Trader Joe’s is known for its signature products and different offerings. The grocer’s fun shopping experience, incredibly low prices and constantly rotating lineup of food offerings have earned it a cult following. Of course, some Trader Joe’s products are a better deal than others, so we came up with these 15 must-have items you should always buy at Trader Joe’s.
These sausages are a lazy cook’s dream come true. They come already cooked and are made with free-range, vegetarian-fed chicken. For just $5.99 per 12-ounce pack of five, these are the perfect staple to keep around the house for quick weeknight dinners. You can chop them up and sauté them into an omelette, add them to pasta sauce or place them atop a homemade personal pizza.
Trader Joe’s is always coming out with new and interesting snack options. Whether you’re a lover of popcorn, potato chips or crackers, you’re bound to find something you want to snack on at Trader Joe’s. For the healthy foodies of the world, there are Three Seed Beet Crackers. For the cheese-obsessed, there are Cheese Puffs. And for the adventurous palate, there are all kinds of chips, like sweet and savory Jerk-Style Plantain Chips — a hot-ticket item that costs just $1.79.
Some dried fruit can be overly sugary and sweetened, not to mention expensive, but at Trader Joe’s, there’s a myriad of unsweetened options at low cost. While you probably won’t find exotic fruits like durian at Trader Joe’s, snackable freeze dried grapes, dragon fruit, cranberries and more come in resealable plastic bags. A 6-ounce bag of tasty organic dried mango is just $3.99.
If you love bread, cheese and hors d'oeuvres of all kinds, head to Trader Joe’s for some of the best frozen foods in the game. They may not be the healthiest, but they’re simple to make, low-cost and always a hit. Not all of them are equally tasty, but don’t worry — we tried them for you, so you know which appetizers to buy and which to skip.
Meat is one of the most expensive items on your grocery list, but buying it frozen from Trader Joe’s can shave hundreds of dollars off your yearly budget. Plus, it won’t spoil as quickly. At TJ’s, find frozen seafood, frozen chicken breasts in bulk and grass-fed frozen beef.
Fresh produce is expensive — and frozen produce is just as nutritious anyway. The freezer aisle of Trader Joe’s has some steals if you know where to look. Brussels sprouts are around $1 for a 1-pound bag; grilled cauliflower is about $3 per 1-pound bag; and potatoes come roasted and ready to serve as a side to a nutritious dinner.
Some Trader Joe’s pre-cut fruit is pricey, so we recommend you avoid it, but that doesn’t mean you need to avoid fresh fruit altogether. Its bananas are just 19 cents each (and the reason for that is actually pretty funny). TJ’s also sells organic apples for a low price and often has deals on in-season produce.
Trader Joe’s Organic White Shells and Cheddar Mac and Cheese tastes a lot like Annie’s Homegrown, but the former is less expensive at $1.39 per 6-ounce box. Add any of these unexpected ingredients that go great with mac and cheese, and you’re all set.
Trader Joe’s shelf-stable roasted nuts and seeds come in enticing flavors at a low price. Buying them in bulk helps you keep your grocery bill down while still getting all kinds of healthy fat-filled snacks to take on the go. For example, a pack of slivered almonds is just over $3 for a half-pound bag.
If you haven’t heard the hype about Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning, it’s one of the chain’s most popular items. It makes even the blandest foods taste like the much-loved roll with a hole — but that’s not the only seasoning you should be buying at Trader Joe’s. At $1.99 each, chili lime and 21 Seasoning Salute seasonings are favorites of Trader Joe’s shoppers.
Trader Joe’s sells all kinds of soups and stews in cans and cartons. Standouts include corn poblano chowder ($1.99 per 17 ounces), angus beef chili with pinto beans ($4.99 per 18 ounces), organic beef or chicken bone broth ($5.99 per 20 ounces) and organic hearty minestrone ($3.99 per 20 ounces).
Move over Reese’s. Dark chocolate peanut butter cups always top the list of products Trader Joe’s customers love the most. With real peanut butter and quality dark chocolate, you can count on deliciousness, plus a whole bucket costs less than $5. In tandem with chocolate lava cakes, Danish kringle and chocolate-covered bananas, they make up the best TJ’s desserts of all time.
Trader Joe’s has a large variety of hot and cold teas. Try the spiced chai black tea concentrate. A 16-ounce bottle makes about four 12-ounce cups for just $2.49 (or 62 cents per serving). There’s also the grab-and-go organic hibiscus tea and lemonade ($1.99), a gallon of sweet tea ($3.99) and caffeine-free Red Refresh herbal tea, which gets you 20 tea bags filled with a blend of hibiscus, rosehips, lemongrass, peppermint, orange peel, lemon verbena and wild cherry bark for $2.49. You truly can’t go wrong — or can you? Before you go, get the 411 on products you should never buy at Trader Joe’s.
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