The Best Trader Joe’s Finds for $5 or Less

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

In addition to its quirky snacks and cult-favorite foods (looking at you, cauliflower gnocchi!), Trader Joe’s is known for its unbeatable super-low, budget-friendly pricing. It’s part of the reason we all love it. So, it’s no surprise that you’ll find a shocking number of items that ring up under five dollars.

Of all those inexpensive finds, these are my seven favorites.

1. Greek Yogurt, $3 for 16 ounces

I’ve tried almost every brand of Greek yogurt on the shelves, and this one (both the full-fat and 2% version) has been my favorite for years. It is luxuriously creamy, not too dry, and has just the right amount of tang.

(Image credit: Lauren Masur)

2. Cauliflower Gnocchi, $2.70 for 12 ounces

These veggie-packed gnocchi turned into a cult favorite just moments after hitting the TJ’s shelves. And I totally get why. Not only is it a total bargain, but there are so many ways to doctor them up — and a single bag can easily feed two!

3. Vegan Kale, Cashew & Basil Pesto, $4 for eight ounces

Finding a good store-bought pesto that’s both delicious and doesn’t crush your food budget can be a tall order. But this version, found in the refrigerator section, totally delivers. It replaces the usual Parm with cashew butter, giving it an amazing creamy texture and nutty undertone you’ll love whether you’re vegan or not.

(Image credit: Trader Joe’s)

4. Mandarin Orange Chicken, $5 for 22 ounces

When you don’t have the energy to cook, this sticky, Asian-inspired chicken comes to the rescue way faster than takeout. You don’t have to just take my word for it, either — this freezer aisle find was voted fan favorite by customers for the past two years in a two.

5. These Peanuts Go on a Date Bars, $3 for five, 1.5-ounce bars

Don’t be surprised if these chewy five-ingredient snack bars remind you of a Larabar. The big difference that I love? In classic TJ’s style, they’re a fraction of the price.

(Image credit: Trader Joe’s)

6. Grilled Cauliflower, $3 for 16 ounces

Frozen cauliflower is frozen cauliflower, right? Wrong! So wrong. This version is grilled before being frozen, which gives all the florets a charred, smoky aroma you’ll never get from a basic bag of frozen cauliflower.

7. Macarons Variés, $5 for 12 macarons

These French-inspired treats just might be the best thing you pick up from the dessert case in the freezer aisle. Just as scrumptious as they are pretty, each box has an assortment of apricot, coconut, fig, salted caramel, lemon, and pistachio macarons, with a signature crisp shells and sweet filling. And at $5, they’re a total steal! Keep a box stashed in the freezer for when friends or your mother-in-law unexpectedly drop by.

What are your favorite Trader Joe’s finds for $5 or less?