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Jocelyn Hsu / Spoon

5 Essential Trader Joe’s Foods for College Students

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Living on your own can be challenging, especially when it comes to planning out your meals. If you’re like me and are culinarily challenged, you may be tempted to eat out multiple times a week which can get expensive. Trader Joe’s has some of my favorite healthy, affordable, and easy options to save time and satisfy your cravings.

Steamed Chicken Soup Dumplings

These TikTok famous dumplings are a go-to staple for me and are a great option for even the pickiest of eaters. You can easily pop them into the microwave or cook them on the stove and serve them with your favorite sauce. They’re a great single-serve option and don’t have that taste that normally comes with frozen meals. If I were to get anything on this list, these would absolutely be my go-to.

Black bean and Monterey jack cheese burrito

This is a great grab-and-go option for lunch or dinner, and it is wonderfully filling. They pack this burrito with beans and cheese, and I like to add in some hot sauce for some kick. Unlike other frozen burrito options, this is a much healthier option without having to give up simplicity and ease. It’s also a great vegetarian option.

Blueberry muffin Mix

Trader Joe’s Blueberry Muffin Mix is a great take on classic blueberry muffins, and it’s one of my favorite grab-and-go breakfast options. You can make a batch on Sunday and have fresh blueberry muffins to take with you the next morning. You can share them with your roommates, or just enjoy them all by yourself.

Pretzel Bagels

Before going to Trader Joe’s, I had never seen a pretzel bagel before, and I’m shocked it took me so long to discover it. This is a great option for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack. You can use it to make a delicious breakfast sandwich, or just eat it simply with cream cheese. Pro tip: add some everything bagel seasoning on top of your cream cheese to step up your bagel game.

Fiochetti with pink sauce

This pasta is stuffed with delicious cheese and covered with warm tomato cream sauce. Unlike regular pasta, this meal only requires a quick trip into the microwave or onto the stove, and it’s ready to eat. A great option for pasta lovers who want to save time and still eat a quality pasta dinner. I’ve enjoyed this a few times in my dorm using only a microwave, and it is certainly worth a try.

Antipasto salad

The Antipasto Salad is fresh, healthy, and preassembled, making it a great option for any busy college student. It includes a spring mix of greens with salami, tomato, cucumber, provolone, artichoke, red olive, peppers, and red wine vinegar dressing. This is a delicious and refreshing meal that’s perfect for summer, and super easy for those who love to meal prep.

Current freshman at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying Environmental Policy and Economics.
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