One day, I discovered that the dollar store near me has a large selection of frozen fruit. I could fill up an entire blender with frozen fruit for a few dollars, add some fresh kale, juice or non-dairy milk, maybe flax or chia seeds, and a little sweetener, and I’d have large portions of smoothie for several days. Based on the numerous “vegan finds at the dollar store” articles floating around, I’m apparently not alone! Knowing that Dollar Tree also carries quarts of WestSoy soy milk, it got me thinking…would it be possible to make a smoothie with only items from the dollar store? Short answer: Yes! And while this wasn’t the original intention, it turned out that each serving cost $1 to make. So here we have the One Dollar Smoothie!
One Dollar Smoothie: Mango Papaya
Here’s the fine print: 3 bags of frozen fruit and a quart of soy milk will run you $4 total, but this recipe will make approximately 8 cups of smoothie. It works out to be $1 per 2 cups of smoothie, or the size of a regular pint glass. Depending on how much you smoothie you want each day, that works out to 4-5 smoothies that you can enjoy throughout the week.
Here are the items I bought for this smoothie: frozen mango, and the “tropical blend” which contains mango, papaya, pineapple, and banana.
The Dollar Tree near me does not have any fresh produce, so I was shopping from the frozen section and the shelf-stable grocery aisle. No fresh produce makes it a little difficult because bananas are usually an important ingredient in smoothies for creaminess and sweetness. I decided to buy two bags of the tropical blend frozen fruit because it contains frozen banana.
They also carried a mixed berry blend that included banana, so you could use 2 bags of the mixed berry/banana blend, and combine it with a bag of blueberries or strawberries—the dollar store has them all.
As a sidenote, I quickly abandoned the idea of making a green one dollar smoothie. If you’re shopping exclusively at the Dollar Tree, you can still have your smoothie and eat your greens too…just in a totally separate recipe.
This is a pretty basic smoothie as is, so you may want to add some greens, flax seed, or a different type of non-dairy milk if you are not doing the “one dollar smoothie challenge”.
After blending just the frozen fruit and soy milk, my complaint was that the smoothie was not sweet enough, and that it could use a little tartness from lemon or orange. You could replace some of the soy milk with orange or another type of juice for extra flavor and sweetness. The Dollar Tree near me has frozen orange juice concentrate, bottles of juice, bottled lemon juice, and plenty of types of sweetener available.
Either way, the takeaway here is that you can get 10 ounces of frozen fruit for a dollar, so go forth and make cheap smoothies!
- 3 10-ounce bags frozen fruit
- 4 cups soy milk
- Your favorite sweetener, if desired
- Squeeze of lemon juice, if desired
- Combine all ingredients in a large blender, or blend in batches if you have a smaller blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Taste and adjust flavors if needed.
There you have it! If the “smoothie for breakfast” thing isn’t your jam, maybe enjoy alongside some fluffy pancakes (you can get all of those ingredients at the dollar store, too!) or some luxurious avocado toast with that extra pocket change.