In this day and age, who doesn’t like a good bargain? While the dollar store doesn’t have the best reputation as far as quality, you’d be surprised as to what you can find. In the decade since the 2008 recession, the popularity of dollar stores skyrocketed, and have become a popular food destination. Here are the Top 10 Food Deals at Dollar Tree.
10. Canned Beans
Beans, beans, the magical fruit, the more you eat, the more you… Well, you know how the song goes. Beans are some of the most underrated foods on the planet. Did you know that baked beans actually originated from Native American culture? Long before becoming popularized in Western culture, Native peoples would mix beans, maple sugar, and bear fat in earthenware pots that were placed in underground “bean holes” which were lined in hot rocks to slowly cook over a long period of time. British colonists in New England were the first to steal the dish from Native Americans, but they substituted molasses or sugar for the maple syrup, bacon or ham for the bear fat, and simmered their beans for hours in pots over the fire instead of underground. The food was popularized quickly, and for good reason. Baked beans are a wonderful source of dietary fiber, protein, B vitamins and many other important vitamins and minerals. This means that they can help reduce blood sugar, improve cholesterol levels and help maintain a healthy gut. What’s more, they can be used in a plethora of recipes, such as soups, chilis, casseroles, enchiladas, and tacos. The best part about beans, though, is that there’s no way to mess them up. That means that it’s a perfect thing to pick up at the Dollar Tree! For a thrifty shopper, the canned beans at Dollar Tree are a great deal to pick up.
9. Instant Ramen Noodles
Ah, ramen noodles. Due to their price and low amount of health benefits, this cheap snack is university student staple. They have a bad rep for being unhealthy dorm room fodder, and there’s a good reason for it. This classic Asian noodle soup consists of wheat noodles served in a meat or fish-based broth, often flavored with soy sauce or miso, and uses a multitude of toppings, such as pork, nori (dried seaweed), menma, and scallions. And while the original dish may have some benefits, the instant version is much less healthy for you. Though instant ramen noodles provide iron, B vitamins and manganese, they lack fiber, protein and other crucial vitamins and minerals. Additionally, their MSG, TBHQ and high sodium contents may negatively affect health, by way of increasing your risk of heart disease, stomach cancer and metabolic syndrome. Have no fear, though. If you grab a cheap package of these from Dollar Tree, there are actually a few creative ways to make the dish much healthier, as well as even more delicious. If you’re in the breakfast mood, for example, you can top it with bacon and eggs. This also ups the protein! Instead of using the soup base that’s provided, you can use your own chicken stock, or throw in a familiar sauce so you know exactly what’s going into your food. You can also add vegetables such as bok choy or broccoli so you know you’re getting a balanced diet! In any case, there are plenty of ways to turn these instant noodles into instant satisfaction, so be sure to pick them up at a low price at Dollar Tree!
8. Chicken Broth
The base for any of your go-to soups, chicken broth is a universal favorite. Not only is it good in soups, it’s also a staple ingredient in casseroles, rice dishes, and other recipes. However, we all know that chicken broth is best used for the nostalgic classic chicken noodle soup. In case you were wondering, broth, which is also known as bouillon, is a savory liquid in which bones, meat, or vegetables have been simmered. Traditionally speaking, broth is made by boiling down animal bones in order to extract the flavor and nutrients. The bones may or may not still have meat on them, and roasted bones will add a darker color and a more caramelized flavor. Chicken broth can be eaten alone, but it is most commonly used to prepare other dishes, such as soups, gravies, and sauces. In the beginning of the 20th century, dehydrated bouillon cubes were commercialized, making soup preparation just that much easier. While you can easily make chicken broth at home by simmering some stock, it’s not always manageable, especially for those who have a busy schedule. So instead of boiling up some of this homemade golden liquid yourself, grab yourself some from your local Dollar Tree. It’ll save you time and money!
7. George and Tom’s Sugar Cones
Ice cream in the perfect summertime treat, but sometimes you want to add a little bit more crunch to it. While we all love this cool, refreshing sweet treat, buying from an ice cream store can be expensive, and eating it from a bowl can be downright boring. This is where the ice cream cone comes in. Did you know that the first mention of ice cream cones was all the way back in 1825, when Julien Archambault mentioned how one could roll a cone from “little waffles”? While it goes by many names – poke, cornet, ice cream cone – it’s all the same thing, and it’s a dry, cone-shaped pastry, usually made of a wafer similar in texture to a waffle, which enables ice cream to be held in the hand and eaten without a bowl or spoon. In other words, it’s the perfect contraption to make ice cream eating more fun with a bit more texture. Nowadays, you can easily pick up a ready-to-go ice cream cone (in multiple flavors!) from the freezer at Walmart, but that can cost more than you’re willing to spend. At Dollar Tree, you can grab a pack of George and Tom’s Sugar Cones for only a buck, and you can combine it with the ice cream you have at home! While there are many variants – wafer cones or waffle cones, for example – these sugar cones are a great steal for anyone looking to up their summer experience.
6. Spices and Condiments
Condiments and spices can often make all the difference when you’re cooking at home, and at Dollar Tree, you can grab all the spices you need without breaking the bank. Looking for a way to add flavor to your dish without racking up the salt and fat? Do you want to amp up the heat on some of the dinners you’ve already been cooking at home? Tasty spices are the best way to do that. Spices come from all over the world, and each nation’s cuisine has its own unique palette. Spices can be used in a range of sweet and salty foods, and using a bit of spice can make even the plainest food lively again. They come from the bark, bud fruits, roots, seeds, or stems of trees, so you know Mother Nature has given her seal of approval to use them in your cuisine! From salt and pepper to mustard and ketchup, mayonnaise, barbeque sauce, relish, cinnamon, paprika, there are too many spices and condiments to choose from! If you know what you’re looking for, soon enough you’ll be cooking with more flavor than you know what to do with! If you’re looking to stock up on the basics, Dollar Tree is definitely the way to go. If this means that we can up our entire kitchen game by grabbing a few containers of chili flakes or curry – then why wouldn’t we? No one wants to live in bland and flavourless world.
