17 Best Trader Joe's Pantry Items for Under $5

Fill your pantry with these Trader Joe’s bargain buys for under $5.
Updated May 29, 2024
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Trader Joe's retail location

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Trader Joe’s may not have the bulk buys you can find at Sam’s Club or Costco, but they do have some serious bargains on pantry products. This means you can fill your cart with affordable essentials and keep your shopping budget on track.

Whether you need to stock up on breakfast bars, sweet treats, or barbecue-ready condiments, TJ’s has everything you need — and at under $5.

Editor's note: Prices are subject to change and may vary by location.

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This Apple Walks Into a Bar Cereal Bars

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz apple walks into a bar cereal bars

Price: $2.49

The cute name isn’t the only reason to stock your pantry with these bars. The apple-filled cereal-covered breakfast treat is sweet, filling, and made without trans fats or hydrogenated oils. 

With six in one box, you can pop a bar into your bag for an on-the-go breakfast almost every day of the week.

Chocolate Chip Chewy Granola Bars

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz chocolate chip chew granola bars

Price: $2.99

Pack your pantry with this sweet snack from Trader Joe’s because at $2.99, you’d be crazy not to. The six-bar box is a bargain compared to other store’s similar granola products. This textured, tasty treat is made with nutritious rolled oats, rice crisps, and rich chocolate chips.

ABC Bars

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz abc bars

Price: $3.49

A is for almond, B is for butter, and C is for cocoa. This gluten-free, vegan bar is an easy-to-go option for the breakfast-time rush or a salty-sweet afternoon pick-me-up snack.

Trader Joe’s creates a just-right crust with oat and rice flour, adds a touch of sweetness with fig paste, and packs the bars with creamy almond butter. You’ll get six individually packaged bars in one bargain-priced pack.

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Rolled Oats

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz rolled oats

Price: $3.99

This whole-grain cereal is the perfect way to start your morning. The 100% gluten-free goody is filled with fiber. But don’t let the health factor fool you into thinking that these oats aren’t tasty too. 

Enjoy the rolled oats as-is, mix in your favorite fruit, or drizzle a touch of honey on top of your breakfast bowl.

Gluten-Free Joe-Joe’s

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz gluten free joe joes

Price: $4.49

The famous Joe Joe’s cookies got a gluten-free makeover. These chocolate and vanilla creme sandwich cookies have the same sweet taste you expect from the Trader Joe’s classic — minus the gluten, of course.

Made with a mix of oat flour, tapioca starch, cornstarch, and rice flour, these treats also include oh-so-sweet ingredients like cocoa, chocolate, and vanilla bean-speckled vanilla-flavored creme. The 12.5-ounce box is a bargain buy for under $5.

Dark Chocolate Drizzled Plantain Chips

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz drizzled plantain chips

Price: $2.99

These plantain chips fall somewhere in between fruit and candy. TJ’s starts the process by cooking thinly sliced plantains in sunflower oil. 

The tiny yellow banana-like rounds are drizzled with rich dark chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt. These sweet, salty, and crunchy treats are perfect for snacking.

Just Mango Slices

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz just mango slices

Price: $2.99

As the name implies, this pack of dried fruit is “just mango.” The slices are unsulfured and unsweetened. Snack on the mango strips as-is, or add them to your favorite recipe. The six-ounce pack is resealable, making the bag of fruit last even longer in your pantry.

Dry Roasted and Salted Almonds

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz dry roasted and salted almonds

Price: $2.99

Instead of chips, snack on this more natural option. With 50% less sodium, the dry-roasted nuts have just the right balance of salty and savory goodness. The resealable eight-ounce pack has plenty of almonds to share.

Movie Theater Popcorn

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz movie theater popcorn

Price: $2.49

Forget about paying sky-high prices at the movie theater for buttery popcorn. Trader Joe’s under-$3 bag is a bargain buy at a fraction of the cost.

