When throwing a party, everyone wants to be the host(ess) with the most(est). Yet this can prove to be a bit difficult when you 1) live in a dorm, and 2) can barely scrounge up enough change to pay for a snack from the vending machine. Luckily for all of us budget-conscious folk, places like Trader Joe’s exist.
Trader Joe’s does an outstanding job at combining the three “musts” of party food: uniqueness, cheapness, and taste. Each item sports funky packaging and some sort of catch that makes it different from its non-Trader Joe’s competitors. Yet, even some of the most exotic food items offered don’t disappoint in taste.
If you don’t have time to peruse every aisle looking for the food that perfectly incorporates individuality, taste, and price, do not fear! Here I present to you a list of some of the best TJ’s foods in all of the store so you can throw the dorm party of the century… all for under $20.
1. Pub Cheese ($3.99)
This cheese, which comes in the flavors sharp cheddar, cheddar jalapeño, and cheddar horseradish, looks like the nacho cheese you pump from a canister at sporting events, yet it tastes a million times better and is made of 100% real cheese.
2. Corn Dippers ($1.99)
These simple corn chips are a party staple and pair well with Pub Cheese as well as pretty much any other dip imaginable.
3. Caramelized Onion/Bacon Cheddar Ranch Dip ($2.99)
These two dips are universal party favorites that pack a flavorful punch and pair well with crackers and bread of all kinds.
4. Golden Rounds Crackers ($1.99)
Buttery, flaky, classic. What else is there to say?
5. Bollywood Popcorn ($0.99)
This Tikka Masala-flavored popcorn is not just a dynamic addition to your snack table, it’s also quite possibly the most addictive food in existence.
6. Sparkling Lemonade ($2.99)
These sparkling lemonades come in a variety of flavors such as limeade, berry lemonade, and classic lemonade. They’re also imported from France and come in a glass bottle so your party guests will never know you spent less than the price of a mini Starbucks’ Frappuccino.
7. Sea Salt Brownies ($4.99)
To top off the night, you'll need a dessert that leaves a lasting impression. Fortunately, the fudginess and saltiness of this brownie complement each other in such a way that you’d swear it’s a match made in heaven. Truly, you will.
After all of that shopping your total comes out to be $19.93, which is less expensive than two Domino’s pizzas (which have significantly less party appeal than the extravagant array of goodies on this list). Go ahead, flaunt your deal saving skills — or don’t. Either way, you’re bound to be throwing the hottest dorm party of the year.