Fit with Finesse Grocery Challenge: Trader Joe’s

Poll: Would you prefer to work out three times a week, or spend five hours meal-prepping on Sunday?

For most, maintaining a balanced diet is the biggest challenge when it comes to living a overall healthy lifestyle. It’s much easier to let our go-to quick service, fast casual, or sit down restaurant do all the work for us. Sometimes, we are more focused on the 80/20 rule. Other times, we dial it all the way in to make sure our bodies are fueled for the next challenge. It has taken some time, but we’ve found a few staples along the way that work for us. This week, we’re sharing a glimpse into our grocery carts and letting you in on a recent challenge.

Could we meal prep for an entire week on a $75 budget? Here’s how we did:

Challenge: $75

Tips on Saving at Trader Joe’s

Grab a Fearless Flyer

A new Fearless Flyer is released in stores every month and lists Trader Joe’s latest deals and limited-edition items.


Buy frozen!

If you are only cooking for yourself, this is a great way to save. Usually, food is frozen at it’s peak ripeness, plus trader Joe’s has a lot of yummy pre-made meals. Whatever fruit or veggies you don’t use can be sealed in a zip-top bag for next time.


Don’t shy away from generic brands

You would be hard press to find a TJ generic brand that isn’t delicious, and sometimes better than the original.  Looking to save time? Try Trader Joe branded sauces. Our personal favorites are the curries and the marinades.


Take advantage of TJ’s generous policies

Not sure if you want to commit to a certain product without trying it first? Just ask! Trader Joe’s will provide samples of any product in the store (yep, even frozen foods!) And if you’re not totally in love with your purchase, they have a super generous return policy.

Don’t Skip the Seasonings

Trader Joe’s carries some of the best seasoning to jazz up the most mundane, routine of meal prep. Everything But The Bagel Seasoning, African Smoke Seasoning, Lemon Pepper and Himalayan Pink Sea Salt - along with their section of oils and Coconut Amino soy substitute - are all winners and stay stocked in our pantry.

Shawnie’s Meal Plan

Challenge: $75.00 Total Spent: $57.53

Meals Planned

Ground Turkey Patty w/ Broccoli and String Beans (Serves 4)

Salmon Patties w/ Artichoke Hearts and Kale (Serves 4)

Shrimp Stir Fry w/ Vegetables (Serves 2)

Protein Shake w/ Berries and Almonds Milk (Serves 4)

Pasta w/ Italian Sausage and Vegetables (Serves 6)

2 Boiled Eggs, Apples & Trail Mix (Serves 6) w/ trail mix left over

Grocery List

Vegetables & Fruits

  • Greens Kale 10 oz. - $1.69

  • Artichoke Hearts  - $2.49

  • Broccoli Florets - $1.99

  • 1 lb Green Beans - $2.79

  • Foursome Organic Green Vegetables -$2.99

  • Fancy Berry Medley -$2.99

Pantry Items

  • Pasta Organic Brown Rice Fusilli - $1.99

  • Turkish Apricots Snack Pack -$1.49

  • Just a handful of Omega Trek (Trail Mix) – 10 Individual Bags - $ 5.99

  • Simply Almond Milk -$5.09 (include CRV)

Items Owned Pre-Shopping

  • Green Apples

  • Sriracha Sauce

  • Protein Powder

  • Coconut Amino


  • Premium Salmon Burgers - $6.99

  • Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage - $3.99

  • 93/7 Natural Ground Turkey (1 lb.)  - $ 4.49

  • Dozen Eggs - $1.39

 Pre- Prepared Meals

  • Shrimp Stir Fry w/ Vegetables - $4.99


CaCera’s Meal Plan

Challenge: $75.00 Total Spent: $61.08

Meals Planned

Baked Salmon, Spinach Salad & Cauliflower Gnocchi (Serves 4)

Sweet Potato, Black Bean Mexican Bowl (Serves 4)

Tuna Salad on top of Raw Spinach (Serves 2)

Snacks: Seaweed & Mango

Post-Gym / Sweet Tooth: PowerCrunch Protein Bar

Grocery List

Vegetables & Fruits

  • Cut Sweet Potato Ribbons - $2.99

  • Mirepox Mix - $2.99

  • Baby Spinach Salad - $4.49

  • Sliced Mango - $3.49

Pantry Items

  • Power Crunch Bars - 4 bars - $6.00 @ 1.49/bar

  • Alkaline Water - 2, 1.5L bottles - $2.98 @ 1.49/bottle

Items Owned Pre-Shopping

  • Raw Spinach

  • Olive Oil

  • Everything but the Bagel Seasoning

  • Taco Seasoning (I make my own)

  • Protein Oatmeal

  • Celsius Energy Drinks (Yes, these are considered a weekly staple)


  • BBQ Cut Salmon - $10.20

  • Canned Tuna - $9.16 @ 2.29/can

  • Canned Organic Black Beans - $1.98 @ .99/can

Frozen Items

  • Cauliflower Gnocci - $5.38 @ 2.69/pack

  • Rice Medley - 3 Microwaveable, Steam-able Pouches $3.99