Dollar Store Tacos

Spicy black bean spinach tacos in baked shells

For my final project in my nutrition education class, we had to identify a barrier to health and create an instructional video to incite behavior change in spite of that barrier. People tell me all the time that eating healthy is too expensive and too time consuming. As one who is both broke and busy, I get it. I really, really get it.

But I also know that with a little creativity (and education), healthy eating can be affordable and accessible to anyone.

So I decided to address this issue by creating a healthy meal using ingredients purchased exclusively at my friendly neighborhood Dollar General.

Cheap and easy. Just like Ralphie.

I ended up making spicy black bean and spinach tacos with roasted sunflower seeds in baked corn tortilla shells.

I’d never made anything remotely resembling this, and I think you can tell in the video that I was legitimately surprised by how good it was. I hope it shows that you can find healthy food in unlikely places and that it doesn’t take a lot of culinary skill to turn it into an impressive meal.

I’m really proud of this project. Check it out:

40 thoughts on “Dollar Store Tacos

  1. This is great! I popped into 7-11 on my way into work this morning, and there was a pile of taquitos on the grill just waiting to be purchased by hungry customers. Yours look about 781209381 x better.

  2. Okaaayyy broke college girl appreciates this SO much. i may make this tonight because I have almost everything in my pantry! More of these posts pleeeease.

  3. Adorable video! I love the idea of buying groceries at the Dollar Store. It’s important to discuss things like poverty and food deserts when talking to people about eating healthy. Great job addressing this!

    • thanks, chrissy. so true. food desserts are a major barrier to healthy eating for a lot of people. i was lucky that the dollar store near me carries groceries. many people don’t even have access to that.

  4. I love this post! I work with on-site wellness programs at call centers, and I can tell you that this is a percieved barrier that comes up a LOT with our customer population. Thanks for helping spread the word that meals can be cheap and healthy, too :)

    • yeah, unfortunately healthy food is presented in such an uppity way that it seems out of reach for most people. but really, the healthiest foods are the simplest (and surprisingly) cheapest ones. you just have to know where to look and what to do with it once you find it.

  5. This is seriously such a great idea! So often we hear that it’s “too expensive” to eat healthy. Of course it CAN be, but there are definitely ways to eat healthy delicious meals on the cheap, and this is a great example!

  6. What an excellent project! I’ve been trying to get my parents to eat healthy for years but they ALWAYS give me the “too busy/too expensive” routine. I’ll be sharing this.

    Also, how do you make your videos? They’re excellent.

    • thanks, girl. i hope your parents like it.

      i shoot everything using photobooth on my mac. in the kitchen scenes, my laptop is balanced precariously on top of the refrigerator. if i have to do something that doesn’t work with a full laptop (like the grocery cart shots), i’ll shoot using my the video setting on my cheapass point-and-shoot or my flipHD. and then i edit with iMovie.

      i’m no expert, that’s for sure. but i have learned a lot playing around with videos the last year. i think i look significantly less stupid than i did in video one… which is good because it was very bad.

  7. Pingback: Most Delicious Guacamole | Katherina DiCristina

  8. I LOVE this series. Inspired by this post, I just made over a pint of guacamole for what I figured out to cost a total of $4. Coulda been cheaper, but I’m a snob and made everything organic. Just kidding, I just used what I had on hand, which happened to be organic. Making your dollar store tacos tonight!

  9. Very, very cool!!! You are already making a difference! Can’t stop now.

    Also, you know I love that low jab at the cat. Gotta love them cats.

    P.S. I am just going to stalk you until we hang out, k? Creepy? You betcha.

  10. Pingback: Sweet Tater Presents: How to Make a Healthy Meal from the Dollar Store « Katie Levans

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