What To Buy at Trader Joe’s

What to Buy at Trader Joe's! A fun list with all the favorites!

I’ve put together a fun list to answer the question What To Buy at Trader Joe’s?!

So you might live in a part of the country where Trader Joe’s have been around for a long time. OR you might live in a place where there are NO TJ’s….ORRR still you might live in a place where they’re just starting to pop up here and there.

I’m in New Jersey, and while there are a few Trader Joe’s locations, there isn’t a store that close to my house. They are all about 45 minutes to an hour away in different directions. But I love that little food store. So I try to make a special trip every 6 weeks or so. I wish I could get there more often, but it just doesn’t seem to happen. So basically I always have a running TJ’s list going so when I get the chance to get down there, I’m all set.

The funny thing is, when you live in an area without a TJ’s, everyone is always asking WHAT DO YOU BUY THERE? It’s like this mystery, which is funny, because really, it’s just a grocery store. I felt that way the first time I went into a TJ’s and literally left with 2 items. I was overwhelmed!

BUT TJ’s is mostly all private label food, so you won’t find Fruity Pebbles, or Pillsbury products. Now before you get all worried that TJ’s MUST be pricey, ala Whole Foods, think again. It’s not. I actually spend LESS on more groceries than I do at my local supermarket. It’s true. PLUS you can get all sorts of fun stuff that you can’t get from you usual grocer.

I also want to say that I am in no way affiliated with Trader Joe’s, nor am I being paid to say any of this. I really just love the store, shop there and want to help you guys!

So, I thought I would make a list of some of my favorites from TJ’s that I buy time and time again. This list will always be ever changing, I am sure, because every time I go there I pick up something new and love it…BUT what I am sharing with you today are my regular “MUSTS”.

Last time I was shopping I tried to take pictures of the things that I bought, but I didn’t get a pic of everything, so I will list the items that aren’t pictured as well.

When you first walk in you will see the fresh flowers. I LOVE this section, and try to buy a bunch or two. But that’s just a splurge purchase, because I don’t think they are priced that much differently than any other grocery store.

But in my store the bread section is right next to the flowers. And I ALWAYS buy this Canadian White bread…

canadianwhite

Let me say, I never buy white bread. Only from TJ’s for a treat. This stuff is RIDICULOUS. It’s sweet, chewy and omg with a spread of butter or jam…I love it. I’m under no false allusion this is health food. But I am telling you it’s so good.

Also, in the bread section the Pretzel bread/buns are AMAZING, the Everything Bagels are DELISH and the Brioche buns are great too!!

 

Next up you’ll walk through the produce section, and while they have some good prices and the produce always looks nice, it isn’t locally grown, so if you’re making a special trip to TJ’s for “musts”, don’t bother with fruits and veggies, just get them at your regular store.

Down the cold food section you’ll find lots of prepared sandwiches and salads, which I’ve gotten before and they are good, but not a MUST. Also skip the sushi.

BUT the hummus is SO yummy and they have lots of flavors. I love the Three Layer one, but everyone that I have tried has been amazing. The hummus is a must for me!

hummus

And then you come to the cheese section. Be still my heart. The prices are great and the variety is outstanding. My kids really like the Fresh Mozzarella Cheese sticks. They are like string cheese, but don’t actually string. They’re tasty.

cheesecollage

I”m not a huge fan of their cereals, but their coffee section is great! They even have TJ’s K-cups!!

The frozen food section is where it’s at. I have a few I ALWAYS buy. Starting with Mac ‘n Cheese.

frozenfood

This single serving Mac ‘n Cheese is OUT OF CONTROL. I am telling you it’s major. SO creamy and rich and yummy and it’s microwavable. One of my boys requests is ALL THE TIME. BUY this.

The Chocolate Croissants are another must for me. You pull them out of the freezer the night before, let them proof and pop them into the oven in the morning. It’s one of the best you’ll have, and you’ll feel so very fancy baking them.

The Chicken Lime Burgers are really great too. I adore them on a bun or off…with a large scoop of guac.

The Turkey Bolognese is also a major must for me.

bolognese

It’s a frozen sauce, that I feel like only serves about 2 people…so buy more than you think you need. I love it on a Portobello Mushroom with a little cheese on top, or of course on pasta! Honestly we love this stuff, and it’s so handy to have in your freezer in a pinch!

Still in the frozen section another must for me is the Kung Pao Chicken and the Mandarin Orange Chicken. Both of these are fantastic and great to whip up for a quick meal. We’ve tried lots of frozen stir fries and these are above and beyond the best.

chinesefoodcollage

Also, not pictured are the hand-cut french fries. They are great.

There are so many other little treasures in the frozen section, but I am only trying to share my MUST BUYS.

You’ll see above the frozen stuff there are TONS of candies and chocolates and snacks. It’s HARD to decide what you need to get.

My friend Amber told me to try these…

candy

Oh my word, y’all they are AMAZING. I would have never picked these up, because hello quinoa in chocolate, no thank you very much. BUT I’m so glad I did. They are freaking ridiculous. The quinoa are just tiny little crispy bits. covered in crazy delicious caramel. MUST buy.

Other unpictured treats to try… Pecan Pralines. OMG YES. Cowboy/Cowgirl Bark. LOVE. Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seeds..adorable and addictive.

Also this…

chocolate

If you’re a baker, buy their chocolate pound bar. Great chocolate at a great price. I love chopping this stuff up for chocolate chunk cookies. And it melts fantastically!

Oh and yeah, all things Cookie Butter.

cookiebuttercollage

Get the jar of Cookie Butter, obvi. But the ice cream is killer and the sandwich cookies…OMG YES. They are my new favorite cookie. The shortbread is buttery and melty and crispy and the cookie butter filling is a dream. You need. NEED.

