Recently, we did a comparison of which major grocery chains were the most economical. Walmart came out on top, with the cheapest grocery bill!
With the growing popularity of Dollarama stores for groceries and food, we wanted to analyze the price difference between the two.
What kind of company is Dollarama?
Dollarama is a dollar store-style retailer founded in Montreal in 1910. The company has over 1,525 stores in Canada, mostly in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Quebec.
Dollarama customers are mainly attracted by the store’s low prices and wide range of products. Every store is different. Items for the home, groceries, toys, kitchen tools, etc. change with the seasons and regions. It’s almost a surprise every time you visit!
Consumers can buy in-store or online. Recently, they began a partnership with the AIR MILES loyalty program.
Which is cheaper between Dollarama and Walmart?
For this research, we used a grocery basket with 42 products found at both retailers, comapring the same brands for each product. Prices were collected in person on September 23 and 24, 2023 at Walmart Supercentre and three Dollarama stores in Rosemère and Sainte-Thérèse.
It’s worth noting that food products vary greatly between Dollarama stores, even when they’re located in the same city. In addition, there are smaller formats or quantities that may not be equivalent at Walmart and Dollarama. The price per 100 grams or per 100 ml has therefore been used in the table below.
As always, shoppers need to look at best-before dates and the provenance of the food they are buying.
|Chewy soft bars 5 bars||$ 2.00||$ 2.27|
|Ben’s Original rice sachet(price per 100 g)||$ 1.32||$ 1.39|
|Betty Crocker cake mix or icing||$ 1.75||$ 1.67|
|Breton Crackers||$ 1.75||$ 1.67|
|Oreo cookies(price per 100 g)||$ 1.11||$ 0.92|
|Bear paw cookies (price per bag)||$ 0.50||$ 0.45|
|Earth Own Oats 946 ml||$ 2.50||$ 2.77|
|Campbell’s Chunky Soup||$ 3.00||$ 3.47|
|Cheerios cereals (price per 100 g)||$ 0.86||$ 0.97|
|Harvest Crunch cereals||$ 3.50||$ 4.97|
|Clamato Mott’s(price per 100 ml)||$ 0.21||$ 0.18|
|Clark Baked beans||$ 1.50||$ 1.47|
|Strawberry jam 500 ml||$ 2.25||$ 3.77|
|Rice crackers||$ 1.25||$ 0.97|
|French’s Yellow mustard (price per 100 ml)||$ 0.46||$ 0.62|
|Goldfish Cheddar||$ 3.00||$ 2.67|
|Heinz Organic Ketchup||$ 2.50||$ 6.27|
|Jell-O||$ 0.87||$ 0.97|
|Lemon juice 2 X 125 ml||$ 1.25||$ 2.56|
|Fruitopia or Minute Maid juice 1 L||$ 1.25||$ 1.78|
|KD Original||$ 1.50||$ 1.50|
|Knorr Soup sachet||$ 1.75||$ 1.77|
|Kombucha Remedy (X 4)||$ 9.00||$ 7.97|
|Kraft Peanut Butter 500 g||$ 3.50||$ 4.77|
|Rancher’s Kraft Dressing||$ 3.00||$ 3.00|
|Lays Classique(price per 100 g)||$ 1.67||$ 1.41|
|Miracle Whip (price per 100 ml)||$ 0.68||$ 0.59|
|Miss Vickies (price per 100 g)||$2.14||$ 1.70|
|Montellier sparkling water 1 L||$ 1.00||$ 1.37|
|Ramen noodles 85 g||$ 0.33||$ 0.47|
|Gadoua Moelleux white bread||$ 2.75||$ 3.00|
|Sprinkles Cake decorations||$ 1.75||$ 3.97|
|Pepsi small bottle (price per 100 ml)||$ 0.10||$ 0.42|
|Vachon Cakes||$ 3.50||$ 3.00|
|Poptarts||$ 3.50||$ 3.33|
|Premium Plus crackers 450 g||$ 5.00||$ 4.28|
|Pringles Party Stack(price per 100 g)||$ 1.68||$ 1.75|
|Ritz Original||$ 2.50||$ 2.33|
|Sea salt 1 kg||$ 0.87||$ 0.97|
|Pink Himalayan salt (price per 100 g)||$ 0.28||$ 0.40|
|Starbucks Frappuccino||$ 2.75||$ 3.77|
|Tostitos Salsa||$ 3.75||$ 3.33|
|Total||$ 86.73||$ 97,49|
Dollarama is the winner!
Walmart: $ 97.49
Dollarama: $ 86.73
Difference: $ 10.76
Thanks to this comparison, Dollarama offers the lowest basket price by 12.4% compared with Walmart, for the same products.
Walmart, Dollarama and rewards points
In our analysis of the cheapest grocery store, we could use one of these cards that give the most cash back or rewards points at Walmart:
- National Bank’s World Elite Mastercard®: 5 points/$1 purchase
- BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* CashBack Mastercard®*: 5% cash back
- Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card: 2% cash back
Unfortunately, even with 5% cash back (5% of $97.49 = $4.87), this wouldn’t even close the price gap between Walmart and Dollarama.
Dollarama is not considered a grocery store by credit card issuers. It’s a store coded”Other“, so it will yield only the minimum of rewards.
However, Dollarama has a partnership with AIR MILES until next November. Simply link a Mastercard credit card to your AIR MILES membership account. Every purchase of $30 or more charged to the card earns 10 AIR MILES miles. Here’s how to earn AIR MILES at Dollarama.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of Dollarama?
At Dollarama, there are no fresh produce, refrigerated or frozen products. For a healthier diet, a consumer will have to go to a grocery store to top up with milk, butter or fresh fruit and vegetables.
So you’ll need to factor in extra time and transport costs to get to the second shop.
Dollarama groceries aren’t always a bargain, but most of the time they are. Dollarama is a great place to go to save money and spend less on many items. Don’t forget to compare prices with other supermarkets’ flyers to ensure you get the best value for your money.
In fact, some weeks, other grocery stores may have excellent specials on certain products that will be less expensive than at Dollarama. The latter does not offer flyers or promotions.
To sum up, to save you need to :
- Compare prices
- Go to Dollarama first
- Top up your groceries at another supermarket
Where can I find Dollarama products online and receive them at home?
All products are available online at dollarama.com.
Is the Dollarama food offer the same in Montreal and Quebec City as in other cities?
Offers vary according to season, product and even region.
Dollarama is a direct competitor to low-price grocery stores like Super C, Maxi and Walmart. It offers lower prices, good value for money and a variety of similar products.
Dollarama doesn’t have private labels like No Name (Maxi), Selection (Super C) or Great Value (Walmart). It negotiates directly with its suppliers, often offering consumers quality products at a more affordable price than others.