My favorite things to buy at Trader Joe’s

My favorite things to buy at Trader Joe’s

We waited so long for Trader Joe’s to come to town that I still don’t take it for granted. I had to google it to be sure: it’s been nearly seven years since we got our own store. It’s not like it just happened—and yet I’m still grateful every time I pop in that they’re actually here.

A few years ago, I posted about my favorite things to buy at Trader Joe’s. (Read that post here, and don’t skip the comments section!) But that’s been three years now, and since that time, I’ve found plenty of new favorites—some new to me, some new to Trader Joe’s.

I can’t get everything we need at Trader Joe’s (the store is tiny, and I like it that way), but I get a ton of our essentials (greens, eggs, milk, fruit) and a whole bunch of specialty products, which Trader Joe’s is justifiably famous for doing really well, and for cheap.

These are a few of my favorites. (I’d love to hear yours in comments!)

Flowers and greenery

Trader Joe’s always has fresh flowers and a rotating selection of seasonally appropriate plants and greenery. I buy flowers almost every time I go. (It’s almost ranunculus season, and I can’t wait till my Trader Joe’s has them in stock once again.)

During the holidays, I love their boxwood wreaths and fresh garland. I’ve picked up potted succulents and pretty flowers in pots—not just for everyday use, either. We threw a Reading People launch party back in the fall, and drew our theme from the book cover—everything was gold, green, and pink. Those flower pots were party-perfect, and cheap.

Party food

I keep my pantry stocked with Trader Joe’s goodies so that we’re always ready to put together an appetizer tray or cheese board. (I keep these in a special cabinet over the fridge so we don’t gobble everything up on a regular Tuesday.)

We frequently put together party trays using only Trader Joe’s finds; these pictures here are of the trays we did for the Reading People party.

We love:

• their awesome and reasonably-priced cheese selection, especially the toscano with crushed peppercorns or syrah, Spanish manchego, unexpected Cheddar, and Boursin (my kids’ favorite).
• nitrate-free peppered salami
• dried figs. Cut in half, these are a fun and pretty addition to an apps tray
• dried apricots
• spicy candied ginger. This is sold out in my store at least half the time I’m there, so I always grab several bags when it’s on the shelves.

And the crackers/chips to go with them

• water crackers. I can’t find a better quality for the price.
• raisin rosemary crips. I can’t keep these in the house, they’re too addictive! I also love the fig and olive.
• plantain chips. Great for an apps tray or as a guacamole dipper.
• mini brioche toasts. Pretty and unusual.
• breadsticks. Not my personal favorite, but they make a nice addition to a party spread and kids love them.

Indulgences:

• Macarons. Available in the freezer section, $5 for a package of twelve. We like to keep these in the freezer for impromptu guests or special occasions.
• French vanilla ice cream. It’s just vanilla ice cream, but it’s really good vanilla ice cream.
• Dark chocolate-covered blueberries.
• Walker’s shortbread. Not a TJ’s exclusive, but I love that I can pick up this crowd-pleasing classic when I’m there.

Also in the freezer aisle, and worthy of mention here: the mini-croissants, which couldn’t be easier to make or serve. Proof overnight, bake in the morning, and serve as a special breakfast or use as a sandwich base for lunch. (We don’t do a ton of breads around here, so when we do we want them to be good. These totally count.)

21 offbeat favorites to buy at Trader Joe's

Pantry finds:

• Hot and sweet jalapeños. Will and I adore these.
• Pesto. We toss with pasta or zucchini noodles and add sliced chicken breast for an easy weeknight dinner. I also love this on grilled veggies.
• Balsamic glaze.

Wine:

I’m grateful for the just-big-enough wine shop and helpful staff. We personally tend towards reds from Bogle (I get asked at checkout all the time if it’s my family’s winery—if only!), Coppola, and Charles Smith, but Trader Joe’s also has great exclusive brands at a great price.

I really like these TJ’s exclusives:
• Vint TJs: these rotate, but right now they have an Old Vine Zin we really like.
• Grifone Primitivo. Hard to beat for $5 a bottle.
• Churned. My visiting friend introduced me to this $7 buttery white, Trader Joe’s answer to the $16 Butter Chardonnay.

