Eating a well-rounded, nutritious diet on a tight budget can be a significant challenge, but TikToker Rebecca Chobat has become an expert at shopping Dollar Tree to stock up on a week’s worth of groceries for just $35.
Chobat has been posting videos about shopping for — and cooking with — groceries from Dollar Tree on TikTok for the past year to her DollarTreeDinners channel.
In her latest video, which amassed nearly 3 million views in just one day, Chobat turns her attention to competing chain Dollar General to see how it compares in terms of selection and pricing. See below for the detailed grocery list.
“It’s a little like a revolving door; its shelves are never stocked in the same way from one week to the next,” Chobat previously told Insider. Chobat did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment for this story.
Although she said Dollar General is sometimes known as being the more expensive option, the brand’s 19,000 locations in the US exceed the 16,400 stores owned by Dollar Tree. Dollar Tree also owns Family Dollar.
“Dollar General may not be the cheapest place to shop, but it has more physical locations than any retailer in all of the United States,” she said.
Dollar Tree and Dollar General ranked among the top five retailers from which consumers bought food in 2022, per Coresight Research.
One tip Chobat recommends is shopping at Dollar General on Saturday to take advantage of a weekly coupon for $5 off a $25 purchase that is only available on Saturdays.
The coupon is one of several discounts frequent Dollar General shoppers use to save money at the chain.
In some of Dollar General’s messier stores, shoppers can find items discounted to $0.01 each as an inventory write-off measure but not removed from shelves.
In the video, Chobat did not apply the coupon to her budget or seek out specific deal hacks. That way she could show how her approach is repeatable on any day of the week.
To start off, she said she prefers allocating a quarter of her budget to breakfast food, finding eggs, bread, breakfast sausage, instant coffee, and creamer, all for $7.
“I kept a rolling total of all of the item prices and how much I had left to spend in a notebook as I shopped,” Chobat said.
For lunch she chose to spend an extra 55¢ on a ham and turkey combo pack instead of bologna, and picked $1 spicy brown mustard over $3 mayonnaise for a condiment.
A two-pound bag of rice was just 15¢ more than a single pound, and Chobat said she would use it to bulk out some of the $1 cans of soup she found.
She also opted for packs of ranch-flavored tuna over regular, saying, “if a flavored or seasoned version is about the same price, that’s an easy choice.”
Grabbing a bag of frozen broccoli, Chobat noted that prices had recently gone up.
“These frozen vegetables were only $1 a few months back, which makes me sad that they’re now $1.50,” she said.
Canned vegetables meanwhile cost $2 for three, so she got peas, green beans, and corn, as well as a $1 can of diced tomatoes and green chilis, and a $1 can of pork and beans.
With room in her budget she circled back to the dairy cooler to pick up some shredded cheese and sour cream.
A slight hitch came when she forgot to account for one of her two boxes of mac and cheese: “I thought I had 85¢ left, so I grabbed some taco seasoning for 75¢, but that actually ended up putting me 26¢ over budget.”
Chobat used the $5 coupon to buy a bag of chips and some pink lemonade mix — but misread the price of the chips, causing her to go another 45¢ over her budget.
“Ultimately I paid $35.71, plus tax, and for that I got a pretty considerable amount of groceries,” she said.
Here are the groceries you can get at Dollar General for less than $35
Dozen eggs $1.50
Loaf of bread $1.50
Instant coffee $1.00
Breakfast sausage $2.00
Powdered creamer $1.00
Deli meat $3.50
Spicy brown mustard $1.00
4 cans soup $4.00
Hash browns $1.00
2 pounds rice $1.65
2 boxes mac and cheese $1.70
2 packs tuna $2.00
Frozen broccoli $1.50
3 cans vegetables $2.00
Diced tomatoes and green chilis $1.00
Pork and beans $1.00
Shredded cheese $2.75
Sour cream $2.75
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