Not pictured: Joe Joes. (TJs version of Oreos) They are super tasty and made with natural flavors and NO artificial preservatives or hydrogenated oils. I mean if you’re gonna have a cookie…

Next up, let’s talk nuts. TJ’s has a huge assortment of them…

nuts

My husband eats a lot of nuts, and I feel like TJ’s prices are pretty darn great. Plus they have some really cool flavored almonds and cashews. Our favorite right now are the Coconut Cashews. YUM!
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And speaking of coconut you MUST buy these Coconut Chips… they are so ridiculously good.13917379116_f189dd8a15_b

Next up this olive oil. You know how Ina Garten says to use “good quality” olive oil? Yeah, this is that without the price tag. It’s so so good.

oliveoil

And then maple syrup. The price at TJ’s is way less than at my local super market, and it’s really good stuff.

maplesyrup

I am leaving out snack foods, in terms of potato chips etc…because every single thing I’ve bought there has been great, so I really feel like you can’t go wrong and it’s just a personal choice. BUT the chocolate covered potato chips might be my favorite!

Also, this Coffee Concentrate…

FullSizeRender

They were sold out this time, but it’s always a must buy for me!! I love love love this Cold Brew Concentrate. It’s so perfect for a whenever caffeine boost, and a little goes a long way! Iced Coffee on hand at all times for the win!

 

I would love to know your favorites from Trader Joe’s! If I left anything off the list leave me a comment here!

190 Responses

  1. SuMi

    I love everything about Trader Joe’s! From their nuts/dried fruit to their hummus to their frozen foods… It’s my favorite place to take my toddler shopping because he loves the little kiddo carts he can push his “musts” around in. I always buy their yogurt cups (whole fat yogurt in a kids portion! Perfect!) and the Peruvian Chimichurri Rice. Also love the orange Muscat champagne vinegar for making vinaigrettes.

  2. Nicole Sloka

    You must try TJs Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats. Yellow can, I think it’s $2.49. Very filling and versatile with fruits and toppings. Our two year olds eats it like we are going to take the bowl away from him!

  3. Myriam

    I love this post and TJ! Cookie Butter is a must and at the top of my list. Their Kung pao chicken and grilled chicken strips are regular purchased as well. So many great things at TJ. I recently started buying their freeze dried fruits to incorporate in my baking.

  4. Paula King

    You HAVE to try the Hobo Bread. Very similar to Boston Brown Bread. Some people put cream cheese on it, but I like it with just a bit of butter. My husband likes it with Biscoff crunchy spread.

  5. MJ

    The speculos chocolate cups! One little cup cures that chocolate and speculos craving. If your TJs has wine then you are in luck bc you will find an assortment of good wines for not super expensive. And I’m not talking the gross 2 buck chuck.

    And I love that you said you spend less at TJs bc I do as well but my husband doesn’t believe me!!!

    1. Shelly

      it’s so true! I always spend less! Also I’m in NJ and they don’t sell wine/beer in grocery stores up here…but I have heard their wine is amazing!

  6. Katrina L

    We love the Kung Pao chicken too, just had it last night! We also love the garlic naan bread, frozen fruits, chicken cilantro potstickers, everything crackers and all of their candy/treats.

  7. I live in NJ too and the closest TJ’s is about 35 mins away – I go to the Shrewsbury one. I always get so overwhelmed and spend over an hour just going up and down the isles! Lol. Next time I go I’m definitely going to try your suggestions! You NEEEEED to try the mochi. I always get the strawberry one and it’s literally heaven in your mouth. By the way, you are the ONLY blogger I have found that lives in NJ – YAY!

  8. PeggyAI

    100% with you on these choices, would add the other two croissant choices, the frozen goat cheese & caramelized onion pastries, Just the Clusters vanilla cereal, fair trade coffee & their salads. I could go on forever…oh yeah, their shopping bags are the best – we have some that are 10 years old!

  9. My favorites are the plain naan, roasted corn, crispy puffed pea snacks, and Thai cashews. The gluten-free chicken nuggets are really great as well, and their veggie burgers are some of the best I’ve had.

    OH, and coconut oil! Can’t forget that.

  10. Jennifer

    i love TJ but honestly never really know what to buy there. I’m going to make a shopping list of your suggestions and give them a try! They all sound so yummy!!! Thank you!

  11. I have got to try that hummus and the jumbles! And I love their chili lime chicken burgers too, along with many other things you mentioned. I agree about the fruit, but sometimes I do buy some there because I find things I cannot get at my regular store.

  12. The closest TJ’s is an hour away and me and my husband go every other week! Mainly because I’m addicted to their Chili Lime Cashews- omg, so good! I go through a couple bags a week- so bad for my wallet! I love their price on organic fair trade coffee. I also always get peanut butter and almond butter- cheaper and tastier than anywhere else. I could go on and on, but I’ll leave it at that! πŸ™‚

  13. Kathy

    If you haven’t tried it, next time at Trader Joes try the Reduced Guilt Chunky Guacomole, it’s made with Greek yogurt. It’s creamy & delicious. I buy several & freeze them.

  14. Courteney

    Love the pounder dark chocolate. Recommendations to try…dark chocolate coconut almonds. Beef and broccoli frozen meal. Any of their Greek yogurts. Lemon or coconut thin cookies. Frozen mini tacos. Coffee cake.

  15. Hannah

    Ahhh how cool! I am from Brisbane, Australia and we have nothing like this here!! (we did just get a Costco though whooo) I am going to New York at the end of the year and can’t wait to try a bunch of these!! Do you have any other suggestions of American products (particularly for baking) that I should keep an eye out for? We don’t have graham crackers, as many variations of candies/cookies such as oreos, chocolate chips or m&ms and I’d never heard of cookie butter!! Thank you Cookies and Cups, you’re the best!

