When I first started shopping at Trader Joe's about six years ago, I was pretty overwhelmed by the layout, packaging, and products they offered - it was so different than any store I'd shopped at before. I relied on the recommendations of others to get started. Over the years, I've grown accustomed to it and it's easily become my favorite grocery store! I promise I'm not just jumping on the band wagon - they truly sell some of the most amazing products! I actually shop at six different stores in the course of a month and have different reasons for using each one, but TJ's is the most fun by a long shot. Going feels like a mini vacation, especially if chocolate ends up in my cart (more on that later).
Some of you who follow me on social media have expressed interest in learning about my favorite Trader Joe's finds. I had fun putting this list together for you! If you're a seasoned TJ's shopper maybe this list will include something you haven't tried. If you're totally new to TJ's, maybe this will give you some ideas of what to try!
Haricot Vert - These beans come pre-washed and ready to cook! I love to throw them on a sheet pan with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Seriously - the BEST green beans.
Butternut Squash (pre-cut) - We have all tried to cut up a fresh butternut squash and know how hard that can be! I have vowed to never do that again. TJ's sells small bags of pre-cut butternut squash. Since the bag is small, I like to roast along with other veggies for a more substantial side. A little olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasting at 400 for 25-30 minutes is perfect!
Applewood Smoked Bacon - I usually buy bacon in bulk from other stores, but if I need some just for one recipe (especially this pizza recipe) I sometimes pick up this bacon. The name says it all. Yum!
Salami (Columbus brand) - This is not a TJ's exclusive brand obviously, but it's always sitting next to the deli meat we love so it often ends up in my cart. Pairing a few slices of salami with crackers + cheese is one of my favorite snacks.
Smoked Turkey - I keep going back to this sandwich meat. Who doesn't love smoked turkey?! It's definitely Kya's favorite lunch food. Bonus is that it's nitrate free!
Cranberry Coconut Granola - This past fall, a sweet anonymous soul dropped off a bag of TJ's groceries on our porch when we were going through a hard time. Included was a box of this granola. It's not something that would have jumped off the shelf at me, but once I tried it I was hooked! I actually really love it for a snack with milk (cereal has always been my kryptonite).
Decaf Medium Roast Coffee - I don't drink decaf often but I always have some in the house. I usually use Starbucks (full caff) for my morning cup, but really enjoy TJ's as a decaf option for evening company!
Burrata, Prosciutto, and Arugula Flatbread - It's $4.99, serves our family of three, and is something fun to keep in the freezer for a quick meal or snack! We even love to take this flatbread on picnics!
Sweet Potato Fries - We eat a lot of sweet potatoes in our house and I generally roast fresh ones, but occasionally I'll grab a bag or two of TJ's frozen fries for a treat to go with burgers or pulled pork sliders. They're always a hit. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt when they come out and they're perfect!
Mandarin Orange Chicken - We don't do a lot of pre-packaged meals (it's pretty rare), BUT in a pinch this orange chicken is my jam. It's quick, tasty, and a hit with my toddler. I serve over white sticky rice!
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups - #1 all-time favorite TJ's item. You can bring me a box anytime you want! Waaaay better than the standard brand of peanut butter cups and well, dark chocolate means healthy, right?
Triple Ginger Snaps - These cookies were my first Trader Joe's purchase ever. Beware: they're very addicting!
Cookie Butter - If you have not tried this stuff, you MUST. It's as unhealthy as it sounds - haha! I love it on apple slices. There are a million ways to eat it - the best might be right out of the jar! It's a very occasional purchase for us (maybe once or twice a year) because it's a bit expensive. BUT WORTH IT.
JARS, CANS, BOXES
Mayo - I've tried alllll the mayos. This one wins! Creaminess, thickness, and flavor are all on point!
Pizza Sauce - We make homemade pizza every week (and have for over seven years). Not every week includes red sauce but many do. We made our own homemade sauce for years but after we tried TJ's we felt no need to! It has SUCH good flavor and is such a deal. We can get two to three pizzas out of one jar. It's also great in soups and sauces that call for any kind of tomato base.
Chicken Broth - Nothing fancy, but the same or better price than most stores. Comes in a low sodium option as well.
Kalamata Olives - Simply the best deal I've found for this kind of olives. We use them for Mediterranean pizza and greek eggs!
Organic Vodka Sauce - We love to add cooked ground turkey to this sauce and put over pasta!
Organic Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup - This soup has amazing depth of flavor and a bit of a sweet kick thanks to the red peppers! It comes ready in a box so you just have to warm it up. It's awesome to have on hand for lunch but would be just as good for an easy dinner option. Serve with TJ's parmesan crisps!
Organic Sriracha & Roasted Garlic BBQ Sauce - This is a newer find for us and one I doubt we'll ever get over. Simply fantastic flavor!
Yogurt Cups - We buy large plain greek or vanilla yogurt for use in smoothies and parfaits, but love to buy these 6-pack cups for our daughter. They make a great addition to her breakfast or are good for a snack. Her favorite flavors are banana and mango! My husband likes to steal one here and there - it's his favorite brand as well.
Cheese (in general) - TJ's has a HUGE selection of cheeses. You'll just have to look around and see what catches your eye. For a special treat, I love to get their brie and add to a cheese board with crackers, cured meats, and fruit.
Fresh Parmesan Cheese - You can get a huge wedge for about $4.50! It lasts us forever - and we use quite a lot of parm. I find it a better deal than most grocery stores.
Assorted Cereal Bars - TJ's has a line of "____ walked into a bar" cereal bars. They come in many flavors - our favorites are apple and strawberry!
Cards - Guys, TJ's cards are GORGEOUS and they're 99 cents!
Flowers + Greenery - No explanation necessary here! They simply have the freshest selection and the best prices! I love to snag greenery every once and a while to freshen up my home - and it only costs me $2-3!