I’m a total Trader Joe’s fangirl.
It’s hard to believe that up until a few months ago, I’d never even really shopped in one, but it’s very quickly become my go-to grocery store. In my ideal world, I’d grow, make and preserve the vast majority of my own food and buy locally what I couldn’t make myself, but that kind of lifestyle just isn’t realistic for us right now (maybe someday!). So like millions of other hipster yuppie food snobs, I’ve become totally obsessed with the organic, natural and not-so-bad-for-you options available at TJs.
I thought it might be fun to share with guys some of my favorite products from T. Joe’s. I’m far from a TJ’s expert, but I have definitely found quite a few must buys over my months shopping there. Navigating the aisles at Trader Joe’s can be a little bit tricky, because, to be honest, there is a lot of junk there. Granted, it’s junk made without chemicals and preservatives, but it’s still not healthy, fresh, real food. It’s can be really easy to get into the mindset of, “Well, it’s from TJ’s, it must be good for me!” but that isn’t always the case. Feel free to share your favorites, too!
Organic and Seasonal Produce
I’ve heard a wide variety of things about the produce sections at various TJ’s locations but ours is actually really nice. And it’s an absolutely amazing resource for organic and seasonal produce. Like these giant stalks of Brussels sprouts that I’m currently obsessed with.
Go Raw Trek Mix
The selection of nuts, trail mixes and dried fruits at TJ’s is amazing, but this stuff is my absolute favorite! It’s super simple (almonds, cashews, walnuts and raisins) and has no sugar added. You can buy it in this big bag, or in individual serving packs (which is awesome for grab-and-go-snacking).
Hummus Snack Packs
These hummus snack packs (a little cup of hummus, plus some pita chips) are the type of convenience food I don’t love buying, but when we started commuting three hours to and from work, they kinda became a necessity. Sure, I could do the same thing with hummus and pita chips, but that 5 minutes or so I save by not preparing my own snack packs really adds up.
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
TJ’s premade whole wheat pizza dough is amazing and crazy cheap. You couldn’t even really pay for the ingredients to make whole wheat pizza dough for $1.19. The only issue? We haven’t had any success with it after it’s been frozen, so you gotta use it up while it’s fresh.
The TJ’s cheese selection is the stuff cheese-lovin’ dreams are made of. You can get cheap hunks of really good quality cheese, plus some not-so-cheap, but totally fun gourmet cheeses (like chocolate cheddar cheese!).
Natural Tonic Water
Gin and tonics are our cocktail of choice during the summer, but regular grocery store tonic water choices are total crap. You either buy the regular stuff and get a glass-full of HFCS or you buy the diet kind and get a ton of artificial sweetener. TJ’s is one of the few places I’ve seen natural tonic water. And these little cans are the perfect cocktail size.
Flavored Sparkling Water
All natural and unsweetened, I love these waters as an alternative to plain ole water.
TJ’s has a pretty great selection of reasonably-priced organic dairy. An organic sour cream this size at a regular grocery store in our area runs about $4.99, but at TJs, we get it for $2.99. And it’s crazy good. Like the best sour cream I’ve ever had.
This is my favorite cottage cheese in the history of all cottage cheese ever. Probably because it’s 4% milkfat. I also choose to ignore that it’s not organic.
I actually don’t really like the TJ’s brand of Greek yogurt, but I do really love their prices on FAGE 0% and 2%. Cheaper than any other store in our area.
Organic Frozen Pizza
This one is particularly delicious. Perfect for an “OMG I CAN’T COOK TONIGHT” dinner.
Frozen Organic Veggies and Fruits
You cannot beat TJ’s prices on frozen organic produce—especially berries. It’s a crazy good deal, and it’s crazy good quality, too.
Dark Chocolate PB Cups
These fall solidly into the “junk” category, but damn, they are good. Like, insanely good. And they come in a variety of sizes. My favorite is the small ones (there are teeny-tiny ones, too).
Dark Chocolate Honey Mints
There are a lot of sweet treats at TJ’s, but this is my favorite of them all. They taste like honey-flavored peppermint patties, and only have three ingredients. We buy these and toss one into our lunch for a nice little mid-day treat.
Multigrain Pita Crackers
Best. Crackers. Ever.
Again, this is a lunch-packing convenience food, but we’re big fans of the Applesauce Crushers. They come in a few flavors (banana=least favorite, carrot=yummiest). Our cashier once tried to tell us we shouldn’t buy them because they are baby food, but they aren’t! They’re just applesauce.
We always have a few cans of this in the pantry. It’s really high quality stuff and much cheaper than we can find it at any other store. It’s great for salmon salads!
Organic Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup
This is my favorite canned/boxed soup ever in the history of ever.
Chicken Breast Wraps Dog Treats
Puppyface freaking loves these dog treats. She gets to nom off the dried chicken layer and then spend quite a while working on the rawhide. They are definitely her favorites.
Sprouted Multi-Grain Bread
Ezekiel sprouted grain bread is awesome (and sugar-free!) but it’s crazy expensive—but thankfully TJ’s has their own version. It’s pretty much exactly the same—except for the price.
Original Turkey Jerky
Obsessed. We get a bag of this every shopping trip and share it on the drive home. It’s super flavorful, low-calorie, packed with protein and the perfect combo of chewy and soft. It’s a little pricey at $4.99 for a small bag. If it was a bit cheaper, I’d eat this stuff everyday.
Flavored Chicken Sausages
The raw chicken sausages at TJs are amazing. There are a few flavors and they are all excellent. Grilled them up and serve them along side a veggie and you’ve got a crazy easy dinner.
Chia seeds made the list not because of price (I can actually get them much cheaper elsewhere) but because of convenience. Before I always had to make a separate trip to a speciality store to buy chia seeds, but recently TJ’s started carrying them. It’s definitely worth the few extra cents to not need to go to a different store.
The Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Bar
This is the best Dark Chocolate on the planet.
So you can totally see why I love TJs, right? I don’t know how I lived without it for so long.