    1. Shelly

      ahh thank you! Cookie Butter and Biscoff Spread are very similar, so if you can get your hands on either one of those you need to grab them!!

    2. Hannah but they don’t have TimTams!!! Or Crunchie/Violet Crumble (love it sprinkled on pavolova πŸ˜€ ) or Allens lollies!!! I have also heard we have a better variety of kitkats than they do πŸ™‚
      In Perth we have only just started to get 7/11s and Aldi is finally coming over πŸ™‚

  16. TJs is the best. Like you there isn’t one super close so we always have a running list. I used to love the slice Fontina cheese but they stopped selling it a few months ago. Arg! Chocolate covered sea salt almonds are so amazing. I can never stop eating them once opened. And you pretty much nailed everything else.

  17. Cheryl

    My favorites are Veg. Fried Rice just add left over chicken or steak and you have a meal, Pub Cheese, aged Balsalmic Vinegar and Chocolate coconut covered almonds (like an Almond Joy bite). Love the store. Thanks for the tips.

  18. Erin

    Our store is about 45 minutes away and we go there at least once a month! We love their yogurt cups( my kiddos refuse any others), their green chili chicken tamales in the fridge section are out ofv this world, multigrain crackers, kimchi fried rice, and so many others! Lol my newest obsession is mixing their precooked lentils, a container of their feta cheese, and their container of bruschetta. Let it sit for half hour. Then, take their pita bread, cut them in triangles and use it as a vessel for the deliciousness to get into your tummy! It is sooooooo good!

  19. Tanya

    Love trader joes! When my husband is out to sea, my boys and I have their frozen meals a few times a week and I don’t feel guilty about it. My current must haves are their microwaveable organic brown rice and their “nuts about raspberries and chocolate” trail mix. Peanuts, almonds, dried raspberries and little disks of Belgium dark chocolate. A handful is great when I get a sweet craving.

  20. We don’t have TJ’s here but everything I see on blog posts looks so appetizing. I think if they ever open one here I’ll be the first one through the door.

  21. stina

    The feta cheese spread. Once I went to TJs and they were sold out and I was a very, very sad panda. Also really love the sriracha barbecue sauce, and the “yellow” cold-pressed juice. I don’t care that it’s $5 for a little bottle, it’s epically delicious and I buy several bottles & keep them in the freezer. My husband loves to buy beer at TJs because the single bottles are priced lower than the local 711.

  22. Stephanie

    My kids love the unsweetened dried mangos! So tasty. The yellow curry sauce is great for a quick dinner. And I currently crushing on the toasted coconut pancake mix! Soo good!

  23. Tricia

    LOVE the tips on the frozen stir fry’s! You are so right, they are extremely hard to come by that are delish.

    I have come to like TJ’s bruschetta that you find in their cold section next to their hummus. It is so good on just crackers. Also their chicken salad. It is the one with poppy seed dressing and grapes in it, out of this world.

    They have the best prices on olive oil. Hands down. Flowers too.

    Their little cat cookies are really good too, like a little ginger snap. The toddler loves them, and they are pretty lo cal.

    Sorry i just took up your blog! I love me some TJ too. the best.

  24. So fun! That cheese section! Seriously though. Seriously. I would never make it past the cheese. We have a new-ish TJ’s here in Rochester but I’ve only been once, the day it opened. Needless to say it was so crowded I could barely move. I think it’s time I went back!

  25. I have Celiac Disease, and the GF products at TJ’s are priced AMAZINGLY well. Some of my favorites are the brown rice pasta and boxed mac and cheese, both for under $2, and the frozen waffles!

  26. MassachusEATS

    Their Tuscan Pane bread makes the best toast. Also I really like the mini edamame crackers (forget the exact name) and the jalapeno chicken sausages. Last trip I grabbed Half Popped Popcorn, which sounds weird but was the coolest find – those half popped kernels have always been my favorite.

  27. Stephanie-Oh

    Love Trader Joes although the closest one is 1 1/2 hrs. drive away.
    I love their Brown Rice Medley and the Pitted Kalamata Olives, also their goat cheese and pound plus bars. I absolutely agree with the olive oil-it is the best at a very reasonable price. Their dried fruit is very reasonable: blueberries, cherries !

  28. I have fallen in love with TJ’s. Their pre-made salads are so nice for lunches. I love the lemon chicken arugula salad or the Thai peanut pasta salad. I also love the Curried chicken salad. From the frozen section, I totally love the chicken and cilantro mini-wontons. They are delicious. My sister-in-law also introduced me to the Unexpected Cheddar Cheese paired with the raisin and rosemary crackers. Basically, I am completely in love with TJ.

  29. Connie

    Ok here goes. Originally I’m from LA where we have a TJ’s almost everywhere. Now I live in WV, sadly NO TJ’s anywhere so I travel to NC. Anyway I am so in love with this store that when I go it’s like look out. The food, wine, and their beauty products are amazing! Please try the Greek yogurt (honey) flavor is my favorite with fresh fruit cut up in it. Have fun.

  30. Julie

    I love TJ’s too! They are def very reasonably priced. My boyfriend is addicted to their pumpernickel pretzel rods, & I love the wheat ones. Some of my other staples are their lean beef & soy non-beef substitute. I use it in place of beef in casseroles, chili, etc. & you can’t tell the difference! Not only is it healthier, but you don’t have to brown it 1st so it saves that step. I also like their guac. Love their frozen Pollo Asada pizza & risotto w/ asparagus tips (just had this last night). Cookie butter is a must for me, too, of course – that goes without saying. πŸ™‚

  31. Barbara

    I’ve loved TJ’s for years and was thrilled when they opened 15 minutes from my home. (And one in my husband’s office building.) I took some blueberry goat cheese to a book club meeting and everyone raved about it–calling it cheesy candy. The flavored mustards are great and we live on the individually packaged nuts. There are so many good things there and great prices–I have to allow myself one treat per visit or I’d buy it all!

