Trader Joes is one of my favorite places to food shop. I love the food they sell, from he freshness of their produce to the quality of their frozen food and the samples that leave me speechless. I think that learning how to shop for healthy food that you enjoy on a budget is really important.
So, I have broken down some of my favorite things from Trader Joes that you can afford on a college budget. Below they are broken down into categories, but I will include what I use them for next to each item! After the list, I’ll explain the way I shop!
Zucchini – 2pack $ (Zoodles or baked with other veggies)
Sweet Potatoes – 1lb Bag $1.69 (Baked, stuffed or as a side with dinner. Also sweet potatoes fries as a snack)
Broccoli Florets – 1 Bag $2.29 (Roasted for dinners)
Beefless Ground Beef – 1 Package $2.99 (With my Zoodles, Burrito Bowls, Tacos)
Bananas – $0.59 each (Breakfast with whole wheat bread and sunflower butter, smoothies, snack)
Avocados – $2.99 for a bag of teeny tiny ones (Mix with tuna, avocado toast, by themselves with salt and pepper and lime juice, the options are endless)
Green Beans – Bag $2.79 (Snacks, dipped in hummus, for dinner)
Pre-Made Salads – $2.99 – $4.99 depending on salad. (Good for on the go lunches and dinners)
Spinach – $1.99 per bag (great for salads, mixed with eggs, with tortellinis)
Brown Rice – 3 Pack Box $2.99 (Dinner)
Meatless Meatballs – Bag $3.99 (dipped in BBQ sauce, with zoodles, meal or snack)
Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burgers – Pack of 4 $3.49 (these are great with BBQ sauce, guac or with a salad) They also have tons of different veggie burgers to try, I also like the Quinoa Cowboy one!
Greek Yogurt – Ind. Container $1 (Breakfast)
Eggs – A dozen $3 (Good to have for breakfast or boiled for a snack)
Sour Cream – $1.99 per container (great with Mexi bowls and quesadillas)
BBQ Sauce – Bottle $2.69 (I dip the meatballs in It or do BBQ chicken)
Green Goddess Salad Dressing – Bottle $2.29 (Lunch)
Snap Pea Crisps – Bag $1.49 (Snacks)
Unsweetened Sunflower Butter – Bottle $4.99 (With toast, bananas and chia seeds)
PB&J Milk Chocolate Bar – $.99 for 1 (I just am really in love with these!)
Canned Turkey Chili – $1.99 per can (just super yummy for dinner, pair with cornbread and your set, also love TJ’s cornbread mix)
Cheese Tortellinis $3.49 per pack with 4 servings (I cook these and toss in an avocado, pesto parm sauce with spinach for dinner)
So! I don’t just buy all this at once, some things not even every month. Salad dressing, sunflower butter and BBQ sauce, I don’t usually need every month. I try to always keep veggie burgers and meatless meatballs in the freezer because they are just good to have!
Every trip, I always get Zucchini, spinach, avocados, beefless ground beef (which last night they were out of and I’m upset about) and bananas.
After that, I change things up to what I find (there are always new things to find at trader joe’s, especially because they are always giving out free samples!). Like last night I got tortellinis and cauliflower rice and mushrooms because I have been craving tortellinis and I want to make a cauliflower mushroom risotto. The week before I got Tahnini and Everything Seasoning because I saw It and wanted to try It. I try to limit my food shopping budget to $20-$25 per week and one take out meal around $12. It’s all about how you plan your food shopping. Note: I also do buy some things cheaper at Stop&Shop such as canned tuna and my seltzer waters, but I try and get my produce at trader joe’s!
Hopefully you can use this list to help you plan your food shopping expeditions!
What are your favorite items at Trader Joes? Your must-haves?