The Saddest Thing Ever

Dollar Tree is a chain of variety stores in the US where most everything sells for $1, much like Poundland in the UK.

Most of the products sold at Dollar Tree are private label items; walk down the hardware, kitchen gadget or toy aisles and you’ll find that almost everything is “imported by Greenbrier International”, the Dollar Tree subsidiary that purchases and distributes those items. Dollar Tree also sells a lot of “faded brands” like Fabuloso and Bon Ami cleaners, Aim and Ultrabrite toothpaste, Lavoris mouthwash, Sunbeam batteries, and so on. They also sell a variety of off-brand grocery items, mostly stuff like canned chili or dried pasta that wouldn’t sell for much more than a dollar at a regular grocery store. And when dollar stores started really taking off in the mid 1990s, high profile manufacturers like Procter & Gamble and Johnson Wax started making goods especially for them. So where a local grocery store might sell a box of 30 Ziploc brand bags for $2.79, Dollar Tree might sell a box of 10 for $1.

But there are some goods which just don’t belong in a dollar store. I was at my local Dollar Tree today, checking out the new freezer case, when I spotted a “Ribeye Steak” for only a buck. I knew there HAD to be a catch, so I opened up the freezer to check it out:

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Yeah… let’s turn this thing over:

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Wow. That’s… one teeny tiny steak ya got there. Look how thin it is compared to my finger:

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Good Lord, it’s barely enough for a single cheesesteak sandwich, and that’s not even counting the “up to thirty percent solution” of salt water added to the meat to bulk it out.

Jesus… I almost feel sorry for the cow, ya know? The poor thing ended up as a Dollar Tree steak… and you know no cow ever dreams of that. I bet when most cows are young they hope to one day become steaks at Ruth’s Chris or Morton’s or Peter Luger. But maybe some cows hit middle age and become resigned to the fact that they’re going to end up at Outback or LongHorn, and they’re OK with that. Cows that don’t give a damn and smoke and drink too much (Bukowski cows, they’re called) end up at Denny’s and Waffle House. Sickly cows end up in dog food. But what kind of sad cow ends up as a Dollar Tree steak?

2 thoughts on “The Saddest Thing Ever”

  1. Mr. Cofer:

    I was only searching the world wide web to see how long it would take to bake a Golden Krust Jamaican patty in a conventional oven, instead of a microwave. And, lo and behold, there was your pithy blog telling me exactly that information.

    You see, my partner and I frequent an outdoor pool during the summer, and we occasionally enjoy what we term “pool snacks,” be they Lance crackers or some sort of (healthier) trail mix or nuts. And why spend ALL that money at Wegmans when you can buy virtually the same thing at the Dollar Tree.

    And the Dollar Tree near the pool happens to *also* have a freezer section.

    One day, I said to him: I bet we could have a pretty decent dinner from the Dollar Tree. Famous last words. Not just one dinner, but a veritable week’s worth.

    Last night was indeed steak night. Those ribeyes are not the worst steaks I have ever had. About three minutes on the grill was all they took. (We had two each, which still amounted to less than 8 oz. of steak per person, but we thought that with corn and grilled zucchini and some starch, we could have done with one per person.)

    Tonight is Jamaican night with the chicken and vegetable patties. Tomorrow is Asian night, with a variety of spring and egg rolls, augmented by fried rice (from Aldi’s, though).

    Yeah, we’re not proud. :-) And it’s not sad to venture into Dollar Tree dining, but we did think that we might be the only sane people who would actually try to do something like this. Apparently not.

    Good luck with your continued Dollar Tree dining.

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