21 of the Most Expensive Products at Trader Joe's

21 of the Most Expensive Products at Trader Joe's

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21 of the Most Expensive Products at Trader Joe's

Up-Buying

Trader Joe's fans can't stop raving about their favorite products at the offbeat grocery store. And since the chain almost exclusively sells its own brands, it's able to keep prices lower than you might think. Still, we found some surprisingly costly buys at our local TJ's, including expected splurges like wine and fancy cheese and wild cards like soap and snacks. Are these buys worth it? Read on to find out.

Note: Prices and availability are subject to change.

Related: 12 Things You Should Skip at Trader Joe's

Super Green Drink Powder
Source: Cheapism

Super Green Drink Powder

Price: $20
This "astounding concoction of antioxidant powerhouses" is a handy way to add some healthy hard-hitters to your morning smoothie, but at $20 for a 10.6-ounce jar, it's among TJ's priciest items (though as one health blogger notes, it's still cheap compared with similar products from other brands).

St. Supéry Cabernet Sauvignon
Source: Cheapism

St. Supéry Cabernet Sauvignon

Price: $38
Most shoppers don't associate the land of "Two Buck Chuck" with expensive bottles of wine, but we found plenty of vino over $20 on our visit. The most expensive of 'em all? A 2016 cabernet sauvignon from the estate vineyards of St. Supéry in Napa. Worth the spend? Wine snobs on Vivino give it a thumbs-up.

Related: 15 Best House Wines From Costco, Aldi, and Trader Joe's

Seasoned Kale Chips
Source: Cheapism

Seasoned Kale Chips

Price: $4
Four bucks doesn't seem like much to pay for a snack food — that is, until you realize there are a measly two 1-ounce servings in this bag. We have to give TJ's props for the whimsical comic-book styling, though. It's almost cute enough to make you forget you're about to eat kale chips that one TJ's blogger tepidly calls "an okay pick."

Le Gruyère
Source: Cheapism

Le Gruyère

Price: $15 per pound
Trader Joe's has a robust selection of cheeses, and among the priciest we saw was a raw-milk, cave-aged gruyere from Switzerland. Still, it doesn't register in the many, many expert roundups evaluating Trader Joe's cheeses. Want more of a sure-fire splurge? Try out the $13-per-pound Le Délice de Bourgogne, which The Kitchn praises for its "luxe, buttery flavor that's ridiculously decadent."

Nourish Antioxidant Facial Serum
Source: Cheapism

Nourish Antioxidant Facial Serum

Price: $10
Though $10 for a measly 1-ounce bottle may seem steep, beauty buffs will tell you that's not really the case for quality skin care. Tough critics at Makeup Alley acknowledge that this is a good value for a facial serum, but some report breakouts after usage. Those who escaped the pimples love it as a primer under makeup, however.

Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap
Source: Cheapism

Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap

Price: $13
The other big spend in TJ's modest beauty and personal-care aisle isn't a Trader Joe's product, but Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap. Its many devotees say this soap is absolutely worth the splurge, and it turns out that it's a few bucks cheaper at Trader Joe's than on Amazon or in other local stores.

Creamy Salted Cashew Butter
Source: Cheapism

Creamy Salted Cashew Butter

Price: $8
As peanut-butter stand-ins go, this is the priciest pick at TJ's. But as is often the case, it's still not all that expensive compared with other cashew butters, notes Consumer Reports. Testers there also give it high marks for taste, but warn you'll need to stir it for best results.

Cinnamon Croissant Loaf
Source: Cheapism

Cinnamon Croissant Loaf

Price: $6
Got six bucks to blow on a loaf of bread? The Cinnamon Croissant Loaf is worth it, rave the reviewers behind What's Good at Trader Joe's. While pricey for the bread aisle, this bread is "simply scrumptious" when toasted and buttered, they say — and the perfect base for French toast.

Matcha Green Tea Powder
Source: Cheapism

Matcha Green Tea Powder

Price: $7
Matcha might not be cheap, but $7 for seven single-serve packets totaling just over a third of an ounce? Ouch, indeed. Amazon is packed with much cheaper, well-reviewed matcha options that are probably a better bet unless you must have the convenience of packets.

Kona Medium Roast Coffee
Source: Cheapism

Kona Medium Roast Coffee

Price: $15
It's no surprise this is Trader Joe's most expensive kind of coffee at $15 for only 10 ounces of beans. Coffee aficionados know that Kona beans don't come cheap — the growing region is small and labor costs in Hawaii high. Still, Thrillist says this is "without a doubt the best grocery store variety of Kona" and that it's smooth as advertised.

