Despite the insane lines and huge crowds, Trader Joe’s is one of the best supermarkets we have as students. It’s cheap, reliable, and hey, who can resist snagging a sample of whatever goodies they have to offer while you wait in line? Since the store can easily become overwhelming through the frenzy of people, here’s a list of 10 things we recommend you stock up on for your next trip.
1. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups: When it comes time to treating yourself, if a whole carton of mini peanut butter cups doesn’t speak for itself, I don’t know what would. And options for dark and milk chocolate lovers alike? Oh Trader Joe’s, you know the way to our hearts.
2. Wine: For those of us of age, there’s an entire store just next door dedicated to wine. Even the snobbiest of wine connoisseurs can find a bottle to fit their taste (and most bottles are budget-friendly!)
3. Prepared Foods and Salads: Too lazy to make your own salad or need a quick healthy option for tomorrow’s lunch? Trader Joe’s has you covered with plenty of reasonably priced, delicious options. Honorable mention to the egg white and chive salad.
4. Peach Salsa: Or any of their salsas, really. If you want to spice up your traditional Tostitos, grab a jar of their peach, pineapple, roasted, or garlic salsas. Great for study break snacks or pre-dinner munching. You won’t be sorry.
5. Hummus: Trader Joe’s wins again with the variety. You can’t go wrong with the traditional hummus or roasted garlic, but it’s definitely worth trying the tomato basil hummus if you’re up for something different.
6. Produce: With 19c bananas (yes, cheaper than the fruit carts on the street) and 4-count bags of avocados to rival prices of any supermarket, this is the place to stock up on produce. Fresh, affordable and, with the insane crowds cleaning the shelves out day to day, you know they’re restocking pretty frequently.
7. Bread: If you’re looking to buy Ezekiel bread at any supermarket around campus, it’ll probably cost you upwards of $4, but at Trader Joe’s, you’re looking at less than $3 per loaf. If Ezekiel is not your speed, they have plenty of other reasonably priced breads to choose from.
8. Nuts: The huge wall next to the registers will drive you nuts (pun absolutely intended.) Their selection of nuts and dried fruits is extensive, perfect if you want to get creative with a DIY trail mix. Plenty of pre-made mixes available too. Those with decision-making troubles beware.
9. Kale Chips: All the craze of Brad’s Kale Chips with twice the amount per bag. Kale chip lovers rejoice.
10. Speculoos: 2 words: Cookie. Butter. Need I say more? This is a must try. Bonus points for their Speculoos products such as the cookies and Speculoos-stuffed chocolate bar. Both must-haves. (Pro tip: read 12 ways to eat cookie butter)