Meals from a Dollar Store
August 14, 2023 | Christine Hradek
In my home state of Iowa, there are a lot of us who have a significant drive to get to a big grocery store with a wide variety of food. Trips into larger cities take time and money for transportation. In small towns and certain areas of larger cities, we are more likely to find a dollar store that sells a variety of items including some food. Most dollar stores have shelf-stable foods and some have refrigerated or frozen foods too. I gave some thought to what I could make with the shelf-stable foods my local dollar store carries. Here are some of the products that stood out to me as particularly useful and how I would make them into a meal.
- Microwaveable rice pouches save time and dishes. They create a nice base for a meal. Add in your favorite spices along with canned products like beans, corn, and tomatoes or salsa and you have a balanced, tasty meal.
- Pasta is always a winner in my book and my dollar store carries a nice variety. They have spaghetti, macaroni, and lasagna. They even have the macaroni in a whole-grain version. I would mix this with a can of mixed vegetables and a can of chicken and let that simmer for a minute or two with some jarred Alfredo sauce and garlic powder.
- Spices are plentiful at my dollar store. I was impressed with all of the different spices and blends like barbeque, Sauzon, Creole, and lemon pepper seasoning. It might sound strange to build a meal around spices, but it was inspiring to me to see all that was available. I would use these spices to make the most of basic ingredients, like tuna and mayonnaise. With the addition of a seasoning, I could make a tasty tuna salad. My store offers bread and tortillas for a sandwich or wrap. I could also choose from canned peaches, pears or pineapple for a fruit side dish.
- Pancake mix and oatmeal combine to make our Oatmeal Pancakes. These are a delicious and hearty breakfast. I like them topped with peanut butter, but you could also make a tasty topping using canned fruit, like pineapple.
If the grocery store is a long drive for you and a dollar store is convenient, I hope you find some inspiration in these meal ideas. Let us know your ideas on our social media!