When you think about the types of food sold at most dollar stores, the first things to come to mind might be highly processed products, snacks, and junk food. You’ll likely to find nacho cheese dip, microwavable pizza, candy, or potato chips.
However, deep discount stores such as Dollar Tree also sell some real, unprocessed or lightly processed foods as well. You may find milk, peanuts, baking supplies, and frozen or canned vegetables and fruit. I was recently surprised to find a wide selection of spices and seasonings at my local Dollar Tree. So if you’re wanting to do some home cooking, you can actually buy spices to flavor your meats, veggies, or baked goods from Dollar Tree.
What Spices Does Dollar Tree Sell?
I found a large variety of the most commonly used seasonings at Dollar Tree. The selection at my local store included:
- Garlic powder
- Chili powder
- Imitation vanilla extract
- Crushed red pepper
- Seafood seasoning
- Creole seasoning
- Seasoned meat tenderizer
- Chopped onion
- Lemon pepper seasoning
- Chopped chives
- Fine Himalayan pink salt
- Black peppercorns
- Italian seasoning
- Poultry seasoning
- Garlic pepper
Everything at Dollar Tree costs $1.25 each, and the spices and seasonings are no different. Each container costs $1.25, and container net weight generally ranges from 2.25 to 3 ounces.
Dollar Tree spices are distributed by Greenbrier International, Inc., which is the company that operates Dollar Tree stores. Many products in Dollar Tree are unbranded but bear the Greenbrier name somewhere on the product or packaging, and Dollar Tree house brands such as Home Style Select are also distributed by Greenbrier. Dollar Tree spices are sold under the Supreme Tradition label, which is another Dollar Tree house brand.
Are Dollar Tree Spices Any Good?
You might ask whether discount seasonings at a dollar store are actually any good. I purchased several types of seasonings to try at home, including chili powder, ground cinnamon, garlic powder, and a steakhouse seasoning. So how do they taste, and are they comparable to other brands?
In short, I was not overwhelmed by the quality of the Dollar Tree spices I tried. I compared them with some Aldi spices I already had in my pantry, as Aldi is my go-to store for a lot of things, including spices. Overall, the Dollar Tree spices were less aromatic and I thought they had weaker flavor. A brief summary of each Dollar Tree spice I sampled is below.
Dollar Tree Supreme Tradition Ground Cinnamon — This is a dark brown color, compared to Aldi Stonemill Ground Cinnamon that was a rich reddish brown. The Dollar Tree cinnamon was less fragrant and had a milder flavor compared to the Aldi cinnamon.
Dollar Tree Supreme Tradition Chili Powder — Ingredients are ground chili pepper, ground cumin, ground oregano, garlic powder, and salt. This Dollar Tree chili powder also had a weaker aroma, while the Aldi Stonemill Chili Powder had more flavor and kick. The Dollar Tree chili powder was an orangey red while the Aldi was a reddish brown.
Dollar Tree Supreme Tradition Garlic Powder — This Dollar Tree garlic powder came the closest to tasting like its Aldi counterpart, but the Aldi garlic powder still had better flavor and more of that classic garlic bite. I also had to get my nose a lot closer to the Dollar Tree garlic powder in order to smell it, while I could smell the Aldi garlic powder from much farther away. The DT garlic powder looks pretty identical to the Aldi garlic powder.
Dollar Tree Supreme Tradition Steakhouse Seasoning — Ingredients are salt, garlic, monosodium glutamate (yes, it contains MSG), black pepper, crushed red pepper, caraway seed, dill seed, and extractive of paprika. The first thing I noticed upon opening the container was how much empty space it had. The container was only about two thirds full, so I assume a lot of settling happened during shipping. This steakhouse seasoning mostly smells of pepper, with a faint hint of what I think is caraway. Its flavor is mainly salty with a hint of pepper and no taste of garlic. It’s also the least aromatic steak seasoning I’ve ever smelled. Because steak seasonings vary so much across brands and types, I didn’t compare this in terms of taste to any Aldi steak seasoning.
Are Dollar Tree Spices a Good Deal?
So Dollar Tree spices don’t seem the be the greatest in terms of taste, but you might reconcile that with the idea that at least they’re cheap, right? But are Dollar Tree spices really the best deal? Not necessarily. Seasonings at my local Aldi stores cost 97 cents per container, while all Dollar Tree spices are $1.25 per container. Container sizes vary between stores, but listed below is a breakdown in price per ounce for spices at Dollar Tree versus Aldi.
- Chili powder: approximately 42 cents per ounce at Dollar Tree, approximately 38.8 cents per ounce at Aldi.
- Ground cinnamon: approximately 56 cents per ounce at Dollar Tree, approximately 41 cents per ounce at Aldi.
- Garlic powder: approximately 50 cents per ounce at Dollar Tree, approximately 31 cents per ounce at Aldi.
- Steakhouse seasoning: approximately 50 cents per ounce at Dollar Tree, approximately 29 cents per ounce at Aldi.
Spices or seasonings at Aldi are a better deal by a wide margin compared to seasonings at Dollar Tree. While it may sound counterintuitive — it’s a dollar store, after all — prices at dollar stores are not always better than prices at other retailers.
Dollar Tree sells a surprising variety of spices and seasonings, and you’re likely to find most seasonings you’d commonly use in your home kitchen. That includes cinnamon, garlic powder, chili powder, oregano, cumin, parsley, paprika, and more. We did a taste test comparing several Dollar Tree spices to the spices we usually buy at Aldi, and we found the Dollar Tree spices to be less fragrant and less flavorful. The Dollar Tree spices also cost more per ounce than Aldi spices.
Consumer Reports did testing of spices for heavy metals last year. The link to the article is: https://www.consumerreports.org/food-safety/your-herbs-and-spices-might-contain-arsenic-cadmium-and-lead/ (no subscription required)
They did not test Aldi or Dollar Tree spices unfortunately.