Dollar Tree Vs. Walmart: How to Build a Pantry for $15

I'm going to be showing you how to build a pantry today. Having a small basic pantry in your home is essential for every kitchen. We are going to be building a beginner pantry for fifteen dollars.

Walmart vs. Dollar Tree

A basic pantry can be so helpful all the time, but especially in those times when money's a little tight. We're going to go to Walmart and see how many pantry items we can buy at 15 bucks. Then we're going to go to the Dollar Tree and see what we can get for 15 bucks there for a basic pantry.

Walmart pantry basics

I'll start with some vegetable oil.

Vegetable oil

That's not a very good price for vegetable oil.

Next, we'll get some sugar because that is a pantry essential. It is $1.72 for that box. It's $1.26 for all-purpose flour, which is not too bad for a two-pound pack. Fast-rising yeast is the most common, so I also want to get some of that.

I'm looking around at the seasonings, and I think the three basic seasonings that everybody needs in their home are garlic powder, paprika, and onion powder. With that, you can make anything taste good, so those are three basics. You need salt in your diet.

Pantry basics

Salt is 57 cents, which isn't too shabby for that much salt.

Normally, I like to get giant containers of chicken bouillon powder, but we're on a budget.

Chicken bouillon

I got the cheapest brand of chicken bouillon cubes and tomato in the little blocks for 98 cents.

I'll throw in some pasta at 48 cents for a very small bag, but it's fine for when we're on a budget. I'll top this off with some brown rice at 88 cents. This brings my total to 15 .05 for everything.

Pantry basics

So you can, in fact, start a basic pantry at Walmart for $15.

Dollar Tree pantry basics

Cooking spray

They normally have oil, but they're out today so I got cooking spray.

I am looking at this granulated sugar, the same brand from Walmart, but cheaper at Dollar Tree at $1.25.

Their flour was two pounds as well, which is a penny cheaper. This is where I had to start getting creative because they do not sell the exact same items at Dollar Tree, so I decided to get some shelf-stable milk.

Ground paprika

Now I'm going in for the seasonings and getting the ground paprika and the garlic powder, but they were out of onion powder.

Pantry basics

I decided to go ahead and grab some black pepper here because their black pepper is the best deal on black pepper.

That same container at Walmart is almost $4. Their salt was also on sale for a dollar, so I will take it. Their seasonings are back down to a dollar.

I'm going to get some pasta and rice at the Dollar Tree. It's a little higher in price, but the amount you get is worth the extra penny.

Black beans

I decided to go ahead and get some dried beans as well because they did not have the same items.

I hoped they would have yeast, but they never carry that. I also decided to get some quick oats here because $1.25 for a whole bag of oats is unbelievable. That amount at Walmart would be around $4. I grabbed some light brown sugar to add to the mix. It's something a little different, but we always need it in our kitchen.

Pantry basics

My total was $ 14.75 for this.

I was amazed because I was under my $15 budget for a starter pantry. I could not get the same items that I got at Walmart because Dollar Tree just didn't have them. They're out of stock on their bullions and their onion powder. They don't sell yeast, so I had to choose different things.

All in all, by looking at the price and looking at the assortment that I got, I think Dollar Tree wins.

The best place to build a pantry

I think Dollar Tree is probably the best place out of the two to go for a starter pantry for your house. It seems like there was more to get for the money. I know they didn't have oil the same size as Walmart's, but the variety is different. In a starter pantry, you want a little variety instead of just a few things.

If we're looking at it as a whole, I think it's good to go to Dollar Tree and Walmart both because you'll get more bang for your buck if you do that.

Now, these aren't the only items that I think you should have in your basic pantry. I think you need a little bit more. Maybe take two trips and get two $15 hauls because I think you would need cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, cornmeal, self-rising cornmeal.

I also think you would need self-rising flour, cocoa powder, extra condiments like mayo, pancake mix, and syrup. There are a lot of things that you could put in your basic pantry, but this is just a start.

Also, if you haven't started the five-dollar emergency food storage, try it. You spend five dollars each week on shelf-stable items or freezer-friendly items just to keep in stock just in case. Just in case, it could be a lot of things.

It could be that you have a tight budget for one reason or another, and you need to start using things that you have set aside. Or somebody you know could use a helping hand. So, if you haven't started that, I encourage you to do so. It builds up so fast.

How to build a pantry

I hope this helps you learn how to build a pantry. What are some things that you would add to your starter pantry that I didn't add to these? Let me know in the comments below.

Join the conversation
3 of 10 comments
  • Ann Jovita Ann Jovita on Apr 13, 2024
    What type items do you buy for stocking for emergencies
  • Ellen Beener Ellen Beener on Apr 14, 2024
    Creating a pantry takes thought then planning. Flour, sugar, salt, pepper, herbs, rice, pasta, honey , tea, coffee, caned food ( ex: tuna fish, canned beans,) , oil, cloth dish towels, soap the above is the very basics