7 must-have affordable items from Trader Joe’s (coming from a college student)

by Gabby Silipigni****

I can speak for many college students when I say shopping for groceries is hard. 

Maybe it is just me, but I constantly find myself spending $60 on groceries and when I am about to make food, all I have is bananas and hummus.

I have tried branching out and making different recipes, but it ended up costing me more while making  me realize I am a terrible cook.

I always hear such positive reviews on Trader Joe’s for being so affordable and having efficient meal options. After a few weeks of going to one and trying different items, I have found my seven favorite products that are delicious and have helped me save money. 

Specialty pasta

These packs of pasta are my absolute favorite for a fast and easy dinner at only $3.49

Trader Joe’s has a variety of stuffed pastas from spinach or cheese tortellini, lobster ravioli, butternut squash ravioli…the list goes on. 

They are a great refrigerated meal that cooks in less than 10 minutes. 

Chicken fried rice

Trader Joe’s is infamous for its frozen meals. 

They have an awesome selection of Chinese food items, including this fried rice that you can whip up in five minutes for $2.29

They also have a vegetable fried rice option for my vegetarians out there! 

Tempura sweet and sour chicken

If you are looking for something to pair with your fried rice, this tempura chicken is amazing. 

At $5.99 you can get some takeout-quality tempura chicken, and the bag honestly comes with a healthy amount. 

This is another favorite that also has a vegetarian option made with cauliflower tempura!

Everything bagels 

Living in the South, I often find it hard to find a good bagel…until I went to Trader Joe’s. 

I won’t compare these to your New York or Jersey bagels, but I promise they will not disappoint. 

Half a dozen of these bagels go for $2.69 or less, depending on weight. 

They are thick, quality bagels that will fill you up and can be used in a variety of ways. 

Frozen pizza

I already know everybody is down for a good frozen pizza, but Trader Joe’s has some restaurant-level pizzas for $5.99

They offer a variety of pizza options from BBQ to pesto that make for a yummy and filling dinner when it is one of those nights.

Salmon burgers 

If you enjoy seafood or a good salmon, this one is for you. 

I am a bit picky with fish but have found these salmon burgers so delicious and flavorful. 

They are perfect to put over a salad or in a bun and cost $5.99 for a box! 

Pumpkin bread

Finally, for those who love fall flavors, the pumpkin bread mix at Trader Joe’s for $2.99

There are only a few weeks left until we are done with all things pumpkin, and this mix is definitely worth the try!

 It is a great baking option for Thanksgiving to serve with dessert or even for breakfast. 

Do yourselves a favor and drive to your closest Trader Joe’s and try at least one of these products. You won’t be let down!

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