Dollar Tree vs. Dollar General: 8 Real Differences Between These Stores

Decoding the dollars and cents of your favorite discount destinations.

paying money at store cash register
Updated May 28, 2024
Fact checked

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

With so many dollar and discount stores competing for the bargain shopper’s attention, it can be difficult to sort out the differences among all these retailers.

Two of the most popular discount retailers, Dollar Tree and Dollar General, each have unique approaches to their businesses. 

Here are some key things that separate the two retailers. So grab your best cash back credit cards and prepare for the ultimate dollar retailer showdown! 

Earn cash back on everyday purchases with this rare account

Want to earn cash back on your everyday purchases without using a credit card? With the Discover®️ Cashback Debit Checking account (member FDIC), you can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month!1

With no credit check to apply and no monthly fees to worry about, you can earn nearly passive income on purchases you’re making anyway — up to an extra $360 a year!

This rare checking account has other great perks too, like access to your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay, no minimum deposit or monthly balance requirements, over 60K fee-free ATMs, and the ability to add cash to your account at Walmart stores nationwide.

Don’t leave money on the table — it only takes minutes to apply and it won’t impact your credit score.

Apply for a Discover Cashback Checking account today


lado2016/Adobe man shopping in supermarket reading product information

Making purchases at a dollar store can be a great way to save money while shopping. While Dollar Tree and Dollar General have “dollar” in their name, prices offer one big difference between the two retailers.

Dollar Tree has always had one flat price for most items in the store. For decades, this price was $1. But in 2021, the retailer announced it was raising the price to $1.25.

On the other hand, Dollar General sells items at prices both below $1 and well above it.


jetcityimage/Adobe parking outside dollar general store

Dollar Tree and the retailer Family Dollar joined forces and became one company in 2015. Today, there are more than 16,000 of these stores in the U.S. and Canada.

In comparison, there are more than 19,000 Dollar General stores in the U.S.


wolterke/Adobe Dollar tree retail exterior and trademark logo

The average store size is another difference between the two retailers. Dollar Tree stores tend to be bigger and range in size between 8,000 to 12,000 square feet.

By comparison, Dollar General stores average 7,400 square feet in total, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Two-thirds of these stores operate as freestanding buildings, with the rest located in strip shopping centers.

Get a protection plan on all your appliances

Did you know if your air conditioner stops working, your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover it? Same with plumbing, electrical issues, appliances, and more.

Whether or not you’re a new homeowner, a home warranty from Choice Home Warranty could pick up the slack where insurance falls short and protect you against surprise expenses. If a covered system in your home breaks, you can call their hotline 24/7 to get it repaired.

For a limited time, you can get your first month free with a Single Payment home warranty plan.

Get a free quote

Brand selection

rocketclips/Adobe customer carrying grocery basket looking for item

Dollar General and Dollar Tree each offer a number of name-brand items, but their selection varies. Dollar General typically has more name-brand and generic groceries than Dollar Tree.


Postmodern Studio/Adobe dollar general mobile app logo

Dollar Tree accepts manufacturer’s coupons, but they’re not a significant aspect of the retailer’s image. Dollar Tree focuses more on in-store specials and weekly ads showing low-priced items.

Dollar General has a whole webpage dedicated to coupons and cash-back deals. This includes coupons for specific brands and items.

What they sell

Yaroslav Astakhov/Adobe process of kneading pizza dough at home using a dough mixer

Dollar Tree prices most items at $1.25. That means products at Dollar Tree are often cheaper than at Dollar General. But just because something is cheaper doesn’t mean it’s always the better deal.

Take a look at each store’s kitchen products, for example. Dollar Tree sells smaller, cheaper items like measuring cups, spoons, and cutting boards. If you need something simple, Dollar Tree might do.

Dollar General, however, has a whole section of kitchen appliances, including hand mixers, coffee pots, blenders, and more. Prices on these items can jump to $20. But if you need more than a simple measuring cup, you might want to check out Dollar General.


Refrina/Adobe dollar tree store

Dollar General officially opened in 1955 in Kentucky, although the founders started wholesaling a few years earlier in 1939.

Dollar Tree didn’t show up in its present form until 1994. The original store that evolved into Dollar Tree was K&K; Toys in Norfolk, Virginia, founded in 1970.


Goffkein/Adobe rich man under money rain

As of the end of July, Dollar Tree reported a 12-month revenue of $29.31 billion. Their revenue increased 7.64% from 2022 to 2023, as well.

On the other hand, Dollar General had a 12-month revenue of $38.81 billion. Revenue increased 10.59% from 2022 to 2023.

Bottom line

Drobot Dean/Adobe cheerful young woman

Knowing the differences between Dollar General and Dollar Tree is interesting — and in some cases, it might help you choose the right store to keep more money in your wallet.

So, look over this list again carefully so you can decide which store is better for you. While one retailer might be a better fit, you'll get a good deal, whichever store you choose.

Discover®️ Cashback Debit Benefits

  • Earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month1
  • No minimum deposit, no minimum balance, and no account fees
  • Access your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay
  • 60K+ fee-free ATMs and make cash deposits at Walmart stores nationwide

Author Details

Lucy Clark

Lucy Clark has considerable experience writing about real estate, as well as homes and gardens, home value, and more. She is savvy and resourceful, and she aims to ensure others can be, as well.