With tough times we are all looking for ways to save money. My local everything cost one dollar store has many food items. I find you can buy flat flour burrito shells, and shredded cheese and pepperoni all for $1.
I take the shell and brown it on both sides in the oven. Pull it out and add shredded cheese and pepperoni and even other items I may have in my fridge. Back in the oven to broil a minute or two, and you have easy, quick, and cheap individual pizzas. The kids love being able to pick their own items.
By Kimberly from Lakeland, FL
All clever ideas. I also get orange ginger talapia fish, bbq salmon, ranch dressing, great deals on 2/1.00 veggies, green olives, coffee, creamers, sugar, chips and cookies, teas, eggs, bacon, hot dogs...well, I could go on.
If you want, log onto dollartree.com and see for yourself!
The 99¢ Chef, or something like that, has a web-site with lots of ideas of meals you can make from dollar stores.
I love Dollar Stores, too, but you really have to be careful what you buy there, because... I have found, many times, that other stores (including grocery stores) have much better deals on items (including food) than the Dollar Stores. It really just depends. I check all of my store's local ads to see which have the best bargains, then I plan my route depending on which are in close proximity to each other. That way, I get the best deals on products AND save money on gas!
Just keep in mind many of the foods, toothpaste etc. come from China! I buy greeting card there, crossword puzzle books, nothing which I will be eating, feeding my pets, or putting on my skin. I am on a strict budget like many older citizens, but I take my health seriously, and that of my pets! Sadly China does not have the best record when it comes to safety. Buyer be aware! Cheap is not always the way to go. It may cost you more than you are willing to pay.
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With things being so tough financially, I've found it helpful to shop regularly at Dollar Stores. Often times they have full size products. I've on several occasions bought full sized name brand ranch dressing, grated cheese, sour cream, canned veggies, chili and more.
Also, if I have only few dollars until payday and need something, they're smaller sized products that will keep me until payday. There are a lot of items they have that are great to add to children's lunches. And for those who diet, I have many time purchased, South Beach meals as well as sugar free foods. It's crowded a lot of times but the money you save is worth the time and effort.
By Joely from Ceres, CA
I agree! I love their Orange Ginger Tilapia, the Teriyaki Salmon, and the green olives are more than a bargain. You can get snacks, milk, eggs, frozen foods, canned goods, coffee, creamers, teas, candy, chips, and soooooo much more. And, they take food stamps, too! Give them a try! (02/12/2009)
Just be very CAREFUL that these food items are NOT made in China! While the Dollar Stores may prove to be much cheaper, read the label first! I saw what I believed was a regular, made in the USA brand of toothpaste for a dollar. Upon reading the info it turned out to be a copy cat of AIM. Even the bath stuff, makeup, etc. is a knock off made in China. Do you want to eat, or use these products which may not be safe? Even in the USA, we have problems! Check out the peanut butter situation! Greeting cards, paper goods, puzzle books are a bargain. You need to think before you buy. Times are tough, but don't poison or make your family, or pets sick, just to save a buck. It's not worth it! (02/12/2009)
Hi Joely, I do similar to what you do. Only I take it a couple of steps further. I start at the Dollar Store, then I go to Dollar General and get what they didn't have, from there I go to Food Lion (a major south east grocery store), and finally I finish up at Wal-Mart. By doing this, there's very little that I have to get at Wal-Mart.
Dollar General has one thing that I always get there and keep stocked up on. That's septic tank cleaner. I pay less than $3 for a bigger box than WalMart has for $6. I've used it for 15 years and it works great. (04/22/2009)
Dollar stores don't often have a savings. You have to look at the unit cost (cost per ounce or similar) of an item to know if it's a bargain or not. Dollar stores escape posting that info on a technicality so you have to figure it out for yourself or you get taken.
The foods there also are anything but healthy. Healthy foods are living fruits and veggies; not processed items assembled in China. You can get single packaged items for lunchbags but if it's processed junk; that's what you're eating.
On seafoods you also have to look for a posting on the package for "wild caught" and the location. Cheesy poofs are healthier than farmed fish.
The last thing to look at are product dates. Many dollar store items have had those removed or they're very short dated.
Driving from store to store wastes a ton of $$$ in gas and time. I have a basket for the front and back of my bike and can easily pack out 50+lbs of food.
There are a very few bargains to be found there but for the most part; they're cheap junk that isn't even worth a dollar. There's no quick way around good basic budgeting. (04/22/2009)
I not only check expiration dates but where the product is from, just like I do at the regular food stores as well as stores like Wal-mart and Target and others. It is just a matter of being a careful and watchful shopper. A couple of the Dollar Trees by me have a refrigerated section and I have found Green Giant steamer vegetables there. Again, it just takes a few extra seconds to read labels on anything.
By LI Roe