Woman makes it her mission to teach people how to make healthy food from Dollar Tree ingredients
Spending $35 or less for a week's worth of meals has been her goal in an effort to help underserved people stretch their money.
It's obvious to most people that being financially unstable or living below the poverty level is a struggle. Figuring out meals that you can afford outside of ramen can be hard, especially if you have to make it last for days. In fact, cheap foods are generally really processed and unhealthy, but when that's all you can afford, you make do with what you have.
But one creator on TikTok has made it her mission to provide content that will help people who are struggling to make healthier food on a tight budget. Rebecca Chobat runs the TikTok account Dollar Tree Dinners and creates meals using only the ingredients she can find at Dollar Tree, including meats. She shows recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner with an emphasis on stretching a tight budget.
"There are plenty of people in the world who don't have access to regular grocery stores or even fresh food. They may only have a Dollar Tree near them," Chobat explains in a video before continuing. "My videos are here to show people that they can make the best use out of ingredients that are available to them."
Living in a food desert or having to rely fully on food pantries for your meals is the reality for a lot of Americans. Chobat is hoping her videos help people in these sorts of situations make the best out of what they have access to. While some wouldn't consider her meals the gold standard of healthy, when you look at the alternative, the meals she cooks are a much better option.
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Chobat uses a lot of frozen vegetables in her recipes to not only add color but to add nutritional value. Even while being sure to incorporate vegetables, she's also aware that not everyone has access to a refrigerator, so she makes some meals that don't require frozen or refrigerated foods.
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The budget-friendly TikTok user also shows you how to meal prep and make grab-and-go lunches for work as well as no-reheat lunches for kids. Every option is low cost and can help people who may only have $10 to buy enough food to hold them over until their next payday.
In one video, she made creamy spinach pasta with meatballs that not only look delicious but makes enough to feed more than one person or to have leftovers for the next day. With the way grocery prices have gone up over the past year, her recipes may help families who are having trouble making ends meet.
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Budget-friendly recipes don't often come with videos that show you how to cook the meals and much of the time the ingredients come from bigger grocery stores. But with Chobat, no matter where you live or how little money you have, there's a recipe on her page for you. She even did a series on how to cook while staying in a hotel.
Chobat's TikTok page isn't for everyone and she knows that. In fact, she is very deliberate in her word choice and items purchased because she wants to ensure that the people who need her videos the most don't feel shamed. It may seem like a small thing to some, but what Chobat is doing is likely changing lives.