Related: 25 Crazy Coffee Products From All Around the World

100% Pure Vermont Maple Syrup
Source: Cheapism

100% Pure Vermont Maple Syrup

Price: $16
Step away from the Aunt Jemima and prepare for some sticker shock. If you want pure maple syrup — that is, the sweet stuff without any corn syrup or other additives like artificial colors, flavors and preservatives — you'll have to open your wallet. Thankfully, this TJ's variety is worth it, Consumer Reports testers say, beating out other brands with its fair price and complex taste.

Uncooked Ground Buffalo Burgers
Source: Cheapism

Uncooked Ground Buffalo Burgers

Price: $11
Trader Joe's freezer section is a treasure trove of reasonably priced indulgent finds, so the high price tag on these buffalo burgers stands out. You'll be paying $11 for just three patties, and while reviewers with What's Good at Trader Joe's agree that the meat is flavorful, they also acknowledge they're pretty spendy for anyone but the most ardent fan of bison.

Jumbo Sea Scallops
Source: Cheapism

Jumbo Sea Scallops

Price: $18
No, even Trader Joe's can't somehow magically sell quality scallops on the cheap, but considering we could pay $25 for a pound of scallops at Whole Foods, we won't complain too loudly. TJ's reviewer Become Betty says "they were just about on the same level as my local seafood shop," and commenters agree, so spend with confidence here.

Mother Earth New Zealand Manuka Honey
Source: Cheapism

Mother Earth New Zealand Manuka Honey

Price: $14
You'll only get 8.8 ounces of honey at this price, but this isn't the stuff you'll want to indiscriminately squirt into your tea and coffee or slather onto a biscuit. Manuka honey is thought to have especially strong antibacterial properties, and Trader Joe's honey has a UMF, or Unique Manuka Factor, of 10, which means it's just under medical grade. The price is also right compared with many of the jars available on Amazon.

Organic Emperor's Treasure Single Estate Black Tea
Source: Cheapism

Organic Emperor's Treasure Single Estate Black Tea

Price: $5
If you ask us, 10 bags of tea for five bucks seems pretty steep (pun intended). But because this is an organic, single-estate variety (that means it comes unblended from just one property) it commands a premium. Opinions are scant on this one, but TJ's previous single-estate varieties have gotten high marks, so it might be worth a shot for tea connoisseurs.

Blanched Almond Flour
Source: Cheapism

Blanched Almond Flour

Price: $7.50
Here's yet another instance of "pricey, but not really." If you use all-purpose flour, over seven bucks for 16 ounces of flour probably seems insane. But anyone who wants a flour substitute because they're trying to stick to a Paleo or gluten-free diet will tell you this is still a relative bargain for almond flour. It even beats Bob's Red Mill, a well-known name brand, in one blogger's cookie taste test.

Gold Quality Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
Source: Cheapism

Gold Quality Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

Price: $6
Considering Trader Joe's basic balsamic is $2.29 for a bottle that's twice the size, this is a splurge. But for foodies, a good balsamic is more than worth it. This one is barrel-aged for at least three years. Still, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention that the store's $4 mid-tier balsamic is an expert favorite.

Macarons
Source: Cheapism

Macarons

Price: $5
Macarons are delicate little things, and a dozen of them only weigh in at 4.2 ounces, making this one of TJ's priciest desserts. But they're still a lot cheaper than you'd find them at any bakery, and look just as fancy, too. As for taste, the chocolate and vanilla get a thumbs-up from a Food Network star, so what more could you want?

Wild Smoked Sockeye Salmon
Source: Cheapism

Wild Smoked Sockeye Salmon

Price: $23 per pound
Wild-caught salmon commands a premium anywhere — wild smoked salmon, even more so. Though the high price on this fish puts it in special-occasion territory for us, it's still not a bad deal — similar filets from Kroger's Private Selection brand go for $2.12 an ounce, compared with $1.44 an ounce for Trader Joe's.

Braised Beef Roast with Demi Glace
Source: Cheapism

Braised Beef Roast with Demi Glace

Price: $14
Outside of steaks themselves, this is one of the most expensive buys in TJ's refrigerated meat section. Fortunately, you get a generous 24-ounce portion that can easily anchor a nice family dinner. TJ's blogger Become Betty calls it "an absolutely awesome dish and a time saver" and says it's become a staple in her house.

Honey Walnut Shrimp
Source: Cheapism

Honey Walnut Shrimp

Price: $7
Again, while not a bad price for a shrimp dish, $7 is definitely in the upper tier of TJ's freezer-section prices. And there are serious doubts as to whether this one is worth your coin, with mixed reviews on What's Good at Trader Joe's. One commenter even says the sauce has a "sour, sweaty sock smell." Uh … yum? For a no-fail alternative, we'd suggest the Mandarin Orange Chicken — it's cheaper, and one of the store's most highly rated items.