Thanksgiving on a Budget: Trader Joe’s Style

Popular opinion: Thanksgiving food slaps. I am pretty sure most of the population would eat it regularly. I would, but as a college student, I do not have the time or the money to recreate it. Thankfully, you can head to my favorite store, Trader Joe’s, and be able to get pretty damn close to the real deal. They have tons of holiday-themed items, some of which are even microwavable (yippee, dorm life). One quick stop to the Candyland of grocery stores and you can get a simple, yet tasty, Thanksgiving dinner!


1. The Turkey:

Trader Joes sells a brined, bone-in, garlic herb butter, fully cooked, half turkey breast. Wow, that is a mouth full… of deliciousness! (sorry). Or, if you need a meatless option, they also sell a breaded, turkey-less stuffed roast! 

2. The Stuffing:

Ok, now unpopular opinion: stuffing is the worst thing at the table. Don’t @ me, just stating facts. Anyway, Trader Joe’s has a super easy cornbread stuffing mix. It is also boxed - how delightful.

3. The Potatoes:

I feel like making these by hand might come out better, but if you are feeling extra lazy, they sell frozen mashed sweet potatoes or chopped regular potatoes. Another microwavable win!

Potatoes Alex Frank / Spoon

4. The Dessert:

My family never makes holiday desserts, so I love to live vicariously through other people. Some top picks at Trader Joe’s are their apple tart, chocolate pecan pie bar, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pie, pumpkin ice cream, literally anything that you can think of - but make it pumpkin…

5. The Extras:

Trader Joe’s obviously has a shit ton of bread, so go wild, but they also sell cranberry sauce, corn pudding, and the star of my Thanksgiving: VEGETABLES!

At this point, I cannot tell whether this is an article or my next grocery list, so I’ll leave it here. To tell the truth, I will probably add a million more things to the cart (it is TJ’s, so duh), and you probably will too! Enjoy!