi-price strategy. This strategy calls for expanding the company's multi-price assortment by over 300 items at prices above $1.25 in roughly 3,000 Dollar Tree stores by the end of the year. "Multi-price has never been about raising prices on existing items," he said.

Why do people go to Dollar Tree? ›

It's All About the Thrill of the Hunt!

We're known for our “thrill-of-the-hunt” shopping experience where customers can discover new, exciting items every week, from everyday essentials to fun craft, seasonal, and party merchandise.

Are dollar store items lower quality? ›

Some items are lower in quality

Let's face it -- a doll you buy for $1 isn't going to hold up as well as a $15 doll you buy at a toy store, or from a big-box retailer. So if you're going to shop at dollar stores, you'll need to have realistic expectations about what you're getting.

What is the best day of the week to shop? ›

The cheapest day to shop for groceries

While specific days of the week are best for saving on specific items, the best overall shopping days are Wednesday and Thursday. Bread and beer are typically marked down on Wednesdays, and snacks are often cheapest on Thursdays, according to shopping experts.

How are things so cheap at Dollar Tree? ›

One key approach is bulk buying from suppliers. By purchasing millions of units to distribute across their numerous locations, they can acquire products at a lower cost, similar to the savings Costco offers its customers through bulk purchases. Another method dollar stores use is sourcing liquidated items.

Why is everything 1.25 at Dollar Tree now? ›

According to Yahoo Finance, a $5 price cap was announced in June 2023. The base price had also been raised to $1.25 in 2021. According to Dreiling, the move was made in order to add new products to their shelves.

Why should you shop at the dollar store? ›

You can save money

It's safe to say the majority of dollar store shoppers are there to save money. However, that doesn't mean every item in the store represents the lowest price in town. It pays to have a shopping list and to know how much the items on your list would cost at another nearby store.

Why is Dollar Tree losing money? ›

For fiscal 2023, the company lost $998 million, versus a profit of $1.6 billion in 2022. The key reason for its loss is a $594.4 million charge for portfolio review, a $1.07 billion goodwill impairment charge, and a $950 million trade name impairment charge.

What are the negative effects of dollar stores? ›

Dollar store chains are often cited for serious safety violations. The major chain dollar stores have all been cited numerous times for serious safety violations that endanger workers and shoppers, from exposed electrical wiring to inaccessible emergency exits to serious rodent infestations.

Is it safe to buy ibuprofen at the dollar store? ›

Medications. Think twice about picking up that bottle of ibuprofen, too. “Depending on what the turnover at the dollar store is like, these medications could've been on the shelf for a while, which means they may be close to — or past — their expiration,” Ramhold cautioned.

Are vitamins from the Dollar Tree good? ›

If you buy over-the-counter medicines at Dollar Tree, they'll almost certainly be FDA-approved, even generic brands. These can be good value. However, vitamins and supplements are a different matter -- according to Consumer Reports, there's less regulation around these products.

Are all sales final at Dollar Tree? ›

Without the original receipt, items can be exchanged or refunded at the current scanned price. Refunds and exchanges are not provided for gift cards or prepaid financial cards. For online purchases: All sales are final for orders placed at DollarTree.com.

Are the prices going up at Dollar Tree? ›

Dollar Tree's CEO did say in March the increase will start in 2024 across all stores. "This year, across 3,000 stores, we expect to expand our multi-price assortment by over 300 items at price points ranging from $1.50 to $7," Dollar Tree CEO Rick Dreiling said in the call on March 13.

How do dollar stores keep prices low? ›

Dollar stores buy a lot of inventory at one time so they discounts and can then pass them along to customers. They will also sometimes purchase damaged items that other stores can't sell. However, buyer beware — many items are so cheap because they aren't high quality and will break easily.

How often do you get a raise at Dollar Tree? ›

Dollar Tree gives tiny raises on an annual basis.


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