Last Updated on February 27, 2022
Macaroni and cheese is one of the ultimate comfort foods. Almost everyone likes it, whether it’s homemade or from a store’s deli area, or from a box off the shelf. You may not think of a dollar store as a place to buy boxed mac and cheese, but some dollar stores do carry their own private label versions. Dollar General even sells several different kinds, including the type of boxed macaroni and cheese that comes with a gooey cheese sauce and no need for additional ingredients such as milk and butter, as well as the type of macaroni and cheese that comes with a powdered cheese mix and requires you to add milk and butter.
Today, I’m looking at Dollar General’s macaroni and cheese boxes with the powdered cheese.
Clover Valley Macaroni and Cheese cost 50 cents per box at the time of publication. Most Kraft macaroni and cheese costs about 98 cents at Walmart at the time of writing, so the Dollar General stuff is about half the cost. The dollar store mac comes in a 7.25-ounce box (about three servings) for the original straight/elbow tubular noodles, or a 5.5-ounce box (about two servings) for spiral noodles. These are the cheapest boxes of mac and cheese at Dollar General. Their mac and cheese with the pre-made cheese sauce costs three times as much, coming in at $1.50 per box. Even though you have to add milk and butter to these boxes, they’re probably still the better deal if cost is your only concern.
Clover Valley Macaroni and Cheese is made with real cheddar cheese and no synthetic colors. This was packaged in the U.S.
If you’re watching out for allergens, both types contain wheat and milk.
Both of these mac and cheese options were surprisingly good. The original version is creamy and cheesy, and it has a slightly sweeter taste compared to the spirals. Meanwhile, the spirals are also creamy and flavorful. It’s just boxed mac and cheese, but my family thought it tasted a lot like name-brand Kraft macaroni and cheese. If we didn’t know it was from the dollar store, we would have thought it was Kraft.
The original version makes more servings (three per container) compared to the spirals version (two servings per container).
Nutrition information is similar but not identical between the two boxes, and cooking instructions are slightly different. Read on for more information about each box.
Clover Valley Macaroni and Cheese (Original)
A prepared box has 390 calories per serving, 17 grams of total fat (22% DV), 10 grams of saturated fat (52% DV), 45 mg of cholesterol (15% DV), 690 mg of sodium (30% DV), 50 grams of total carbohydrates (18% DV), 10 grams of total sugars, no added sugars, and 10 grams of protein.
To prepare, stir macaroni into 6 cups of boiling water. Boil rapidly for 7-8 minutes or until macaroni is tender. Drain and add 4 tablespoons of butter or margarine, 1/4 cup of milk, and the contents of the sauce packet. Mix well, and refrigerate any leftovers.
Clover Valley Macaroni and Cheese (Spirals)
A prepared box has 390 calories per serving, 13 grams of total fat (17% DV), 8 grams of saturated fat (40% DV), 35 mg of cholesterol (12% DV), 710 mg of sodium (31% DV), 56 grams of total carbohydrates (20% DV), 10 grams of total sugars, no added sugars, and 11 grams of protein.
To prepare, stir macaroni into 6 cups of boiling water. Boil rapidly for 6-8 minutes or until pasta is tender. Drain. Add 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine, 3 tablespoons of milk, and the contents of the sauce packet. Mix well, and refrigerate any leftovers.
Clover Valley Macaroni and Cheese is sold in original or spirals versions, and they’re both good, with creamy, cheesy flavor. Mac and cheese usually isn’t all that expensive, but at half the price of name-brand Kraft, this dollar store macaroni and cheese is good enough that it’s worth a try.
I recently read a comparison test of boxed macaroni & cheese on buzzfeed. The winner was also the cheapest, even cheaper than these Dollar General ones. You may have a hard time finding it, but here it is: https://www.walmart.com/ip/seort/10315422
Taste like chemicals.