I am not a dollar store regular; however, there is one product that I make a special trip to the dollar store to buy (at great savings) and that I could not live without. I consider this product to be a kitchen must have and one of the best dollar store deals you can find. What, you might ask, is this amazing product that warrants a special trip? See below….
Aluminum foil baking pans! I use these all the time, and the one time that I needed an aluminum pan and was out, I was quite frustrated. You might wonder what is so great about these pans and why one might use them. Let me explain.
I am a cooker and hauler of food. Being raised in a small town where everybody knew and took care of everybody else, I still have the mindset of “taking someone a meal=a blessing.” Whether a new baby, a new home, or a sick family member–taking someone a meal is a way that I can be helpful. I also feel that the BEST way to deliver food to someone is in aluminum pans, as this makes it easy for them to enjoy the meal without having to worry about washing and returning dishes.
When I had the twins (almost 16 years ago), I had more food brought to my home than could feed an army. It was such a blessing and so appreciated; however, I thought that I would never get everyone’s lovely dishes returned to them. I had stacks of Corning Ware, serving trays, bowls, utensils and such, washed and needing to be returned to owners. This was no small feat (especially with two infants). Since then, I have made it a habit to deliver meals in containers that can be tossed after the meal is enjoyed. These pans are perfect for this purpose.
I know many of you are thinking exactly what I used to think. “But aluminum pans are not pretty! Presentation is important!” I used to feel the same way. I wanted to deliver food in the prettiest dishes that I had. But the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve learned to value making things easy. Of course, special occasions and events DO call for pulling out the fine china and linens. But food to comfort or celebrate with friends doesn’t have to be fancy to be appreciated.
As for aluminum pans–they are sold numerous stores; however, you’ll net huge savings if you purchase them at dollar stores. I snapped these photos last week at my favorite grocery. These are of identical pans that I bought for $1.00 each at The Dollar Store.
I bought 12 assorted sizes of these pans at my dollar store and spent only $12.00. At my grocery store, I would have paid close to $30–almost three times as much! Since some of the pans that I purchased were packaged as 2, I actually got more than 12 pans for the price.
These pans are useful for taking food to a cookout, picnic, potluck, or other type gathering. My favorite things to take in these pans are large grilled chicken breasts, balsamic pot roast & roasted vegetables, beef brisket, dinner rolls or loaves of bread already buttered, warmed and tightly wrapped to keep warm.
I also use the deep pans to put large salads in–always packing wet or moist ingredients separately in small ziploc bags. I pack any other salad items–sugar glazed nuts, cheese crumbles, croutons, and dressings–in a separate sack. Of course, the salad that is ALWAYS the biggest hit at any party is crunchy slaw. When I make it to take to a gathering, I use the large shallow container. If taking to a family, I use the deep one.
I hope you’ll find these as useful, time saving and savvy as I do! Remember, in the end, the food, the fellowship, and the thought are what really count. These pans will make it far easier to do those things with simplicity and ease.