Top Picks

20 Best Trader Joe’s Finds Under $5

Pick up these Eat This, Not That!-approved foods next time you hit up this budget-friendly grocery store.

20 Best Trader Joe’s Finds Under $5
Top Picks

20 Best Trader Joe’s Finds Under $5

Pick up these Eat This, Not That!-approved foods next time you hit up this budget-friendly grocery store.

There’s so much to love about Trader Joe’s: The Hawaiian shirts. The free samples. The creative packaging. The too-good-to-be-true deals on healthy must-haves. And while TJ’s carries a bunch of food under its own house brand, the beloved grocery store chain also sells some familiar name-brand items. But even though most of their food is non-GMO, not everything is healthy (see: cookie butter and s’mores bites).

Luckily, there are plenty of healthy staples to fill your grocery cart that will keep you on track and under budget. We at Eat This, Not That! have rounded up some of our favorite Trader Joe’s finds for less than $5. From fresh produce to frozen food to olive oil, the bargains at TJ’s makes eating healthy cheap and easy. Of course, not every Trader Joe’s locations are the same, but these are the items we found at our local New York City store, and the prices are indicative of most stores nationwide. So take this list with you next time you go grocery shopping, and be sure to check out our list of Eat This, Not That! From Trader Joes.

Produce


1

2-Pound Bag of Mandarins

Per 1 mandarin: 47 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg sodium, 12 g carbs, 1.5 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 1 g protein

Price at most stores: $2.99 per bag

These mandarin oranges, or tangerines, are a steal at just $3 for a giant 2-pound bag. Stock up for an extra dose of vitamin C, and keep these within reach in your kitchen (think: in a bowl on your counter) so you always have a healthy snack on hand.

2

Organic Tuscan Kale

Per 1 cup: 33 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg sodium, 6 g carbs, 2.5 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 3 g protein

Price at most stores: $2.29

Kale is such a versatile superfood, and TJ’s makes it easy to pick up the nutrient-packed leafy green. Toss this veggie into your smoothie, sauté with some fresh garlic, roast up your own kale chips. For more inspiration, check out our 20 Fresh Tips for How to Cook Kale.

3

Riced Cauliflower

Per 2/3 cup: 25 calories, 0.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg sodium, 4 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 2 g protein

Price at most stores: $2.49

This bagged cauliflower rice makes low-carb cooking a breeze. Found in the produce section, cauliflower rice is a much easier alternative than putting a head of cauliflower in your food processor and making your own. Use is in place of regular rice to cut back on carbs and up your veggie intake.

Bread & Grains


4

Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 Bread

Per1 slice: 80 calories, 0.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 75 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 4 g protein

Price at most stores: $4.49

People are obsessed with Ezekiel bread, and it’s easy to see why: The sprouted whole-grain bread is packed with filling fiber and doesn’t have any added sugar. Pick some up in the bread section.

5

Organic Tricolor Quinoa

Per ¼ cup: 160 calories, 2.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg sodium, 30 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 6 g protein

Price at most stores: $3.99

Quinoa is an Eat This favorite, thanks to its nutritional profile packed with fiber and protein. It’s an excellent replacement for rice in your favorite starchy dishes, and this tricolor variety is a great deal. At just $4, a little goes a long way, so make it in place of your traditional refined carbs like white rice or potatoes.

Frozen Food


6

Organic Mixed Berry Blend

Per ¾ cup: 80 calories, 0.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg sodium, 17 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 1 g protein

Price at most stores: $3.49

TJ’s has so much delicious frozen produce, it’s hard to narrow down the best. These organic mixed berries are favorites though because since berries are some of the most pesticide-ridden fruits, the affordable organic option makes them a healthy choice. Plus, this blend of strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries is easy to toss into your favorite smoothie or overnight oats.

7

Frozen Brussels Sprouts

Per ½ cup: 43 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg sodium, 9 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 3 g protein

Price at most stores: $0.99

Brussels sprouts are one of the healthiest veggies, thanks to its fiber content and detox properties. Although TJs has sprouts in the fresh and bagged produce section, skip straight over to the frozen foods and stock up — and just 99 cents a bag, you can’t beat the bargain!

8

Chile Lime Chicken Burgers

Per 1 burger: 150 calories, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 310 mg sodium, 3 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 19 g protein

Price at most stores: $3.49 (for 4 burgers)

These chicken burgers make for a great freezer staple for those nights when you don’t know what to eat and don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. The ingredients list is clean: white and dark meat chicken, onions, bell peppers, garlic, cilantro, salt, lime juice and red pepper flakes. With so much protein and no sugar, it’s definitely an Eat This!

