I’m all over the place when it comes to grocery shopping these days. I used to do the bulk of my shopping at Whole Foods and would do a Trader Joe’s run about once a month. Lately I’ve been going to Trader Joe’s about once a week. I still go to Whole Foods weekly as well, for things like yogurt (one of the few stores that sells my favorite full-fate Fage yogurt) and bulk bin items.
Here are some of my favorites:
Hands down, the number one reason I go to Trader Joe’s is for the vegetables. You all know I have a farmers market obsession, but during the winter months I like to get the bulk of my veggies from Trader Joe’s. NO OTHER STORE has a better selection of pre-washed/cut/ready-to-eat vegetables. This is such a huge timesaver for me. Last week I bought broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, brussels sprouts, broccolini and butternut squash. All of it was washed, cut up and bagged. I almost always roast veggies for side dishes and all I have to do is open the bag, dump the contents on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive, S&P and put it in the oven. Done and done!
You can’t beat the prices on nuts, seeds and dried fruit – and they have such a wide variety.
Some of the best prices around – not all organic, but rBST-free. I like to buy sliced cheeses, balls of mozzarella, and wedges of cheddar.
Great deals on organic ketchup and BBQ sauce. I’m a huge fan of their dijon mustard. I go through a lot of dijon and other stores sell teeny tiny bottles at high prices. The Trader Joe’s mustard is a steal and it comes in a decent sized jar.
Frozen sweet potatoes
These bags of sweet potato chunks are fantastic. Hazel is obsessed with sweet potatoes and it’s nice to have these on hand. Unfortunately, this is a seasonal item so I stock up whenever I see them in the store!
Whole wheat pitas and tortillas
The pitas are a nice alternative to regular sandwich bread. Hazel likes them stuffed with PB&J. I like to stuff them with Greek chicken or tuna/chicken/egg salad. They are also great for making pita chips. The pitas are made with very few ingredients.
The tortillas are handmade and I think you can taste the difference. They come in white and whole wheat and just like the pitas, contain very few ingredients. I like to stock up and keep them in the freezer.
Canned Organic Beans
By far the cheapest I’ve seen for organic beans ($1.19 a can).
Trader Joe’s has a great selection of wines and I almost always buy a few bottles when I’m there.
I like Ak-Mak because of the super short ingredient list. We also like the stone ground entertainment rounds to serve with cheese or soup.
While they don’t have a huge selection of the run of the mill spices, they do have harder to find kinds like Spanish paprika and specialty mixes like their Everyday Blend, which is great on anything from eggs to chicken.
TJ’s has a nice selection of frozen (microwavable) rice. I always have organic brown rice and quinoa in my freezer. I have also tried the wild and jasmine. I’m not a big fan of microwaving food in plastic, but I have found it’s just as easy to dump the rice into a glass dish and heat in the microwave.
I recently started buying our (whole) milk at TJ’s. As of now, they have the best price at $6.00 a gallon. I also buy the organic half-and-half, only $1.99!
I like to keep a few containers each of chicken, vegetable and beef stock on hand. You can’t beat Trader Joe’s price of $2.99 for a 32 ounce carton.
New York Cheesecake
I must be living under a rock because apparently this is one of the most popular items at Trader Joe’s. I like to keep a few cakes in the freezer (only $6.99!) and pull it out when I need a quick dessert. This cheesecake is perfect for any time of year and the toppings are endless. It’s easy to whip up a berry compote in the summer or stewed apples in the fall. Of course there’s always store-bought Carmel or chocolate sauce. Love this TJ find!
Kale and spinach dip
My friend was raving about this dip and I just had to give it a try. So good! I would like to try to make it myself. It’s made with Greek yogurt and there are lots of good things mixed in like water chestnuts, carrots, kale, spinach and onion. I’ll warn you, this dip is a little addicting!
Hazel loves applesauce and I just found the applesauce/carrot pouches. She thinks anything in a pouch is a treat and I found another way to squeeze in a veggie. Score!
I buy this for my husband because he doesn’t like onions or peppers, but he likes the flavor of salsa. It’s hard to find a smooth salsa! I also like that the ingredient list is simple as well.
What are some of your favorites at Trader Joe’s?