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11 Things I buy at Trader Joe’s for Glowing Skin on a Budget


My love for Trader Joe’s is honestly strange. I think anyone who frequents the grocery store would agree that the experience of shopping at Trader Joe’s is hard to beat.

The staff is insanely friendly, the prices are really affordable, and the quality is surprisingly great.

It’s just quirky enough to make you feel good about shopping there, and the prices and quality keep you coming back.

After years of shopping at Trader Joe’s, I’ve found a few must-grab items for glowing skin while on a budget. Not only will your skin look great, but you won’t need to break the bank either.

1. Grass-fed ground beef

Ground beef gets a bad reputation when in reality, grass-fed ground beef is packed with protein and anti-inflammatory fatty acids.

I consume ground beef more than any other type of meat thanks to how affordable it is – I use it in taco salads, omelets, coconut wraps, and stir-frys.

The good news is that Trader Joe’s has some of the best grass-fed ground beef in the business at one of the lowest prices: I buy mine for $5.99 a pound.

2. Wild-caught salmon

Grass-fed beef is awesome, but you know what the ultimate skin-clearing meat is? Wild-caught salmon.

Packed with inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamin A, and tons of protein, salmon is king when it comes to fighting acne with food.

Wild-caught salmon doesn’t come cheap, but Trader Joe’s has about the lowest price you can ask for at $11.99 a pound, and the quality is always superb.

3. Organic extra virgin olive oil

Extra-virgin olive oil is on our list of 5 healthy fats for glowing skin.

Olive oil is extremely high in antioxidant vitamin E, has anti-inflammatory compounds, and can help with nutrient absorption when eaten along with other foods.

Trader Joe’s has high-quality, organic extra-virgin olive oil for $6.99 a bottle (17fl oz.), which is about half the cost of what I’ve seen at other grocery stores.

4. Organic unrefined virgin coconut oil

What can’t you use coconut oil for?

Throw it in a smoothie, put it in your coffee, or even eat it by the spoonful.

It has almost no omega-6 fatty acids and is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal.

Again, Trader Joe’s name-brand shines above the rest here with crazy low prices on coconut oil. I’ve seen them on sale for as little as $5.99 for a bottle (14fl oz.)

5. Kerrygold grass-fed butter

Grass-fed butter can be problematic for some people with acne-prone skin due to the lactose and milk proteins present in butter.

That’s why I make ghee butter out of the grass-fed butter that I buy.

Like regular grass-fed butter, ghee butter is high in fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, and low in omega-6 fatty acids. Unlike regular butter, ghee is lactose, casein, and whey-free, which makes it almost bulletproof for acne-prone skin.

6. Organic frozen chopped spinach

I personally don’t really like frozen spinach when cooked and eaten, but for $2/lb Trader Joe’s organic chopped spinach is too cheap to pass up.

I use it in my skin-clearing mixed-berry smoothies, along with my next pick…

7. Organic frozen mixed berries

This simple little bag of berries is about the cheapest source of organic fruits you can get.

Best of all, if you live in a place where fresh, organic berries are uncommon, you can still get frozen berries that usually have more nutrients and antioxidants than fresh berries since they were picked and quickly frozen at peak times.

This particular pack of berries includes strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, all of which are low in sugar and high in antioxidants and vitamins.

They make up the bulk of my skin-clearing mixed berry smoothie.

8. Dry-roasted macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts are one of the only “safe” nuts when it comes to acne.

Related: The best and worst nuts for acne

They are extremely low in phytic acid and omega-6 fatty acids, making them a great source of healthy fats.

Unfortunately, macadamia nuts are hard to come by, but yet again Trader Joe’s comes in clutch with some pretty affordable macadamia nut options.

Bear in mind that macadamias are going to usually be more expensive than other nuts, but it’s well worth the cost when it comes to your skin.

9. Organic raw almonds

A word of caution: almonds are very high in omega-6 fatty acids that can cause breakouts in some people. Use almonds with caution.

If you find you can tolerate almonds (I have about a handful a day), they’re a great choice for getting plenty of vitamin E and gut-boosting prebiotics.

I always opt for raw almonds, as the roasting process can oxidize some of the omega-6 fatty acids in almonds. I also tend to go for organic after noticing non-organic almonds would often lead to breakouts.

