A couple days ago, I ended up stopping off at our local Dollar Tree store while my wife did some shopping at a clothing boutique nearby. While I was waiting for her, I decided to check out their food aisle and pick up anything that looked like a bargain.
I had already decided to make a couple steaks on the grill earlier that afternoon but wasn’t really sure what we had available for side dishes (we haven’t had a chance to do a lot of grocery shopping lately and are out of just about everything). Since I didn’t want to have to make something different for the kids, I ended up settling for a deluxe shells & cheese dinner from the brand Loretta.
I have actually seen this brand before but, even though it is very affordable (it is usually only around $1 regardless of where I see it), I have never tried it. So, I was definitely looking forward to it.
And, for the most part at least, I thought this was a good deal.
I made this product in between grilling the steaks and it was easy to make as pretty much every other brand. All I had to do was boil the pasta (stirring in between trips to the grill) and, after straining the cooked shells, add the cheese and let it melt.
This was not the first time I have purchased a bargain brand like this and I have had plenty of them that tasted cheap. That was not the case with this brand. First, the shells were much bigger than we were expecting; something that I really didn’t care about but my daughter seemed to think was a big deal. Also, unlike many other brands, the cheese wasn’t overly salty. It tasted like regular cheese. Again, this was something my daughter appreciated.
I did, however, have a couple complaints about this product. First, there wasn’t enough cheese in the packet to cover all the shells. And, believe me; I worked my tail off scraping out what cheese I could. This wasn’t a huge deal but there were some shells that were pretty plain as a result.
Also, there wasn’t much in the box. I’m used to purchasing a box of macaroni and cheese or shells and cheese and having enough for all four of us with leftovers. We didn’t have any leftover and, other than a couple spoonfuls (which the kids got), we couldn’t even have seconds.
Overall though, I do think this is a decent product. I would just recommend picking up a second box.