Do you live near a Dollar Tree store?
Chances are you do. There are now thousands of these outlets scattered across the continental United States.
You’ll find a lot of cheap (but largely useless) stuff. You’ll also find some incredible bargains.
This is what makes shopping at Dollar Tree fun.
These stores stock knick knacks, household goods, cleaning supplies, paper goods, personal care products, toys, books and lot of other stuff.
A few years back I noticed a food section. I’m not sure exactly when this chain began selling food.
But, now, if you walk into one of these stores (at least where I live,) you’ll probably find a food section.
But is there anything on the shelves for the health conscious? Should you visit Dollar Tree expecting to find something healthy to buy?
Healthy Things To Buy At The Dollar Tree Store
Yes there are things worth buying at Dollar Tree. But you do need to shop carefully. Especially for food.
Regular grocery stores of course are a better bet for healthy eating. But some people have limited finances. They may have little money to spend, especially on transportation. Dollar Tree or a similar venue may be their only option.
If you don’t want to eat food that comes from China, read the labels. If in doubt, call the company that distributes the product.
Actually, there are a few things you may want to pick up during your next trip to Dollar Tree. Not all of then are food.
One of my happy finds is soap bars made without sulfates, parabens or artificial colors or fragrances.
The bars of soap are also vegan, and made without cruelty to animals. This soap is also made in America.
I’ve seen this soap sold elsewhere on line for several dollars a bar. But at the Dollar Tree store it’s just $1.
I stocked up when I saw this soap because I assumed a deal like this would soon be gone. But surprisingly it’s not. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve first spotted this soap, and it’s always been in stock.
Now, I have a healthy supply of this soap. (Because I stocked up.) This is high quality soap. So each bar lasts for a long time.
This was a very good find because comparable brands of soap cost so much more. Those of us trying for a less toxic lifestyle already pay a premium. Little things like this help a lot.
Healthy Items To Buy At The Dollar Tree Store
I won’t pretend that Dollar Tree is a health food store. Or anything close. Most of the personal care products are made from chemicals, instead of plants.
The cleaning solutions are made from chemicals as well. But you can find a 32-ounce bottle of white vinegar, and use it to make your own cleaning solutions. Vinegar is a great natural cleaner.
The vast majority of foods are highly processed. But you can find some real food items. For just $1. This would be a good option for people on a very limited budget.
Keep in mind that not every store carries the same products. Some stores seem to have a more extensive grocery section than others.
For instance, you can probably find rice and beans. These two staples eaten together provide a complete protein. Dollar Tree typically carries rice and dried beans. (Good if you’re on a gluten-free diet.)
I’m a big advocate or organic food. But I know how expensive it can be. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford it. The next best thing is real food, made from scratch.
It is possible to eat a mostly real food diet if Dollar Tree is your only option. (You will have to shop carefully.) You can find frozen fruit and frozen vegetables to round out your diet. Unfortunately, though, the ones I saw on a recent trip came from China. Generally, I don’t recommend eating food from China. However, if money is tight and Dollar Tree is your only option, frozen produce is available.
Healthy Foods At The Dollar Tree Store
Name brand canned tuna may be in stock. Many Dollar Tree stores carry eggs. However, this may be a package of 8 eggs. So you may do better at your regular grocery store.
(If you don’t have transportation to a supermarket, then the Dollar Tree eggs are probably your best bet.)
Another item you may find are individually packaged Jennie O-turkey burgers, seasoned with just rosemary extract and salt. This is a name brand. So I feel comfortable eating it. (Typically, I buy organic meat. But it’s almost impossible to find organic ground turkey.)
I bought a few of these individual burgers. Just to double check I called the company and was told that Dollar Tree is a legitimate supplier. The nice woman on the other end of the phone even checked the lot number for me, just to be sure.
You may also find Dollar Tree cheese without too many preservatives or artificial ingredients added, such as crumbled Feta cheese.
Browsing through the food section at your local Dollar Tree you will see a lot of sugary processed cereal. But you may also find plain oatmeal. Oatmeal is nutritious. It’s high protein too. (Again, I don’t know where it’s sourced. So you’ll have to call the distributor.)
Dried spices are another real food item. They are not USDA-certified organic, and are likely to be irradiated. They may come from China. I don’t know. But it is known that many common kitchen spices have health benefits.
Do I buy Dollar Tree spices for my family?
No, because I can afford to order organic spices online.
Would I buy them if these were the only spices I could afford?
Absolutely. Because spices are good for us.
What Frozen Foods Does Dollar Tree Carry?
Depending upon your local store, you may find a wide range of frozen items in the freezer section. As far as I’m concerned, the freezer section is the crowning glory of food at Dollar Tree.
You’ll likely find frozen fruits, vegetables and prepared dinners. Healthy eating will probably mean skipping the frozen dinners.
But everyone’s situation is different. If money is really tight, then should you turn down a $1 dinner that includes protein and enough calories to sustain you?
You may find frozen salmon and tilapia at Dollar Tree. However, it may be sourced from a country like China.
Again, this is an individual decision. But I personally avoid fish farmed in China.
On a recent trip to my local Dollar Tree I found these items in the freezer section:
- Frozen fruits
- Frozen vegetables
- Frozen meat
- Frozen processed meat
- Frozen TV dinners (Marie Callender was the brand)
- Hot dogs
- Much more
Healthy Organic Items At Dollar Tree Store
Dollar Tree store doesn’t carry many USDA-certified organic items. I’m hoping this will change at some point in the future.
I did see a video where a woman found organic canned tomatoes at Dollar Tree. This is something I would definitely buy, even though, in general, canned foods aren’t that great for us. But I didn’t see this brand at my local store.
I think the general consensus is it’s not preferable to shop for groceries at Dollar Tree.
But if you have to, it’s possible to put together relatively healthy meals, with Dollar Tree items. (Maybe not perfectly health. But relatively healthy.)
In fact, an entire genre of YouTube videos has sprung up around Dollar Tree meals. Some of them actually look tasty enough. The skill level of the cook seems to play a huge role.
But these videos show that it’s at least possible to put together an appetizing and reasonably healthy real food meal. Using only foods sold at Dollar Tree.
Dollar Tree is a frugalista’s dream. But an extremely frugal mindset isn’t a healthy one if it includes lots of carbs and highly processed foods.
Many frugalistas don’t seem overly concerned with avoiding genetically modified ingredients. They’re more concerned with saving money.
Unfortunately, GMO’s have been shown to cause cancer in animals. So I try to avoid them. Here’s some information on the 5 Foods Most Likely To Be Genetically Modified.
Canned and frozen corn is sold at Dollar Tree. I would personally avoid these products. Because the vast majority of corn sold in the United States is genetically modified.
If you do buy processed foods from Dollar Tree, look for the NON GMO Project label. (Hopefully, at some point, there will be more of these items to choose from.)
Other Items You May Want To Pick Up At Dollar Tree
In addition to food, there are a number of other items I put in the healthy category.
- Toothbrushes. You can get decent quality toothbrushes for $1. It’s recommended that you change your toothbrush every 3 months.
- Glass dinnerware. Ceramic glazed plates and mugs may possible contain lead, which is part of the glaze. That’s why I like to use clear glass plates and coffee mugs.