The 10 Best Trader Joe's Buys Under $3

Grab these on your next TJ's run.

Florida, Miami Beach, Trader Joe's, grocery store exterior and entrance
Photo: Getty Images / Jeff Greenberg

Walking down the aisles of Trader Joe's is never disappointing, as there are so many creative, delicious, and nutritious foods to see. The canned goods and frozen foods make meal prep a breeze and are also highly affordable. The snack foods are innovative and unique, and rarely more than a few dollars. In short, the grocery chain is a goldmine for delicious and versatile products that won't put a dent in your wallet.

Plus, Trader Joe's continually adds new and trendy products to its lineup: Think plant-based alternatives, seasonings and dips, nut butters and spreads, veggie-based pastas, and flavored cheese. Veteran TJ's shoppers are all too familiar with the hype that gathers around instant-classic products, like Garlic Bread Cheese and Cauliflower Gnocchi.

But sorting through the array of products — and all the new options — can be a little overwhelming on the fly. So we chatted with dietitians to find out which Trader Joe's products they keep in their fridges and pantries for on-the-fly meals and snacks. Take this list of theTrader Joe's products they recommend with you the next time you head to the store. They are healthy, tasty, and all under $3.

1. Trader Joe's Riced Cauliflower Stir-Fry

Trader Joe's

Price: $2.99

"At just $2.99, it is a freezer staple for me, and I like to mix it with rice or quinoa and an easy protein like eggs when I need some flavor and veggies in a quick weeknight meal," says Kelly Jones MS, RD, CSSD, LDN.

2. Trader Joe's Bamba Peanut Snacks

Trader Joe's

Price: $0.99

These peanut snacks are super cheap, at just 0.99 cents each and delicious. "I discovered them when looking for allergen introduction tools for my son as a baby, and now my whole family enjoys them," Jones says. They have just four ingredients, 45 pieces in a serving, no added sugar, and a good dose of protein, with five grams a serving.

3. Trader Joe's Salsa Autentica

Trader Joe's

Priec: $1.99

"For a versatile salsa, the salsa autentica is always in my pantry, and it has enough spice for spicy palates but isn't too much for those who like more mild flavor," Jones says.

It has a nice, smooth texture and goes well with chips and guacamole. Or use it as a dressing on a Southwest-style salad, she suggests.

4. Organic Strawberry Fruit Spread

Price: $2.99

This is a great alternative to traditional jam or jelly, which is also high in sugars and other additives.

"I love to top my whole-grain waffles with almond butter and this fruit spread for breakfast," says Ilyse Schapiro MS, RD, CDN. "It also tastes great on Ezekiel bread and English muffins."

5. Trader Joe's Creamy Salted Peanut Butter


Price: $2.29

This nut butter is affordable and deliciously made with only peanuts and salt, so it's really pure and natural.

"You do have to stir it, but compared to other brands, it's easier on the wrist. Then keep it in the fridge for the perfect consistency," says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club.

6. Trader Joe's Organic Creamy Low Sodium Tomato Soup


Price: $2.49

This soup is a fabulous companion to grilled cheese or works well as a delicious snack with a couple of Trader Joe's oyster crackers.

"Toss in some frozen veggies and shrimp for an easy meal," says Harris-Pincus, and you're set. It's got it all: protein, fiber, and healthy fats.

7. Trader Joe's Greek Lowfat Plain Yogurt (2%)

Price: $2.49

Not only is this low-fat Greek yogurt a great price pick, but also it tastes delicious, with a nice texture that's thick enough but still lighter than a full-fat yogurt.

"Greek yogurt is a great source of protein and calcium," Schapiro says, so it's excellent for your bone health and muscle recovery. "I love to pair it with some fruit and granola for breakfast or on its own as a snack."

8. Ak-Mak Sesame Crackers

ak-mak crackers

Price: $1.99

"These are my favorite because of their major crunch, fiber content, and super simple ingredient list, and they're delish with TJ's Everything But the Bagel Yogurt Dip or Reduced Guilt Guacamole," says Harris-Pincus.

9. Trader Joe's Organic Think & Chunky Salsa

Trader Joe's

Price: $2.49

"Salsa is a staple in my house, and this salsa is super versatile, so it's great as a snack with some veggies or whole grain crackers, or to top your tacos, chicken or fish dish for some added flavor," Schapiro says.

10. Trader Joe's Organic Popcorn With Olive Oil


Price: $0.99

A low-calorie, high-fiber snack made with healthy fats (olive oil), this popcorn is way better than most popcorn brands on the market. "It makes a great afternoon snack or dessert after dinner and this popcorn has minimal ingredients so it's perfect for the whole family," Schapiro says. You can jazz it up with some black pepper or spices, too.

More Trader Joe's Inspiration:

Was this page helpful?
You’ll Also Love