Favorites From Trader Joe’s
We have a Trader Joe’s about 40 minutes away, so I don’t go there very often, usually every 3 months or so. This store is known for its affordably priced healthy and often organic groceries. The prices for organic produce is much more pocket friendly than a normal grocery store. However, just because you’re shopping at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods doesn’t mean that everything is healthy. You still have to read the ingredient lists if that is important to you. I try to buy things that don’t have any weird ingredients or ones that I can’t even pronounce. Since I don’t go to Trader Joe’s very often, my favorites are usually things that are pantry staples.
Oils, Vinegars, Condiments:
Their extra virgin olive oil and sunflower oil is what I get every time I am there. I use EVOO in salads and other recipes where I’m not using it to cook with on high temperatures. I cook with sunflower, extra light olive oil and avocado oil. The sunflower oil is a fraction of the cost at Trader Joe’s compared to anywhere else I’ve seen it.
I don’t use a lot of ketchup or balsamic vinegar, so they both last me a long time. (I think I use one bottle of ketchup for almost a year, unless I make Barbecue Sauce with it.)
Nuts, Shredded Coconut:
The nuts at Trader Joe’s are so much cheaper than in regular grocery stores. I usually buy a huge bag each of walnuts, pecans and almonds at Costco since that is what I bake with the most. (You can read about my Costco Favorites HERE.) I store them in my freezer, that way I only buy them once a year or so. Whenever I want a smaller amount of nuts, Trader Joe’s has a huge selection and the price is great. The shredded coconut doesn’t have any weird stuff added to it, and the price is very affordable. I like having shredded coconut on hand to make my favorite coffeecake, it’s called the Lazy Daisy Cake. (Can’t believe I don’t have a recipe up on my blog!)
I don’t buy very many canned items, so this is basically what I usually get – tomato products, pumpkin (when it’s in season) and coconut milk. As I already mentioned, I like the fact that they don’t have any added weird ingredients and are cheaper than a regular grocery store.
We always have peanut butter in the house. It’s a great snack. Their almond butter is good too.
If I need any other canned goods for a specific recipe that I’ll be making in the near future, I check out what they have because it’s usually so much cheaper than most regular grocery stores.
Chips are definitely significantly cheaper than at most other stores. Sometimes Sergi will get potato chips to have with a sandwich at work, and we like to make our Loaded Nachos using these tortilla chips.
Fresh Fruit and Vegetables:
Trader Joe’s has a large selection of fresh fruit and vegetables. You just have to see what is good for the price. I buy whatever is a good deal at that particular time. Each time is different, but you can usually find a good variety.
I have never been able to find Tuscan Kale in any other store. It is absolutely amazing. First of all, the texture is completely different from regular kale. You don’t have to gnaw on it for ages, it’s so soft and tastes great too. I love adding it to soups. Sergi loves it too. If you’ve never tried it, or think you don’t like kale, give this one a try.
I ALWAYS have fresh herbs in my refrigerator. I think it adds so much freshness and flavor to food. I currently am growing basil and chives myself, but I usually have parsley, cilantro and green onions too.
Tomato Paste in a tube:
This is one of my favorite products of all. I love that you can just squeeze out however much you need and don’t have to figure out what to do with the remaining paste in the jar, or have to store it somehow. I used to freeze leftover tomato paste in ice cube trays, but this is so much easier.
Arrabiata Sauce and Eggplant Garlic Spread:
I heard so many great things about the Arrabiata Sauce, so I had to try it for myself, and it tastes SO good. I like to have it on hand for a quick lunch option with pasta for myself. It’s a great tomato sauce but has the additional flavor of peppers. My Mom told me about the Eggplant spread, and it’s delicious too. No weird ingredients in either of these!
They always have a beautiful selection of flowers that are so cheap. I got these gorgeous roses for $5.99 – that’s so much less than I would pay anywhere else. Fresh flowers make my house feel so cheerful and elegant.
Do you have a Trader Joe’s nearby? If so, what do you like to buy there? Ever since I posted my Costco Favorites, I’ve enjoyed reading your comments and seeing what you guys recommend too.
This is NOT a sponsored post. I simply enjoy shopping at Trader Joe’s and wanted to share my favorites with you, that’s all.
Trader’s Joe is coming to our area soon. Can’t wait! Thanks for this post….especially Tuscan Kale! Pinned for later use. Thanks for sharing.
OOOPS: Trader Joe’s
You’re welcome, Mary. Our Trader Joe’s opened in the recent few years, so I remember how excited I was waiting for them to open:).
