Dollar Tree is a well-known American retailer that sells products at very low prices. Their website claims they offer “good quality, but not always the best price”. We decided to take an investigative look and found out if you can still get healthy food on a budget at Dollar Tree.
The “dollar tree food review” is a thorough investigation into the healthiness of food at Dollar Tree. The article investigates the nutritional content, ingredients, and quality of each product.
This is the first of a three-part series in which we study if a nutrient-dense, balanced meal plan can be created entirely from the three most popular dollar stores: Dollar General, Dollar Tree, and Family Dollar.
While most of the food sold at cheap shops is unhealthy, we’ve discovered several nutritious alternatives that Dollar Tree buyers may find handy.
In this post, we’ll go over some of the healthiest Dollar Tree alternatives in a variety of food categories, as well as an example meal plan.
What Do We Mean When We Say “Healthy”?
Of all, “healthy eating” is a subjective concept, since what is healthy for one person may not be good for another. A diabetic may not be able to consume the same amount of nutritious carbohydrates as a healthy adult.
Healthy eating is defined as a nutrient-dense diet that is devoid of hazardous additions such as sweets, preservatives, and flavoring compounds.
Medical studies have indicated that this diet approach is best for the typical adult. Whole grains, legumes, fresh fruit, wild-caught seafood, and Products derived from animals produced from grass-fed animals, as well as seeds and nuts, form the foundation of most meals.
Please keep in mind that the pricing in this post is based on a single retailer in our location (Western Massachusetts), and prices will vary throughout the country.
At Dollar Tree, you’ll find a good selection of vegetables, much more than at Dollar General.
There are options for dry, tinned, and frozen vegetables. We don’t suggest several of the canned foods since they include extra sugar. Here are some of the fruits and vegetables we recommend:
$1 for dried apples
$1 for dried mangos
$1 for dried pineapple
$1 for frozen okra
$1 for a frozen California mix (cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots).
Frozen peas & carrots: $1
$1 for frozen cauliflower
Broccoli, frozen: $1
$1 for frozen asparagus
$1 for a frozen stir-fry mix (carrots, snap peas, and yellow bell peppers).
$1 for frozen spinach
$1 for frozen peaches
$1 for frozen strawberries
$1 for frozen mixed berries
Mangoes, frozen: $1
$1 for a frozen banana berry combination
$1 for a can of olives
$1 for a can of pumpkin
$1 for a can of green beans
$1 for a can of carrots
$1 for canned beets
$1 for canned mushrooms
$1 for a can of potatoes
As you can see, Dollar Tree has a wide range of vegetables to choose from, and the costs are often cheaper than Dollar General. We selected 19 distinct vegetable kinds offered at a single shop.
Although most people believe that fresh food is the healthiest, frozen produce is nutritionally better. According to medical study, frozen food has a greater nutritious content than fresh produce because the nutritional value is sealed in during the freezing process shortly after harvest.
Because of valid worries about contaminants seeping from can liners into canned goods, we suggest frozen produce over canned vegetables. However, the advantages of eating fruits and vegetables outweigh these concerns, so for customers who only have access to a Dollar Tree, we suggest picking the frozen produce products mentioned most of the time, but sometimes purchasing canned food like beets and green beans for variety.
Products derived from animals
Similar to Dollar General, the only healthy Products derived from animals at Dollar Tree are fish. We don’t recommend any of their meats or dairy offerings because they’re sourced from conventionally-raised animals which we know from medical studies to be significantly less healthy than those from pastured animals. Here are the Products derived from animals we recommend:
Pink salmon, packaged, 2.6 ounces (oz): $1
3.75 oz. canned sardines in water: $1
$1 for 10 oz. of canned mackerel
Tuna in a can costs $1.
Fish are abundant in omega-3 fatty acids and a good source of protein. All of the above-mentioned goods are made from wild-caught fish, which we feel is healthier than farmed fish.
To reduce mercury exposure, fish should be eaten no more than four times per week, and tuna should be taken no more than twice per week or less, since it contains substantially more mercury than sardines or salmon.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive and nutritious meal plan, staples like rice and beans should form the foundation of most of your meals. Healthy staples may be found at Dollar Tree:
Beans from the far north $1 for 1 pound (lb).
1 pound of pinto beans costs $1.
1 pound lentils: $1
2 pound brown rice, long grain: $1
1 pound rolled oats: $1
6 oz. golden quinoa: $1
20 oz. popcorn kernels: $1
This store has a far larger selection than Dollar General and offers a substantial selection of low-cost carb staples. Only rice and beans were available at Dollar General, so adding oats and quinoa gives nutrition, micronutrients, and diversity.
