trader joe's under $5

Yelp / Alex N.

The 15 Best Trader Joe’s Finds Under $5

You can find these items year-round
trader joe's under $5

Yelp / Alex N.

Trader Joe’s is known for its unique, trend-forward grocery items. Every season, they roll out new and interesting items and keep customers up to date during episodes of their podcast. But even if you’re not a cult follower of Trader Joe’s happenings, there are some grocery items at the chain that most customers love. Some of these items are frozen, ready-to-eat dinners, while others are items that make cooking dinner easier. Other favorites include salty snacks, while some people prefer their more nutritious options.

While there is no shortage of Trader Joe’s items that might be more of a splurge, there are ways to save money shopping there. Sticking to the best-quality, lowest-priced items is a good place to start. Of all the things you may want to (or not want to) buy at Trader Joe’s, these are 15 of the best finds you can get for less than $5.

Avocado’s Number Guacamole to Go

Avocado’s Number Guacamole to Go

Yelp / George C.

Who doesn’t love guacamole? But you don’t always have the time or resources to make a batch yourself. These to-go packs make it easier for you to bring guac with you wherever you go. And even though avocados may get more expensive, these 16-ounce packs (each of which contains at least five whole avocados) are $3.99.

Cauliflower Gnocchi

Cauliflower Gnocchi

Yelp / Cynthia C.

In line with the “all cauliflower everything” trend, Trader Joe’s released frozen Cauliflower Gnocchi in late 2018 and people have been loving it ever since. Gnocchi is typically a carb-heavy, starchier dinner option, but this lower-carb alternative is a favorite of gluten-free eaters and health nuts alike. It’s made up of 75 percent cauliflower and retails for $2.69 per 12-ounce bag. Boil, microwave or saute your gnocchi for a delicious Trader Joe’s dinner hack.

Charles Shaw Wine

Charles Shaw Wine

Yelp / Howard H.

Trader Joe’s famous “Two-Buck Chuck” Charles Shaw wine is no longer under $2, but it’s still a great deal. Shipping the wine outside of California drove the price up a bit, so now each bottle is $2.99. There are also organic varieties of Charles Shaw that retail for $3.99. No matter which kind you buy, it’s probably worth it. Charles Shaw has been a fan favorite since it debuted in 2002.

Chocolatey Coated Chocolate Chip Dunkers

Chocolatey Coated Chocolate Chip Dunkers

Trader Joe’s Chocolatey Coated Chocolate Chip Dunkers are coated in chocolate and crafted into the perfect shape for dipping. In fact, Trader Joe’s website says these cookies were actually engineered with dunking in mind. A whole tub of these treats is $4.99.

The Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Bar

The Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Bar

If you’re often hit with chocolate cravings, you might want to keep one of these around. The chocolate is 85 percent cocoa, which allows for a rich, dark chocolate flavor and also means each piece has less sugar than most candies. After a few squares, your craving will be satisfied. For $1.49, you get a pack of two whole bars.

Frozen Fruit

Frozen Fruit

Yelp / Richard L.

Buying frozen produce instead of fresh is a good way to prevent food waste from expired food and to save money off your grocery bill. Trader Joe’s offers a lot of frozen fruit, much of it for low prices. Almost all of their frozen fruit is less than $5 per bag, with some types at $1.99. Stock up your freezer so you can make smoothies, mix fruit into yogurt or make other healthy snacks.

Gone Bananas and Gone Berry Crazy Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pieces

Gone Bananas and Gone Berry Crazy Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pieces

Gone Bananas are frozen dark chocolate-covered slices of banana. They have long been among the items people love most at Trader Joe’s, so more recently the chain came out with the Gone Berry Crazy Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pieces, as well. These sweet treats make a reasonably healthy dessert eaten on their own and also make for delectable ice cream toppings. Both are under $3 a box.

Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt

Yelp / Teresa W.

Greek yogurt makes for a protein-packed, satisfying snack, but buying single-serving cups of it can add up fast. Trader Joe’s sells Greek yogurt for $4.99 per 32-ounce container or $2.99 per 16-ounce container. Buy the plain kind if you want to use it in recipes or sweeten the snack yourself with honey, frozen fruit or granola. The vanilla and honey tubs of yogurt taste great on their own!

Just a Handful of Rainbow’s End Trail Mix

Just a Handful of Rainbow’s End Trail Mix

Yelp / Gigi A.

Trail mix can make for a satisfying, healthy snack, since it’s filled with nutrient-rich dried fruits and nuts. However, it’s not the lowest-calorie snack around, and some people struggle to stop at one handful. Trader Joe’s individual packets include, as the name implies, just a handful of trail mix to take with you. Trader Joe’s sells a large bag of these portioned-out snacks for $4.99.

Mandarin Orange Chicken

Mandarin Orange Chicken

Yelp / Richard L.

Want Chinese takeout but don’t want to pay for delivery? This frozen entree might not live up to your local takeout joint, but people do say it tastes great. A bag of Mandarin Orange Chicken is $4.99, and it’s a cult-favorite item.

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter

Yelp / Emily K.

You can buy peanut butter anywhere, and it’s usually pretty budget-friendly. But some peanut butter brands are healthier than others; most health-conscious shoppers like to look for peanut butter that isn’t made with a bunch of filler ingredients. Sometimes, those “healthier” brands can be expensive. Trader Joe’s store-brand peanut butters (chunky, smooth, salted or unsalted) are made with just one or two ingredients: peanuts and salt. Yet each jar is still just $1.99.

Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels

Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels

Yelp / Emily K.

Of the many snacks at Trader Joe’s, this is the snack customers love the most. These pretzels are crunchy, creamy and salty, making them perfect for every craving. The Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels cost $1.99 for a 16-ounce bag and come in salted and unsalted varieties.

Pork Gyoza Potstickers

Pork Gyoza Potstickers

Yelp / Janos J.

In The Daily Meal’s taste test, these Asian-inspired appetizers ranked No. 1 on a list of Trader Joe’s frozen finger foods, and it’s easy to see why. All dumplings are great, and these are doughy and delicious and packaged with a delightful dipping sauce. A whole bag of them is $2.99.

Roasted Plantain Chips

Roasted Plantain Chips

Yelp / Gigi A.

These savory snacks are a favorite of Trader Joe’s shoppers. They’re salty and crunchy, so they’re a fun alternative to potato chips. Each bag costs $1.69.  

Spanish Extra Virgin Garlic Olive Oil

Spanish Extra Virgin Garlic Olive Oil

Yelp / Liset B.

Olive oil has lots of health benefits for your heart, your brain and more. Most infused oils at grocery stores are splurge items — infusing oils on your own can be much more cost-effective. However, this Trader Joe’s item is $3.99 and can add lots of flavor to your salad dressings, stir-fries and other dishes. Use it as a Trader Joe’s cooking hack to make prepping dinner at home easier.

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