  32. I love how you put together this list, what a great store!! I too spend money and find so many goodies. Those milk chocolate jumbles sound great! My fave are the chocolate covered espresso beans.

  33. Liz

    I love TJ’s! I live in Brooklyn, where everything is expensive, so it’s where I go for pretty much everything. Butter is $2.99/lb! It’s $4.99/lb for store brand at the Key Food across the street, so this is quite the deal. I do some serious baking out of my apartment, so I go through at least six pounds a week. Also, if for some reason I can’t get to Target or Whole Foods for King Arthur Flour, I like the TJ’s brand all-purpose and white whole wheat. I don’t buy sugar there because granulated sugar is granulated sugar as far as I’m concerned–I don’t need it to be organic. Also, their vanilla. And their pricing on eggs, milk, buttermilk, sour cream, yogurt, and heavy cream (just check the dates–I got a bad heavy cream once). And yes, the nuts and dried/freeze dried fruit! And chocolate chips! And the Pound Plus Bars! I don’t have any storage or a full-sized fridge(it’s New York, after all), so I don’t generally get the prepared or frozen foods (except for their tamales, which are everything). Speaking of tamales, their regular old red and green salsas are the only jarred salsas I will eat! So good. Anyway, this was long and rambling, but yes, looooove TJ’s.

  34. Pat

    Love TJ’s!! A few things more than what you mentioned are: goat cheese with honey on their Fig and olive crackers…delish! Love their cinnamon raisin bread…think and makes great French toast! Great pumpernickel pretzel sticks and Belgium waffle cookies with caramel layered inside. Too bad you don’t have the wine! They have a great Italian wine, Primitivo for $4.99! Great Trader Joes Dark coffee beans( 13 oz can)…. Grind at home! I could go on and on….????

  35. Michelle

    Try this Tomato Basil Soup when you want a quick soup. 1 box of TJ’s tomato soup, 1/2 jar of their pesto and 1/2 container of their creme fraiche. Heat it all together. Serve with TJ’s Garlic Parmesan flat croutons. I hate tomato soup, but love this. I also like for a snack their chocolate covered pretzels. Also love the Trader Ming’s Chinese chicken salad dressing. I’m lucky as there are 3 Trade Joe’s within 5 miles of my work. The closest is about 5 minutes away and one of the other TJ’s is on my way home from work.

  36. Cindy Friesen

    My son works at Trader Joes and I don’t have a store even remotely close to me. Every couple of months he fills up a large flat rate box from the post office and sends me all kinds of fun stuff. I love the cookie butter-make sure you try the other flavored-chocolate swirl & cookies and cream-so good! The nuts and candy are good-just tried the pecan pralines and you’re right-very good! When he came home at Christmas he brought some frozen things. Try the Mac & cheese balls-yummy!!

    1. Shelly

      I have seen those Mac and Cheese balls there and have always been tempted, but haven’t ever bought any! I will add them to my list!

  37. Didn’t I tell you those jumbles were ridic? And this from a girl that just can’t with the quinoa. I’m going to have to pick up that mac and cheese next time I’m there. It’s always got to be single-serve around here because my loser husband hates cheesy sauces. πŸ™‚

    I hope you got the marinara sauce too! Oh, and word to the wise on the k-cups they have there. They aren’t like regular k-cups. They’re in little, sealed foil packages, almost like a giant after dinner mint you’d get at Maggiano’s. You can’t take them out of the foil package without it making the coffee go stale, so forget about storing them in your cute k-cup drawer or spinner. Was a huge let down for me. I’d much rather buy their regular coffee and use a re-usable k-cup. BUT HOW HAVE I NEVER SEEN THE COLD BREW CONCENTRATE? I’m a little upset now.

    Also, thanks for the link love, babe!

    1. Shelly

      ahh yes, don’t remove the k-cups from the packaging πŸ™‚ I don’t have a cute little drawer, so I’m all good! YES I bought the marinara but haven’t tried it yet! Can’t wait πŸ™‚

  38. Sharon

    TJ came to town a few months ago, but I’ve stayed away, hoping the crowds will lessen. Guess where I’m going tomorrow????? Hee hee!

  39. Rebecca Ednie

    Argh! Where was this post about 6 weeks ago! I love north of Toronto but ventured to Niagara falls and buffalo. Buffalo specifically for the trader Joes. These things all sound delish! Gonna pin this one.

  40. Amanda

    I was just at TJ’s last night! It’s like 4 minutes from my house so I go more often than I should. πŸ™‚ Some of my faves: rosemary marcona almonds, fig butter, blueberry chevre cheese, frozen macarons (which I think are too much of a hassle to make when you can get them at such a good price and have them handy in the freezer whenever you have a craving), and the mini PB cups (also great to snack on from the freezer). One last favorite is the frozen spinach artichoke dip, which you microwave into yummy gooeyness for bread or crackers (I use the TJ version of reduced-guilt triscuits).

    1. Shelly

      I seriously can’t buy the frozen macarons anymore. I left them off the list because I just can’t. I EAT THE WHOLE BOX AT ONCE! It’s out of control!!!!! SO good!

  41. Donna Dawson

    I honestly have driven 25 miles put of my way for tj’s chocolate covered, peanut butter filled pretzels! No lie, love them that much!!!

  42. daria

    I love the Dog Biscuits. All natural peanut butter dog treats… some of them shaped like cats and mailmen! πŸ™‚
    I also don’t have a store nearby, so I too have a list going… kinda funny when you think of it, huh? thanks for the additions! I shall try some of them on my next trip. Also- I have to mention the friendliness of the staff there….the customer service is awesome at the Trader Joe’s that I have been to. If you inquire about a product, chances are that the associate will open a package and let you taste it. Now that is excellent customer service!!!

