15 Trader Joes Items That Everyone Should Obsess Over

15 Trader Joes Items That Everyone Should Obsess Over

15 Trader Joes Items That Everyone Should Obsess Over

Trader Joes hasbuilt an empireon house-brand products that are tasty and affordable, but some products stand out more than others.

MONEYs staff happens to include quite a few Trader Joes aficionados, so we came together to decide which TJs products fit our mandate, delivering high quality for a solid price. Some of these products are a better deal than what youd find at other grocery stores; other items are foods that are difficult to make at home but can be purchased inexpensively at Trader Joes. (And a few are just too deliciousnotto buy.)

Here are MONEYs staff picks for the best Trader Joes products.

Ive fancied myself a coffee snob for years, but this phenomenal dark roast, which takes its inspiration from the Bay Area, flew under my radar. When I finally discovered it, I swore off Starbucks pre-packaged for good at $4 for 12 ounces, this is the best coffee for your buck, hands down. Mike Ayers

Weve all been there: A recipe calls for a tablespoon or two of tomato paste, so you open a fresh can and vow to use the rest of it soon. Inevitably, you find it in the back of your fridge three weeks later and wish that you just threw it out because, at the end of the day, it was only 50 cents. Tomato paste in a tube may sound weird, but it has changed my cooking game. You can keep it in the fridge for weeks and use just the amount you need with no guilt. Sophia Rosenbaum

Made from actual tortillas, these are sturdier than other corn chips and have a great crunch. The lime adds zing without being overwhelming. And they dont break apart in the bag as often, so you get more for your money. Maria Carmicino

My family hits Trader Joes regularly for a few household staples that are low price and high quality, including the house brand yogurt, extra virgin olive oil, and spicy brown mustard. The latter is tangy and sweet perfect on a ham sandwich or a hot dog and only costs around $1 a bottle. Brad Tuttle

I know what youre thinking Candles? From Trader Joes? but hear me out. Ive bought two of them, one Vanilla Pumpkin scented and the other Cedar Balsam, and both were incredible. The 5.7-ounce candles were ridiculously cheap at only $4 apiece, lasted for hours and made my house smell wonderful. Plus they come in sleek metal containers that look nice sitting on the shelf. Julia Glum

I love to cook (and to entertain), but Im also kind of lazy. So Im often looking for simple ways to make food stand out. One of my favorite tricks, stolen from a friend: Buy the TJs pre-separated pomegranate seeds, and use them liberally in a salad. They give the greens a bright visual pop, but help me avoid the messy pomegranate-deconstructing process. Meanwhile, the touch of sweetness pairs nicely with the lemon vinaigrette, which I do make from scratch. Rachel F. Elson

Sure, I am definitely capable of cutting up bananas, dipping them in chocolate and freezing them myself. But why would I do all that work when I can just buy them from Trader Joes? I always try to have a box of these stashed in my freezer they keep forever, and theyre perfect for whenever I get a late-night craving for something sweet. JG

Everyone knows aboutTwo-Buck Chuck, but if hops and grains are more your speed, you can actually find some decent prices on beer. Take for example Red Stripe, which is $7.99 for a six-pack at Trader Joes. The price at a comparable grocery chain in New York City? $10.99. Theres no reason to spend that much on a commercial beer, even if it isbrewed in Jamaica.

Trader Joes selection isnt going to impress a beer snob, but the store does stock craft brews, and its own private-label beerscan be good deals. Just be careful with those house brandssome of them aregreat finds, but others *cough* Boatswain Double IPA *cough* are terrible. Matt Bemer

Im trying to overcome a serious gummy bear addiction using TJs dried mango slices. Theyre sweet, chewy, healthier than gummy bears (right?) and at less than $3 a bag, these are cheaper than Whole Foods. Win-win-win. Kaitlin Mulhere

Trader Joes has epic cheese sales Ive gotten giant hunks of cranberry goat cheese for about $4 around the holidays. If youve never made (or, um, eaten) a party-sized cheese board by yourself, you havent lived. Kristen Bahler

TheMaitre Pierre Tarte DAlsace is a sweet and savory treat, a cross between a flatbread and a flaky pastry. It only takes 10 minutes to get crispy and golden brown in the oven, and it tastes almost like a sophisticated French grilled cheese, with ham, gruyere cheese and caramelized onions. The best part: It only costs $5. You can eat a whole one yourself, or share with a friend. Alix Langone

Trader Joes cookie butter is a peanut butter substitute of sorts that our kids love (and our kids arent allowed to bring peanut butter to school for allergy reasons). This is a spread that is made from Speculoos cookies. Paul J. Lim

I grew up eating South Asian food,so Im critical of grocery store Indian products that hardly taste like the real thing. Trader Joes is an exception: Its products usually taste authentic across the board. This veggie burger is my personal favorite its cheap and easy to prep; it makes for a quick snack; and even thought its called a burger, you can eat it with just hot sauce or chutney. Allana Akhtar

I enjoy cooking from scratch, but its hard to find the time. So homemade with shortcuts is my mantra. This package of frozen chopped-basil cubes (20 total) fits the bill perfectly when I make pasta sauce or soup. Plus, its way cheaper than buying a bunch of fresh basil and having most of it go to waste. MC

Gluten-free food, unfortunately and unfairly, tends to be way more expensive than gluten-y food. Trader Joes has the best price for the most amount of food; its family-size bag of oatmeal lasts me six months. And I definitely appreciate its prices. Julia Bohan

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