Trader Joe’s

2011 February 10

I am one of millions who absolutely adores Trader Joe’s.  We have one right around the corner and I make weekly-ish trips to stock up on the necessities. Initially, this can be a confusing place with all of the unfamiliar flavors and labels, so I thought I would share a list of staples I get from my favorite grocery store.

Before I get into the details, let me take care of a little housekeeping:

  • I can’t and don’t do all of my shopping at Trader Joe’s.  I love name brands for certain items (i.e. Heinz for her and DiGiorno for him) that Trader Joe’s just doesn’t carry.
  • Aside from some staples (brussels, broc, carrots, English cucumbers, mini grape tomatoes) their produce selection can be hit or miss, making a trip to Publix inevitable.
  • If you see something that sounds interesting, try it! They have a little-known money back guarantee to encourage you to try new things.  The only thing I have ever got from Trader Joe’s that I didn’t like was this Cilantro Dressing.  It was straight-up nasty.  I took back the open bottle and exchanged it for something I knew I would like better. No questions asked.

So here is what I get from Trader Joe’s on the reg:

Here is the list:

  • Salad Dressings. My favorites are in the photo, and I have an entire post dedicated to my love for this dressing
  • Frozen berries.  Such a bargain and perfect for adding to cereal and dessert when fresh ones are out of season
  • Sweet & Spicy Pecans and Candied Walnuts take salads and snacking to the next level
  • Cereals.  TJ’s brand of Cheerios are right-on and their price on Puffins cant be beat and Flax&Fiber gets the job done.  Ladies need their fiber. Can I get an amen?
  • Dried fruit and Trail Mixes. Apples, Raisins, Cherries, Aapricots…
  • Burgers of the non-meat variety: Dr. Praegers Tex Mex, Vegetable Masala, and Mahi
  • Cheeses are a great value.  I always have their Goat Cheese and the Feta on hand
  • Soups. We love the split pea and the black bean
  • Bars.  Cliff Kid’s Z Bars and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Larabars are my favorite on-the-go snack bars
  • Things I didn’t get on this trip because I had to draw the line somewhere forcryingoutloud: cinnamon twist cookies, organic pasta sauce, baked blue corn tortilla chips

So that’s my basic list.

Pray tell, fellow Trader Joe’s lovers, what am I missing?  What do I need to pick up on my next trip?

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9 Responses leave one →
  1. Alice permalink
    February 10, 2011

    Excellent Post sweet Jennifer. First of all, amen. Second, I think you were right on point with your favorites. I would also like to add that their Tzaziki sauce is delicious, as is their bruscetta topping. I like to serve it over some whole wheat angel hair pasta with a little parmesan. I also have enjoyed TJ tomato basil pesto on saltines. Oh, and their frozen French green beans are the best- cooked or raw. However, I must admit that reading where so many of their prepared foods come from (India, Thailand, etc…) gives me pause. I will do some investigative reporting and let you know.

  2. Towles permalink
    February 11, 2011

    Ah, the post I have been waiting on … TJ’s frozen sweet corn tastes surprisingly fresh (use it in your chicken corn chowder) and I have also disobeyed the marcona almonds with rosemary. Delicious. Claire is also a huge fan of TJ’s guacamole, which by grown up standards could be dressed up a bit with avo chunks, lime juice and cilantro.

  3. February 16, 2011

    Gah I miss Tj’s so much!! Barcelona, why oh why don’t you have one here??
    Just a few more months till I have it back in my life… hahah

    The tj’s everything pretzel slims, creamy hummus line, sunflower seed butter, crunchy valencia pb, microwavable indian meals, dried mango and dark chocolate are all amazing!!

  4. February 16, 2011

    on your next TJ trip, pick up the spicy black bean dip. i don’t even really like black beans but this? yes.

    also, the “healthy 8” chopped veggies are great for adding to lettuce for a salad. plop on some of the spicy peanut dressing and some grilled fish and we’re in business.

    oh, and the dark chocolate covered pretzel slims are basically a dinner in and of themselves.

  5. February 21, 2011

    Wow! I think you have it covered! I also love their frozen mango chunks, and their brand of almond milk is pretty good too.

  6. February 25, 2011

    I highly recommend their veggie chips and the portobello ravioli which you can find in the refrigerated pasta section. If I was on death row was choosing my last meal, I would definitely include the ravioli. In addition, the chili cheese puffs – located in the frozen section – make an excellent amuse bouche…

  7. February 25, 2011

    I love Trader Joes so much! Unfortunately, we don’t have one nearby where I live. Sniff! Lovely to find your blog!

  8. March 11, 2011

    I saw Bob Dylan perform in his home town with Paul Simon about 12 years ago. It was really sad because half the people left after the first song, he sounded pretty bad even then. Those of us who stayed were rewarded however. He told stories about his family and his first girlfriend and about growing up in Minnesota. I’m glad I stayed for that.

    BTW…I see you are also a donut fan and entered the donut pan giveaway on Iowa Girl Eats. I am also giving away a donut pan, a copy of Lara Ferroni’s Doughnut Book, and an extra wide pastry bag for making French crullers on my blog. Stop by and enter to win. Winner will be announced on March 15.

  9. gail merritt permalink
    November 5, 2012

    Do try their olive oil it’s one of the best I have ever used and the price is great.

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