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Make Gourmet-Tasting Meals From the 99 Cent Store

With the economy in a bit of a downturn, eating like a gourmet foodie can seem a bit extravagant. Cooking a three-course meal for your entire family while on a budget can seem downright difficult. Yet Christiane Jory, author of The 99 Cent Only Stores Cookbook, believes you can do it easily by shopping at dollar stores. And before you start rolling your eyes — I know you're doing it because I did — I should mention that the book actually contains recipes for things that sound delicious. I mean, what about gruyere beignets, salmon souffle and Pinot Noir poached pear tarts doesn't sound good?

I first heard about this book on NPR — you can listen to the whole story online — and thought it was absolutely fascinating. While I don't think I could eat this way completely — sorry folks, I've become a fresh fruit and veggie snob — I do think it's fantastic to show people how to create good tasting food on the cheap. And besides, with the economy the way it is, this book might end up as a must-have for all of us!

So what about you? Do you think you could make gourmet-tasting meals from the 99 cent store?

Join The Conversation
sauterhead sauterhead 9 years
I'm in college, so a lot of what I do have in the way of money goes to food, and I admit I love dollar stores for things that seem ridiculously priced for the product (laundry detergent - never ever buy at the grocery store) - but I really don't feel like "snob" should ever be attached to fresh fruits and vegetables. That should be standard for everybody, just for health.
GrapeBubbleGum GrapeBubbleGum 9 years
The last time I went to the dollar store, I was amazed by how much food they sold! They actually have a fridge and freezer!
milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
I would have to go to the store w/out my husband. He's such a snob. :P But I would love to try the recipes.
Kelly-O Kelly-O 9 years
You can get fruits and veggies at some dollar stores, and if you have an Aldi nearby they almost always have great deals on produce. We're cutting corners everywhere we can find (thank you $3+ gasoline) and I may have to look for this book for some ideas.
TrickyTara627 TrickyTara627 9 years
i'm in college and my roommates and i all buy most of our food from the 99 cent store. they acctually do have fresh fruits and veggies, you can get a bag of like 12 apples for a dollar as well as other stuff like bell peppers, tomatoes, etc. unfortch ours is in kinda a nasty area so we only go all together and during the day but anything that saves me more money for shopping is great!
Lambsauce Lambsauce 9 years
I agree with will205! :)
Aunt-Jemima Aunt-Jemima 9 years
Sounds good
will205 will205 9 years
ooh - i want to try - i'm in college and never have any money for real, haha. this could be fun!
cirrus1701 cirrus1701 9 years
Whole Paycheck...that made me giggle! :)
Zulkey Zulkey 9 years
I agree with you--maybe it's b/c I used to be a fattie but feeding my body right and eating well is just a priority. I don't shop at Whole Paycheck or anything but I need my fruits and veggies (and my lean cuisines too, which aren't cheap.) I'd just try to save money in some other arenas.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Huh. I'm going to have to check that book out.
ktownpolarbear ktownpolarbear 9 years
i usually get like really cheap staples, like eggs or butter or something from the 99 cents store. i don't like canned fish as it is, so i'm prolly not that willing to try it.
Marci Marci 9 years
I just can't bring myself to buy any food goods from the 99 cent store. Don't know why; I just have a thing.
RobinFabulous RobinFabulous 9 years
I think it's great! Not something I'd use because my kids are so picky, but the economy looks dismal, so why not try to show people how to turn blah into better
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Hmmm interesting... There is a repeat of Top Chef on right now when they had to do a Quick Fire Challenge using all canned foods.
keiren63 keiren63 9 years
It's a great place to get condiments and dried pastas and chinese noodles and stuff.
Nyrina-Windu Nyrina-Windu 9 years
I think getting small things from there is ok, but I like my regular name brands from the grocery store.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Yeah it's the canned salmon.
gabiushka gabiushka 9 years
Really? Salmon from the dollar store?? Only the canned kind Sugar, if even.
brittanyk brittanyk 9 years
I think you could probably make some decent things, but I think I'd get tired of it eventually. I'd miss fresh fruit and veggies too.
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