*Be sure to check out Round 2 – The Best Things to Buy at Trader Joe’s*

Trader Joe’s is, by far, my favorite place to shop. It’s about 45 minutes away from my house, but I still make the trek a couple of times a month because it’s just so worth it. What makes Trader Joe’s so great? It’s like a luxury grocery store without the luxury prices and there’s always something new and different popping up.

trader joes writing

Last time I was browsing TJ’s I pulled out my iPhone and snapped some shots of my favorite things and the items I most often buy. I could list a TON more stuff, but I kept the list scaled back to the things that show up most often in my shopping cart.

Keep in mind that I typically go for healthier products and try to skip the ones that I know I won’t be able to stop eating, if it’s in my pantry. Cookie Butter, I ‘m talking to you! That being said, I know there are some fun, but not so healthy snacks, desserts and other stuff that make people crazy… in a good way. If you’re able, don’t pass up the chance to explore this little space of grocery store heaven.

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Let’s start in the produce department-

Trader Joe’s has a large variety of organic and non-organic greens. I try to stick with organics, but every once in awhile I pick up some of the more unusual items, like red spinach.

Heirloom Red Spinach

I buy lots of veggies in the produce department at Trader Joe’s because you can usually find organics and the price is usually right.

organic broccoli

Trader Joe’s dressings are the best. The ranch is super tasty, very low calorie and made with good-for-you ingredients.

Parmesan Ranch Dressing

The cilantro salad dressing is also a must try for my fellow cilantro-loving friends.

Cilantro Salad Dressing

These baby beets are ready to go. I usually chop them up in my salads.

Baby Beets

Pom seeds are a lovely addition to oatmeal, pancakes, salads and yogurt. The price is a little steep, but if you’ve ever tried to cut a pomegranate, you know why I pay this price.

Organic Pomegranate Seeds

I have to admit, my beet hummus is tastier, but sometimes convenience wins out. TJ’s beet hummus is delicious too.

Beet Hummus

Blood oranges are so tasty tart and make for pretty food photos. Trader Joe’s typically carries really fresh fantastic tasting fruits.

Blood Oranges

Cheap organic apples… yes, please!

Organic Apples

The Country White Chicken Salad isn’t the healthiest, but it sure is tasty. I buy this for Landen- he’s obsessed.

Country White Chicken Salad

Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip is over-the-top yum and I’ve got a copycat recipe in the works. I buy this anytime I’m hosting a get-together and it’s always a crowd-pleaser.

Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip

Another dip I always have on hand for get-togethers is the Reduced Guilt Chunky Guacamole. I will warn you, much like the Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip, it’s pretty addicting.

Reduced Guilt Chunky Guacamole

Now let’s browse the frozen food department-

If I’m going to serve my family lasagna, it’s usually homemade, but for a convenient quick dinner, the Roasted Vegetable Multi-Grain Lasagna is wonderful. The nutritional info is really good too.

Roasted Vegetable Multi-Grain Lasagna

Anytime one of my recipes calls for corn, it’s usually this corn that I’m using. Such a great smoky roasted flavor… perfect for tacos.

Roasted Corn

Another fab pairing for taco night or fajitas are these fire roasted bell peppers and onion!

Fire Roasted Bell Peppers & Onions

Amy’s vegetable pizza takes the top spot when it comes to frozen pizzas or any pizza for that matter, but the roasted vegetable pizza from Trader Joe’s is really tasty.

roasted vegetable pizza

Trader Joe’s has a wide variety of organic frozen fruit, perfect for smoothies. The frozen organic mango chunks, frozen pineapple chunks and frozen organic whole green figs are all favorites of mine. If you have never tried frozen figs, you so need to. They add a lovely cake flavor to smoothies- try this Fig Smoothie!

Organic Frozen Figs

I’m throwing in another not-so-healthy choice. My kids go absolutely bonkers for these mini pizzas… great for a splurge!

mini pizzas

In my opinion, Trader Joe’s frozen burgers are hit or miss. I do not like the salmon burgers at all, but these chili lime chicken burgers are incredible. I’ve prepared them in a skillet and on the grill- either way, they’re a fantastic burger option.

Chile Lime Chicken Burgers

On to the pantry staples-

Ak-mak crackers are great with spreadable cheese or for paired with salad for an added crunch. As far as ingredients go, you can’t beat these. They’re really cheap too.

ak-mak crackers

Hot and sweet mustard is incredible on sandwiches and wraps.

