Nutritionist Weighs In On Dollar Tree's $1 Steaks

The first time you shop at a Dollar Tree store can be a bit of a revelation. Most, if not all, of the merchandise is actually one dollar, and that's a rarity in 2021. And while economic realities have led to Dollar Tree raising its prices slightly on a few items, one item that remains true to the one-dollar tradition is the Dollar Tree Steak. While the truth about Dollar Tree's $1 steak is that it's not likely to offer taste and tenderness that's comparable to, say, a Ruth's Criss tomahawk, the fact is it's still ribeye steak, and it's still just one dollar. 

That being said, even a dollar would be too much to pay for a food item you wouldn't want to actually put in your mouth. So, we were wondering how Dollar Tree's $1 ribeye steaks stack up nutritionally. To that end, Mashed asked registered dietitian Sue Heikkinen, in-house nutritionist for the nutrition-info app, MyNet Diary, to weigh in on whether these Dollar Tree steaks are worth their dollar price. 

Dollar Tree's $1 steaks are a surprising calorie bargain, but with a caveat or two

Registered dietitian Sue Heikkinen said that when it comes to Dollar Tree's $1 steaks, she would typically recommend a leaner cut than a ribeye, such as a sirloin or flank. However, Dollar Tree's ribeye turns out to be a "surprising" calorie-bargain at a mere 140 calories per serving. Heikkinen noted that a 16-ounce Texas Roadhouse ribeye clocks in at roughly 1,200 calories. 

The secret is in the portion size, Heikkinen told Mashed. "These steaks weigh in at 3.5 ounces raw. Meat typically loses about 25% of its weight with cooking, resulting in a cooked serving close to 2.5 ounces." That means that for those looking for smaller portions or those simply cooking for one, these steaks offer a distinct benefit. That said, 45% of those calories are from fat, almost half of which are from saturated fat.

The other thing to watch out for is the high sodium content. At 570 mg per serving, a single serving will use up 24% of your daily recommended sodium intake, and that's before you add table salt and steak sauce, which can also pack in the sodium, Heikkinen noted.

Finally, while we typically think of a nice steak as a protein-rich meal, Heikkinen said Dollar Tree's steak only comes in at 18 grams of protein per serving. "Although they may not be as appealing as a steak, there are many other affordable protein-rich foods." Heikkinen recommended lentils and canned tuna as wallet-friendly options for your protein fix.