My most recent place of discovery and adventure has been my local Dollar Tree, which is a nationwide chain of 99cent stores. An actual 99 cent store – where every item in the store is $1. Shopping at these types of chains aren’t new for me, it’s something my Mom enjoys because she’s into crafting, gardening, hosting and everything in between and somehow always manages to have the perfect thing for every occasion – I still look forward to her calls after her bargain store visits and thrift store finesse sessions – there are a few different options in my neighborhood and I’d previously spent some time at the 99 cent+ store which was also pretty fun and very resourceful for housing items.
After watching quite a few vlogs on YT, I decided to check out my Dollar Tree to see if it was all hype and expired items like some of the reviews said or if it could be a way for me to supplement the items I already got elsewhere. Gluten Free eating and living is very expensive so having ways to cut down on costs so I can save for the things I need that you get get at reduced costs like medication, supplements etc.
I was pleasantly surprised.
I’ve been able to pick up lots of well known national brands as well as find some new smaller companies who make pretty decent products.
Here are a few of the things I got on my first trip:
I was very surprised to find this item because I was sure it didn’t exist. As I am already familiar with the Kikkoman Brand – it’s my current favorite gluten free soy sauce – this got thrown in the basket hella fast. I look forward to making some fried fish. It seems that this is available at Target but with DT there is a savings of $1.69.
Maseca Instant Corn Masa Flour
This was another surprising item. I’ve seen it at my international food market but only in larger sizes which can be intimidating to commit to. This is nice because I’ll be able to use it for Tortillas, Pupusas, Empanadas and more so it should end up being a pantry staple. With the fried fish from the GF Panko crumbs above, I can get some bomb Tacos going. I’ve never seen this size of this item so I have no idea what the comparative price is but can’t beat $1.
I’m a fan of apple sauce and this one was straight forward – apples and cinnamon. I destroyed the entire four pack in one day. I am not ashamed to say I went back and picked up a few more. Similar items are $2+ at the supermarket.
The Freeze Dried Fruit Crisps were interesting….dried so the texture is a bit chewy, what I’ve been doing is throwing it in with my smoothies or the apple sauce and it starts to break down and dissolve. It’s clear the the quality of strawberries are really high – they are super sweet and I’m going to continue to pick these up.
Good Health Veggie Straws + Mc Trader Pineapple Salsa
The Good Health Veggie Straws are amazingly delicious. These are the gluten free version – there is a non gluten free version or has been so please be careful and look for the GF verified symbol – you see it here in the picture on the bottom left. These are usually $3+ at Target so you KNOW I picked up a few.
The Pineapple salsa was a complete gamble but I do like fruit salsas. It wasn’t as sweet as I expected so it’s been great. I’ve been eating them with tortilla chips and sometimes as a marinade. I saw they had a few other types of this so I’ll be on the look out my next visit.
I found a few other items like frozen fruit (I got maybe 6 bags) but I’ve used almost all of them to make smoothies already but I feel like I need to let you know that the $1 bags of fruit taste exactly the same as the $3.50 bags from Target. Smoothies are super important to me because when I’m having a hard time with my stomach which is more often than not; it might be the only thing I’m able to keep down without anxiety or it coming right back up. If nothing else, this is one item I will continue to go back for.
The Verdict: A Gluten Free Win
All in all, a decent haul. I ended up spending $15 – I got a few household items like organizational trays for the kitchen, some candles and cleaning items. So far the quality of all the food items has been amazing and I’ve already been back a few times. I’m quite annoyed with myself that I didn’t take the time to check it out before.
I double and tripled checked all the food items and most dates were well into 2019 – my store gets LOTS of traffic so that maybe contributes to the availability of shelf stable items. I still recommend that you double check all ingredients and expiration dates. Read your labels folks!