How Much Would Kevin’s Grocery Trip from Home Alone Cost at Dollar General?

Last Updated on December 22, 2023

A screenshot of Home Alone’s landing page on Disney+.

In the 1990 Christmas classic Home Alone, Kevin McCallister finds himself alone in his house after his family accidentally leaves him behind during a hurried departure for Paris. Left to his own devices, Kevin has to take care of living alone, including defending his home from a pair of bungling burglars, and also obtaining certain necessities.

At one point, Kevin visits a local grocery store.

Based on what we can see on-screen, Kevin buys:

  • milk, half gallon
  • Tropicana orange juice, half gallon
  • TV dinner
  • a 20-ounce loaf of Wonder Bread
  • Kraft frozen macaroni and cheese
  • Tide liquid detergent
  • plastic wrap, 100 square feet
  • a bag of toy soldiers
  • Snuggle dryer sheets
  • toilet paper, 4 rolls

After using a $1 coupon for the orange juice, Kevin pays $19.83. If you adjust for inflation to 2023 dollars, the price tag comes out to a little over $45.

Not long ago, a TikTok video claimed that those same items today would cost nearly $70. The TikToker priced things through Target. USA Today crunched its own numbers based on Midwest grocer Schnucks and wound up with a $55 total. Shoppers online have likewise served up their own prices, both in forums and on social media.

A couple of things on this debate. One, Home Alone is a film. A fictional movie. The prices may or may not reflect the reality of grocers at the time. On IMDB, for instance, some viewers have speculated that the price may be an Easter Egg, “perhaps a nod to the late Roberts Blossom, as 1983 was the year that Christine (1983), featuring Blossom, came out, and the Christmas classic, A Christmas Story (1983), came out.” Maybe. Blossom played Old Man Marley, the scary neighbor, in Home Alone.

Two, grocery costs can vary widely depending on where you live. New York City, for instance, has higher food prices than most of the Midwest. Home Alone was filmed in the Chicago area, where grocer costs aren’t especially high, even if housing is.

Still, we thought it would be interesting to see how much things cost today from our own vantage point. And, since this is Dollar Store Reviewer, we decided to step into our local Dollar General to see what Kevin would have paid if he’d gone to DG in late 2023. For the most part, we went with Dollar General house brands, although DG does sell some of the same national brands that were featured in the film, and in some cases we had to get a national brand.

Our Buys:

DG @ Home Alone

Milk, half gallon. Our Dollar General sold both 2% and whole milk for the same price. We went with whole. Cost: $3

Tropicana orange juice, half gallon. Our best bet for OJ at Dollar General was a half-gallon (64-ounce) plastic jug under the Clover Valley private label. Cost: $3.95

TV dinner. We opted for a Stouffer’s Classic Meatloaf. The display said you could save 50 cents if you bought two, which isn’t quite as tempting as a $1 off coupon on orange juice. We stuck with one. Cost: $4.25

A 20-ounce loaf of Wonder Bread. Dollar General sells Wonder Bread, but we passed on it in favor of a Clover Valley loaf. Cost: $1.50

Kraft frozen macaroni and cheese. Our DG didn’t have any frozen or refrigerated mac and cheese, at least not in the traditional sense. We also didn’t want to go the boxed mac and cheese route. We did, however, find some Michelina’s Frozen Cheeseburger Mac in the freezer. That was as close as we could get. Cost: $1.50

Tide liquid detergent. Dollar General sells Tide for around $10, and we considered getting it. Instead, we opted for the store brand True Living Laundry Detergent, which wasn’t as large but was also less than half the price. Cost: $4.75

Plastic wrap, 100 square feet. We went with True Living Plastic Wrap, which was twice as much square footage as what Kevin scooped up. Cost: $2.50

A bag of toy soldiers. We had hopes that Dollar General might have these. We didn’t see any, though, and when we talked to the store manager he said they hadn’t gotten any in some time. He did say they’re routinely among the budget $1 toys section. We picked out a packet of creepy crawlies insects at the same price point. Cost: $1

Snuggle dryer sheets. The store has a selection of name brand and private label varieties. We picked up a 40-pack of the True Living ones. They weren’t a great price per sheet compared to some other private label sheets we’ve seen, but they do boast a low total price tag. Cost: $1.95

Toilet paper, 4 pack. We picked up the True Living branded option. Cost: $3.75

Total Price:

The subtotal for our Kevin McCallister-themed purchase came out to $28.15. With tax, it totaled $30.48.

To say that’s less than some of the other hypothetical purchases is an understatement. Dollar General’s tab was less than half that of the TikTok video’s Target order, and more than $24 less than Schnucks. What’s more, the DG total was a good deal less than Home Alone’s inflation-adjusted $45 price tag.

Closing Thoughts:

To be fair, we got our Dollar General bottom line by going with house brands when we could instead of name brands. If we’d gone the route of, say, Wonder Bread or Tide, we would have undoubtedly gotten closer to the inflation-adjusted $45 mark. The detergent alone would have added $5, and other name brands would have likewise added to the final balance.

In addition, we didn’t necessarily go big. Our fabric softener pack, for example, wasn’t the largest option, although from looking at the movie clip we’re not certain Kevin bought many of the sheets, either.

Still, we think this exercise shows that you can keep things fairly cheap if you go the house brand route at Dollar General. And while we don’t think that DG house brands are our favorite — we think Aldi and Trader Joe’s do better — Dollar General private labels are respectable.

For a temporarily orphaned 8-year-old boy who’s just trying to defend his home from burglars, that’s probably good enough.

About Joshua

Joshua is the Co-founder of Dollar Store Reviewer. He is also a writer and novelist. You can learn more about him at

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