Hi Olga, thanks for sharing Traders Joe’s products. I also love TJ’s which is only 7 minutes away from our house. Our family goes there almost twice a week. My 17 month old girl eats TJ’s organice plain yogurt (European style) everyday and my 5 year old son also likes different kinds of TJ yogurts. We love russian cuisine so please share with us more yummy russian recipes. Anything is fine as long as it is Russian lol.
I’m so happy to hear that you enjoy Russian cuisine, Khulan:). I will be glad to share more recipes.
I love Trader Joe’s, about a year ago we got one opened like 2 minutes away from my house…..I like to buy their small cucumbers, crunchy and delicious, also I buy Tuscan Pane bread or Italian bread- very good and much cheaper than ones from Russian store.
Wow! How awesome to have one so close by. That’s great, Katie:).
Good information, I love Trader Joe’s! And yes! I would love to see a recipe to your coffee cake!
Yes, I should definitely share the coffeecake recipe:).
Hmmm I’ll have to try the Arrabiata sauce, it sounds great! And I love tomato paste, so storing it a tube sounds so simple. There is a Trader right across from my college campus, so I go there a few times every week. I love their canned cherries (they taste just like the ones my grandma made when I was kid), their chopped frozen (and colorful) “trio” bell peppers that are very cheap, and the coconut pancake mix. My favorite snacks are parmesan pita chips and chocolate covered frozen bananas.
I love your recipes so much, but being a college student and all, it’s hard for me to find time to go grocery shopping for a full meal and spend a few hours cooking. It’d be great if you posted some kind of college-special list of fast and easy (but still original&yummy) meals to make for one or two people, with cheap and simple-to-get ingredients.
By the way, thank you so much for all the tasty meals I have enjoyed cooking and eating ever since I found your website.
P.S., can’t wait for your coffee cake recipe, would love to surprise my boyfriend 🙂
Thank you for sharing, Ira. I haven’t tried their many of the things that you mentioned. I am especially intrigued by the canned cherries and the frozen peppers.
Hi Olga, thanks for a great post.
I love the tomato paste in a tube, their ketchup and eggplants from your list and buying these regularly. Also I like their organic chicken (tastes more organic than “organic” poultry from other stores ), San Marzano canned tomatoes (the best! love!), mochi ice cream, kefir, yogurt , raw honey, European desserts from the freezer section. That’s just some TJ favorites, from the top of my head .
I loved hearing about your favorites too, Olga. Since we don’t go to Trader Joe’s too often, we don’t get to try out new products a lot. it helps to get a recommendation from others. I would love to try out some of the things that you mentioned. Thank you so much for taking the time to write.
My absolute favorite thing at Trader Joe’s is the Brooklyn New York chocolate babka. I just cannot explain how delicious it is! I rave so much about it to my relatives and even brought it over for them because they don’t have Trader Joe’s where they live. It is a must try!
It sounds delicious, Anna. I will have to find it and give it a try.
Hi Olga! Thanks for sharing! I always get seasoning,spices there. The one I use in about every dish is “21 seasoning” and I use it for soups, meat, basically everything. I used vegeta, dash, etc (can’t remember all of them now..) but those have so many ingredients that I don’t even know what they are…
We don’t have Trader’s Joe here in Portugal, sounds like great place to shop. I love peanut butter too, especially on toast!
I do have Trader Joe’s really close by and go there sometimes. But we also have Sprouts here and I LOVE that store. It has pretty much all organic food and honestly their fruits and veggies are way more cheaper than Trader Joe’s. And their organic meat is amazing. Do you have Sprouts there? If you do, try it 🙂
I am a bit of a Trader Joe’s skeptic, although I do like the quality and value of the of the cheeses. I will check out the condiments, oils, and nuts. Your blog is a bit girly for me, but you do seem to know what’s what. Keep posting the family recipes.
Thanks for taking the time to write, Dave. I hope you find some useful tidbits for yourself – recipes, tips, etc:).
I like to add sunflower oil to my salads and get the unrefined one at the Russian store that has a strong sunflower smell. The one you get from TJ’s does it have any smell? You should try their sunflower butter.. it’s really good!
I don’t think it has a strong smell, but that’s my opinion. I’m not sure:). Maybe I’m probably just used to it.
Lizzy oh so bizzy
I love Trader Joe’s for the specialty cheeses. The kefir is a really great price and is tasty. The bananas are amazing price. Even cheaper than Costco. The coffee ice cream is a steal!!! Love it!
Thanks for sharing, Lizzy:).