College is hard. You get five hours of sleep a night, teachers who see three essays a week as a “light” load and roommates who don’t believe in personal space. But in the midst of this chaos, there’s one constant that’s always there to comfort and nourish you: Trader Joe’s snacks.With its infinite supply of cheap, easy-to-make and delicious products, Trader Joe’s is a haven for college students. Forget the wall tapestry; your dorm room isn’t complete until you stock up on these 10 TJ’s snacks.
Pure carbs and cheese: What’s not to like? Trader Joe’s takes this comfort food perfection one step further with the addition of New Mexican Hatch chiles. Whether you bake it in the student kitchen oven or zap it in a microwave, this frozen meal will warm your soul after hours spent in an overly air-conditioned classroom.
Late-night pizza? Easy. Getting in the appropriate amount of fruit? Not as much. But Trader Joe’s two-pound apple bags are only $3 apiece, so there’s no excuse to skip your daily serving of fruit. Be it Honeycrisp or Granny Smith, your wallet (and health) will thank you.
Not only is hummus a choice pairing for the many chips you’re inevitably consuming, but it’s also an excellent source of protein. With everything from Sriracha to triple-layer to roasted garlic, you could practically major in Trader Joe’s hummus flavors.
If you have two minutes, you have enough time to bring this Trader Ming’s meal to life. And if pad Thai isn’t your thing, these boxed noodles also come in satay and kung pao versions. Pick your favorite, grab your chopsticks and dive in.
With delicious flavors like mango, chocolate, matcha and pumpkin pie, this handheld treat is a fun alternative to eating an entire pint of ice cream and calling it dinner.
Don’t try slogging through back-to-back classes before you’ve had a bowl of hearty cereal. Trader Joe’s clustered granola cereals are just the thing. But don’t just stick to the usual cereal-and-milk combination. Grab a mason jar and make a fruit, yogurt and granola parfait as an ideal portable breakfast, lunch or snack for those busy days of nonstop madness.
Speaking of yogurt, Trader Joe’s also has a giant selection of Greek as well as regular and even dairy-free yogurts. Try deliciously offbeat flavors like PB&J and citrus avocado, or stick to traditional options like vanilla bean Greek whole milk, plain nonfat Greek and organic lowfat. Try adding a scoop of nut butter for a double-protein boost when you feel like you’ve been living on coffee and potato chips for too long.
Most coffee shops upcharge heavily for cold brew. But $8 will get you enough Trader Joe’s concentrate to make four eight-ounce cups—which, for all you non-math majors out there, rings in at just $2 a cup.
Stock up on all the nut butter options Trader Joe’s has to offer and boost your PB&J to the next level. If you are feeling ambitious (and have a toaster in your dorm room), try toasting your bread first to give the sandwich a little more texture contrast.
TJ’s has several flavors, but we’re big on the cinnamon sugar variety: Dip one in apple or pumpkin butter, and it’s like a mini pie in your mouth. Try learning that one in class.
This story was originally published by Olivia Roos on Tasting Table.