  43. try their “queen of croissants”. a caramel topped pastry croissant that takes you to heaven. it’s seasonal though so when it’s there, buy a bunch of them. if i could only buy one thing at TJ’s that would be it.

  44. Abby

    As an employee of TJS I love it! they are a fabulous company to work for with great benefits. But now onto the food— my favorites are in the frozen department– raspberry torte, cheesecake, bonbons, ice creams yummy! Just an fyi- the breads vary from region to region. I wish we sold that bread in the southeast! Absolutely addicted to the quinoa jumbles! And remember if you ever want to try something in the store just ask a crew member! We would be happy to open it for you!! Also, if you get home with an item and don’t like it… bring it back- no questions asked!!

  45. Christine

    I have yet to buy something that I don’t like! I am lucky to live on 15-20 minutes from a Trader Joe’s, which can be trouble!!
    TJ’s Honey is better than the supermarkets! But, here are some of our favorites:
    Cat Cookies (Chocolate, of course)They are like Animal Crackers!
    Any of their frozen fruit
    Chicken Sticks for our dog
    Beef Strips for our dog
    Lite Feta (Block)
    Mascarpone
    Red Pepper Jelly
    Chocolate Raspberry Sticks
    Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans
    ~ I have to stop…I’m making myself hungry!

  46. Lyn Holmes

    Sorry if this is a repeat comment, but Trader Joe’s frozen pie crust is a must to have on hand in your freezer, for both savory and sweet pies! Two to a package, tastes like homemade!!

  47. Amanda

    The chocolate crossants are the best! I do love the cookie butter but currently obsessed with the chocolate almond butter.

  48. JudyB

    We agree with the response re TJ’s cookie butter cookies! Can eat 3 or 4 without even thinking clearly. New fave, with cookies being on a par, is Corn and Chile tomato-less Salsa. Can eat it out of jar from a spoon. Good on wraps to spice them up a bit – plus, it adds a veggie to the meal (ha-ha).

  49. Elizabeth

    I love the chicken shitaki mushroom stir fry! The Pomegranate Limeade is good by it’s self but does it ever make an awesome margarita or mixed with vodka! If you can get your hands on their dried peaches when in season they are my daughters’ favorite. They have great fresh pizza crust that we love. My favorite peppermint tea is TJ’s!

  50. Maria

    Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip from the freezer section!! Quick, easy, awesome cheesy appetizer to serve with chip/crackers. Everyone loves it!

  51. Mikeline Skibsted

    I live in Southern California, and have 5 TJs within 5 miles. The closest is less than a mile away. Haven’t seen the Canadian White Bread here, but they have great multi whole grain breads. Love their card selection. Here in Calif. they are allowed to sell Beer and wine. Famous for what is affectionately known as 2 buck Chuck (Charles Shaw) wine it’s now $3 but well worth it. Best prices on eggs around. All around it’s a GREAT store

  52. Jennifer

    Dang it! I literally just got home from Trader Joe’s an hour ago! It’s not super convenient, so I like to stock up. I always get their Naan (Indian flat bread), baby brie cheese (perfect for a snack with a handful of crackers), their JoeJoe’s mind ice cream sandwiches are the bomb (think mint Oreo cookies but with ice cream in he middle!). I’ve always wanted to try that orange chicken, so will have to grab some next time!

  53. Well, you know I LOVE this post. I look at that macaroni & cheese every time I go. I’m getting it next time. AND…I’ve so been avoiding those milk chocolate jumbles for the same reason….QUINOA! Ugh. OK, I might try them now. I trust you.

    1. Brooke

      My MIL is a snowbird (I live in FL). When she came down last fall, the first thing she did was tell me about a quinoa cookbook she got. I was polite, but in my head I was thinking “why would you do that???” LOL

  54. Diner Joe’s frozen macaroni and cheese is THE BEST EVER. It is so cheesy and the macaroni cooks up al dente, not mushy like the other frozen types. And the cookie butter. Beyond yummy. I am so glad I live in So. California where Trader Joe’s is a part of life. And they have lots of stores so I don’t have to go far to get my fix.

  55. Darcy

    So many great things that I’ve never tried! Yum! We love the Yellow curry sauce for quick veggie curries – add the the frozen samosas and garlic naan and you have a super yummy meal. We also love the Korean Bulgogi – sooooo good and easy to make.

  56. Marcia S.

    We also love the frozen Mandarin Orange Chicken and the Cranberry White Chocolate Dunkers! I made home made Orange Chicken one night, then went to my neighbor’s house who made the frozen, easy Trader Joe’s version and i liked hers better! Needless to say, I’m done making that from scratch!

  57. Karen Taylor

    Well I sure wish that we had a Trader Joe’s here because I really love some of there things they have I was in Arizona 2 years ago in July for 5 weeks to visit my sisters and brother and my one sister took me to several places and one of them was Trader Joe’s. I remember that the Hummus was one of the best I have had besides one to the restaurants that she took me to that they made there hummus and it was really so good so traders Joes was the 2nd best that I really loved.

  58. Misty

    I live in Thailand now, and I miss Trader Joe’s (along with good quality American food.) Anyway, my in-laws are coming for a visit soon and we gave them a list of items to bring us TJ’s. πŸ™‚ No frozen foods on that list of course but an absolute favorite when we lived there was the mushroom and black truffle flat breads. My kids hate mushrooms but love this stuff. We also got the reduced guilt version of the mac n cheese. Not sure how it stands up to the full fat, it was the sample one of our first trip to TJ’s and since it was so good I never tried the full fat. The Chai and Salted Caramel Chai powder mixes are amazing, just add hot water. The pumpkin pancakes in the fall are great and their apple cider is yummy. I think all my other favorites have been covered by others. Oh! The melatonin is awesome if you ever have trouble falling asleep. They’re chewable so they work fast and are awesome when trying to get over jetlag. We had to give our dog away to move here (I still cry over him 2 years later) but he loved the Charlie Bear dog treats. They are small discs and were perfect when we were training him especially. Just the right size to be a treat but not so big that is was a bunch of wasted calories. Used them to teach him to high-five. Man I miss that dog…

  59. Nicole

    I love TJ’s!! My closest one is 2 hours away in Kansas City, but I always bring home a cooler. The Peppermint Jo-Jos around the holidays are to die for! Also, I have tried out several beauty products that are amazing–the lavender body scrub is a favorite!

