The 10 Best Snacks at Trader Joe’s for Under $5 Each
What the pros grab in a pinch.
Published Sep 9, 2019 6:00 AM
There are a lot of Trader Joe’s products we love, but there’s one section that stands above the rest. At least, registered dieticians seem to think so: TJ’s snacks are pretty much unparalleled. After all, where else can you get nutritious treats like baked chickpeas, savory bites like popcorn, and sweet indulgences like peanut butter cups—all for less than $5 a pop—under one roof?
Whether you’re looking to stock your snack drawer or you just need a little something to get you through the rest of the day, these eight affordable snacks are the ones worth picking up at TJ’s, according to RDs. Healthy-eating experts love them because most of them are small enough to carry around in a bag (so you’ll always have something on hand for whenever hunger strikes) and because they’ll keep both you and your wallet nice and full. The next time you’re keen to make an impulse purchase at the checkout, reach for one of these good-for-you snacks instead.
1. Baked Cheese Crunchies ($1.99)
“These are perfectly crunchy and hit the spot when I’m looking for something to satisfy my salty tooth,” says Wendy Lopez, MS, RD, CDE, and host of the Food Heaven Podcast. She says they make a perfect after-dinner snack if you find yourself getting a little peckish again before bedtime. “Otherwise, if I’m really hungry, I could easily eat the entire bag.”
2. Popcorn with Herbs and Spices ($1.99)
Lopez loves this popcorn for both its flavor and health benefits. “It has subtle notes of dill, garlic, and onion,” she explains, “Plus, popcorn is a whole-grain food that contains fiber and other important nutrients like vitamin B, iron, and magnesium.”
3. Jerk-Style Plantain Chips ($1.79)
“These are so damn good,” Lopez says. “They really nailed it with getting the right balance of spicy and savory that jerk flavor is known for.” Each individual chip is covered with jerk cooking herbs and spices, including allspice, garlic powder, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, and ginger extract—they’re way more satisfying than your usual chip pick, especially if you’re all about seasoning.
4. Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups ($4.29)
“Whenever I want something sweet and satisfying, this is my go-to,” Lopez says. “The fat in the peanut butter balances out the sugar in the chocolate, which provides a steady boost of energy.” An excuse to eat peanut butter cups? We’ll take it!
5. Roasted Seaweed Snacks ($0.99)
“This umami-packed snack is perfect for those who want a healthier chip or cracker snack. Crispy roasted seaweed sheets that are vegan and gluten-free,” says Alex Caspero, MA, RD, and creator of Delish Knowledge. For plant-based eaters, she adds that they’re also a good source of iodine—which can be tricky to get enough of in a vegan diet.
6. Just Mango Dried Fruit ($1.99)
As far as Caspero is concerned, the dried mango options at TJ’s are the best of the best. “Most dried mango options contain added sugar or sulfites, but not these,” she explains. “They’re also a delicious, fiber-rich snack.”
7. Chocolate-Covered Banana Slices ($1.99)
“If you love banana nice cream [Editor’s note: frozen bananas put through a food processor or blender—try it!], then you will love these simple chocolate-covered banana slices,” says Caspero. “I often give one or two to my son as an after-dinner treat, because they’re just sweet enough to be considered dessert but much lower in sugar and calories than other frozen treats.”
8. Crispy Ranch Chickpeas ($2.99)
“If you love salty snacks like pretzels or chips, then you will love these chickpeas,” says Caspero. They’re packed with plant-based protein, fiber, and low-fat, and they’re a delicious healthy snack in addition to being a great ingredient to use in your meals. She recommends using them to top a salad or a bowl of soup for a little extra crunch.
See more amazing Trader Joe’s products: 14 Trader Joe’s Secrets That Will Change the Way You Shop The Best Trader Joe’s Products You’ve Never Heard Of 10 Products Domino Editors Always Buy at Trader Joe’s