Nutrition

Discount stores make for hidden healthy eating

I typically give these stores’ grocery isles the stink eye: Dollar Tree, Big Lots and Aldi. But, I’m backpedaling on that a bit.

Let me explain.

I’ve heard horror stories of roaches in dollar store Top Ramen, seen expired canned goods on display and suspicious labeling mimicking well-known brands. Something about that Dollar Tree $1 rib eye is not very appetizing.

So, when I peeked inside my local Big Lots for some fall decor, I wasn’t expecting to walk out with an armful of Non-GMO Project Verified, organic and all-around good food items.

Last week: The reality of eating 1,200 calories a day

Products we love: Beanitos, Late July

Albeit there was a lot of trash in the food isles like M&Ms, cake mixes with artificial colors, some off-brand items and frozen foods I’d never touch, but not any moreso than any mainstream grocery store. Between the Pringles and Kraft Mac n’ Cheese though were little gems like Annie’s boxed soups, my expensive-but-delicious friends, Beanitos and even some gummy candies sans dyes.

I scrutinized the labels, read the fine print, and turned cans topsy-turvy to check expiration dates, but I could find no faults. On my way out I didn’t even need any convincing to sign up for the chain’s store rewards card. I guess I’ll be going back next week, when my snack drawer at work runs empty.

On a side note: I haven’t been to Aldi in quiet a while, but I have to take my hat off to them, too. They’ve made increased efforts in recent years to bring more organic, gluten-free and anti-biotic-free products into stores. I’ve seen it first hand as well. Now that Amazon owns Whole Foods, we’ll have to see if they’re still “terrified,” but that’s for another day.

Here’s my (modest) Big Lots haul:

Annie’s Homegrown Organic Creamy Tomato & Bunny Pasta Soup, 17 oz.

Shoprite: $3.49

Big Lots: $1.50

Savings: $1.99

 

Beanitos, various flavors, 6 oz.

Shoprite: $3.19

Big Lots: $2.00

Savings: $1.19

 

Progresso Vegetable Classics Vegetable Soup, 19 oz.

Shoprite: $2.49

Big Lots: $1.25

Savings: $1.24

 

Also, this is a few years old by now, but check out All Natural Savings’ haul as well.

Have any discount store steals I should know about?

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