When I moved to Manhattan, I had a fear of city grocery stores. I hated the idea of doing my shopping in a small bodega, the smell of aging vegetables and disinfectants mixing in the humid summer air as I navigated poorly swept paths and intimate aisles with strangers. Thankfully, I learned early on to accept the metro fares and take the train to my nearest Trader Joe’s: a beacon of delicious, mostly healthy, and affordable grocery shopping. I now look forward to my weekly grocery trips to beloved Trader Joe’s, and I’ve discovered some snacks, meals, and treats you won’t want to miss on your next grocery trip.
1. Reduced Guilt Chunky Guacamole with Greek Yogurt
If you’re anything like me, an ideal day entails avocado toast for breakfast, an avocado salad for lunch, some guacamole, and chips as a snack, and a steak and avocado dinner. Given this, a good deal of my weekly grocery budget is dedicated to avocados and avocado related products, including my favorite purchase every week: this chunky guacamole mix. Not only is this guacamole delicious (and affordable at $3.99 a tub), but it’s made with healthy ingredients. The addition of low-fat Greek yogurt means there are fewer fat and calories per serving than traditional guac, but you only taste the fresh avocados, lime, cilantro, garlic, red onion, and tomatoes. It’s a perfect blend and a weekly essential.
2. Trader Joe’s Mint Chip Ice Cream
While I try to avoid all desserts in my weekly shop, the ice cream section still successfully sucks me in from time to time. The min chip ice cream is a classic and a favorite. While some of the other ice cream flavors don’t quite master the right ratios of caramel to ice cream or cost a little too much, the mint chip has the perfect proportion of chips to vanilla and it’s affordable enough to (secretly) add it to your weekly grocery list.
3. Trader Joe’s Organic Lentil and Vegetable Soup
As someone who is trying to cut back on meat consumption, this lentil soup has become a new favorite for a quick and easy meal with a lot of protein. The soup is delicious, filling, and satisfyingly chunky.
4. Mushroom and Black Truffle Flatbread
Trader Joe’s has plenty of pizza options which are affordable and pretty delicious across the board. The flatbreads are easily the best tasting, and this mushroom pizza always makes for a really filling and flavorful meal (and a great vegetarian option!)
5. Trader Joe’s Frozen Mango
The giant, packaged frozen mango bags are a staple in my freezer. The rich mango is cut up into bite-sized chunks, making them perfect for smoothies or casual snacking. Plus, they last forever in your freezer and always taste fresh.
6. Trader Joe’s Cocoa Almond Spread
This Nutella dupe is just as good and maybe even a little better for you than the pantry staple. The delicious blend is perfect on fruit, graham crackers, bread, or waffles when your sweet tooth kicks in.
7. Trader Joe’s Mini Chicken Tacos
For another easy meal, try the mini chicken tacos. Four tacos make up a serving (at only 190 calories!) and they pair perfectly with a quick salad. You can microwave, fry, or bake them, though I recommend the oven if you want them to stay crispy on the outside.
Trader Joe’s avocados aren’t the cheapest around at $2 each, but they are easily the best. Each avocado is large and ripens predictably, and I’ve yet to find one that’s bruised or in any way undesirable. You may not buy six a week like me, but you should consider investing in at least a few.
9. Chicken Tikka Masala
Trader Joe’s has a surprising amount of pre-packaged and frozen Indian food options, and the chicken tikka masala is one of the best. This dish is deliciously flavored and you don’t get skimped on chicken or curry, instead of enjoying takeaway level goodness for a fraction of the time and cost.
10. Frozen Naan
Keeping the Indian theme alive, the frozen naan bread is another easy pick. You get 12 ounces for just $2.50 and it pairs well with many meals. Go for the garlic naan for an extra tasty choice.