Meat & Dairy


9

All Natural Ground Chicken

Per 4 ounces: 170 calories, 9 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 130 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 22 g protein

Price at most stores: $3.49 per 1- pound package

Whip up some healthy chili or chicken tacos with a package of all-natural ground chicken. At less than $4 a pound, it’s a steal that will feed the whole family.

10

Light String Cheese

Per 1 piece: 60 calories, 2.5 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 230 mg sodium, < 1 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 8 g protein

Price at most stores: $2.99

String cheese is one of our 50 Best Snacks for Weight Loss, and TJ’s light version mimics some of the healthiest name-brand varieties. At just 60 calories a stick, it packs a protein punch with 8 grams. Pair it with an apple for a filling afternoon snack.

11

Sweet Italian Style Chicken Sausage

Per 1 link: 100 calories, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 450 mg sodium, 2 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 11 g protein

Price at most stores: $3.99 for a pack of 5

Like the chile lime chicken burgers, these chicken sausage links are convenient for when you’re in a meal pinch and not sure what to make. At just 100 calories a link with 11 grams of protein, it’s a healthier alternative to a traditional hot dog at your next cookout.

12

Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt

Per 1 cup: 120 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 70 mg sodium, 7 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 22 g protein

Price at most stores: $4.99 for 32-ounce tub

Greek yogurt is one of the best foods for weight loss, thanks to its filling fiber and high protein concentration. Trader Joe’s offers up its nonfat version in big 32-ounce tubs, which saves you money in the long run. Top with your favorite berries or nuts for a satisfying breakfast.

Condiments


13

Creamy Salted Peanut Butter

Per 2 Tbsp: 190 calories, 16 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 140 mg sodium, 7 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 7 g protein

Price at most stores: $2.29

Peanut butter is not only delicious, it also is packed with a ton of health benefits. As a food that can help you feel fuller and lose weight, it’s a steal at TJ’s for less than $2.50. Plus, the ingredients are plain and simple: Dry roasted peanuts and salt. To see how else PB is good for you, check out the 16 Things That Happen to Your Body When You Eat Peanut Butter.

14

Salsa Verde

Per 2 Tbsp: 10 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 280 mg sodium, 1 g carbs, 0 g fiber, < 1 g sugar, 0 g protein

Price at most stores: $1.99

Salsa verde packs a little bit more of a punch than traditional red salsa, and TJ’s brand pairs nicely with their plantain chips. At just $1.99 a jar, it’s the perfect topping for taco night.

15

Avocado's Number Guacamole

Per 2 Tbsp: 50 calories, 4 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 75 mg sodium, 2 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 1 g protein

Price at most stores: $3.99

TJ’s guacamole is a delicious must-have for all avocado lovers, especially if you’re watching your weight. Packed with heart-healthy fats, this guac uses only simple ingredients: avocados, jalapeno puree (white vinegar and jalapeno peppers), dehydrated onion, salt, and granulated garlic.

Pantry Staples


16

Spanish Organic Extra Virgin Garlic Flavored Olive Oil

Per 1 Tbsp: 120 calories, 14 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 2 g protein

Price at most stores: $3.99

Olive oil is full of heart-healthy fats, and this garlic-flavored version is perfect to add a little kick to your roasted veggies or homemade salad dressings. At just $4 a bottle, it’s a total steal.

17

Blue Diamond Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

Per 8 ounces: 30 calories, 2.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 170 mg sodium, 1 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 1 g protein

Price at most stores: $1.99

This dairy milk alternative is another popular brand-name item you can find at Trader Joe’s. At just 30 calories a serving and no added sugars, it’s the perfect base for your smoothies or creamer for your coffee.

18

Roasted Plantain Chips

Per 1 ounce (about 20 chips): 140 calories, 6 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 50 mg sodium, 20 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 0 g sugar, >1 g protein

Price at most stores: $1.69

If you need something salty to fill your snack craving, grab a bag of these roasted plantain chips. Although they have 6 grams of fat, they're a generous serving of 20 chips. Plus, they're a cleaner alternative than more processed tortilla chips.

Booze & Dessert


19

Charles Shaw Wine

Per 5 ounces: 120 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg sodium, 3 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 0 g protein

Price at most stores: $2.99

Trader Joe’s is known for its beloved three-buck chuck, and the name says it all. At under $5, it’s totally a bargain, and wine has proven antioxidant and anti-aging benefits. So grab a bottle, and drink responsibly.

20

Dark Chocolate Lovers Chocolate Bar

Per ⅓ bar: 125 calories, 10 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 0 mg sodium, 6.5 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 2 g protein

Price at most stores: $1.49

Dark chocolate is one of our 40 Best-Ever Fat-Burning Foods, thanks to its concentration of antioxidants and gut-healthy compounds. And the darker, the better. One square of this 85% cocoa bar is a healthy way to feed your sweet tooth.