Front view of store refrigerator filled with groceries; Dollar Tree Store Front; man makes a steak dinner with only items from Dollar Tree

@thundermane328/TikTok Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock (Licensed)

‘Why are the comments acting as if people aren’t out here struggling?’: Viewers defend man who makes a steak dinner with only items from Dollar Tree

'Everyone acts like they’re too good for this food.'


Beau Paul


Posted on Sep 7, 2023

You wouldn’t think anybody who eats meat would turn their nose up at a steak dinner. After all, steak is steak. But when a video showing a full-course meal featuring Stampede brand boneless beef ribeye steak bought at Dollar Tree went viral, many viewers got snobby.

However, they were quickly shut down as viewers who had gone without defended the cook’s bountiful feast—which came in at just under $10.

@thundermane328 Here a steak dinner from the Dollartree yup. #dollartree #Cheapmeals #dollarmeals #dollarmeals #budgetmeals #easyrecipe ♬ original sound – Alanya Williams

Alanya Williams (@thundermane328) has an entire TikTok account dedicated to stretching your food budget. Many of his videos show how to assemble a few inexpensive ingredients from discount chains like Dollar Tree into satisfying meals.

On July 19, Williams dropped a video that showed him preparing a full steak dinner, featuring sides of pasta and mixed vegetables, using only items purchased at Dollar Tree. The video has since picked up over 66,000 views.

Williams picks out the Stampede ribeyes as well as a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies, spaghetti, a can of pasta sauce, and two Tombstone Pizza Stix.

“I was in the neighborhood,” he tells his followers. “I’ll make you a meal.”

He proceeds to cook the ingredients, assisted by liberal amounts of butter and spices, and then assembles a set of two appetizing, restaurant-worthy, plates. But not everyone was sold on the meal.

Brad Cast (@braddiction) wrote that he “Ain’t trusting Dollar Tree meat.”

Another viewer stated, “I’m sorry can’t do the dollar tree steaks.”

However, Williams quickly found his meal defended by other viewers, many of whom shamed the prior commenters as lacking empathy for those cooking on a budget.

One such viewer wrote, “Why are the comments acting as if people aren’t out here struggling? He is showing folks how to make a way. Great job bro! Yup!”

Dylan Green238 (@skeedurfish) wrote, “Everyone acts like they’re too good for this food. Wait till you have access to NO food. You’ll eat anything trust me. This looks great!”

Another added, “God bless you. This is all some can afford.”

One viewer also pointed out that shoppers could expect to pay much more for similar ingredients elsewhere writing, “Bro i love you man thats insane forget thats like 100$ at Walmart.”

Another even suggested that Williams become a brand ambassador for the discount chain. “Dollar tree please sponsor yah man. He’s promoting your store and brand,” they said.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Williams via TikTok for further comment.

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*First Published: Sep 7, 2023, 3:55 pm CDT