This round up details my current go-to items budget items when grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s! From baking staples to easy dinner helpers, this list goes into the versatility of specific items and shows how I like to incorporate them into simple, delicious meals. Weeknight wins and party-ready items featured for a well-rounded, plant-based pantry!
The Best Budget-Friendly Finds at Trader Joe’s
Trader Joe’s roundups are plentiful these days, but nevertheless I am always interested in reading about “top” grocery item.If you’re someone like me who shops frequently, it’s likely you some favorite items you purchase on a weekly or monthly basis. In this list I detail what items I consider “staples,” or at least worth the trip to Trader’s if you have one in your area. Everything detailed here is either of exceeding quality and a budgetary win (meaning I haven’t been able to find a comparable product at a lower price in another store).
The fresh flower selection at Trader Joe’s is somewhat famous, both for its variety and impressive amount of options under $10. These flowers are of course not going to last forever but they’re the perfect thing to pick up when you want to brighten your house during the week.
Teeny Tiny Avocados
I eat avocado toast every morning, and these small avocados are the perfect size (I’ll use a half to three fourths, depending). They come in a bag of six for just $2.99.
Organic Cherry Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes add the perfect hit of acidity to so many meals, from nachos to falafel to pastas to soup. This organic pick is just one of a few varieties to choose from!
Organic Sweet Potatoes
The organic sweet potatoes in this bag are relatively small, making them perfect for microwaving for lunch. Instant pot sweet potatoes are another favorite.
Other favorites: Apples, oranges, bananas, kale, fresh herbs, carrots, fresh berries, figs, shallots, lemons, limes
Creamy Almond Cultured Vanilla Bean Yogurt
Dairy-free yogurt is used frequently in my house for vegan scones, but it is just as delicious when eaten on its own or with some banana bread granola.
Miyokos Cultured Vegan Butter
I’ve said before that Miyokos is my all-time favorite vegan butter, and Trader Joe’s sells it for $1 cheaper then many other places, at $4.99! Dairy-free butter is necessary in recipes like this vegan colcannon and crispy orzo with peas and garlic butter.
Kale, Cashew, and Basil Pesto
Pesto is one of my favorite spreads, but getting fresh basil is sometimes not an option. When I do not want to make pesto at home, I like to use this pre-made version for pastas and tomato toast.
Other favorites: Pre-made pizza dough, extra-firm tofu, tempeh
I’m working on a roundup of my favorite garlic-heavy recipes, which I will link here once it’s ready.
De Mi Abuela Corn & Wheat Tortillas
While these tortillas are not entirely authentic, they are a solid time-saving option that I prefer the taste of (with a mix of corn and wheat flours). I am also working on a homemade flour tortilla recipe, so stay tuned for that!
All Purpose Flour
Sadly, Trader Joe’s no longer sells whole wheat flour. Their all purpose flour is only $3.00 for 5 pounds, and is unbleached (most cheaper flours are bleached).
100% Greek Kalamata Extra Virgin Olive Oil
High quality olive oil is something I use nearly every day in cooking and baking. This vegan olive oil cake and this garlic olive oil confit are both great examples.
Thai Wheat Noodles (new!)
This is a recent find at Trader Joe’s that I wanted to include, as they have long been missing a “Thai-style” noodle offering that does not come flavored. I try to avoid pre-made/convenience items as they often are more expensive. This was less than a dollar a serving, and seems fairly hearty and simple for a weeknight. I think it would be perfect in this recipe for sesame noodles.
Red split lentils
Red lentils cook in just 15 minutes, making them an affordable and simple source of protein. This post details some of my favorite high protein lentil recipes.
Organic Whole Wheat Fusilli
You always want to have pasta in the pantry, and this whole wheat fusilli is less than $2.00 and not at all tough. Try it in this rose pink pasta.
Creamy Unsalted Peanut Butter
I typically prefer the Trader Joe’s Chunky & Salted peanut butter, but on this shopping trip I wanted to pick some up for Puffin to make him these 3-Ingredient Dog Treats.
Other favorites: Orzo pasta, raw almonds, coconut oil, popcorn
Everything but the Bagel Seasoning
While I do have a post that details how to make your own everything bagel seasoning, I have to admit that spending $1.99 on this container is definitely worth it.
I’ve used nutritional yeast in a countless number of recipes for its perfect umami quality. It mimics cheese well when combined with a fat like cashews and adds a huge depth of flavor to so many meals. I eat it at least once a day!
Other favorites: Harissa paste, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Roasted Red Pepper SpreadÂ
Organic Wild Blueberries
Frozen blueberries are a great addition to smoothies and fruit desserts like this berry galette. They’re full of antioxidants and I always like to keep some on hand.
Frozen peas add satisfying plant protein and are a convenient freezer option when you may be running low on fresh produce. Try them in this recipe for orzo with peas.
Other favorites: Shelled edamame, frozen spinach, frozen mango
Boxed Unsweetened Almond Beverage
Almond milk is my go-to nondairy milk for baking because I prefer its taste and it’s very affordable.I recommend sticking with unsweetened varieties like this one, as it lets you better control the amount of sugar that is added to a recipe.
Lemon and Ginger Juice Seltzer Water
This is more of a splurge purchase as it only comes in a four pack, but every now and then it is worth it. Especially if you are a fan of sparkling water.
Josh Cabernet Sauvignon
My pick for a budget red wine option, this is a standby that is definitely a crowd pleaser.
Emma Reichart Riesling
I have a tendency to regularly revisit German wines and this is an easy choice that is light and dry.
Aime La Vie! Syrah-Grenache
This syrah-grenache blend has notes of green apple and is again very refreshing and not too sweet. I think I need to do a wine-specific post soon to cover more of my favorites.
Other favorites: Coconut water, Gingerade Kombucha
Snacks and Party Foods
Organic Garlic Naan Crackers
These simply spiced crackers are perfect for dipping.
Roasted Garlic Hummus
If you’re not in the mood to make hummus, this $1.99 option is delicious and convenient.
Sesame Honey Cashews
Warning: these are addictive and you may want to purchase two bags if you’re having guests over. I may try to do an at-home version soon!
Mideast Style Feast
This is my go-to package pickup if I am traveling by plane. It contains a mix of hummus, grape leaves, bulgur salad, and lentil salad. It is full of protein and very satisfying.
Soy and Flaxseed Corn Tortilla Chips
I’ve tried a few different chips and these had the most satisfying crunch. They’re featured in this recipe for vegan queso!
I have a tutorial for popping kernels at home in this post for kettle corn.
Other favorites: Tabbouli salad, elote chips (not vegan)
I’ll likely add to this list in the future, so comment your favorite Trader Joe’s finds below and let me know what I missed!
love this post!
Thank you for reading!!
Eric Daniel Meyers says
Quite possibly another grand slam.
Thank you! 🙂