Save Money & Shop Healthy at the Dollar Store

Shop Healthy at the Dollar Store

Save Money and Shop Healthy at the Dollar Store

The next time that you find yourself standing at the register at the grocery store and watching your total go higher and higher, think about how much you could save shopping at local dollar stores. Dollar stores are retail shops that sell products for $1 or less, though there are also dollar stores that sell more expensive products. You might think that it’s impossible to find good food at those shops or that all the food sold will expire soon. The truth is that these stores often sell a wide selection of foods that will help you save big, but you need an idea of which products to seek out.

Canned Meats

The same canned meats that you get at the grocery store are available at most dollar stores, including canned tuna and canned chicken. When buying tuna, always take a look at the mercury content. If the amount seems too high, move on. Mix a can of tuna with a little mayonnaise, a dash of curry powder and chopped veggies like carrots and celery for a healthy lunch. Turn canned chicken into nachos that party guests will love. Drain the chicken before dividing on a cookie sheet of tortilla chips. Sprinkle some low fat cheese over the top and bake until the cheese melts.

Steaks and Frozen Meats

Many dollar stores now have refrigerated and frozen sections that offer some big savings on meats. While you might hesitate to buy steak from the dollar store, it actually has a richer and bolder flavor than you might expect. The best thing about dollar store steak is that it comes in the perfect small portion size. Experts generally recommend that you eat no more than three ounces of meat per meal. These steaks are also thin and come fully tenderized and seasoned, which makes it easy to make a quick steak salad or sandwich.

Frozen Vegetables

If you’re like many people, you probably buy fresh vegetables and shy away from frozen because you think frozen vegetables do not contain the vitamins and nutrients your body needs. Manufacturers typically pick those veggies at the height of the harvest and immediately portion and freeze the veggies. Frozen bags may contain more vitamins and minerals than canned options do. A single bag from your local dollar store helps you make a quick and easy side dish that you can get on the dinner table in minutes.

Foreign Foods

Many leading grocery stores now have an international section filled with foods from around the world, but your eyes may bug out a little when you see just how much some of those products cost. Dollar stores often sell the same products or similar products for a fraction of the price. You can find everything you need for a Mexican fiesta, including tortillas, rice, black beans and even seasonings. Some shops also carry authentic Asian cooking ingredients, including soy sauce and sesame oil that can add a great touch to any stir fry.

Simple Snacks

Whether you have small children at home or love snacks yourself, you can use the dollar store to find some great and healthy options. Many shops sell cheese crackers that taste just like the name brand but cost up to half as much. Wheat crackers are another great option. These crackers have more whole grains than normal crackers do and are perfect for serving with hummus or eaten alone. While you might do your best to avoid the candy aisle, don’t be afraid to venture in every now and then. Dollar trees sell small bags of candy and candies in smaller sizes that let you curb your sweet tooth without taking in too many calories.


Dollar stores are also a great place to find condiments from leading brands like Kraft and Hampton Creek. Many shoppers head to these stores when stocking up on condiments to take with them camping because the products usually come in smaller sized plastic bottles. In addition to traditional condiments like ketchup and mustard, you’ll also find some unexpected options like mayonnaise made without eggs or low sugar ketchup. You can also hit the dollar store for hot sauces and ethnic condiments.

Is There Anything You Should Avoid?

While shopping at dollar stores can help you save money and eat healthier, there are some things you should avoid. Most of these stores sell individual cans of vegetables and fruits for $1 each, but you can get those same foods at any grocery store for less than $1. Try to avoid the spice section too. Many of these spices cost more per ounce than the grocery store charges and may not taste as potent. You’ll also want to avoid the cheeses sold at these stores. The cheeses contain more oil than milk and won’t melt the way you want it to melt.

Dollar stores now sell everything from books and party supplies to toys and even tools. You can save quite a bit when doing some of your grocery shopping there. Stick with foods like condiments, snacks and frozen foods to get the most bang for your buck!


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