I’ve found the staff is always eager to recommend a house brand to substitute for whatever name brand I usually gravitate towards.

What are YOUR favorite things to buy at Trader Joe’s?

P.S. Don’t miss my previous post on TJ’s favorites—I tried hard not to repeat myself!
P.P.S. Party photos from my fabulous friend Justin Klassen, who you should really follow on instagram @louphotog.

Trader Joe's favorites

79 comments

  1. Kelsi says:

    Our Trader Joe’s caught fire this past week and is closed for awhile and It is totally throwing off my grocery shopping. I’m an avid Whole30er so I get tons of staples there:
    -Ghee
    -Coconut Aminos
    -Smoked Salmon
    -Everything but the Bagel seasoning
    -fresh flowers (did you know that the buckets they come in are free to take and often stacked by the entry? We made frequent trips to TJ for our wedding crafts!)
    -Harissa
    -Salsa Verde
    -frozen seafood prices are so good! We love the Seafood Medley

  2. I’ve been re-creating a version of those lovely cheese platter since the Reading People launch party. I love how easy it is to make it look fancy without cooking a thing!
    TJs is a favorite and my family couldn’t make it through the week without one of the veggie burger options that let us cook up something quick and easy. We’re partial to the Vegetable Masala Burger with some mango chutney. I love having new things to look for when I visit so this list is perfect!

  3. Laurel says:

    The unexpected cheddar cheese is my favorite! So delicious!
    I also love the chocolate croissants (freezer aisle) and the pre-made salads are great. Lemon and Arugula is my favorite, but I indulge in the Curried Chicken Salad as well.

  4. Jennifer Schmidt says:

    I love all things Trader Joe’s! I even have a separate Instagram account devoted solely to my love of TJ’s. @TraderJen410 😉

  5. Lydia B. says:

    My favorite TJ’s product is their Habanero lime tortillas in the bread section. I shmear vegetarian refried beans on them, roll them up, stack them in a shallow pan, pour enchilada sauce and sprinkle with mexican cheese for a crowd favorite pot luck vegetarian dish! The Habanero lime tortillas have just enough kick but not too spicy and affordably priced if you want to make a double batch!

  6. Trudy says:

    I live in the back of beyond, and don’t get to a TJs but twice a year. Horror of horrors!
    The one thing that is always on my list is their hot chocolate mix. It is the best EVER!
    The flowers of course.
    I think the black beans with chilies couldn’t be better.

  7. Sandy says:

    Sadly, we move AWAY from TJ’s, so we stock up on these items whenever we are in a more privileged city:
    *21 Seasoning Salute (it has rescued dinner more times than I can count)
    *Gluten-free oats (super-duper price!)
    *Their organic spices ($1.99/jar?!?!)
    *Onion Salt
    *Gluten-Free Ginger chunk cookies (Open bag. Watch bag disappear.)
    *GF Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Icing (Okay. We don’t actually
    stock up this, or I’d weigh 1,000 pounds. We buy it as a treat and
    finish the box before we’ve left the parking lot.)
    *Black Mango Tea (super awesome iced!)
    *Red Refresh Tea (I hope this isn’t a seasonal one)
    *Dried Tart Cherries (excellent in chocolate chip, oatmeal cookies!)
    *Orange infused Dried Cranberries
    *Licorice Scottie Dogs (my husband. NOT I! Licorice. Gross.)
    *Mango Shave Cream
    *Their “Not-Paper Towels” reusable clean-up cloths
    *Next to Godliness cleaser
    *Lemongrass hand soap
    *Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo and Conditioner
    *Chocolate Batons (one of the few chocolate products they have that is
    fair trade. I really wish they had more FT chocolate.)
    *Organic Fair-Trade Cocoa Powder (YAY! So glad they started carrying
    this!)
    *Crystallized Candied Ginger (which I’m presently nibbling to combat
    nausea.)
    Sigh. I miss having TJ’s just a few miles down the street.