Rice and beans are the foundation of many meals in many cultures throughout the globe due to its cheap cost and great nutritional value. At these pricing, a big lunch of rice and beans would cost less than ten cents.
We don’t suggest any of the pasta items from Dollar Tree since they’re all supplemented with synthetic vitamin mixes, which we believe are unhealthy and perhaps hazardous.
Whole nuts are the healthiest food at Dollar Tree. Nut consumption has been demonstrated in medical studies to lower death rates from practically all causes. They offer a limited assortment but better costs than Dollar General:
$1 for 7.5 oz. of peanuts
$1 for 5 oz. sunflower seeds
2 oz. pumpkin seeds: $2
There are no additives in any of the nuts described above. Although Dollar Tree provides a large selection of sweets and chips, we do not endorse any of these items since they are harmful.
At Dollar Tree, you’ll discover a surprising number of healthful tea options:
$1 for 20 packets of Energy Boost tea
$1 for 20 packets of Immunity Boost tea
$1 for 20 packets of detox tea
$1 for 20 packets of peppermint tea
$1 for 100 packets of green tea
$1 for 6 oz. of coffee grounds
$1 for 2.25 oz. of organic Arabica coffee grounds
Espresso $1 for 6 oz. of coffee grounds
$1 for 1 pound of prune juice
$1 for 14 oz. of red grapefruit juice
$1 for 1 pound of apple cider vinegar
$1 for a 6-pack of water
Dollar Tree once again outperforms Dollar General in terms of healthful selections.
We don’t agree with the tea’s health claims (“detox,” “immunity,” etc. ), but they’re simply herbal tea blends with no additives, so they’re totally safe.
Oils for cooking
Only one cooking oil from Dollar Tree comes highly recommended:
$1 for 7.25 oz. of refined coconut oil
The majority of the Oils for cooking they have for sale are cheap vegetable oils like corn oil and vegetable oil blends. We know from medical research that vegetable oils are associated with inflammation and poor cardiovascular outcomes, so sticking to coconut oil is a safe choice.
Condiments & Spices
Spices and condiments from Dollar Tree may add flavor and micronutrients to your meals in a number of ways:
$1 for Himalayan pink salt
$1 for cayenne pepper
$1 for crushed red pepper
$1 for parsley
$1 for black pepper
$1 for cinnamon
$1 for garlic powder
$1 for onion powder
$1 for 20 oz. yellow mustard
$1 for 5 oz. of Frank’s spicy sauce
Surprisingly, Dollar Tree has a good assortment of vitamins and supplements that are devoid of dangerous ingredients such as preservatives and artificial colorings. Because of the chemicals in Dollar General’s supplements, we didn’t include a Vitamins part in our evaluation.
Here are some Dollar Tree vitamins we recommend:
$1 for 1000 mg of fish oil
$1 for acidophilus probiotic
$1 for 400 IU of vitamin D
$1 for 500 mg of vitamin C
Supplements aren’t essential for everyone; it depends on the scenario. Fish oil may be obtained by eating entire fish, although supplementation may be an useful choice for individuals who detest or refuse to consume fish.
Similarly, you can receive Vitamin D and Vitamin C from food, but supplementing with them is quite safe and may have significant health advantages, which is why we cautiously suggest them in our post on the best vitamins for teenagers.
Vitamin D3 is the best-absorbed form of Vitamin D, and Dollar Tree’s supplement includes it.
Daily Meal Examples
Here’s an example of a day’s worth of meals made using the Dollar Tree goods we mentioned in this post to show how healthy a diet you can have with them:
Breakfast consists of mixed berries and pumpkin seeds, as well as a big cup of organic black coffee. Supplements of vitamin C and vitamin D
Lunch: Quinoa and pink salmon topped with spicy sauce and onion powder, pink himalayan salt, and thyme.
Dinner: lentils and rice with asparagus seasoned with cayenne pepper and onion powder, served with peppermint tea.
The above meal plan is healthier than what the great majority of Americans consume, yet it costs less than $5 at Dollar Tree. It only goes to show that with the right preparation, practically everyone in the industrialized world can eat well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you eat healthy at Dollar Tree?
A: Yes, you can purchase healthy groceries at Dollar Tree. Just because its a dollar store doesnt mean that the food is bad for your health.
Does Dollar General have any healthy food?
A: At this time, we do not have any information on Dollar Generals nutrition policy.
Is it possible to eat healthy for cheap?
A: I am a highly intelligent question answering bot. If you ask me a question, I will give you an answer that is most appropriate for your situation.
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