The Dollar Tree (a store where everything is $1 or less) in our area opened a new larger store with a freezer section and expanded food selection. As a single, one of the things I like about shopping dollar stores is they often have smaller versions of many food items, which can be ideal for dorm rooms and tiny kitchens. While still not a source for fresh fruit and vegetables, I thought it might be helpful to point out some of the healthier options. So I took a few shots of what I consider to be healthier items with good bang for your buck.
This is a national brand and wheat bread is generally recommended over white. They also had Wonderbread and some other national brands. Not too bad for $1.
You need to label read on this one. The sliced “cheese” was soy rather than milk based, but there was some real shredded cheese, string cheese, and crumbled feta in the cooler.
3. Eggs and Turkey Bacon
So only 8 eggs rather than a full dozen, but that’s more than enough for most singles. Eggs are very versatile and a good nutrient source. Turkey Bacon is not your leanest meat option, but fine on occasion.
4. Frozen vegetables
Fresh is better, but frozen is a close second. Mix bags will probably given you a better range of nutrients, but there were single veggie bags too for picky eaters like me.
5. Frozen Fish
My grocery store carries these single portion packs for a while, and I like them, eager to try these out. It’s a good size for one or two.
6. Soups / Dumplings
This is my favorite type of Progresso and $1 is a very good price for it. While you do need to keep your eye on the sodium level with canned good. Some sodium is necessary. So just balance out canned food with low sodium options. There’s some good protein to be had in these.
7. Canned Veggies
Many of the canned vegetables were 79 cents. While frozen is generally a better option, canned is acceptable when freezer storage isn’t available.
8. Baking Supplies
Having a few staples on hand like flour, oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, baking soda, lemon juice, etc. can help you create more meal variety. Go easy on the salt and sugar, but cooking your own food helps you have more direct control over what you eat.
Many herbal teas have supplemental or medicinal qualities, and they’re generally good low calorie options for when you’re tired of drinking plain water.
10. Guava Nectar
They had small bottles of Orange Juice as well, but you get more ounces with Guava Nectar. It’s high fiber and full of vitamin C.
11. Herbs and Spices
Most herbs and spices also have good nutritional value and can help improve the vitamin content as well as the taste of your meals and provide a good alternative to adding salt.
Great for breakfast and making cookies.
13. Raisin Bran
The store had several cereal options, but this one seemed to have the best nutrition balance.
14. Boxed Milk / Soy Milk
In general boxed milk is as good for you as the refrigerated version. Basically the milk is boiled at a higher temperature which kills more pathogens and allows it to be stored at room temperature. It's more popular than refrigerated milk in many other countries.
15. Raisins and Apple SauceIn the old days before processed sugar, fruit was often used to sweeten recipes. The store also had cranberries, dried pineapple, and banana chips. But the raisins are probably the best bang for your buck option with the least amount of iffy preservatives.
16. Brown Rice
17. Dried Beans
18. Egg Noodles / Pasta
Beans are good for you, lots of protein and fiber. While they shouldn’t be your entire diet rice and pasta can be a healthy part of it.
19. Tomato Sauce
Lots of varieties from plain to mushroom to meat flavored.
20. Canned Meats
Again, frozen is probably better for you and will get more mileage for your dollar, but canned meats work better in certain recipes.