Eating paleo can get expensive in a hurry. Use this list of 16 Trader Joe’s paleo finds to help you save money on your food budget.
Trader Joe’s can be hard to navigate at first. It doesn’t look like your normal grocery store. But once you know where things are, and know what they have to offer, eating paleo at Trader Joe’s can be both rewarding and money-saving!
Keep in mind, this post is not about grabbing an organic apple or some chicken breasts – you can do that at any grocery store.
These are items that are exclusive to Trader Joe’s that help keep you on the paleo track when all the bread and cheeses are trying to derail you.
1. Cashew Butter
Have you ever had cashew butter? If not, you should. You’ll never go back.
I lamented the loss of peanut butter pretty heavily when I went paleo, but after after having cashew butter, I didn’t even remember peanut butter’s name the next morning. Yes, it’s more expensive than peanut butter – but that’s because peanuts aren’t nuts, they’re beans.
Haven’t you ever wondered why they’re so much cheaper than all the other nuts out there? Because they’re beans. Trust me, the cashew butter is worth it.
2. Almond Butter
Almond butter – not quite the caliber of salted cashew butter, but comes in at a close second.
Raw, roasted, creamy, crunchy – there are lots of options, if you need some variety in texture and flavor. It’s great for baking as well.
3. Plantain Chips
These are crunchy, salty, and best of all, cheap. They’re great by the handful, or try them with some salsa instead of tortilla chips.
I also like to eat them with my Cumin-Lime Avocado Dip!
4. Organic Dried Turkish Apricots
These make a great road trip snack- plus they’re organic! Maybe you’ll have better luck keeping them in your house than I do, because my husband eats them so fast I can’t keep them in the pantry.
I actually love to eat these with the plantain chips – it’s the perfect mix of crunchy and soft, salty and sweet.
5. Roasted Not So Salty Cashew Pieces
Two pro tips: the pieces are cheaper than the wholes, and the not so salty are…well, not so salty as the regular ones (which are pretty salty.)
Really any of Trader Joe’s raw or roasted nuts are a good buy. Just don’t buy any of the seasoned ones, as the seasoning mixes and oils they use are not paleo. Remember, always read your ingredients!
Better option: get the raw ones, take them home, and roast them yourself with your own seasoning mixture. Try my Maple Bacon Pecans for inspiration!
6. Roasted Flax Seed
Use them in smoothies, baking, granola – and get an extra boost of Omega 3’s! I’ve used them in making paleo granola multiple times. They have great texture and a nice roasted flavor.
7. Almond Meal
It’s important to note the word “meal” here – it’s not quite the consistency of flour. The skins were left on the almonds, so they’re still mixed in with the meal.
That being said, I find it to be ground much finer than other almond meals and flours. I’ve used Bob’s Red Mill almond meal in the past and it’s much coarser than this one.
I can attest to the fact that this one works well for paleo brownie recipes!
If you’re making something that requires a finely ground almond flour, you can pulse this in a food processor and it will come out a bit finer. And, if you have lots of time on your hands, you can sift it – the almonds will go through, the skins will not.
8. Fruit Sauce Crushers
Go ahead, finish laughing at me for eating kid snacks, then come back. They’re organic. They’ve got veggies in them. They’re portable. They travel well. They’re easy to eat on the go.
Seriously, why WOULDN’T you eat these? PS – Store them in the fridge- they’re much better cold!
They have multiple flavors, but the added carrot makes me feel healthier!
9. Spicy Pickled Vegetables
I heart these. Trader Joe’s even used coconut sugar in their pickling mix! Granted, the amount of sugar is negligible. But still, I appreciate the effort.
Did I mention I heart these?
10. Pickled Cauliflower Medley
Trader Joe’s sometimes puzzles me. The Spicy Pickled Vegetables used coconut sugar, but the Pickled Cauliflower Medley uses regular sugar.
Again, the amount of sugar is negligible here, and isn’t enough to stop me from eating some Pickled Cauliflower Medley. Just be aware that it’s not 100% paleo compliant with the small amount of refined sugar.
Ohh I just looked again at this picture and noticed that the one on the left is open. Don’t buy that one!
11. Kerrygold Grass-Fed Butter
A paleo “grey area.” Some people feel grass-fed dairy is ok, other’s don’t. In my opinion, it really depends on what your body can tolerate.
And even if you can’t tolerate dairy, you can buy this grass-fed butter and make ghee out of it, which is just butter with the milkfat removed!
Here’s a tutorial from Wellness Mama on how to make ghee if you’ve never done it before.
12. Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage
I’m all for humanely raised animals, buying whole or half animals, making sure they are free range, grass fed, well loved creatures who were tucked in at night.
That being said, sometimes you have little to no time to cook, and you have to make choices. Having these sausages on hand makes those choices a lot easier.
They’re pre-cooked, full of flavor, and the ingredient list is 100% paleo.
Careful, there are a bunch of other flavors of chicken sausage, but this is the only truly paleo compliant one.
13. Albacore Tuna (in water)
Mix some of that with a can of this, put it on top of some mixed greens, and you’ve got a salad. So easy.
14. Sundried Tomato & Basil Chicken Sausage
Ok, this one is NOT cooked, so you do have to cook it through before serving.
However, it is super tasty, flavorful, and another good option for quick meals when you’re in a hurry or don’t have time to think about what to make for dinner.
Put it together with a side salad or some roasted veggies, and dinner is done!
15. Grass Fed Ground Beef
This is in the frozen section in my Trader Joe’s store. It’s $5.99/lb, which is a good price for grass-fed anything.
I usually try to get our grass fed ground beef fresh from EarthFare when they’re having a sale (I just got it for $3.99/lb yesterday!) but this is a good back up plan, and doesn’t require you to spend the $10/lb that Whole Foods charges.
16. Organic Coconut Sugar
The Paleo Police might chime in here and say, “no sugar is paleo!” Cool, that’s fine. You do you.
We all know where I stand, and in the Scaleo world, coconut sugar is on my shopping list. I use it in my morning coffee in place of refined sugar, and also for baking. I also use a touch of it in my recipe for pickled red onions.
It’s great to have on hand in the pantry, and I haven’t found a better price than $3.99/lb anywhere else.
There are a few other Trader Joe’s paleo options throughout the store – some stores have different frozen meats, and ours has jars of ghee. I still prefer to buy the Kerrygold and make my own.
Ours also carries coconut flour, but I prefer to buy that in bulk from Amazon, which I’ve found to be the cheapest way.
Does your Trader Joe’s have a paleo option not listed here? Add it in the comments to share! Not sure where your closest Trader Joe’s is located? You can’t shop Trader Joe’s online, but you can check out their store locator map here!
This post is not sponsored by Trader Joe’s and I received no compensation for it. All opinions are expressly my own.