By Mike Thayer
Out of all the possible sides for a burger or sandwich, I have to say that tater tots are my favorite. I prefer them over traditional french fries, sweet potato fries, onion rings, any kind of chips, pasta salad and yes, even mac-n-cheese. I like the texture and crunch of the tot exterior and combined with that fluffy spud interior, it's a great bite! Tots really hold on to whatever condiment you top or dress them with and they're super easy to prepare whether fried or baked, you get a crispy exterior, either way. Versatile and complimentary with so many dishes, you can enjoy them with eggs and bacon for breakfast, with a burger for lunch, or put a tater tot top on a casserole for dinner.
I've always got a bag of tots in my freezer and while picking up a few select items from Dillon's the other day, they were on my list, the bag of tots on hand was about empty. Typically, I've purchased the 8 pound 'Value' bag at Sam's Club for a bit over $8, quite the bargain, but I didn't want to make a special trip 20 minutes one-way for just one item. That purchase will have to wait 'til my next monthly visit.
So in perusing the potato section in the freezer aisle at Dillon's, I found the Ore Ida tater tots, but the biggest size they had was 5 pounds. That would more than suffice until my next trip to the wholesale club, but the price was $6.99, ouch! Compared to what I'm used to getting at Sam's Club, that's kind of an insult. So I looked at the Kroger brand. Like the Ore Ida, the biggest size bag available was 5 pounds, but the price was a bit more wallet friendly at $5.99. I can live with that, "But will they be as good as Ore Ida?" I asked myself.
Yes, they are. I mean c'mon, they're tater tots, grated potatoes, seasoned, par-fried then flash frozen. In cutting back on fried foods, I served my tots up oven baked, with melted cheese and chopped green onion. It was Another Dose of Crunch & YUM! When prepared as directed, Kroger delivers the same texture, the same crunchy exterior, the same fluffy spud interior as Ore Ida, but at a lower price. And the price points are the same in the smaller size packages available at Dillon's, with Ore Ida costing more for every sized bag than the Kroger product (marketed as "Tater Bites" by the way, Ore Ida owns the proprietary rights to the name, "Tater Tots"). FYI: You'll pay more per pound with the smaller size bags and since tots freeze so well, you may as well buy as big of a bag as you can.
I'm giving Kroger "Tater Bites" in a 5 pound bag 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars. They're just as good as Ore Ida in every way, but don't cost as much in the mainstream grocery store, but that's also the reason for the 4 star rating and not a 5. It's the wiser choice when shopping in a mainstream grocery store, but the truly smart purchase is to stick with buying the 8 pound bag of the name brand stuff at the wholesale club! Binge eating tater tots cost me $5.99! What can I say, I enjoy my tots...
$pend Wisely My Friends...
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