  60. Heather

    Okay, let’s see.

    REALLY cheap vitamin E oil. Fleur de sel, also at rock bottom prices. Almost any sweet towards the front of the store is just to die for. I got Caramel dark chocolate wedges on the way out the other day and the tin didn’t make it home. Yes, the bread is divine. All of it. The hummus, yes. Oh…honeycrisp cider, when they have it. Chocolate baton cookies, when they have them. Stay away from the fresh rice noodles. Literally the only bad thing I’ve ever had from there. Oh, but egg pappardelle is delicious and I’ve never had such a fat cut of noodle before, it would be perfect for the bolognese.

    I want to try that iced coffee concentrate. That looks epic.

  61. Robin Williams

    Your choices are great. I must say their Siracha Roasted Garlic Barbecue Sauce is outstanding. I put it in sliders, meatloaf cups and pulled pork. I think it’s a seasonal item so stock up.

  62. Brooke

    I make a Thai chicken soup that is delicious. It’s basically normal chicken soup but with white pepper and cilantro. TJ’s has a chicken cilantro mini wonton (http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/article/681) that is crazy delicious. It tastes just like the soup but without the soup (which is great since I’m all about the stuff inside the soup and not the actual soup!). And, of course, you can’t go wrong because they are mini! πŸ˜€

  63. Annette

    Our Trader Joe’s is about 20 minutes away. My husband and I make a special trip just for the chocolate croissants! They have become a Sunday morning tradition. My husband loves the wine selection too. We were hoping for a Trader Joe’s around the corner from our house but got an Aldi instead πŸ™

    1. Kristen@accidentallydomesticated

      Aldi’s has some hidden gems. They are owned by the same company as Trader Joe’s. It took me awhile, but I now love Aldi’s.

  64. Love me some Trader Joes.
    Those K-Cups, while nice a cheap, didn’t work in my Keurig.Not sure they are made correctly. I have tried on 3 separate occasions. It only brews a partial cup and then states overflowing from the top of the machine where the K cup is. Its almost like the K-cup wasn’t make to drain well enough.
    Boooooo-hissss.
    I love their frozen food section. And their wine isn’t too shabby either.

  65. I live 135 miles from Trader Joes so when I go I shop. I have not seen the Coffee Shortbread cookies on the list. Oh, so good. I am making my next list from everyone’s favorites to try things I have missed. Wenatchee, Washington is petitioning for a store. We even have an empty grocery building to put it in. Trader Joe’s are you listening??

  66. Terri A.

    The coconut body butter is so nice – and smells great! Also, their vegetable oil spray, the red licorace and all of the chicken sausages are musts.

  67. I only live about 20 minutes away from a TJ’s but really never shop there as I didn’t know what to buy. So today I made out a long list of everything you mentioned and a few from the comments and headed to TJ’s. HA! I forgot the list at home BUT I did pretty good remembering. Most importantly I remembered the chocolate croissants! Thanks πŸ™‚

  68. Rhonda

    The almond butter is wonderful. I love the artichoke spinach dip. The stuffed fish filets in freezer section are awesome. The crispy snap pea snacks are wonderful too. I have yet o find anything we didn’t like. I was surprised the first time I went in a traders joes, not at all what I expected and there are so many different items and how inexpensive it is. I have never been in a Trader Joes where it wasn’t packed. The employees are very helpful. It is a special place I can shop with my 24 year old son, who loves it also!

  69. Summer

    Chicken cilantro won tons, all the risottos (they are frozen and cook in 6 minutes!!), cowboy salsa, and definitely skip the sushi. I need to try the Mac n cheese and those croissants!

  70. Debby

    I will be looking for some of these on my next TJ’s trip! The pear champagne vinaigrette with Gorgonzola is tasty AND low fat. Love the pot stickers and Gyoza Sauce, the refrigerated pizza dough, honey sesame or coconut cashews, Greek yogurt, spinach and kale yogurt dip (try spreading it on fish and baking it, yum!),and the red pepper spread, on panini. So many winners.

  71. Jill

    I love TJs-its on may way home from work! My fave stock ups are: The frozen croissants: chocolate, plain and the family loves the almond ones! I buy my fresh mozzarella logs here and those little square boxes of perfectly chopped pancetta, tubs of fresh garlicky bruschetta are yummy. My kids love the chocolate covered dried fruit and the coconut chocolate almonds (they are just like a bite sized almond joy candy bar.) I am also guilty of hoarding the cookie butter and TJs 3 cheese marinara sauce it is so cheap!. I try to resist buying a new TJ cloth shopping bag each time I am there — already have 6– they are awesome!

  72. Melanie

    So lucky to have a TJ’s close by. Favorites include: embrace your inner beans (crispy black bean snacks), everything pretzel thins, eggplant hummus, black been and cheese taquitos, gyoza, scallion pancakes, tofu edamame nuggets (seriously taste like chicken), island soyaki sauce, belgian chocolate non-pareils, green cold pressed juice, the new PB & J greek yogurt and my fiancΓ© turned me on to the milk chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels!!!

    Also, if your TJs carries the tomato and olive focaccia-get it! (I think ours just stopped carrying it).