  8. Lori says:

    Sigh…our nearest TJ’s is two hours away, BUT with a couple of thermal bags and a bit of rushing, I can usually get home with frozen things just fine. I don’t usually bring home fresh produce or flowers, not because I don’t want to, simply because I can usually find them locally. Here are a few of my favorites, although most of them will not be coming back on my last trip since we are low-carbing at the moment:
    — Yes to those frozen croissants! The almond are my fave, but the chocolate will do too.
    — Dark chocolate anything. But especially the sea salt/dark chocolate almonds. Ahem. Enough said.
    — Cookie butter. Actually, it’s not allowed in my house anymore.
    — Canned corn. I know, sounds weird, but theirs tastes almost as good as fresh.
    — Cheese.
    — Balsamic vinegar.
    — Sponges…the thin yellow ones that come in a pack of 12. There is always one at my kitchen sink. I run it through the dishwasher every day or so. They last for.ever.
    — Olive bread. I never make it home with a loaf of this intact. For me it ranks right up there with the raisin/rosemary crackers.
    — My list is getting long, eh? My son likes the tea tree shampoo, and I kind of like the lavender soap and (if I must like a cleaning product), the laundry detergent.
    Can you tell I like TJs? Maybe if there were one closer I wouldn’t be so enamored…but yeah, I probably would be.

  9. Shelley says:

    I can’t live without Trader Giotto’s mushroom ravioli in mushroom truffle sauce! Divine! It seems to have the same sauce as the mushroom risotto and I am delighted with that.

  10. Sue says:

    I love their graham crackers too! You can hardly even put them in the same category as Nabisco’s. TJ’s are thick, extra-crunchy and have a molasses-y flavor. Their meringue cookies are addictive too – something I never make at home because they’re a pain.

  11. I too love Trader Joe’s and their close cousin Aldi. (BTW Aldi has some of the same items for less $$$! Like smoked oysters, Yum! TJ’s used to have a frozen appetizer called Aronchini Bites that were fabulous but my store stopped carrying them although when I called corporate, they said they were still in other stores in other states. Try them if you see them, they are beyond delish!

  12. Melinda says:

    Flowers – almost go without saying! I love the TJ’s Soft Bite Mini Almond Biscotti, Unexpected Cheddar, and the baby avocados when available. The rosemary Marcona Almonds are always a favorite of mine. For a non-food item, I like the TJ Lavender and Chamomile liquid hand soap. Smells wonderful and doesn’t dry your hands out!

  13. Claudia Sydney Leger says:

    I am addicted to the Everything but the Bagel seasoning, Giotto’s mushroom ravioli in mushroom truffle sauce, olive bread and any or all of their amazing flowers selection-

  14. Katie says:

    Alas, for in Oklahoma our Trader Joe’s are alcohol-free. It’s tragic.

    The one item we cannot have enough of on hand is their Hatch Valley Salsa. It’s delicious for all your salsa needs, but the most important is that if you add it to some chicken salad (chicken + mayo + Hatch Valley Salsa in your desired proportions) it takes a simple meal to the next level. I eat Hatch Valley chicken salad every workday for lunch, whether with crackers, on croissants, or just on spinach leaves for a chicken salad salad. Yum.

  15. Wanda says:

    Nearly all my faves have been listed but….have you tried the Gyozas?? They are all great; pork, chicken, or veggie although the meat ones are my favorites. Low calorie too…7 pork gyozas are less than 250 cal. Yum!

  16. Dawn Davis says:

    So many things I love, but a staple is the canned toscano marinara sauce—it’s a great start to which you can add their pitted kalamata olives, chili flakes, rice and quinoa pasta, fresh basil, spinach. Thanks for dinner, TJs!

  17. Elizabeth Smith says:

    Bogle Winery not only has nice wine but is a lovely spot for a picnic if you are ever in the California Gold Country. You can see where they used to stomp the wine with a chute taking the crushed grapes to the floor below!