Hot and Sweet Mustard

Organic Ketchup for a super price. By the way, those Kona Coffee Shortbread Cookies are sooooo good. I tasted them once when they were giving away samples. They were too good for me to bring home!

organic ketchup

Another special treat for the kids that they LOVE!

Charmingly Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

This almond butter is so good, it might just be better than homemade. Yes, that really did just come out of my mouth!

crunchy salted almond butter

You can also find some of the VERY best peanut butter at Trader Joe’s too! I like my nut butters crunchy and salted, but they have lots of varieties.

organic peanut butter

These refried black beans always accompany Taco Tuesday. They are so much tastier than any other brand I’ve eaten.

refried black beans

Yay! Trader Joe’s now carries organic coconut sugar.

organic coconut sugar

Both the pumpkin and fig butters are awesome spread on muffins or bread and even added to oatmeal.

pumpkin and fig butter

Another splurge here, but this is honestly the best cornbread ever. Better than homemade… I’m serious!

cornbread mix

Love TJ’s canned coconut milk for use in recipes and the coconut cream works so well as a whipped coconut topping for pie.

light canned coconut milk and coconut cream

Taco Tuesday essentials! The taco seasoning is MSG and preservative free. I also use it as a chicken rub.

Taco Tuesday essentials

Everyday Seasoning is good on just about everything, from salads to chicken.

Everyday Seasoning

Fabulous in salads, wraps and casseroles!

yellow and red peppers

Another yummy salad add-in!

marinated artichoke hearts

Most amazing store-bought marinara and the pizza sauce (not pictured) is a great find too.

Tomato Basil Marinara

TJ’s olive oil cooking spray is a staple in my home…

olive oil cooking spray

and the coconut oil cooking spray is too.

coconut oil cooking spray

I’ve never tried ghee, but I know some of you really love it. This is a fairly new product at Trader Joe’s… I’ll have to give it a try soon.

ghee

I use both the apple cider vinegar and pomegranate vinegar for creating vinaigrettes.

vinegar

Trader Joe’s offers a pretty good variety of soups. I haven’t tried too many of these, but I always pick up their low sodium organic broths for creating my own soups.

low sodium organic broth

This olive oil is so tasty, it’s a fantastic option for salad dressing. Sometimes, I use it without anything else to top my salad.

Garlic Olive Oil

All of the salsas I’ve tried are delish. Some of our favorites are peach, pineapple, salsa verde and salsa autentica.

Trader Joe's Salsa

I use the pineapple salsa in this slow cooker two ingredient chicken recipe.

pineapple salsa

I love the huge variety of nuts, seeds and nut meal that Trader Joe’s carries. Lots of raw options too.

nuts and nut flour

Just a fair warning, the banana chips and dried mango are both so addicting.

banana chips and dried mango

Coconut chips make for a scrumptious topping for oatmeal, pancakes and smoothies.

coconut chips

Another very addicting product, but these have nothing added… it’s just plantain.

plantain chips

Super foods available!

super foods

Let’s mosey on over to the bread and dessert area-

Brad loves using these tortillas to make chicken tacos. For a corn tortilla product, they stay together really well. Ezekiel wraps, which I love, are also available.

corn and wheat tortillas

I have been meaning to work on a copycat recipe for these apple cranberry fiber mini cakes. They are low in calories and have a fabulous ingredient list. I often enjoy them with my scrambled eggs for breakfast. They also have a blueberry variety.

Apple Cranberry Fiber Cakes

My older daughter’s favorite sweet treat and I do agree with her, these are amazing!

sea salted brownies

Last stop is the refrigerated section-

This sausage has the best flavor. It’s low calorie too! FYI- there are other great sausage and meat options available.

sweet apple chicken sausage

Trader Joe’s almond milk is so thick and creamy- one of my favorite brands.

unsweetened vanilla almond milk

I buy all of the products pictured below. Having hard-boiled eggs ready to go is so convenient. Even though I’m a proponent of eating the egg yolk, I like adding some egg whites to my scrambled eggs for additional protein. Even though I don’t eat turkey bacon, Brad loves the stuff. He especially loves the turkey bacon from Trader Joe’s because it’s thick and tasty.

turkey bacon and eggs

And that’s that for my Trader Joe’s grocery haul (and this post took me forever)! My Costco haul is in the works, so stay tuned.

Trader Joe's grocery haul

If you’re a Costco fan too, you may enjoy reading about my favorite things at Costco. Enjoy!

Something to think about….

What are some of your favorite Trader Joe’s products?

Do you live near a Trader Joe’s?