Why You Should Buy Your Parchment Paper at the Dollar Store

updated Oct 27, 2021
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With all the great prices at my local dollar store, it’s tempting to want to throw everything in my cart. But I’m not there for everything — I enter those doors and pop a quarter in a shopping cart because I’m on a mission to gather one very specific item.

Credit: Shauna Sever

Today I’d like to reveal one of my secret joys that is the ultimate trifecta (cheap, versatile, and utterly useful): dollar store parchment paper. Although I guess it’s not really a “secret,” because anyone who’s spoken to me about culinary things for more than five minutes has heard me espouse the delights of dollar store parchment. In fact, I’ve apparently made this love so known on Instagram that the fine folks at Kitchn actually discussed this obsession of mine, and then asked me to write this piece. Honestly, I don’t know that I’ve ever been more proud of my personal brand. Some people use their platform for social justice issues, and some people … well, here I am.

So, what’s so great about dollar store parchment paper?

Credit: Shauna Sever

For reference, let’s begin with what’s bothersome about the brand-name supermarket version. Let’s face it — even if you reuse it a couple of times like a virtuous eco-friendly person, all parchment paper eventually ends up in the trash (or recycling, or compost; the point is, it’s thrown away). I bake a lot and blow through lots of parchment, and nothing stings quite like spending hard-earned money on something disposable — brand-name rolls are super expensive, given their swift demise. And I’d rather spend that money on butter.

Second, these rolls always have impractical dimensions — at 15 inches wide on average, and the typical half-sheet pan measuring 12×17 inches, trimming and excess waste is a reality with these larger rolls. (I have seen slim boxes of brand-name parchment pre-cut to fit cookie sheets, and I have also seen the price tag and done the math, because I’m petty like that — is there gold in these here papers?) Brand-name parchment is a prime example of the fleecing of America. Don’t be a victim.

Credit: Shauna Sever

So onto the delightful perks of the dollar store variety. Yes, it’s cheaper in price — and so wallet-friendly, you can buy a bunch at once and stockpile it — we’ve addressed that. More importantly, it’s sturdy with a nice weight with no weird coating. (I’ve ordered rolls and sheets from multiple places, even high-end sites I won’t shame here, and am always disappointed at the thickness.) But what pleases me to no end is that dollar store parchment is a 12-inch roll. With one flick of the wrist, this roll becomes half sheet pan-sized. Or quarter sheet pan-sized. Or just wide enough for round cake pans, with the barest wisps of paper to trim from their perimeters to line the bottoms. The box itself has a cutting edge that’s efficient, but not so sharp you could cut your thumb with it. What’s not to love?

So the next time you see a dollar store, pull over, duck inside, and look for some parchment. And while you’re at it, check out the heavy-duty aluminum foil, handy (thinner) foil sheets, and wax paper (old school, but has its charm and great for wrapping treats of all kinds). And if you see me in the aisles and we’re both unable to use our hands to say hello due to armfuls of parchment rolls, we can just wink at each other for being in the know.

Where do you buy your parchment paper? Do you share my affinity for the dollar store here?