Sunday, February 05, 2006


jennifer over at the felt mouse had the genius idea to have a challenge on how much of a gourmet dinner you could fix with items that you bought at a dollar store. i had to get in on this. i just love a good challenge and i love to try and save money.

of course this challenge left me with all sorts of ideas on what upcoming challenges could be.

i'd like to thank jennifer for this, b/c i have never bought any food related item (aside from candy and cookies) at the dollar store. i have always been worried about the quality of the item (would it be stale? no good?) and just figured it was best to get something at the grocery store. i didn't have a problem with anything that i bought and now i know that i can purchse things there (but you do have to know the prices of certain items at other stores if you are trying to watch what you spent. the brownie mix i bought was only 0.78 cents at walmart. i know its pennies, but that kinda thing irks me).

okay, on to my submission


items bought at the dollar store

*pkg. of salsa bowls (2 to a pack)
*pkg.of flour tortilla shells
*bag tortilla round chips
*jar of salsa
*jar of processed cheese (oh so gourmet eh?)
*jar of mexican chili seasoning
*box of mexican rice
*pkg. of betty crocker brownie mix
*8 pk. of snack size reeses peanut butter cups
*2 pkgs. of orange votive candles (2 to a pack)
*4 yellow color votive candles
*2 pkgs. of dish towels (one had just 1 towel & the other had 3 of a smaller size)

dollar tree total: $13.50

items bought at walmart

*1 can of pace salsa flavored refried beans

walmart total: $0.78

items already on hand

*pkg. of ground turkey (of this i only used half. saved the other half for a meatloaf this week)
*can of red kidney beans
*can of rotel diced tomatoes
*can of delmonte rio grande vegetables
*can of tomato paste
*can of corn
*4 tupperware plates (gotta be from the 70's. inherited them from my m-i-l)
*orange table cloth
*flower holder (which i only used b/c it matched)
*fake flowers (which i bought at a previous trip to the dollar tree)
*shredded cheese
*cupcake paper thingies
*pkg. of taco seasoning mix
*pkg. of hidden valleny ranch mix

i would say my total for items on hand is no more $10 (not including that over expensive flower holder mind you).

grand total: $24.28

on the menu

taco chili served in a tortilla shell bowl
sprinkled with cheese

rice on the side

tortilla chips topped with refried beans, rio grande veggies, shredded cheese, processed cheese, and salsa

cupcake brownies with a reeses peanut butter cup in the center.

everyone (minus my stubborn and picky lil girl) ate everything up. unfortunately, my dollar tree doesn't have much in the food department. that is unless you count candy as a major food group (which i do, but thought that may not work in the challenge ;)


allison said...

I was so tempted to do this challenge. I eyed the dollar spot at Target for a while, but never got around to finding "dollar" food.
Your reeses filled brownie looks especially good!

petulant said...

they all ate it, that is a major achievement on this challenge so far! I had the candy-is-a-food-group issue too....

Amanda said...

Great job! I rely on the dollar store for some things - especially crackers for the kids, etc. The other thing they are great for is cleaning supplies. My real favorite though is Big Lots. They have lots of "gourmet" food - roasted red peppers, great pasta, etc. for super cheap.

my house is cuter than yours said...

Those brownies look GOOOD! I love the color combo for your table setting too!

Jennifer said...

I am so glad that your meal was edible! I felt bad that people had to spend money on food that went to waste... Trust me, if those cupcakes were around here, they certainly would not have gone to waste!