  18. RachelZ says:

    Eep! I love TJ’s so much!
    My go-tos are:
    -Florida Orange Juice
    -Handmade Tortillas
    -Belgian Chocolate Pudding
    -Teriyaki Turkey Jerkey (great, easy, fillinh snack for only 1sp for folks in WW!)
    -Hand soap! They have some yummy-smelling, gentle-on-skin, cutely-packaged options that always make me happy 🙂
    Also, their organic milk is much cheaper than in other grocery stores, and I don’t know why, but I just love their chicken.

  19. Monica Gardner says:

    We love many things at Trader Joe’s but some of our favorites include their fresh flowers,Rustico bread, Organic Tomato Soup, Lavander Soap Scrub, Double Wide Cat Scratchers, Coconut Cranberry Granola to name a few!

  20. Andrea Wells says:

    My very favorite TJ’s product is their Lavender Salt Scrub. I use it on my feet every time I take a bath (once or twice a week) and my feet are always baby soft.

  21. Joan Carothers says:

    It seems that my cart always has these items in it:
    Mango black tea (best iced tea ever!)
    GF rice pasta- after17 Years living GF I find this to be the best out there! And only $1.99!!!
    GF oats
    Coconut and rice milks
    There are many other “regulars” but these are my faves! So glad TJ’s isn’t far from my house! Great for an allergy suffering family!

  22. Lisa says:

    I’ve never been to a Trader Joe’s. The closest stores are 3 hours south or 3 hours north of me. Am I kicked out of the club? 🙂

  23. Jaye says:

    Hi Anne! I believe I commented on your previous post about your TJ favorites. The town/city where my husband and I reside will never see a Trader Joe’s Market, simply not enough people, especially people who would be inclined to shop Trader Joe’s as opposed to a chain grocery store. We make frequent trips to St. Louis, Missouri to visit my parents, our son and his family and my sister and her family. I love to make a stop in TJs for some of their gorgeous fresh flowers to take to my Mother. The freshness and selection of flowers is incredible.

  24. Tara says:

    I would LOVE to have access to a Trader Joe’s; maybe one of these days! I always love to visit a store, when I’m traveling out of town; I’m a Trader Joe’s tourist – ha!

  25. The frozen Riced Cauliflower Stir Fry package is delicious! I’ll dethaw that while cooking some diced chicken in a skillet. Then I fry an egg, add the veggies and chicken to a bowl, layer on the fried egg and BAM! Delicious, healthy, easy, quick dinner.

    Their Veggie Straws/Sticks are also great, although not exclusive to TJ’s.

    Cookie Butter FTW obviously.

    Everything But The Bagel Seasoning.

    There is a raspberry goat cheese in the cheese/deli section that is SO GOOD with any type of cracker. Its light purple color looks kind of funky, but get past it. Because it’s delish.

    Cinnamon Alphabet Cookies (they are, clearly, shaped like letters. Fun to play with haha, but also just so tasty.)

  26. Allyson Wieland says:

    Anne, I am eating a TJ peanut butter cup as I read your blog. I had mango slices at breakfast. Butternut squash ravioli for dinner tonight. Love all the fresh fruits and veggies.
    My husband likes the chocolate biscotti.
    But my ALL-TIME favorite is COOKIE BUTTER, especially the one with chocolate swirled in.

  27. Kirsten says:

    A few of our favorites have already been mentioned (flowers, 21 seasoning salute, chocolate croissants, olive bread)…
    I have to make a no-weekly trip, however to stock up on whole milk yogurt for my kids and husband. It’s one of the few places that carries several varieties of whole milk yougurt. Also, frozen French green beans and frozen leeks. All their frozen veggies are fantastic and reasonably priced. Every so often, they have Kringels from wisconsin! They used to carry fresh hollondaise sauce, but they’ve discontinued it. My 6 yr old was quite sad when She heard that. She loves eggs Benedict.

  28. Pam says:

    Sadly, my shopping experience does not include Trader Joe’s. I just used their store locator, and the closest one is 364 miles away, in Spokane, Washington. Oh well. I can drool over everyone else’s descriptions!

