Boujee on a Budget: Trader Joe's Edition

By Sam Behar

Whether you’re a broke college student or working toward your dream job, we can all agree that we can save a little more money. Luckily, stores like Trader Joe’s feel our struggle and have some really great products with some really great prices. Here is a list of a few things that make you feel like you’re living your best life without breaking the bank.


Trader Joe’s Ultra Hydrating Gel Moisturizer 

This new product has been rumored to be a dupe for the pricey La Mer moisturizer ($325 for 2oz.?? Insane!) but truth is, it depends on the user as to how they react to it. While there are similarities between the two, Trader Joe’s $9 tub of goodness is actually inspired by a different cult favorite; Clinique’s Moisture Surge. These two have 12 ingredients in common like green tea extract, birch bark extract, aloe, and more. (La Mer and TJ only have 9 ingredients in common.) 

Trader Joe’s Argan Oil 

Remember when people would shell out lots of cash for Moroccan Oil? Yeah well now you can get that for $6 at Trader Joe’s. This thing is definitely one of my essentials it goes on my hair from the ears down after I wash it, even with day 2 hair I put a tiny bit on the ends and voila no more crunchy! *chef’s kiss* I also put this on my skin! My elbows and knees love it. Who doesn’t like a multitasker?

Trader Joe’s Hair Mask 

This is it. This might sound wrong but I use this product as a conditioner? I use a little bit and tie my hair up in a knot and go on with my shower business. Of course you can use it as a once a week treat but this totally changed my hair game and everyone I talk to raves about it too! I gift this to all my girls (and guys if need be ya feel) and then they thank me for changing their life. You’re welcome.



TJ cheeses are priced per pound very affordably. If you look at our variety vs. other stores, you see not only do we have more, but our price point is also better (sorry not sorry, Sprouts and Whole Foods). Some really good ones are the English Coastal Cheddar, Unexpected Cheddar (hints of parm!!) and their bries! Throw these on a cutting board with some crackers and you’ve got an instaworthy ~charcuterie board~. 

Vegan Pesto 

This is my favorite literally ever. It has kale, cashews and tastes so fresh. Throw it on some pizza, pasta, or just use it as a dip. Since it doesn’t have cheese, it is good for all dietary needs and you can hardly tell the difference without it. Your life is so much better now that you’re aware.

A Dozen Macarons 

Bottega Louie who? That’s all I gotta say. I’ve actually seen these at baby showers, bridal showers, and other parties in general and people are always like “OMG where are these from?” and when they find out the answer is Trader Joe’s, they’re pretty amazed. Whether you eat these on the couch while binging a show or at a party, these macarons are always good for the occasion.

A Dozen Sweet Bites

See last point (also perfect for cute little platters for bachelor in paradise viewing parties).



Okay not those kind but definitely just as exciting. There are 2 types of health shots; organic ginger and organic turmeric and the best part is… they are only $1.99! Instead of like $5+ at fancy juice places! I’ve tried them and they definitely pack a punch with ingredients like cayenne, black pepper, coconut water and more.


I’m just going to list some and their pices, they taste good and are obviously well priced. Delicious Monster (white)  $5.99 Bogle (all) around $6-7, Rain Cloud (red) $5.99, Embrazen (red) $3.99, any Trader Joe’s Reserve Wines (specially priced lower for TJ) While the tried and true 2 buck chuck is good, spending a few more dollars is a better investment ;)

Sparkling Non-Alcoholic

Tj has a Lemon Elderflower soda is so good by itself or mixed in! Its sister is a fruity Strawberry-Rhubarb flavor, if flowery light sodas aren’t your vibe. These also have really aesthetically pleasing cans and will be such a cute touch to a brunch drink menu.

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