  73. Heather

    I can’t believe no one mentioned the cookie butter cups! They are like peanut butter cups, but they are dark chocolate with cookie butter inside. Just one’ll do ya for a while! There is so much to love there…

  74. Kristen@accidentallydomesticated

    Great items! I am in love with the Birds Nests, vegetable gyozas, gyoza sauce, and the sesame rice crackers-they’re super thin and absolutely amazing with Owl’s Nest vermont white cheddar spread that I get at my local supermarket. TJ’s pizza dough is nice to have on hand for those times you don’t have time to make homemade dough.

  75. I have to add one thing to your TJ’s list, and at first, it may seem like too small of a thing or no big deal. But, their whole grain mustard is AMAZING. I know, you’re thinking ‘it’s just mustard.’ But, it’s so pungent with wine and spiciness, it has made everything I add it to amazing!
    Thanks for the rec on the meal-prep ideas! I’m going to pick up that bolognese!

  76. nancyabc

    Sorry I didn’t read all the replies and I don’t drink wine BUT I run and by it for relatives when they are in town—- It’s called Two Buck Chuck and I hope I got the name right. It’s apparently a big deal in the Cincinnati area.

  77. Deb

    Definitely the frozen feta and onion bites!! My favorite app! Yum
    And around November, the dark chocolate star cookies. They sell out fast, buy more than one!

  78. Joy

    I don’t think anyone has mentioned the new cookie butter cheesecake bars yet. They are in the frozen dessert section and are so delicious. I send my son to school once a week with TJ’a chicken potstickers in his lunchbox.

  79. HJ

    We moved to HI two yrs ago due to hubby’s job and TJ is one of the things I miss like crazy. I love their Crunch Almond Butter and wouldn’t live without it πŸ™‚ We’re moving back to NoVA this summer, and running to TJ is on top of my “to-do” list!!! Your post made me drool last night, btw πŸ™‚

  80. CapecodKath

    I have a bit of a sweet tooth and being on the cape I have yet found a bakery that carries French Macarons…..but Tj carries them in their frozen food section. The assorted are my favorite…love the lemon and apricot!

  81. Minnie

    Candy cane jojos. Their jars of flour de sel caramel, hot fudge and lemon curd. See a theme? Um their dijoin mustard. Their fresh ovoline mozzarella. The fennel! Most grocery stores I can’t even find it and when I do what a rip off. The fresh edamame. White cheddar popcorn. Salsa verde

  82. Mary Ann

    Luckily have a TJ’s 15 minutes away. Some of my favorites that haven’t been mentioned…White Balsamic Vinegar, the low fat frozen Mac & Cheese, frozen cooked shrimp, frozen salmon and swordfish, Power of Seven juice (amazing!), any of their spices , and the garlic salt spice grinder. A couple of grinds of the garlic salt, some ground pepper, and splashes of the white balsamic and their olive oil makes a quick, flavorful salad dressing.

  83. Vicki H

    I too live 1 hour away from 2 different TJs…we make the trip every 4-6 weeks. If you have not tried the Tater Tots, do so immediately. I cannot even eat any other tot any more. Also, coconut oil is something I pick up EVERY time. They also have a small frozen Greek pizza that is out of this world. Also, be aware that some item are only available in certain parts of the county…which stinks. Also, don’t forget the 2-buck Chuck wine!

    1. Shelly

      Tots are my life. I don’t know if I can deal with those existing!! I will definitely buy them next time. My bathing suit hates you!

  84. Donna

    Trader Joe’s is my favorite. Have you tried the potato and lentil snack curls? They are so addicting. I always have to buy at least three bags, because I always open one on the ride home. I am a big ginger fan, and their triple ginger cookies are another must have in my house. At the holidays they make these tasty little gingerbread men as well. I also like their crystallized ginger – like to chop it up and use in my gingerbread biscotti recipe. There spices are reasonably priced as well as the lemon/pepper grinder. Their pumpkin pie spice is better than the big-store name. I can go on and on……………….

  85. Tracy

    P.S. – They have the nicest employees there as well!! They always talk to you and talk about the stuff you are buying πŸ™‚

  86. Jenn

    Hey, Florham Park is my closest TJ’s too! It’s pretty convenient to my workplace so I stop after work a couple of times a month.

    Some of the items I buy regularly include roasted baby beets, blue cheese crumbles, frozen paneer tikka masala, frozen naan, frozen roasted corn, unsalted dry toasted nuts (especially sliced almonds, but also cashews and pecans), instant oatmeal with protein, fat free refried beans, olive tapenade jars, pub cheese ($2 less than at my local Shop Rite), California extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, curried chicken salad, ready to heat pulled pork in bbq sauce & handmade flour tortillas. Love the frozen assorted macarons, but they are dangerous to keep in the house – they don’t last long! Wish I could get a dozen of just coconut, lemon, apricot or salted caramel… At holiday time, love a lot of their pumpkin goodies and the “This Cranberry Walks into a Bar” bars.

  87. Heather

    I love your list of favorites. I have tried many of them and they are on mine as well.
    A few that I would like to add would be:
    1. 21 Seasoning Salute. it’s a great all purpose seasoning that we put on our eggs all the time and on hamburgers as well. I think it’s only $1.99
    2. TJ Pineapple Salsa- great sweet taste and with just the right amount of heat.
    3. HoneyCrisp Apple cider- crisp, sweet taste.
    4. The Mango Shaving Cream.

  88. We get some of our basics at TJ – love their maple syrup, ( always on our families wish list when we go back to Sweden every summer) organic hummus, frozen organic raspberries, frozen wild blueberries and a sunday favorite – chocolate croissant! We use our iPinium pans and they bake in half the time and stay nice and crispy on the outside and the chocolate is melted to perfection!