  29. Rebecca says:

    We were low on toppings for pizza night and had leftover TJ’s Boursin and fresh pesto. Added mozzarella and it was awesome.
    Also:
    -frozen mango
    -broccoli salad
    -pirate’s booty (their version)
    -gummy penguins

  30. Eva says:

    I live off their premade salads!! I eat the Kale and Broccoli slaw with just a tiny bit of the dressing and I’m good to go! I also love the Southwestern salad for lunch, which I pump up with red onions, cherry tomatoes, and avocados. It’s delicious!

    My husband lives off the peppered salami and raisin/rosemary crisps and even brings them on backpacking trips. I also like their super sugary, but delicious, Chai Mix. If you like Chai, and you like sweet versions, you’ll probably like this!

    Love reading all the suggestions on here!

    http://www.shessobright.com

  31. Ellen W says:

    I have to eat gluten free so I’m a big fan of their brown rice pasta and the relatively new cauliflower crust frozen cheese pizza. Also they have an Asian chicken salad with rice noodles that doesn’t have soy sauce (hidden source of gluten). The pumpkin spice crackers are super savory and a fall favorite. My boys are fans of the mini chicken tacos, maple leaf cookies and shortbread with chocolate cookies as well.

  32. Margie says:

    *I always check the card section. Beautiful cards for only .99 cents! Best deal around.
    * yummy candies and chocolates make great little “just because” gifts.

  33. Jenn says:

    I have to eat a grain free/gluten free way and TJ’s makes it affordable in so many ways. Case in point: coconut aminos. SUCH a great price at TJs!!! Probably my favorite thing at TJs that I hoard though is their turmeric tea. It tastes great and it has anti-inflammatory properties.♥️♥️

  34. Barbara says:

    You can all feel very sorry for me…our nearest Aldi is about 5 hours away and I haven’t seen a Trader Joe’s in soooo long. It makes me sad. I miss them both. I love TJ’s!

  35. LaQuetha says:

    I was there on Friday night it is a favorite. My favorite things:
    Unexpected cheddar, Asian stir fry makes a quick easy weeknight dinner, chicken sausage, pizza dough, pepperoni, sparkling water, bayou bend coffee, quiona & black bean tortilla chips, banana chips and the list go on and on.

  36. Christine says:

    We moved home to Canada last year and when someone asks what I miss about living in the States my go-to answer is – Trader Joe’s. Such a great place for inexpensive, interesting food.

  37. Plantain Chips-we seriously buy 5 bags every time we go in. I love to make tuna salad and use the plantain chips to “dip” into it. They are also awesome with some peanut butter, or just plain!

    Riced cauliflower-I make fried “rice” wth it or add peas and TJs curry for a quick lunch.

    Marcona almonds-SO. Dang. Good.

    Gnocchi of some kind-my husband loves the sweet potato and brown butter sage. It is perfect for Wednesday nights when we volunteer at church and there is not much time between work and when we have to head out again.

    Lemongrass Chicken Sticks-wonderful lemongrass flavor and they trick me into thinking I had take out!

  38. Lorraine says:

    Dried orange slices, perfect for tea (or for snacking), molasses ready- bake cookies, Winter Wassail, olive tapenade, the veggie side dishes they had in the produce section for the holidays (the butternut squash gratin was off the charts good), chicken pot stickers, Speculous cookies, lemon and ginger thin cookies, ham and gruyere flatbread, wine, flowers.

  39. Gilliane says:

    Traders Joe’s is the best! I go every week. I’ll have to check out some of these suggestions. My must haves in stock are: edamame and cauliflower rice in the frozen section, Sriracha BBQ sauce, salsa authentica, salted organic tortilla chips, garlic hummus, smoked andouille chicken sausage, cookie butter, peanut butter filled pretzels, vanilla greek yogurt, chocolate chip chunks, green goddess salad dressing, and any of their speciality whole bean coffee and cheeses. My high school doesn’t like to buy her lunch at school so I get her 2 prepackaged salads each week. I also love how they unload and reload your cart.

