Working two jobs this summer has taught me a few things: how to manage my time, how to work hard and how to eat lunch on a budget. Trader Joe’s has become my second home over the past few weeks, and my time in the aisles has helped me discover perfect lunches for when you’re on the go (or laying in bed on your day off).

1. Middle Eastern Flatbread and Hummus

Trader Joe's

Photo courtesy of Jesse Menn on Flickr

If you’ve been to TJ’s, you’ve seen the shelves upon shelves of hummus that they carry. From Tomato Basil to Garlic to Roasted Red Pepper, there’s the perfect flavor for everyone. Spread some on a piece of their tasty middle eastern flatbread and you have a filling meal filled with both flavor and nutrition!

2. Frozen Everything

Trader Joe's

Photo courtesy of William J. Sisti on Flickr

It’s not a coincidence that the frozen aisles in Trader Joe’s take up a majority of the store. Not only is the selection of items incredible (I mean, Trader Giotto’s, Trader José’s AND Trader Jáque’s), but they all taste better than anything I could make from scratch. My personal favorites are the Penne Arrabbiata (even if you don’t like spicy food, you’ll love this) and the Masala Veggie Burgers (you’ll never eat another veggie burger again).

3. Salads

Trader Joe's

Photo courtesy of Chef Mick on Flickr

Since I’ve come home for the summer, I’ve been trying to eat healthier, but it can be hard to make healthy food from scratch. Luckily, Trader Joes has a huge selection of pre-made salads that are far from boring. From your classic Caesar to the citrus chicken salad, I guarantee you will find one that pleases your taste buds.

4. Ravioli

Trader Joe's

Photo courtesy of hullam on Flickr

Everyone loves pasta, and I am no exception. One of my favorite things to eat from Trader Joes is their fresh ravioli. They come in a variety of unique flavors, from classic spinach and cheese to more exotic ones like lemon and ricotta. A quick dunk in boiling water and a filling meal is on the table!

5. Premade Sandwiches and Wraps

Trader Joe's

Photo courtesy of animmovablefeast.blogspot.com

While I personally haven’t tried any of these (I’m not much of a sandwich person), I look at them longingly whenever I walk in. TJ’s has a plethora of ready-to-eat sandwiches and wraps, all of which make a perfect lunch when you’re on the go or in a rush.

6. Soups

Trader Joe's

Photo courtesy of sueism on Flickr

Nothing beats a cup of hot soup on a cold day (and with the weather we’ve had in Seattle lately, we’ve had more of those days than I wish we did). The boxed soups that Trader Joe’s carries really hit the spot and are a light option for lunch that doesn’t skimp on flavor.