Clean & Cheap Shopping at Trader Joe’s

Eating clean on a budget is possible. You just have to know where to go and what to buy!

Clean Eating at Trader Joe's

I won’t go so far to say that these are the best foods to buy at Trader Joe’s because that list would go on for too long. These are just a few of my recent favorites.

I took these pictures on a random Saturday morning while on the hunt for corn tortillas. If you know me, you know I love corn tortillas. It’s not a gluten-free thing – it’s about taste. I use them for breakfast tacos, mini quesadillas and other ways. The tortillas I find at the regular supermarket are full of extra ingredients. I’m a bit of a purist and rather not have the extra stuff.

So, I set out to find these Trader Joe’s corn tortillas – rumored to have nothing but corn, water and lime on the label. And lo and behold, they do exist.

Trader Joes Corn Tortillas on

Once I got my hands on the tortillas, I kept shopping and found these and more…

Perfect for #MeatlessMondays, lentils are a great source of fiber and protein. At $1.69 for this large bag, you’ll be eating for a while.

Trader Joe's Lentils

Protein can be the most expensive item on the grocery list. Trader Joe’s has lots of options including canned (YES canned) salmon and frozen fish with the place of origin listed – which is important to me. I use canned salmon for salmon croquettes… will share my recipe one day here.

Trader Joe's Skinless Salmon Trader Joe's FishFrozen edamame is a lifesaver in my house. Add it to stir fry dishes, rice or quinoa for protein and extra fiber. You can even just heat it up in the microwave and add your favorite spices for a snack. I’ve even used it to make an easy edamame hummus.
Trader Joe's Frozen Edamame

This Broccoli Slaw is the perfect base for a quick lunch. I like to add a ginger dressing and sliced almonds and have it with a side of tuna or salmon. In addition to many other convenient produce items, Trader Joe’s also has shredded cabbage which makes it easy to create slaw and cut fresh butternut squash that saves major time in the kitchen. 
Trader Joe's Broccoli Slaw on

Toasted sesame oil is one of my favorite secret ingredients for adding depth of flavor to stir fry dishes, dressings and roasted vegetables (like cabbage!). It’s usually very expensive in the supermarket. Here? Less than $3 bucks!

Trader Joe's Toasted Sesame Oil

Trader Joe’s one of my favorite places to get nuts and seeds. They have all kinds. I use sunflower seeds as well as pumpkin seeds in oats, on toast and sprinkled on salads. Trader Joe's Sunflower Seeds

If you’ve ever stood hungry waiting for your steel cut oats to cook on a Saturday morning, you’ll love TJ’s Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats. They only take 8 minutes. I got this large canister for just $2.49!

Trader Joe's Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats

The one thing that I don’t like about shopping at Trader Joe’s is the excessive packaging but that’s the trade off for convenience I guess.

It’s odd that I haven’t written more posts like this one. Between recipe development, trying new recipes and actually cooking for myself, some weeks, I feel I LIVE in the supermarket. I am one of those rare people. I actually like going in for groceries – especially when pretty produce and cheap avocados are involved. I may come back and share more but this post is already kind of long so I’ll stop here.

Do you shop at Trader Joe’s? What are your favorite finds?

12 Comments on Clean & Cheap Shopping at Trader Joe’s

  1. Deanna Segrave-Daly
    June 29, 2015 at 2:36 PM (4 years ago)
    I'm laughing because I seriously have everyone of these items in my pantry or my fridge/freezer! I'm a TJ's addict - am there at least 2x week and I was thinking the other day I should do a scope on my favorite finds. My new most favorite find is Pretzel Bagels (of course, I'm from Philly!) and some other of my TJ staples include (but not limited to): Salted Peanut Butter, jarred roasted red peppers, Joes O's, Low Sodium Vegetable Broth, Applesauce Crushers, frozen mango...OK I'll stop now - ha. Reply
    • Marisa
      June 29, 2015 at 2:45 PM (4 years ago)
      Yes! That was one of my first scopes and I was thinking of doing one with these items today actually... We'll see.But ummm. Salted Peanut Butter? Must add that to the list. Just last week, I discovered the "famous" Trader Joe's BBQ sauce and it will probably be my go to from now on when it comes to bottled sauce. I've been going every week to get the 4 pack of avocados... clearly we could both go on! I rarely get out of there without trying something new :) Reply
  2. Sarah Grace
    June 29, 2015 at 5:27 PM (4 years ago)
    ah oh how I love trader joes! I love their soy creamer, healthy Caesar-type dressing, their cottage cheese (yes, there's something so much more creamier about their brand haha), and their peanut Thai sauce!Xo, Sarah Grace Reply
    • Marisa
      June 29, 2015 at 9:08 PM (4 years ago)
      Ah yeah. I forgot about their peanut Thai sauce! Maybe this post was a little self-serving... to make my own list of foods to get! Reply
  3. Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health
    June 30, 2015 at 7:50 AM (4 years ago)
    i go to TJs pretty often too..I do buy all of those things you mentioned above except for nuts. i like to buy them in bulk at whole foods or something. also, their wine selection is good :) Reply
    • Marisa
      June 30, 2015 at 8:59 AM (4 years ago)
      Hi Dixya! I go back and forth on the nuts too. My Kroger recently started offering bulk bin nuts and seeds and the deals are pretty good most of the time. I have yet to try TJs wine but I've heard over and over again that it's good. Reply
  4. Danielle
    June 30, 2015 at 8:44 AM (4 years ago)
    Tj's is great place to shop for the meat substitutes. Meatless chicken, vege crumbs, etc. The fresh fruit is also good. They have the best peanut Thai sauce. Goes great with a stir fry.....After this post, I have a lot of new things to add to my list. Especially the 8 minutes oats. Reply
    • Marisa
      June 30, 2015 at 8:57 AM (4 years ago)
      Danielle, the 8 minute steel cut oats have changed my life. Love them! I like to catch their special seasonal fruits like sugar plums - there's always something new at TJs! Reply
  5. Rachel @ athletic avocado
    July 6, 2015 at 8:26 AM (4 years ago)
    I abosuletly love getting there nuts and seeds, especially the sunflower seeds! What a bargain! TJs is the bomb! Reply
  6. LouAnn
    January 11, 2016 at 11:46 PM (4 years ago)
    I love the chili lime chicken burgers! I eat without a bun, with avocado and a salad. Throw in a few roasted plantain chips for crunch. YUM Reply

2Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Clean & Cheap Shopping at Trader Joe’s

  1. […] & Tricks: 7 Day Digital Detox for Real People via Greatist Clean and Cheap Shopping at Trader Joe’s via Marissa Moore Nutrition 5 Social Ways to Stay Fit This Summer via Diary of an Ex Sloth How to […]
  2. […] I used white corn tortillas. I don’t personally like flour ones. But nowadays there are tortillas made from all kinds of flours from chickpeas to almond flour and coconut flour. I haven’t had a chance to try them all and tend to default to corn tortillas at Trader Joe’s. […]

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