Top 8 Lunches Under $5 at Trader Joe’s

If you are lucky enough to work near a Trader Joe’s, get ready to make it your go-to lunch spot. We love the easy and delicious lunch options that they have and it is so easy to save money by getting your lunch at the grocery store!

These are our top 8 choices for lunch options at Trader Joe’s under $5.

1. The Salads ($2.99 – $4.49)

Trader Joe’s salads are perfect for an easy grab and go lunch that you don’t have to heat up. They are great for picnics and/or if you are really needing some extra greens in your life. TJ’s will even give you a fork at check out so that you can eat it as soon as you check out. Our favorites are the “Lemon Chicken & Arugula“, “Greens & Seeds” and “Crunchy Slaw with Chicken, Crispy Noodles and Peanut Dressing.”

2. Trader Jose’s Frozen Green Chile Tamales ($2.29) & Salsa Verde ($1.99)

Oh man these tamales are sooo good! The fresh ones are slightly better (especially if you steam them on the stove) but Stella loves keeping the frozen ones in the freezer at work for a quick meal for when she forgets to pack something. They pair perfectly with the salsa verde. It’s quick, easy and delicious!

3. Trader Jose’s Black Bean & Jack Cheese Burritos ($2.99)

These tasty burritos can be found in the fresh prepared food section usually over by the salads. They are quick and easy to heat up and oh-so-delicious. Make it a little more interesting by topping your heated burrito with the salsa (great with the salsa verde mentioned above) and hot sauce of your choice. If you are feeling really fancy add some avocado too!

black bean and cheese

4. Trader Joe’s Frozen Ricotta & Spinach Tortellini with Red Pesto ($1.99)

This tasty frozen pasta dish is super good and it’s the perfect size for lunch. It’s quick to warm up and full of flavor. The red pesto is unique and yummy and there are a ton of veggies so even though it’s pasta, it feels healthy too 🙂


5. Trader Joe’s Lentil Soup with Ancient Grains ($3.29)

This soup is so good and so filling! It is perfect for those winter lunch days when you are looking for something warm and comforting. I usually only eat half the container especially if paired with crackers or slice of bread.


6. Single Serving Oatmeal Cups + A Banana ($1.98)

If you’re in the mood for breakfast-for-lunch, like Laura is more often than not, try pairing TJ’s single serving oatmeal cups with a cut up banana. Especially on a cool day, this warm and cheap (only $1.98 total!) meal will keep you full through the long afternoon. Favorite is definitely the Tart Cherry, Chia, & Pumpkin Seed!


7. Frozen Organic Superfood Pilaf ($3.99)

This frozen bag of goodness is filled with sweet potatoes, quinoa, kale, and carrots and does really well in the microwave. If you want a bit of extra flavor, try topping with parmesan or pepper flakes from home (or leftover from delivery pizza!).


8. Frozen Masala Dishes ($2.99 – $4.49)

A tried and true go-to, the Chicken Tikka Masala and Channa Masala are both easy and fast lunch options. Flavorful and warm, they’re perfect for a mid-day pick-me-up! Need a bit more? Grab some frozen naan to pair with it!


Do you have any Trader Joe’s favorites? Swear by a good grocery store lunch trick? Let us know in the comments!


  1. Salsa Verde GIVES ME LIFE!!! Solid suggestions and choices. I’m a total Trader Joe’s FIEND. I’ve got my eye on that lentil soup….that one is new for me!

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