Food prices vary greatly. What you pay for a bag of groceries at a high-end specialty gourmet boutique is quite different from what you’d pay at a discount chain grocery store, even for the exact same product. Well, same applies to the dollar store. Now, there’s food there I would advise against if possible…the peanut butter and knock-off chocolate bars are definitely not worth it, in my experience. There are some things worth grabbing for only a buck or two, however, and these are our top 5.
1) Canned meals – the baked beans and heat-and-serve soups in the dollar store don’t differ much from any I’ve found in other stores in taste or ingredients.
2) Bread – depending on what kind of bread you need, you can find inexpensive loaves pretty easily. White bread and basic whole wheat are usually in stock, and just the other day, I scored a delicious 9 grain bread with a nutritional table that would please most health conscious eaters.
3) Dried fruit and nuts – you can pay a pretty penny for this stuff even when you buy from bulk food stores. Dried cranberries and apricots pack a nutritional punch, especially if you mix them with almonds or cashews. My personal faves are the dried and salted plantain chips for a treat (a treat with vitamins!).
4) Pasta and sauce – the pasta is standard fare, but when you’re pinching pennies, you’d be getting the same thing at any grocery store. The sauce is also basic, but you can usually find brand names, and the sauces are fine as is, or easy to bulk up with other veggies or meat. A family meal for under 5 bucks!
5) Treats! – Everyone deserves a treat sometimes. Whether throwing a kid’s birthday party on a budget or just rewarding yourself after a long day, the dollar store is a definite go-to. Brand name chocolate bars are often half the price of other places. They also have potato chips, pop, and candies. You can be frugal and still have fun!
We’d love to hear your suggestions or experiences. Any great food finds at the dollar store?