10. HAAS Avocados

Because of their outer shell, avocados are one of the only fruits and vegetables you don’t need to worry about buying organic.

Avocados are a great source of vitamin E and dietary fiber to help support a healthy digestive system. Furthermore, they’re about the best afternoon snack you could eat, with very little carbs and plenty of healthy, filling fats.

Trader Joe’s has some awesome deals on 4-packs of avocados. You can even get “teeny-tiny” avocados if normal ones are too big for you.

11. Ginger Tumeric Herbal Tea

When possible, I try to avoid caffeinated tea and coffee because it’s pretty problematic for acne – caffeine heightens the body’s stress response, causes dehydration, and can impair digestion if you’re not careful (not to mention a lot of folks are intolerant or sensitive to coffee).

Herbal tea, on the other hand, is a very safe choice for most people.

Trader Joe’s ginger tumeric tea is especially great because it contains, well, ginger, which aids digestion, and tumeric, which is a pretty powerful anti-inflammatory that can help with the redness and swelling that comes with acne.

What’s your go-to?

What are your go-to foods at Trader Joe’s?

This post was a little different than my typical post, but I hope you found it interesting. Let me know what you think in the comments below, or if you’d like me to do another grocery store shopping guide for clear skin.

Need more help? Ask our team!

I’ve helped over 2,500 people clear their acne naturally. If you cannot easily find an answer to your question on the website, please reach out to me by email ([email protected]) or send me a message on Instagram or Twitter. I will reply within 24 hours.

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sam wood is GoodGlow's Chief Editor
Analyzed by Sam Wood

Hi I’m Sam Wood. I’m the chief editor, lead acne expert, and health coach behind GoodGlow. I’m also an author of one of the top selling acne books on Amazon, a husband, father of two, and a pretty good cook! I’m so glad you found GoodGlow and hope the information I have spent the last 10 years cultivating will help you clear your skin and improve your overall health. I began experiencing acne breakotus as a sophomore in high school, but unlike most of my friends, my acne actually got worse as I got into my 20s. I exercised regularly, ate healthy (or so I thought) and spent hundreds of dollars a month on high end skincare products and supplements to help clear my skin. Despite these measures my acne breakouts and scarring only got worse as the years wore on. This greatly wore on my self confidence and mental health. Simple things like taking pictures or going out with a large group made me feel self conscious. So I avoided these situations whenever I could help it. As a last ditch effort I decided to try an extremely restrictive diet recommended by a close friend with an autoimmune disease. After following this diet for about two months my skin started to clear for the first time in over 8 years. The good news is that this restrictive diet is not actually necessary for 99% of people to permanently clear their skin, and over the course of a few months I was able to add back about 90% of my “normal diet”. After clearing my skin I spent the next 4 years self experimenting on myself with different diets, supplements, skincare products to try and find a pattern for what was triggering my acne breakouts. I even tried different meditation, ice baths, and accupuncture to try and isolate the root cause of the breakouts. In the end I realized that an extremely restrictive diet was not necessary for clear skin. The most important thing to do is to avoid inflammatory foods in your diet. Some common examples of this are fried foods, alcohol, sugar, and dairy. Most impoirtantly I stopped reading trendy websites for skincare advice and began reading medical journals authored by dermatologists and nutritionists. Although the information in the articles was great the information was not easily understandable to most readers (including me). I spent hours dissecting individual posts and looking up terms I did not understand. Over the next 6 months I gradually began to understand these journals and started self experiemting some of the research on myself. After experiencing quite a bit of success personally, I started sharing my research on forums and with close friends struggling with acne. When I shared the research it was in easy to understand, plain English. Everyone I talked to loved what I had to say and kept asking more and more questions. So I decided to start a blog so I could just send someone a link when they asked a question instead of rewriting something I had sent 100 times before 😅 While the same directional principles apply to everyone, acne is very personal and should be treated on an individual basis. That’s ultimately why I created GoodGlow. To help everyone reverse engineer the root cause of their acne and clear their skin permanently. To date I’ve helped over 2,500 people clear their skin using a natural, holistic approach. If you are unable to find an answer to your question in any of the articles my team has written please reach out and I will do my best to guide you to the proper information and resources so you can make a thoughtful, informed decision. Read more of Sam's articles.


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