Why Dollar Tree's Beef Stew Left Fans Disappointed

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While the Dollar Tree is a popular destination for affordable home goods, party supplies, and gifts, it is not as highly regarded for its groceries. YouTuber TheWolfePit, for example, frequently reviews frozen products from the Dollar Tree, from steaks that are "glued together" to cheaply processed "fake" chicken, adding credence to the unsavory reputation of the chain store's groceries. Watch a few of their videos, and you'll be fully up to speed on the Dollar Tree foods you should never buy.

One particularly poorly reviewed Dollar Tree item is its Southgate Beef Stew, the store's take on Hormel's Dinty Moore beef stew. On Amazon, only two reviewers said they enjoyed the stew, with one claiming it was better than what he had eaten in "military chowhalls" and the other praising the "simple, wholesome ingredient list." Other reviewers trashed the canned product, describing it as "lousy" and "terrible." One suspected that the meat wasn't really beef, but rather an unknown type of "rubbery stuff." While the ingredients list does include beef, one blogger noted the stew contains textured vegetable protein, a meat alternative made from soy. This ingredient could be used to "beef up" the real beef in the dish. At any rate, why is the Dollar Tree able to sell such poorly regarded food — and at such a low price?

You get what you pay for at the Dollar Tree

According to Reader's Digest, two main reasons why Dollar Tree and other dollar stores are able to sell their products for so cheap is because they buy in bulk and usually pick up brands that have undergone liquidation or bankruptcy. Let's put it like this: A company that sells poor-quality goods, like processed soups, goes bankrupt. This company's products are bought up very cheaply by Dollar Tree, which then puts those products up for sale. The Dollar Tree can now advertise having "T-bone steaks and beef stew" for only a dollar, attracting budget-conscious shoppers and padding its bottom line for relatively little money. 

This isn't in any way a hate-rant on Dollar Tree. Indeed, there are some good things hidden in the aisles of boxed goods and frozen foods if you know where to look. YouTuber Sensational Finds recommends some good items to look for at Dollar Tree, such as Nescafe coffee, tea, frozen vegetables, pasta sauce, and certain name-brand products like Hunt's ketchup and A1 steak sauce. When shopping at the Dollar Tree, it's up to the customer to decide what's a good deal or what's not even worth the dollar.