The Best Trader Joe's Products on a Budget

Posted by cleanteam

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There are so many choices when it comes to grocery stores, restaurants, and delivery meal services. It can feel overwhelming (not to mention expensive) to eat healthy each day. We turned to Trader Joe's products to see if we could feed ourselves wholesome meals without the hefty price tag. We managed to eat three solid, flavorful meals and a snack for just under $10 a day. We'll show you exactly what we bought and how we put together each meal. We spent under $100 to feed two people breakfast, lunch, and dinner for an entire workweek. Feel free to adjust as needed, if you are currently on the 21-Day Clean Program, or have dietary restrictions - we found this is a good place to start.
 
Trader Joe's is one grocery store where pre-cooked and pre-cut won't break the bank. That means that not only is the food super affordable, but meals come together in minutes with little clean-up. It makes it east to stock up on nutrient-dense vegetables, high-quality proteins, and wholesome grains. Check out the following grocery list:
 
Fish and meat
4 turkey burgers - $2.99
4 seasoned tuna patties - $6.99
6 chicken sausages - $3.99
6 servings roasted chicken (precooked) - $6.99
 
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Produce
3 bags of organic baby spinach - $1.99 each
3 large zucchini - $2.29
1 bag of frozen mango - $2.99
1 bag beet chips - $2.99
1 bag fingerling potatoes - $1.99 
2 lemons - $.98
2 bags frozen berries - $3.49
2 bags organic arugula - $1.99
1 red onion - $.79
4 avocados - $3.58
1 bag cauliflower rice - $2.49
1 bag broccoli florets - $2.79
1 bag sliced muchrooms - $2.29
1 tray brussels sprouts - $2.99
1 tray butternut squash - $1.99
1 bag apples - $3.99
 
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Grains
1 bag fully cooked brown rice - $1.69
1 bag rainbow quinoa - $3.99
 
Fats
Ghee - $3.99 
Olive oil - $3.99
Raw almond butter - $6.99
 
Canned and boxed
1-gallon coconut milk - $2.99
14 packets of organic coconut oil - $3.99
1 can organic garbanzo beans - $.99
2 boxes organic lentil soup - $3.98
 
Seasonings
Himalayan sea salt - $1.99
Chili-lime seasoning - $1.99
21-spice blend - $1.99
 
All of this for $100. Now, here's how we put it to use:
 
BREAKFAST
 
You know by now that here at Clean, we love smoothies. We mean, we really LOVE smoothies. Making a great smoothie is where the frozen section comes in handy at Trader Joes's. Finding organic produce, like the berry medley we chose, is far less expensive in the frozen section. It's also great to choose frozen for out of season produce, because in general the fruit is frozen when it has optimal nutrition and flavor. These smoothies are nutrient-dense, incredibly quick, and super tasty! We made two combinations to keep variety in our workweek breakfasts:
 
Smoothie 1 (serves two, and we have enough ingredients to make this smoothie twice)
1 bag organic mixed berries
1 large zucchini
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 cups coconut milk
 
Smoothie 2 (serves two, we have enough to make this smoothie three times)
1/3 bag frozen mango
1/3 bag spinach
2 packs coconut oil
 
LUNCH
 
Trader Joe's pre-cooked rotisserie chicken was juicy, simple, and the perfect ingredient for our lunchtime salads. We made the entire bag of quinoa at the beginning of the week so it was ready to go for salads and dinner. We also grabbed two boxes of organic lentil soup, to mix in some variety and to give us a hot option mid-day. When we're not using the rotisserie chicken, the extra patties we bought for dinner were perfect for added protein at lunchtime. Here's what we whipped up
 
Lunch 1 + 2 (serves two, and we'll make this twice during the workweek)
1 bag arugula
1 avocado
3/4 cup garbanzo beans
1 cup cooked rainbow quinoa
2 servings rotisserie chicken
1 lemon, cut in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt to taste
 
Divide all ingredients between two containers for a tasty lunch!
 
Lunch 3 (serves two, and we'll make this once during the workweek)
2 boxes organic lentil soup
2 turkey burger patties (defrosted from dinner)
 
Crumble turkey burger over soup, heat, and enjoy!
 
Lunch 4 + 5 (serves two, and we'll make this twice during the workweek)
1 bag spinach
1 avocado
1 cup rainbow quinoa
1/2 red onion
1/2 bag beet chips, crumbled
2 tuna burger patties
1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt to taste
 
Divide all ingredients between two containers and crumble tuna burger (prepped at dinner time) over salad. 
 
DINNER 
 
We love the frozen section for our dinnertime protein. One of the Trader Joe's products we like are the pre-cut veggies (were also helpful for speedy prep). Here are the wholesome dinners we prepped with our grocery haul:
 
Dinner 1 (serves two)
2 chicken sausages
1 bag fingerling potatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1 tray brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons melted ghee
1 tablespoon 
 
Toss Brussels and potatoes with melted ghee and season with 21 spice blend. Roast at 375 for 25-35 minutes. Towards the end of the roasting time, heat olive oil over medium and cook sausages until finished. 
 
Dinner 2 (serves two)
2 tuna burger patties
1 tray butternut squash
1/2 bag broccoli
2 coconut oil pack
 
Run coconut oil pack between your hands until it melts. Toss butternut squash with melted coconut oil and sea salt. Steam broccoli in a double boiler until al dente. Remove broccoli from heat, drizzle with olive oil, and season with chili-lime seasoning. Heat olive oil over medium and cook tuna patties until finished. 
 
Dinner 3 (serves two)
1 bag brown rice
1/2 bag cauliflower rice
2 chicken sausages
1 tablespoon ghee
olive oil
 
Cook brown rice according to directions. Slice sausages into rounds. Heat ghee over medium and cook sausages until lightly browned. Add cauliflower and 21-seasoning, and cook until cauliflower is heated through. Toss brown rice in and serve. 
 
Dinner 4 (serves two)
2 turkey burger patties
1/2 bag broccoli
1/2 red onion
1/2 bag cauliflower rice
1 cup quinoa
 
Steam broccoli until al dente. Saute cauliflower rice with chili-lime seasoning and ghee until heated through. Cook turkey burger according to directions and serve with sliced purple onions. 
 
Dinner 5 (serves two)
1 large zucchini, sliced
1 bag mushrooms
1 cup quinoa
2 servings rotisserie chicken, chopped
2 tablespoons ghee
 
Heat ghee over medium and add the entire bag of mushrooms. Season with 21-seasoning. After 5 minutes, add sliced zucchini to mushrooms. Cook for 3-5 additional minutes. Add quinoa and rotisserie chicken into the stir-fry and saute until heated through.
 
SNACKS
 
We grabbed a container of raw almond butter for just $6.99 - nearly half the price of many nut butters we've seen in other grocery stores (of course, making your own is a great way to save money). We snagged a bag of honey crisp apples for afternoon snacking. This combo is the perfect mix of protein, carbs, and fats to keep us satiated until dinner. 
 
 
Recipe and photography by Kaitlyn Noble
 

If you like this article, you might also be interested in No-Nonsense Guide to Exercise and Weight Loss

 

 

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Topics: Clean Eats

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