7 Worst Foods To Buy At The Dollar Store
The Dollar Store, as well as its sister stores Dollar General and Family Dollar, is a controversial place. You want to love it because both food products and household items are made very inexpensive, however, they are heavily concentrated in poor towns and don't always adequately serve the communities who inhabit those areas.
However, these discount stores dominate the United States, with more than 16,000 Dollar Generals and nearly 8,000 Family Dollars across the country, and a lot of people in food desert-stricken areas have no choice but to get their groceries from these kinds of establishments. While some Dollar Store food finds can be both healthy and cheap, other options are far from nutritious.
Below, you'll see just seven examples of unhealthy foods that are available at the Dollar Store.
These Crunchy Corn Kernels come in a 4-ounce bag, which won't last you long at all, especially when you're hungry. That whole bag (which contains four servings), however, packs a total of 520 calories and 640 milligrams of salt. That's over one-quarter of both the recommended daily allowance of sodium at 2,300 milligrams and calories (2,000).
Tangy Zangy Sour Fruit Slices
This candy has one of the catchiest names of all time and also one of the most alarming nutrition labels. The front of the bag advertises the "fruit" slices as non-GMO, but don't let that fool you into thinking this product is nutritious. With roughly 162 grams of sugar per package, this snack is not part of a healthy diet. Steer clear of this snack and consider eating grapefruit or orange instead to get that fruity fix.
Gabriela 6-piece Cocoa Pies
You can get six of these cocoa pies for $1.75, making each one just 29 cents. However, with 18 grams of carbs and 8 grams of sugar per pie, this snack is not worth the bargain price.
Whoever Gabriela is, her heart is clearly in the right place—these delicious cookies are no doubt among the Dollar Store's most popular items. But as far as nutritional value goes, these cookies may as well be labeled "empty calories" as they don't offer any nutritional value.
Nissin Bowl Hot & Spicy Super Picante
The packaging here is enticing, to say the least. But what makes these noodles so "blazing hot" is beyond us. Why? There are too many ingredients to count, taking up 11 lines on the nutrition label. That's a big red flag! Even more shocking is how much sodium one package contains. At 1,300 milligrams of sodium, these noodles may just be the right amount of hot and spicy, but at the cost of over half of your day's worth of salt.
Nissin Top Ramen: Beef Flavor
It's hard to imagine a meal saltier than the Hot & Spicy noodles until you pop open a bag of Top Ramen. A fan favorite in college dorms and starter apartments everywhere, this particular flavor of ramen packs 1,330 milligrams of sodium. It's also worth noting that this bargain-price ramen does not actually contain beef. It's simply "beef-flavored" whatever that means! (Related: 3 Recipes To Doctor Up A Packet of Instant Ramen)
Island Snacks Tropical Mix
Full disclosure: This is what I would most likely turn to if hungry and deep in deal-hunting at the Dollar Store. It also seems like this snack would lean on the healthier side (it's literally an assortment of dried fruits and nuts), but with 19 grams of sugar per serving, you might as well go for the cocoa pie above instead. If you're going to eat dried fruit make sure you opt for a brand that doesn't contain added sugars.