Teeny Tiny Entertaining

How to Turn a $20 Trader Joe’s Trip into the Ultimate Snack Board

published Sep 30, 2021
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Trader Joe's snacks.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

If you’re the type of person who can happily nosh on a snack board in place of dinner, Trader Joe’s is the place for you. Beyond having an incredible selection of frozen meals, affordable staples, and a constant cycle of new products being released, Trader Joe’s is the spot for premium snacks. So the next time you decide to take it easy and build a snack board for dinner, make sure to hit up Trader Joe’s.

When building my TJ’s snack boards I like to include six different snacks, each one coming from a different section of Trader Joe’s. With nothing more than $20 in my pocket I can create the ultimate snack board that has something for everyone. Here’s how I do it.

Credit: Sarah Crowley

1. Start with a dip or spread.

I like to pick out a dip or spread first and build all of the other components around it. This way I can narrow all the snack options down to things that pair well dipped into it. I typically stick with hummus, but Trader Joe’s has countless fun dips to choose from. A few options to get you started are as follows:

  • My pick: Roasted Garlic Hummus, $1.99
  • Tomato Basil Hummus Dip, $1.99
  • Vegan Tzatziki Dip, $3.99
  • Original Hummus, $2.49
  • Everything But The Bagel Greek Style Yogurt Dip, $3.49

2. Search the produce section for crunchy veggies.

To keep things fresh, I like to pick out a crunchy veggie to include on my snack board. You can’t really go wrong here and should pick out any fresh veggie your heart desires. These are a few of my go-to choices.

  • My pick: Celery Hearts, $2.49
  • English Cucumber, $1.79
  • Jicama Sticks, $2.79

3. Hit up the frozen section.

To bulk up my snack board, I like to wander the frozen section for fun bite-sized appetizers and other treats. There are no real rules here, so just pick out any fun, small bites you can quickly bake or air-fry to include on your board! I currently love the following:

  • My pick: Parmesan Pastry Pups, $4.49
  • Breaded Fried Ravioli, $3.99
  • Mac and Cheese Bites, $3.99

4. Add some nuts.

Trader Joe’s nuts section features a vast selection of fun nut mixes, ranging from classic salted almonds to unexpected flavors. I like to buy one of the fun ones and add it to my snack board to keep things exciting. My current favorites are as follows:

  • My pick: Chile and Garlic Cashews, $3.99
  • Savory Banana and Nut Trex Mix, $2.99
  • Everything But The Bagel Nut Duo, $3.99

5. Explore the chip aisle for salty snacks.

Trader Joe’s has the best salty snacks, and just about any of them make perfect additions to a snack board. I like to mix it up and include items like crispy chickpeas, chips, crackers, or cheese puffs. Here are some that I’ve picked up recently.

  • My pick: Honey Wheat Pretzel Sticks, $1.99
  • Crisp Crunchy Crisps, $2.29
  • Pretzel Slims, $2.29

6. Pick out a fancy cheese.

Just about everyone’s favorite section of Trader Joe’s is the cheese aisle, and for good reason! Trader Joe’s has a huge selection of high-quality cheeses that are surprisingly affordable. I recommend picking out a fun cheese to include on your snack board — something firm, soft, or spreadable. These are three of my personal favorites to include on my snack board.

  • My pick: Wisconsin Sharp Cheddar Cheese, $4.99 per pound
  • New Zealand Sharp Cheddar Cheese, $6.49 per pound
  • British Mustard and Ale Cheddar Cheese, $3.49 each

My total snack board cost: $19.94

What are you favorite Trader Joe’s snack-night picks? Let us know in the comments!