Even though this popcorn comes in a bag, it still has the fresh, salty taste you would expect from the real deal. So go ahead and grab a bag (or a few at this price) for your next at-home film fest.

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Organic Naan Crackers

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz organic naan crackers

Price: $3.49

Fans of Trader Joe’s frozen naan bread will enjoy the pint-sized version. These crackers are a crunchy base for everything from salsa and hummus to cheese and sliced veggies. 

And unlike the full-sized bread from the freezer section, you won’t have to keep this bargain buy cold. At this price, you can afford to pack a few boxes of the bubbly crackers into the pantry and store them for later.

Everything But the Bagel Bite Sized Crackers

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz everything but the bagel bite sized crackers

Price: $2.99

The savory blend of garlic, sesame, onion, poppy, and caraway seeds doesn’t have to stay on top of your breakfast bagels. Trader Joe’s has famously added their salty seasoning to everything from chips to nuts. 

Like other successful pairings, the “Everything But the Bagel” flavor works well with the brand’s bite-sized whole wheat and rolled oat crackers.

Top the seasoned squares with cream cheese, your favorite dip, roasted veggie slices, smoked salmon, or the brand’s three-layer hummus.

Whole Grain Dijon Mustard

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz whole grain dijon mustard

Price: $1.99

Stock your pantry with plenty of party-ready condiments. This whole grain dijon is a major deal for under $2. Trader Joe’s sources the rustic condiment from a supplier in France — giving the mustard a rich, authentic flavor.

The mustard seeds add texture to this affordable option. You can add the tangy spread to sandwiches, hotdogs, hamburgers, and pretzels or use it to make your own salad dressing.

Hearts of Palm

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz hearts of palm

Price: $2.29

Dress up your spring green salads, add a subtle crunch to your veggie pizza, or use these hearts of palm in your favorite vegan recipes.

The juicy vegetable has an almost artichoke-like flavor that complements a variety of other foods. The just-over 14-ounce can includes several full-sized stalks to slice.

Nori Komi Furikake Japenese Multi-Purpose Seasoning

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz  japenese multi-purpose seasoning

Price: $2.99

Season everything from ramen to popcorn with this savory flavor from the sea. Made with dried nori seaweed, kelp powder, black and white sesame seeds, and salt, this Asian-inspired spice is a trendy topping at an affordable price.

Unbleached Enriched All-Purpose Flour

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz unbleached enriched all purpose flour

Price: $2.99

With this enriched all-purpose flour, you can bake cakes and cookies or make your own pizza dough from scratch. For under $3, you’ll get five pounds of the pantry staple. 

If you’re wondering what “enriched” means, this bag of flour contains extra vitamins such as folic acid, iron, and niacin.

Crunchy Peanut Butter

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz crunchy peanut butter

Price: $2.49

Trader Joe’s has the salty spread that will make your PB&J; sandwiches stars of the lunch-time show. With just two ingredients, this crunchy dry-roasted peanut butter is free of binders, unnecessary added oils, and sugary sweeteners.

Organic Tahini

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz organic tahini

Price: $3.99

Organic tahini may not seem like the typical pantry staple, but at this price, you can fill your kitchen cupboard with it. 

Use the roasted sesame seed spread alone, blend it with chickpeas to make a batch of homemade hummus, or whip it into a dressing to top falafel. You’ll get 10.6 ounces for less than $4.

Bottom line

Valerii Honcharuk/Adobe interior of wooden pantry

You don’t have to splurge just to stock up on pantry essentials. Trader Joe’s has everything you need at budget-friendly prices.

Check out the brand’s affordable prepared and frozen food options, along with these popular pantry picks. You can save money on groceries without sacrificing taste or quality.

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Author Details

Erica Loop With more than a decade of experience writing about everything from e-commerce to pets and parenting, Erica Loop has written for sites such as BuzzFeed, Brit+Co, Tinybeans, Family Education, and Care.com. Erica has a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and an MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh.