16 Tasty (And Affordable) Trader Joe’s Items for a Summer Picnic

From salads to snacks, here are some delicious light bites to pack for the perfect picnic.

collage of trader joe's products for a summer picnic
Updated May 31, 2024
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As you gear up for more outdoor fun, consider putting together a picnic as a fun and affordable meal. Whether you’re a loyal follower or a newbie, Trader Joe’s is the perfect place to save on groceries, including everything you need to enjoy a meal al fresco.

Whether you’re looking for something savory or sweet, here are 16 items you’re sure to enjoy without worrying about how much you spent.

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

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Curry Chicken Salad

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz curry chicken salad

Price: $4.99

No time to make your own chicken salad for picnic-worthy sandwiches? No problem. Trader Joe’s curried version is a tasty and tangy choice if you’re looking for something different.

At just under $5, you can also splurge on some crunchy bread for the perfect, open-faced sandwich.

Mediterranean Style Hummus Snack Pack

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz mediterranean style hummus snack pack

Price: $2.99

Enjoy this all-in-one snack pack that features creamy hummus alongside crispy pita chips. Its small size provides you with ample room to pack even more tasty treats.

Josie’s Mandarins

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz josies mandarins

Price: $3.49

Fresh fruit is essential to any summer picnic menu. This tiny mandarin is a sweeter (and smaller) version of an orange. At two pounds, you’ll be able to enjoy these both during and after your picnic.

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Sparkling Black Tea with Peach Juice

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz sparkling black tea with peach juice

Price: $3.99

Refresh during a sweltering summertime outdoor activity with this sparkling iced tea beverage.

Trader Joe’s combines black tea and peach juice into one sweet, fizzy drink. Each pack comes with four 8.45-ounce cans.

Seltzer Water Flavored with Cranberry and Lime Juice

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz seltzer water flavored with cranberry

Price: $3.29

Another way to keep yourself cool is with this juice-infused seltzer water. The cranberry and lime flavors add a tangy taste to the bubbly water, and it’s a serious value for under $4 for four 12-ounce cans.

Mini Chocolate Mousse Flowers

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz mini chocolate mousse flowers

Price: $3.99

Flowers are blooming—both outside and inside Trader Joe’s. These mini desserts include a decadent chocolate cake layer, fluffy chocolate mousse, and a white chocolate coating.

A bonus? You can enjoy this item guilt-free as it uses turmeric powder to give the flowers a sunny yellow hue and beet juice extract to add a pretty pink instead of chemicals.

These Sprinkles Walk Into A Sandwich Cookies

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz these sprinkles walk

Price: $3.49

Add some sweetness to your picnic with these butter cookie sandwiches. Filled with rich buttermilk and sprinkle-stuffed frosting, it’s a can’t-miss treat from Trader Joe’s.

The six-ounce box has plenty of treats to share with your family or friends. But at the low price of $3.49, you should buy more than one pack.

Cheesecake-Inspired Truffle Collection

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz cheesecake inspired truffle collection

Price: $4.99

Although an entire cheesecake isn’t exactly the easiest dessert option for a picnic, a cheesecake-inspired truffle just might be. Each box of eight truffles comes with two vanilla, caramel, raspberry, and lemon curd confections.

Organic Seeded Bread

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz organic seeded bread

Price: $3.99

Elevate your sandwich game with this organic seeded bread. The soft slices are packed with sunflower, flax, sesame, and poppy seeds. Add a smear of curry chicken salad, a layer of turkey and cheddar, or top it with grilled veggies and hummus for a truly delicious sandwich.

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Everything Ciabatta Rolls

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz everything ciabatta rolls

Price: $2.49

The four-pack of rolls pairs perfectly with your favorite savory lunch meat, balsamic-glazed vegetables, or mozzarella cheese.

Like the bagels with the same name, these rolls have a not-so-subtle blend of seasoning. Dried minced garlic, onion, sea salt, poppy seeds, and sesame seeds give the ciabatta rolls a distinct and unique flavor.

Organic Spring Mix

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz organic spring mix

Price: $2.49

Save time and money by bringing a bagged salad blend to your picnic. The greens are already triple-washed, so you can eat the salad right out of the bag.

Toss the mix with Trader Joe’s green goddess dressing and pre-cooked grilled chicken slices for something everyone will love.

Honeycrisp apples

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz honeycrisp apples

Price: $3.49

Toss a few of these tasty apples into your picnic basket whole or pre-slice them for convenience. Trader Joe’s also offers plenty of dips to pair with the snack, and they make a delicious addition to turkey sandwiches or chicken salad.

Plus, because you’re getting two pounds, you’ll have plenty of apples to enjoy post picnic.

Sharp Cheddar Cheese Snack Pack

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz sharp cheddar cheese snack pack

Price: $3.99

These handy, individually wrapped sharp cheddar cheese blocks make the perfect picnic snack, and each bag comes with 10 pieces.

Toss a few chunks of cheese into your basket, or unwrap the cheddar and add it to a sandwich. It’s also a great cheese to add to any charcuterie board.

Fig and Olive Crisps

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz fig and olive crisps

Price: $3.99

If you’re looking to go beyond the basics, consider these fig and olive crips. Flax, sunflower, and sesame seeds add crunchiness to the crisps, while dried California Mission figs and brined Greek Kalamata olives make it sweet and savory.

Keep it simple and snack on the crisps as-is, or top them with your favorite spread.

Ghost Pepper Potato Chips

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz ghost pepper potato chips

Price: $3.49

Daring snackers will enjoy this bold, picnic-ready chip. The lattice cut gives these chips a tasty texture and helps the potato product hold onto the savory spices. Bring along an entire bag to eat plain, or temper the pepper flavor with a creamy dip.

Ode to the Classic Potato Chips

Courtesy of FinanceBuzz ode to the classic potato chips

Price: $2.99

If ghost pepper is a bit too much, try these classic chips instead. As the name implies, these crisps are everything you expect from a traditional chip. The gluten-free salty snack is a picnic classic that you just can’t skip — especially at this price.

Bottom line

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Trader Joe’s has everything you need to turn your picnic into a foodie feast! Whether you love whipping something up yourself or prefer ready-made options, you'll find plenty of budget-friendly choices here.

And even if you’re not planning for a picnic, consider adding Trader Joe’s to your weekly shopping rotation. The retailer is a great place to save on everyday essentials while also discovering some unique items your tastebuds are sure to enjoy.

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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.