10 Dollar Store Foods You’ll Definitely Want to Add to Your Cart
Discount stores offer much more than greeting cards and cleaning supplies. Take a look.
If you’re a time-crunched cook wondering how to prepare a quick and satisfying meal while sticking to a budget, make the dollar store your first stop when stocking the pantry and freezer with everyday essentials. With such deeply discounted prices—nearly every item flaunts a $1 price point—it’s a thrifty shopper’s paradise. But don’t load up the cart just yet. We’ll show you how to shop the food aisles at the local dollar store like a boss.
Shutterstock / Muhammad ZA Baking Mixes
A ready-made mix is a busy cook’s best friend. Dollar stores offer a treasure trove of breakfast and baking mixes that will make easy work of whipping up a stack of fluffy pancakes or creating a yummy batch of cupcakes for next week’s bake sale. Or enjoy the best of both worlds with Birthday Cake Pancakes. And, yes, cake for breakfast is a thing.
Shutterstock / Jaiz Anuar Canned Beans
A thrifty shopper never met a can of beans she or he didn’t like. Not only are beans one of humanity’s staple foods, they work in a variety of recipes and pack a lot of protein, so they’re popular with carnivores and non-meat eaters alike. Try them in soups, chilis, casseroles, enchiladas or tacos.
Shutterstock / hilalabdullah Ramen Noodles
Ramen noodles get a bad rap for being cheap dorm room fodder. But with a little creativity, a few extra ingredients and a clever recipe at your fingertips, it’s easy to revamp the drab instant packaged dinner into a delish meal everyone will love.
Shutterstock / TY Lim Chicken Broth
Chicken broth is a base for your favorite soups and stews as well as a staple ingredient in casseroles, rice dishes and other recipes. But simmering the homemade liquid gold on the stovetop is not always a busy cook’s reality. Rely on store-bought broth as a handy standby when time is tight.
Frozen Fruits and Veggies
Frozen fruits and vegetables are not only budget-friendly, they’re healthy, too. The produce is frequently picked when ripe and then flash frozen to preserve nutrients. In addition, many varieties are salt- and sugar-free, making them ideal alternatives to their canned counterparts. These recipes make frozen veggies taste amazing.
Shutterstock / Glynsimages2013 Pasta, Rice and Dried Goods
Pasta, rice, grains, quick-cooking oats: These are the energy-sustaining foods that humans have consumed for centuries to stay full and fueled. And let’s face it, dishes like lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, rice casseroles and steamy oatmeal are crazy delicious. So why not stock up on these staples at crazy-low prices? And don’t pass by the packaged dinners. It’s easy to turn a ho-hum box of mac and cheese into a new comfort food fave with an easy recipe like this one.
Shutterstock / samritk Coffee and Tea
We all love our morning fix, but if a $5 cup of gourmet joe doesn’t jibe with a frugal lifestyle, check out the dollar store’s selection of morning pick-me-ups. Most stores offer packages of single-serve coffee capsules in addition to instant coffee and a variety of tea, creamers, sweeteners and syrups. And don’t pass up instant coffee even if it’s not your thing; it adds amazing flavor to baked goods and desserts, including this dreamy indulgence.
Shutterstock / 1000 Words Condiments and Spices
Condiments and spices are the secret to transforming a plain-Jane dish into something extraordinary. From simple spices to ketchup, barbecue sauce, gravy, mustard, pickles and relish, it’s never been easier to add flavor…or stock up your pantry with the basics. Want to amp up the flavor and texture in a weeknight classic? Give this glazed meatloaf a try.
Do you know the easy way to get ketchup out of the bottle? Discover more crazy facts about America’s favorite condiment.
Shutterstock / icosha Snacks
Craving something salty, crunchy, chewy or sweet? The dollar store has you covered. The wide array of snacks is a gold mine for munchies of all varieties including crackers, pretzels, chips, popcorn, nuts, dried fruits and trail mixes. Whether you are planning a relaxed game-day get-together, need something fun to tuck into a lunchbox or just want to stock up on finger foods that pack a punch, you’ll find all you need and more. Or get really creative and combine a few ingredients into an easy snack mix. Don’t be surprised if your taste buds break into the happy dance.
Shutterstock / Boofoto Candy
Cutting costs doesn’t mean giving up your favorite guilty pleasure—candy. Skip the fancy gourmet confectioner shops in the mall and head to your nearest dollar store for the biggest bonanza of chocolates, lollipops, caramels and other candies. Treating the kids to a movie? Save pennies by buying those theater-style boxed treats for $1 apiece. Halloween coming up? You’ll hit the jackpot with the huge variety of trick-or-treat loot found here. Need a fun classroom treat? Use a mix of dollar store candies to decorate a pan of bars the kids won’t be able to resist. Saving money never tasted so sweet!