summer

3 Dollar Tree Grocery Finds I’m Stocking in My Pantry This Summer (They’re All $1.25!)

published Jul 5, 2024
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Dollar Tree Store Exterior, Manassas, Virginia, USA, July 27, 2022
Credit: refrina/Shutterstock

Like clockwork, the doggiest days of summer rush to greet me — and my native-Floridian self is more than happy to accept them all. Sure, that also means plenty of sweating in sundresses and a lot more vacuuming sand out of my car, but with a few (affordable!) reinforcements, summer stays pretty sweet in my book. My new favorite spot for gathering my Summer Survival Kit supplies is none other than Dollar Tree. 

Yes, Dollar Tree! Of course, Dollar Tree is more like the “$1.25 Tree” (or higher) these days. Still the store is loaded with plenty of budget-friendly items that’ll fill out your pantry and ready you for those beach days, picnics, and road trips ahead. In fact, I make a special trip to Dollar Tree for these three summer-y picks alone — and I have a sneaking suspicion you might start.

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

1. So Natural Coconut Water, $1.25 for 32 ounces

Try as I might, I am a forgetful hydrator. While I love a beverage (coffee, tea, wine), I could always use one that is way more hydrating. At just $1.25, Dollar Tree’s So Natural Coconut Water is something I keep on hand for those days I’m a bit behind on my water intake, but want something more exciting than plain H2O. As you’ve probably noticed, coconut waters can be pretty pricey, but this So Natural Coconut Waters not only tastes like, ahem, a familiar name brand (especially the pineapple and mango flavors), but it’s also solidly a third of the price.

The So Natural Coconut Water is not just for straight-up drinking out of the bottle either (although that’s also a very solid idea). Personally, I really like to use the So Natural Mango Coconut Water in smoothies as well as mocktails and cocktails — after I’ve hit my water-drinking goals, obvi.

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

2. George & Toms Sugar Cones, $1.25 for 5 ounces

In college, I basically was on a first-name basis with the workers at my local McDonald’s. Every summer, I’d make daily trips to the golden arches for a $1 dollar soft serve cone. I don’t live a 30-second walk from a Mickey D’s anymore, so I have to keep my Daily Cone routine going at home. 

I also come from a long line of family members who are pretty picky about their ice cream cones, and the George & Tom Sugar Cones are a true winner not only in price (a cool $1.25 for 12 cones), but also their crispy, crackly, lightly sweet waffle cones. With a few solid scoops of my ice cream of choice (like the best vanilla money can buy), it’s almost too easy to keep my Dollar Cone summer tradition going. Best of all, my new cone combo beats those McDonald’s prices (if you divide it out per serving) by more than a few pretty pennies, too.

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

3. IBC Root Beer, $1.25 for 12 ounces

Summer, to me, is packed with so many distinct flavors. For some it might be butterscotch salt water taffy or drippy “red” Popsicles. I know I can’t be alone in naming root beer floats as one of the most iconic flavors of them all. It makes you smile just thinking of a scoop of vanilla ice cream bobbing on the top of a frosty glass of root beer, right? Right.

When you only have two all-important components to a recipe (such as a root beer float), you’ve really got to make sure each part is top-quality, which is why I always pick up a few bottles of IBC Root Beer at Dollar Tree for my float-making stash. As it goes for grocery store root beers, IBC is one of my top-tier picks; it’s crisp yet creamy, with a bite of herbal spice and caramel sweetness that goes so well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a swoosh of whipped cream with a cherry on top. Plus, picking up a few of these loosies (instead of a four-pack) will save you a buck or two, depending on where you shop. 

Pro tip: Make a batch of root beer float Popsicles to keep in the freezer to unlock that summer-y, smiley feeling whenever you need it. 

Spot any exciting new groceries at Dollar Tree lately? Tell us about it in the comments below.