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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

A college student’s guide to Trader Joe’s

Saichand Chowdary
A shopper buys fresh produce at Trader Joe’s. Photo by Saichand Chowdary / Mass Media Staff.

Grocery shopping is often regarded as a nuisance by college students. What are the right proportions for one person? How can I shop affordably while maintaining a balanced diet? Why did I eat the same thing every night last week? These are the questions that many students find themselves considering as they write out their weekly shopping lists.

An affordable answer to these questions lies in Trader Joe’s, a chain grocery store that prides itself on its fair pricing and quality products. Since 1967, Trader Joe’s has been selling non-branded items directly from suppliers to maintain the lowest prices. The items sold at Trader Joe’s are sourced from global buyers in pursuit of unique and quality products and can only be found in their stores. (1)

When browsing the aisles, it can be a bit overwhelming, as the seemingly small stores are packed tight with unique and interesting items. With a little browsing time to spare, however, there are countless hidden gems throughout the store that make it worth the adventure. From the regular essentials to mouth-watering snacks, Trader Joe’s offers a variety of staples that are perfect for college students.

For those who are tired of eating takeout or boxed mac-n-cheese for dinner, there are a plethora of easy-to-make, affordable meal options available at Trader Joe’s. For example, the store offers premade sauces, such as their flavorful Tikka Masala Curry sauce, which can easily be heated on a stove or in a microwave and served with a protein and rice.

The frozen organic Jasmine Rice is of amazing quality and comes in a perfect portion size for those cooking for one. After just three minutes in the microwave, the rice comes out steamy and moist and pairs perfectly with any side and protein of choice. The Trader Joe’s chicken breast costs around $2 a piece. Both the rice and curry sauce are under $4, which makes two meals for under $10!

Trader Joe’s offers many nutritious dinner options that can help college students to maintain balanced diets while on a budget. Some of these options include Trader Joe’s frozen Cauliflower Gnocchi, a wide variety of chopped salad kits and their affordable selection of organic frozen vegetables. Trader Joe’s also offers refrigerated mixed vegetables that are pre-chopped and easy to prepare.

The best part of Trader Joe’s is their abundance of unique and healthy snacks. An aisle in every store is dedicated to dried fruits, nuts and trail mixes that are perfect snack options for college students on-the-go. The 10g protein bars they carry also make a good snack and are 40 cents cheaper per bar than the Nature Valley brand!

They offer a variety of flavored dips, such as Caramelized Onion, Everything but the Bagel, Everything and the Elote, Buffalo Style Chicken and more. Other delicious snacks include the Chili and Lime Rolled Corn Tortillas, Everything but the Bagel potato chips, and the Cheese and Pepper corn and rice snacks.

For those with a sweet tooth, Trader Joe’s also offers a variety of desserts, such as their Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies that have the perfect flavor and crunch. Also available are the Belgian Butter Waffle Cookies, Scandinavian Swimmer Gummy Candies, Dark Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter Cups and Brownie Crisp Ice Cream Sandwiches.

There are four Trader Joe’s locations in the Boston area, all featuring similar layouts and the same mouth-watering products. The closest location to UMass Boston’s campus is in Seaport, located at 44 Thomson Pl. There are also locations on Boylston Street in the Back Bay, on Harvard Street in Allston and on Beacon Street in Brookline.

Grocery shopping as a college student doesn’t have to be a nuisance. Sometimes, it can actually be fun! The friendly atmosphere, the prioritization of quality and the comparably low prices are what make Trader Joe’s worth the trip. Whether looking to try new and exciting foods or to maintain a healthy diet on a budget, Trader Joe’s is the perfect place to shop.

Source: https://www.traderjoes.com/home/about-us