Monday, February 20, 2017

Dollar Tree Show and Tell -- Items I Have Tried and Like -- Part 2

Today's post is Part 2 of my Dollar Tree experiences, likes, and opinions.  Today I will be talking about Dollar Tree food.

As well as checking the expiration dates on food items at Dollar Tree (and any other grocery store), you might want to check the label to see where items are produced.  I am happy to say that I have found many Dollar Tree food items that are produced in the USA.  Some are produced in Spain, Germany, and other European countries.  Some are produced in China, India, and other countries in the near and far East.  It's up to you which items you choose to purchase.

Also, Dollar Tree will often carry its own brand (Greenbrier Farms) of many different items, but you will also find several well-known name brands at Dollar Tree such as Campbell's, Kraft, Libby's, Uncle Ben's, and more.  

NOTE:  Not every DT carries the same things at the same times.  Each DT store carries what they are able to procure at any given time.  You will find many of the same items at each DT, but also different items as well.

NOTE 2:  If you find something you like at DT, buy it then, and don't wait.  You can never be sure that same item will be in stock the next time you shop there.  Inventory, brands, types of items change all the time.  Once it is gone, it may not come back.

On to the photos:

Above, I have a photo of some of my recent food purchases.
Back row first:  
1) Crush sugar-free drink mix -- 6 packets, intended to put one packet of mix per one 20-ounce bottle of water.  I only purchase water by the gallon, so I just add a packet to a regular glass of water.  The flavor is a bit stronger that way, but I like it.  The Crush flavor shown is Pineapple, which I like.  DT often carries other Crush flavors like Strawberry, Orange, and Grape.
2)  Hawaiian Punch sugar-free drink mix -- 8 packets, also intended to add to a 20-ounce bottle of water, and I also just mix this with a regular glass of water.  This flavor is Wild Purple Smash (grape), though there are usually a few kinds of Hawaiian Punch mix at DT.  I see the fruit punch quite often and more types as well.
3)  Campbell's Chicken Gravy -- Great over potatoes, rice, noodles.  I frequently mix this with baked chicken and cooked veggies to put over egg noodles.  Yum.
4)  Cream of Wheat in Cinnabon flavor -- OMG.  In my opinion, this is so good.  There are 3 packets of instant Cream of Wheat in this box.  If the sidewalk outside tasted like Cinnabon, I would eat it, so this flavor is A-OK with me.

Front Row:
1)  Butterfield Farms White Meat Chicken -- Chunk style, 5-ounce can.  Packed in water which is almost like a broth.  I add the water to whatever I am cooking with the chicken.   This is very good for adding to casseroles, and I often add it to soups to increase the protein content.  Made in my home state of Minnesota.
2)  Palmer's Peanut Butter Hearts -- These are similar to the peanut-butter cup idea.  They are shaped like hearts and taste very good, though they do not taste the same as Reese's so don't expect that they will.  The hearts might be sold out now since Valentine's Day is past, but Palmer's is a pretty good candy manufacturer and I have enjoyed their candies at each holiday.

Detail photos:

Other foods I purchased recently:

1)  In the foreground, there is a 4-ounce pack of Planter's Salted Peanuts.  I keep a pack or two of these around because I like to add peanuts to my cooked ramen noodles, and I like to add peanuts to my home-made coleslaw (to add some protein).
2)  From the left in back is a 10-ounce jar of the Pampa brand mushroom pieces and stems.  This product is made in Holland.  This comes out to be a great deal since a 4-ounce can of mushroom pieces and stems at my regular grocery store runs about 75 cents.
3)  On the bottom is a can of Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup, It is 13.8 ounces, and it is condensed, so you do add a can of water when preparing.  This item is a staple in my household, and I do add the canned white chicken (see above) to increase the protein content in this soup.  This size can is 25% larger than the regular can of chicken noodle soup in the regular grocery stores, and it only costs one buck.
4)  On the top of the soup is a can of Chef Boyardee Beef Ravioli.  And while you can often get this product for the same price or even a bit less than a buck at your regular grocery store on special or with a store coupon, it is handy to get at Dollar Tree if you are already there.  Also, my local grocery store often charges $1.25 per can, while DT is always a buck.  To add more protein and nutrition to this, I often heat up some frozen broccoli and add it to the pan of ravioli, along with some of the mushroom pieces I mentioned.  It makes a nice meal in a hurry.  It isn't fancy, but it tastes pretty good and fills the tummy.
5)  Next, we have a shaker container of  Garlic Salt.  Because this is salt, I do use it sparingly, but it is perfect for adding that little extra flavor to a dish.  Dollar Tree has a great selection of spices -- each for a dollar.  Such a great deal compared to the regular grocery stores.
6)  Next, there is a can of Libby's Whole Kernel Sweet Corn.  The Libby's vegetables at DT sell for 79 cents per can.  I know I can get canned vegetables cheaper at Aldi, but if I need something and I am at DT, I will often purchase it rather than make the drive to Aldi.  I love Aldi, but the closest one to me is almost 10 miles.
7)  On top of the corn, there is a pouch of Velveeta Cheese Sauce -- the kind of cheese sauce that comes with the Velveeta Shells and Cheese.  This particular pouch is Jalapeno Cheese Sauce, which I did not realize when I picked it up, but it is fine with me since I enjoy Jalapeno.  DT also carries the regular flavor cheese sauce.  I use this product in making a quick pasta casserole with cooked chicken chunks, steamed veggies, and a bit of chopped onion.  I add a little bit of milk if it needs more moisture.

So there you have it, folks, just some photos and thoughts and opinions on Dollar Tree from my perspective.

I also want to let you know that Dollar Tree accepts manufacturer coupons, and they often carry products on which you can use those coupons.  

Overall, I love Dollar Tree, and I actually need to limit my shopping trips because there is a tendency to spend more money than I intend because everything is only a buck (or sometimes less).  And saving a buck is sometimes wiser than spending a buck.  But Dollar Tree has great products available when I need them.  So YAY for Dollar Tree!

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