  89. adrianna

    I always buy PB, nuts, EVOO, eggs, spices, but their ketchup is THE BEST! and lowest calorie of any other brand. do it.

  90. Maggie

    Oh I love TJ’s! Had to add my favorites:
    banana chips (in the small bag) mixed with the salted peanut butter pretzels for a midday snack. Addictive!
    the chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels are impossible to stop eating so I don’t buy them often.
    Frozen brown rice, I never cook rice on the stove anymore, this is just too easy and good
    raw pizza dough
    eggs are the cheapest in town
    lemon chicken and arugula salad
    I love the cheese selection too, I don’t feel guilty trying a new cheese anymore since it is usually less than $5

    1. Shelly

      Those chocolate covered pb pretzels are just too good, aren’t they? And what a great idea mixing the banana chips with the pretzels! My kids would love that!

  91. Kimberly

    We finally have a TJ’s in our city, YEAH! The cookie butter is a definite one for my son. We love most of what you listed, too. I haven’t tried the hummus so that will be added to my list. It’s so easy to have the frozen basmati and brown rice, too, to go with the mandarin orange chicken, etc. I didn’t know they now have k-cups! Thank you! Guess I need to make a trek across town now. πŸ™‚

    PS: I adore your blog and thank you for the stories and recipes!

  92. Gina

    Maybe someone already said this (couldn’t read all those comments!) but Trader Joe’s brand cold pressed organic virgin coconut oil! 16 oz for 5.99. It’s the highest quality and that price is found NOWHERE else.

  93. Linda

    I love your ideas! Our closest TJ’s is 2 hours away, your list(and everyone’s ideas) helps me a lot!….My only questions is – where did you get your sandals you’re wearing in the shot with the Cold Brew coffee?!! They are adorable! Thanks – Linda
    PS – I read your blog a lot – it’s in my top five favorites

    1. Shelly

      hahah! so funny! actually they are a few seasons old, but maybe they’re still out there! They’re Jessica Simpson brand and I think I got them at either Lord and Taylor or Nordstrom πŸ™‚

  94. Ellen

    How do you prepare the cold brew concentrate? I bought it and have made it twice but I’m still playing around to be in LOVE with it.

  95. Dena

    We have to go 2 hours to get to a Trader Joes πŸ™ so we don’t get there often. Our favorites are the milk chocolate peanut butter cups, dark chocolate caramel sea salt candy bar and the Just the Clusters maple pecan granola cereal. Canned pumpkin is great for baking. I enjoy their ketchup although my kids don’t like it as much as our “normal” ketchup. it’s sweeter, you think they’d like it more πŸ™‚

  96. Melissa

    we’ve never been to a Trader Joe’s before, but an old neighbor of ours bought my husband some of their Kettle Corn & he’s addicted. He hasn’t had it in forever, but still talks about it.

  97. Nichole

    love TJs!! dried dark sweet cherries, nuts, coconut milk in the can, mini peanut butter cups (could eat the entire package in one sitting!), plantain chips, almond cookies, maple syrup, asparagus risotto, etc. etc. i’m so grateful that i have about 4 of them within 20 minutes of my house!

  98. Sheila

    I am late to this party, but wanted to add some things that I love! Tried to scan through postings to make sure I didn’t duplicate, but here are some of my family’s favorites that I don’t think were already mentioned….
    + Dark chocolate almonds with turbinado sugar and sea salt (okay that was mentioned, but it is a MUST!!)
    + Baconesque White Cheddar popcorn (YUM)
    + Chunky guacamole made with greek yogurt
    + Spinach and kale yogurt dip (in the hummus section)
    + Frozen roasted corn (GREAT for chicken tortilla soup and any Mexican dish!)
    + Frozen organic pizza crusts….great for last minute dinners
    + Edamame hummus
    + Mini edamame crackers (they look like little hexagons)
    + Mochi — Another reader suggested you try this and YOU SHOULD.
    + Sweet chili sauce — We love to make stir fry with this sauce, grilled shrimp and the frozen vegetable fried rice.
    + Vanana yogurt — We mix this with lowfat cottage cheese to amp up the protein.
    + Uncured Bacon Ganache Bar….oh my.

    I’ve already got a few of your finds on my TJ’s list. I’ve passed over the chocolate croissants on more than one occasion, but after reading all the great reviews I think I’ll have to cave. πŸ™‚ I love your blog!

  99. Sharon S.

    I LOVE TJ’s!! Just the nut selection alone would keep me going back. I recently discovered their strawberry preserves when I needed to make filling for a white cake. Then I put some on toast -ohmymylanta, so so good! And I always have that big ol slab of milk chocolate in my pantry!

  100. Gina Hudson

    The sour dough bread… There is only one without soy as an ingredient and it’s the best one. It actually has sour dough starter in it… AH MAY ZING! Also the light canned coconut milk. coconut and water. no thickener. less fat and cals. A total win! Last but no least the blueberry coated goat cheese is divine πŸ™‚

  101. Tricia

    Best thing in frozen food section Is the polenta with spinach and carrots. Cook in microwave or stove top, I top with a little EVOO and some Parmesan cheese. Make it a meal by topping with some sautΓ©ed shrimp. Yum! Also love their natural cut French fries, pasta with pesto and tomatoes and the breaded crispy tilapia.

  102. We are two hours from a TJ, so when we go, I stock up. My faves are the frozen chicken dumplings (I always buy like 4 bags), the reduced guilt mac and cheese (just as good as the regular, IMO), cinnamon almonds, the white bean hummus (it’s SO good on wraps and as a sauce for a white pizza), and the unexpected cheddar cheese. ALL SO GOOD.

  103. Maggie

    I have no TJ’s nearby. so I write a long list by what I like and by what I want to try that is suggested by other shoppers. My current list is so long I must wait to have extra cash to blow! Now I want to go this week!

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