Have you ever planned on seeing a movie, only to gawk at the prices when you get to the movie theater? Or, have you ever gone to Walmart to stock up on snack foods, only to find that it’s much more expensive than you wanted it to be? Or, have you ever gone out to buy snacks for a party, only to realize you’ve spent more than half of your budget on food? Well, have no fear, because there are actually plenty of snack foods available at Dollar Tree. While buying candy bars at grocery stores and gas stations can be fairly expensive, the dollar store has got all the same name brand name candies for a much cheaper price! If you’re craving something salty, sweet, crunchy, or chewy, Dollar Tree has got you covered. They’ve got all the name brand snacks, including Lays, Twix, Kit Kats, Skittles…. Anything you can think of, it’ll be at the Dollar Tree. Really, this one is an insanely good deal, and it’s a wonder that there are people who still insist on buying candy at such an expensive price. Another thing to note is that, while the individual snacks may not have a noticeable price difference, the packaged snack foods can be a great deal. You’re saying that we can get a six pack of potato chips for only a dollar? Where do we sign up?
4. Edwards Hershey’s Chocolate Creme Pie
There have been so many good reviews about this pie, and there will continue to be many good reviews for this pie. You know why? Because the Hershey’s Chocolate Pie is one of the most delicious, heavenly things to grace this planet. While you can buy this at Walmart or Target, it’s also available at Dollar Tree, and for that, we are forever grateful. This delicious, shareable dessert is perfect for every occasion and holiday. This Hershey’s Chocolate Creme Pie is made on a freshly baked cookie crumb crust with luscious layers of chocolate and vanilla crème filling and topped with chocolate drizzle, chocolate chips, and whipped crème rosettes. In other words, it’s beautiful, and wonderful, and so, so yummy. Actually, Edwards has a very good reputation when it comes to pie-making, and their numerous pie flavors – like key lime pie, original whipped cheesecake, peach creme pie – have great reviews all around. It’s hard to believe that they’re available at Dollar Tree, because they’re such high quality – you’d expect to find them in some fancy Parisian restaurant. Okay, maybe not that high quality, but we can’t rave enough about these pies. In any case, if you’re ever in the mood to ascend into heaven through your taste buds, a trip to Dollar Tree may help you to satisfy your cravings.
3. Pasta, Rice, and Dried Goods
These dry quick-cooking foods have been an important part of the human diet since the beginning of time. While these carbs may not be the healthiest to be eating all the time, if they’re consumed in moderation, they can be part of a healthy diet. Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy. In other words, they help fuel your brain, kidneys, heart, muscles and central nervous system. For instance, fiber is a carbohydrate that aids in digestion, helps you feel full and keeps blood cholesterol levels in check. Mac ‘n cheese, spaghetti, fried rice, all of these are heavy in carbohydrates, and they’re perfect for filling you up and fueling you for the day. Plus, they’re extremely delicious. So we ask you: why not stock up on these at crazy low prices? Do yourself a favor and drop by the nearest Dollar Tree and grab some of these staples! And while you’re at it, don’t pass up on the packaged dinners. Even if you’re not confident that the packaged dinners won’t taste great (or have any nutritional value), don’t worry! While it may first come off as unhealthy, just like with instant noodles, there are plenty of ways to turn these snack items into a new, healthier favorite!
2. Coffee and Tea
There are very few people out there who don’t like to start their morning off with a good cup of Joe or a relaxing steaming mug of green tea? We’ve all got our morning routines in place, which includes preparing our breakfasts in the morning to get us ready for the day. Or, if we’re late, then we grab something on the go. But while it’s true that grabbing something on the go is faster and easier, we also know that sometimes spending $5 at Starbucks isn’t worth the latte. If the ridiculous prices don’t mesh with your frugal lifestyle (or your thrifty outlook on life), then have no fear! Dollar Tree has a wide array of morning pick-me-ups. They even carry herbal teas! From mint to jasmine to orange breakfast, they’re sure to carry something for you. And if you’re more of a coffee drinker, they’ve got something for you, too! Dollar Tree offers packages of self-serve coffee capsules in addition to instant coffee and their many varieties of tea. They also have creamers, sweeteners, and syrups, if you’re ever in the mood to treat yourself with a homemade specialty brew. If you don’t have a coffee maker, they even carry various brands of instant coffee, so you’re all set to start your day off right…as long as you have some hot water!
1. $1 Steaks
With a good steak costing over $20 at a restaurant, a grill out can bust your budget and break your bank. What if we told you that you could get yourself a steak for only $1? At Dollar Tree, they’re selling frozen pieces of USA beef for just that, not a penny more. While it’s true that there will be better cuts out there – Choice or Prime, for example – it’s also true that these can cost a fortune. So no, it’s not going to be of the highest quality, but it’s still steak. The cut is what’s called a “utility cut”. In other words, it’s the part of the cow that’s used in institutional kitchens. A lot of times when you’re dealing with these kinds of cuts, they come from bulls, or a lower grade of beef. While this cut of beef may be thinner and of a lower quality than others, Dollar Tree said that they can’t keep them in stock. Many testers reported being surprised at how good it was. Or, rather, how not-horrible it was. And while you may not want to eat these as-is, they’re great for foods like stirfries or fajitas. If you cook it with other things, using vegetables and butter, it’ll up the taste too! So, the next time your stomach is rumbling for a steak but your wallet is telling you otherwise, you know exactly where to look.