Geneve: The Best Trader Joe’s Snacks for College Students

Before I moved to Boston for college, I didn’t get the hype about Trader Joe’s. Back home, it was the “expensive grocery store that was overhyped.” This summer, I lived in my first apartment and needed to grocery stop on my own for the first time. Then, I understood the hype about T.J.’s. I haven’t looked back since.

First of all, the stereotype that it’s an expensive grocery store is completely false. In fact, Trader Joe’s is probably the cheapest grocery store in the city. I used to do all my grocery shopping at Target, and I would almost always rack up a bill of $50-$60 a week. Star Market is absolutely unquestionably more expensive than Target. Most of the time, I can walk out of Trader Joe’s spending $25-$40, depending on what I get. That’s a steal.

I’ve compiled below some of my favorite things to get that are on my list almost every week. The next time you’re bored of the snacks you always opt for, give these a try!

Mini Vegetable Samosas + Dipping Sauce

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These vegetable samosas are crispy little triangles filled with a mixture of lentils, peas, potatoes, onions, and Indian spices. They heat up quickly in the microwave and are just the perfect combination of crispy and soft.

For the dipping sauce, mix equal parts almond butter, soy sauce, and honey. At first, this combination sounds interesting. But believe me, it is one of the greatest things you will ever taste. All of my friends and suite mates would agree. It’s slightly thick, nutty, sweet, and salty, all at once. Of course, if you like one particular ingredient more, you can always adjust portions to taste.

Pumpernickel Pretzel Sticks + Pub Cheese

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This combination was actually first introduced to me by COM advisor Bryan (he trained us orientation leaders this summer and always brought us bags full of snacks from Trader Joe’s every meeting). I always got to take extras of this combo home so obviously, it grew on me. The combination of the tastes of these two are just perfect.

Tatte-inspired Ricotta and Jam Toast

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I actually have to give my friend Sam full credits for this one. She runs an Instagram page, @EZDormCookin. She buys the San Francisco sourdough bread and spreads whole milk ricotta cheese and strawberry preserves on top. I love having this in the morning for breakfast because it’s just the perfect mix of sweet and salty and gives me enough nutrients to last till lunch!

These are just a few of my favorite food finds at Trader Joe’s! I highly recommend a trip down to the T.J.’s at Coolidge Corner and a good stroll through all the aisles. You might find your next favorite snack, or a few!

Geneve: Why Everyone Needs a Letter Board in Their Life

I bought my letter board from Primark this past spring, on one of those shopping trips where you aren’t really looking for anything in particular but something catches your eye, it’s under $10, so you know you HAVE to get it.

I’ll be honest with you, I might have only bought it because it was extremely popular on Pinterest and Instagram, and I wanted to add it to my collection of “aesthetically trendy room decor things” that I adorned my living space with.

I’ve always loved hanging up inspirational quotes in my room, so this was like another excuse to do that, but I could change the quotes all the time.

It wasn’t until this summer that I realized why a letter board was such a crucial piece that every college student absolutely needs. And, here’s why.

You know when your best friend tries to tell you something that can just never get through to your head? Like “It doesn’t matters what others are doing, it matters what you are doing.” Or, maybe even something simpler, like “You got this.” Well, a letter board might actually make these quotes stick better, and you might start to believe the motivational quote it tells you.

When you’re spending no less than fifteen minutes tearing out tiny letters to arrange onto a letter board, counting out the rows to make sure it’s centered, and sometimes adding playful touches to make the words slanted or dome shaped, you’re actually in the process of letting these words engrain themselves in your head.

Have I convinced you yet? The board I use isn’t being sold at Primark anymore, but here are five options for you if you’re ready to get your own!

  1. Forever 21 White Letter Board | $9.90– It comes in black, too! And for under $10? SCORE.
  2. Amazon Black 10 x 10 Felt Letter Board | $12.95– If you’re lazy and don’t want to head to the store, get this one shipped to you for free via Amazon Prime!
  3. Amazon Black 10 x 10 Felt Letter Board w/ Gold Letters | $14.95– Get one with gold letters for only $2 more!
  4. Amazon Black 12 x 16 Felt Letter Board | $16.79– A rectangular board is good if you know you’ll be making longer quotes and phrases.
  5. Amazon Maroon 10 x 10 Felt Letter Board | $15.93– Get one in your favorite color for a nice pop!

Share your pictures of your new letter board decor with me over on Instagram at @genevelau! I hope that I’ve convinced you all to get one now. What better time than now, at the start of the new school year, to add a new piece of decor to your space!