Prepping at the Dollar Tree

I think the Dollar Tree is becoming one of my favorite “prepping” stores. Below is a picture of what I purchased today… all for under $33!

All of the items were $1, of course… but the vegetables and candy bars for hubby were only 79 cents each. Here’s a rundown of what I purchased and how I’ll be using them.

    • Parmesan Cheese, three 3 oz containers, will be used for pizza and spaghetti. I had an older larger container in the fridge, so I put all 9 oz into the larger container. The package said to “refrigerate after purchasing”… that seemed weird to me… but oh well, it’s in the fridge now.
    • Glass shakers, two of them. These are going to be used for an idea I had. I probably could have used old spice containers instead of buying these (and I might still do that) but here’s my idea. I have two powdered cleaning items (Bar Keepers Friend and Comet) that are under my kitchen sink. I noticed the other day that when I put them back they seem to leave a cloud behind that settles everywhere under the sink. I’m thinking if I put these in a shaker container with a lid, that I’ll be able to stop this from happening. What do you think? Cool idea? I’ll let you know how it works out. And the more I think about it, the more I think I’ll use the empty plastic parmesan cheese shakers that I just emptied today. I do tend to “toss” the containers into the basket I keep them in, and maybe plastic would be better than glass.
    • Reese’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter cups, two packages. These are for hubby. He really likes dark chocolate and I pick a couple of these up for him every time I see them.
    • Hormel Pepperoni, three 3 oz packages. Since these are shelf stable, they’ll go into food storage for future homemade pizza making… (oh, that’s one of my secret projects I need to tell you about…. we don’t buy pizza anymore since I found great recipes for pizza dough and sauce!!!)
    • Paper Lunch Bags, one 50 count package. These will be used for making microwave popcorn. (Yes, another project I was working on while I was away from blogging! If you’ve never done this before, you’re going to be really excited when you find out how easy it is to make microwave popcorn at home!)
    • Bakery Bags, one 8 count package. I like using these to take bread and other goodies to families at church.
    • Borden Half & Half, four 8 oz containers. I don’t buy half & half because I rarely use it. But lately I’ve been seeing recipes that I’d like to try that have half & half as an ingredient. This is a shelf stable product with an expiration date of July 2012. So I’ve got about six months to use it. And I won’t have to worry about it going bad in the fridge.
    • Sliced Beets, three 15 oz cans. I recently discovered that my hubby likes beets. He didn’t used to, but he tried them a few months ago and has decided I can add them to the meal planning. Normally we prefer the pickled ones, but these are great sliced up on salads.
    • Whole White Potatoes, one 15 oz can. I really wish there were more of these on the shelf, but believe me, I searched! I think these will be good to put in soups or maybe chop up and fry for breakfast. Come to think of it, I’m glad I didn’t buy anymore, I really want to can my own at home.
    • Cookies, two packages. I like cookies, especially chocolate covered grahams and shortbread. Enough said… LOL! Maybe I can learn how to make these at home.
    • Cheapo Paper Plates, three 50 count packages. I don’t use these for meals. I cut them down and use them as dividers in the goodie pail I send with hubby to work on holidays. (I tried to find a picture of the one I used this year and I can’t believe I never blogged about this because I couldn’t find the picture!!! It’s such a great idea, and I’ll have to make sure I show you in February for Valentine’s Day.)
    • Scouring Pads, two 5 count packages. I cut these up and use them as mini dish scrubbers. I think I blogged about this once before. But if you need more information, you can view the Katzcradul video that explains a money-saving tip on scouring pads. And I don’t buy sponges any more either, I crochet my own. If you’d like to know more about this, let me know.
    • Mini Pretzels, one package. We’ll probably snack on these or I think I might make a Chex Mix with them. We have a lot of Chex (all flavors) and I’m kinda craving this snack that I know I can make it at home a lot cheaper than those pre-made bags at the store.
    • Zipper Bags, one 15 count gallon sized package. I actually use these to put my yarn in when I’m working on a crochet project. They are less expensive than the name brand ones. I can also use these to put bread to take when we’re invited somewhere for dinner.
    • Pot & Pan Brush, one. I needed to get one of these for our Contigo mugs/bottles. We really like them because they don’t spill if knocked over. I purchased the bottles to use during the summer months for juice or water or koolaid. The mugs we use in the winter for hot tea and cocoa. Anyway, the mugs do seem to get stained from the tea and cocoa. I’ve found that I can use Bar Keepers Friend to get the stains out of the mugs because they are stainless steel inside. But my fingers just aren’t long enough to get down to the bottom of the mug. I’ve tried using my mini scouring pads with a wooden spoon but that’s just so hard. I’m hoping this brush will take care of that problem for me.
    • Oh, and the last items are the black baskets. I’ll be using them to keep my freezer organized. I’ve found that plastic baskets really help keep things together and organized in my freezer space. Maybe one day when I get a new freezer, I can show you how I do it. For now, I just stack them in the freezer space I have available. Each one has a different meat or item. Give it a try, it really helps!


And the LORD God commanded the man, saying,
“Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;
Genesis 2:16 (NKJV)

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