Since Trader Joe's got its start in 1958, the grocery store has quickly become a widespread cultural phenomenon. Most people living in decently-sized cities across the United States have access to a Trader Joe's within driving distance. By eliminating the middle man in their supply chain, Trader Joe's snacks are often higher quality and cheaper than many name brand foods.

Although I was skeptical to leave behind my trusted brands at first, now I'm a Trader Joe's snack enthusiast. I can get essentially the same exact product, or an even better version, for cheaper. Here are some of my favorite finds that remind me of brand name stacks.

Spicy Cheese Crunchies

Although Flamin Hot Cheetos leave behind a tasty but undeniably unnatural orange tint on your fingers, I’m here to let you know that you can get that same affect without all the funky chemicals. The Trader Joe’s version of Cheetos is made using real cheddar and spices without sacrificing color, flavor, or mouth-watering spice. 

Golden Rounds Crackers

Growing up, instead of a peanut butter sandwich I often asked for mini sandwiches made using Ritz crackers in my lunch box. I loved assembling them with either turkey and cheese, in the style of Lunchables, or with just a dollop of peanut butter. 

These Ritz-like crackers come in a box with about 100 crackers total for only $1.99. They’re perfect for a cheese plate or finger food appetizer when you have friends over. As an added bonus, they have no artificial colors or flavors and absolutely no preservatives. 

Creamy No Stir Peanut Butter Spread

I thought it only made sense to add the Trader Joe’s version of my favorite Ritz cracker accompaniment, Jif peanut butter. Although all natural peanut butter with only peanuts sounds good theoretically, the reality is that the texture and flavor just isn’t the same. The oil that gathers on the top makes me cringe.

Thankfully Trader Joe’s makes a no stir version of their peanut butter with just enough extra ingredients added to give it that perfect texture straight out of the jar

Wheat Crisps

Wheat Thins were another childhood favorite of mine. Call me crazy, but I used to love microwaving them with cheese to make my own version of nachos. I like to think that I was just preparing myself for the boujee cheese plates to come in my future

Trader Joe’s wheat crisps are everything you love about Wheat Thins but with a few key changes. Although I’m of the opinion that no food should make you feel guilty, these reduced-guilt crackers are a bit healthier than their brand name counterpart. They’re baked and therefore significantly lower in fat that usual. 

Cheddar Rocket Crackers

I promise I didn’t just chow down on packaged crackers my entire childhood, but these are another go-to mid-afternoon snack that I used to munch on. I loved the plain old original Goldfish and these crackers pretty much nail that taste but with more wholesome ingredients. Personally, I like them better than the Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies that took over the healthy Goldfish market when they first came out. 

Chocolate Chip Chewy Granola Bars

Although Quaker Oats chewy chocolate chip bars are an extremely convenient snack when you need a little something to tide you over but don’t want to eat a heavy protein bar, they are packed with sugar and some questionable artificial ingedients. Trader Joe’s version is organic and still only 100 calories per bar, the perfect snack. 

Mini Cheese or Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers

Whether your mom bought Club, Austin, or Ritz brand, odds are there were a few packs of these crackers floating around your pantry growing up. Sure, they're a decent snack on the go, but I always found that they tasted kind of artificial.

The Trader Joe's version has completely changed my opinion. They're organic and the cheese version has real cheddar, while the peanut butter variety has, you guessed it, real natural peanut butter. Plus, they have just the right ratio of cracker to filling. 

Simply Nutty Dark Chocolate Nut Bars

For a while, Kind bars dominated the health food market. But then they got in a bit of trouble in 2015 for having too much saturated fat for the "healthy" labelling that they were using. Kind stated that it was because of the nuts, which are loaded with healthy fats. Since then, the FDA has updated their standards and Kind is again allowed to label themselves as “healthy."

Before the FDA changed their guidelines, I turned to the Trader Joe's variety. Although they don't come in as many flavors as Kind Bars, Trader Joe's took care of most of my favorites. They have the same texture and chocolate level as Kind bars, which completely sold me. It's an added bonus that they're less than a dollar per bar. 

"Go on a Date" Bars

If you have been keeping tabs on the fitness community on Instagram, I’m sure you’ve at least heard of RXBars. They’re praised for being transparent in their labeling, with minimal ingredients and 12 grams of natural protein. Unfortunately, they’re really pricey and the brand has recently been under fire for possibly oversimplifying their ingredient labels. 

Thankfully, Trader Joe’s came out with their own version that I think taste very similar to the Peanut Butter flavor of RXBar. Although the protein content isn’t quite as high, the Trader Joe’s gluten-free and vegan version only has five wholesome ingredients and you can pick up a box of five for $2.99. That wouldn’t even get you two RXBars. 

Honey Nut O's

In my past two years of college, I’ve learned a couple of lessons that come into play here. First, snacking is super important to help avoid hanger and overeating at meals. Second, there’s no shame in eating foods that remind you of childhood to help cope with living on your own. 

Why not snack on a healthier, more wholesome variety of Cheerios that taste just as good as the original? Trader Joe’s version has no artificial flavors or preservatives plus it’s fortified with vitamins and minerals that are essential to keeping your brain running full speed ahead. Honey Nut O’s are practically made to be study food. 

#SpoonTip: I love to enjoy my Honey Nut O’s in DIY trail mix. I add some cereal, my favorite nuts, some dried fruit, and chocolate chips for a more natural and nutrient dense version of store-bought trail mix. 

Crunchy Cinnamon Squares

While we’re on the breakfast cereal theme, I’d be disappointed in myself if I didn’t mention Trader Joe’s version of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. If your family was anything like mine, this was categorized as a “vacation cereal," aka cereal that’s too sugary to eat on a normal basis, but my parents caved and let us eat it on vacation. 

Now that you’re a grown a** adult, pick up this less sugary and more whole ingredient-packed version. You deserve it, even when you're not on vacation

#SpoonTip: For those especially dedicated to Cinnamon Toast Crunch, check out Trader Joe’s chocolate bar section for a milk chocolate bar with crunchy cinnamon square pieces in it. It’s like a Crunch bar on steroids. 

"Walks into a Bar" Fruit Bars

Of all the brands on the market, Nutrigrain bars have the worst reputation for being healthy and kind of tasteless. Trader Joe’s version is the exact opposite. The fruit is super flavorful and actually tastes natural, plus the bar is the perfect soft texture without being crumbly. 

My personal favorite flavors are mango, a seasonal summer flavor, and pumpkin, a seasonal fall flavor. 

Organic Animal Crackers

Last, but certainly not least, we have the cookie that famously masquerades as a snack food. Animal Crackers are one of the most fun foods to snack on, even as an almost adult. 

Trader Joe's version is both organic and all-natural. They come in a bucket that's perfect for sharing with friends or taking up the extra space on your couch when you decide to spend a night in watching Netflix alone

Now that you've essentially got a grocery list, it's time to hit the grocery store and swap out Trader Joe's snacks for the outdated brand name versions that you've been buying until now. I'd be willing to bet that both your taste buds and your wallet will thank you soon enough.