The 4 Best Groceries to Buy at Dollar Tree, Experts Say
The bargain store can be an excellent source for these kitchen staples.
A quick trip to Dollar Tree can be a convenient way to pick up many of the essentials you need in one stop. But while the bargain chain is widely known for some of the great deals it offers on everyday products, the store can also make it easy to fill your refrigerator and pantry with some staple food items. While considering everything from value to quality, we consulted experts to see which products are best to add to your cart when you're on a budget. Read on for the best groceries to buy at Dollar Tree.
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Boxed side dishes
The easiest approach to mealtime often involves showcasing fresh ingredients alongside boxed mainstays. Fortunately, those who are big on easy add-ons can still find the brands they love without blowing their budget.
"Dollar Tree offers name-brand boxed sides like Suddenly Salad, Kraft mac and cheese, and even fun flavors like Cheetos mac and cheese," Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com, tells Best Life. "These all go for $1.25 each, and while you can find bigger boxes at other grocery stores, Dollar Tree beats the grocery store price by unit cost."
Even though the selection may not be as extensive as some supermarket competitors, Ramhold says that stocking up on the flavors or styles you like at Dollar Tree can help lower grocery bills. "And since they're shelf stable, you can keep them around for much longer periods of time," she adds.
While there's nothing wrong with indulging in store-bought desserts, a fresh batch of home-baked treats can be one of the easiest ways to brighten up things around the house—even if you've only got time for a run to the dollar store.
"Dollar Tree has great prices on baking basics like Pillsbury cake mixes," says Ramhold. "The 15.25-ounce box of varieties like yellow, white, or chocolate are $1.25 each, but shopping at major grocery chains could mean spending at least $1 more each on these products—unless there's a buy more and save promotion going on that results in the unit price being cheaper."
And it's not just cake mixes, either. "Dollar Tree also has things like Pillsbury brownie mixes for $1.25 each. And while the size of the box may be smaller than what you'll see in other grocery stores, the price per ounce can still be better than shopping elsewhere," Ramhold adds.
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Pasta is that rare type of kitchen staple that has a long enough shelf life to always be on hand for last-minute meals, whether you're dressing it up with fresh veggies or smothering it in your favorite sauce. It also happens to be a great deal at the dollar store compared to its competitors.
"Dollar Tree sells 20-ounce boxes of different kinds of dried pasta, including common shapes like rotini, penne, spaghetti, and macaroni for $1.25 per box," says Ramhold. "Other grocery stores charge $2 or more for a 16-ounce box of the same types, so it's easy to see why Dollar Tree is a great place to shop for this pantry staple."
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Cereal and fruit aren't the only quick and easy breakfast options out there. If you're a fan of flapjacks, you can count on keeping your pantry stocked for less, thanks to Dollar Tree.
"The store has morning mixes like pancake mix for $1.25 per box, and the package tends to be around 16 ounces," Ramhold says.
She explains that while you can find larger packages of the same items at other grocery stores, Dollar Tree still beats those on the unit price. "A 5-pound box at a standard grocery store can go for around $6.99 or 9 cents per ounce, while at Dollar Tree, that 16-ounce box goes for 8 cents per ounce. And because of the smaller amount, you don't have to worry about using up a ton of mix," Ramhold says.