  40. CraftyP says:

    How has no ONE mentioned Peppermint Joe Joe’s?
    I always get so excited when I see them on the shelf! We ration them all December and into January for our special “peppermint days”

    MY go-to’s:
    —Chili Lime Chicken burgers (frozen)
    —Grass-fed Beef burgers (frozen)
    —Frozen Mango chunks
    —Greek Olive Oil
    —EVERYTHING BUT THE BAGEL SEASONING (please never ever ever discontinue TJ’s!!)
    —All of the cheeses
    —shaved Brussels Sprouts to make my new favorite side dish
    —dark chocolate covered “anything” … hazelnuts, raisins, almonds LOVE!
    —tea of all kinds, especially the decaf BLACK English Breakfast (you’d never know it’s decaf)
    my kids love: Banilla yogurt and chocolate croissants and Joe’s O’s (like spaghetti O’s)

    • Whit says:

      OMG. How could I forget Everything but the Bagel in my list!!! I ate it every day in the summer on top of avocado toast or with their fresh mozzarella and tomatoes. Mmmmmm.

  41. Susanne says:

    Sadly, we are two hours away from a Trader Joe’s, but we always hit it up when we are in the city to visit my sister. We never leave TJ’s without:
    – green curry sauce (our favorite quick supper)
    – chocolate coconut covered almonds
    – wine
    – rosemary raisin crisps
    – tea tree tingle shampoo and conditioner

    Being TJ’s fans and huge fans of the Beatles, our family is a little obsessed with this now….

    https://www.thekitchn.com/this-song-will-haunt-you-while-shopping-at-trader-joes-254669

    Anne, I am going to try your trick of “hiding” some of our goods over our refrigerator too!

  42. Lauren says:

    I feel super fortunate because I live near a Trader Joe’s that is above an Aldi. I usually go to Aldi for produce and pantry staples (as well as frozen shrimp!), then get the fun things at TJs.
    A lot of my favorite have been listed but here are many of mine:
    Produce:
    – Sweet potato ribbons or crinkle cut butternut squash
    – Broccoli slaw
    Pantry:
    – Everything but the bagel seasoning
    – Red pepper spread
    – Rotating seasonal jam – currently Grapefruit marmalade, previously apple cider / Organic, low sugar jam / Fig butter
    – Almond butter and mixed nut butter (peanut-free here!)
    – Raspberry dark chocolate baton
    – Organic chia bars – 100 cals, the perfect snack!
    – Mini round rice crackers – the perfect canvas for many spreads, but not tempting enough to eat on their own
    – The rosemary raisin or fig olive crisps are too tempting to keep in my pantry
    Frozen:
    – I’m convinced their frozen blueberries are the best I’ve ever had (not even the organic ones!)
    – Gyoza
    – Thai chili or Dr. Praegers veggie burgers
    – Spinach and ricotta pizza
    – Acai packets
    – Chocolate covered banana bites
    Cheese:
    – Blueberry vanilla goat cheese, or whatever seasonal variety of this they may have
    – Spanish cheese sampler
    Beverages:
    – Mate tea
    – Vanilla cinnamon tea in the blue box with the racoon
    – Cold brew concentrate
    – Chocolate almond cashew milk – I mix this with protein powder for a post-workout shake!
    – I just picked up some of their “Simpler” canned wines which I’m excited to try!
    Other:
    – Vanilla pumpkin candle

      • Lauren says:

        I really like it! It tastes…bright? Such a nice change from the typical jam flavors. Also, did you know that you can bring any item to the sampling station and they will open it for you to taste? So if you’re unsure, take advantage of that!

        • Carrie Anderson says:

          Oh wow! I didn’t know that! I have used their no questions return policy before but this is even better! I will definitely be trying that marmalade 😊

  43. Jean says:

    We don’t have a local Trader Joe’s either, but stock up whenever we’re in a town that has one. The 21 Seasoning Salute and their taco seasoning are such family faves that they go in our adult children’s Christmas stockings. ( Read the taco seasoning packet carefully–it really does season 2 pounds of meat – or more!)
    My son-in-law loves their green tea mints, and all of their spices I’ve tried have been very high quality for the price. And, of course, wine!

  44. Whit says:

    LOVE TJ’s! The quality and price can’t be beat. And my little one loves the stickers they give out. 🙂 Other than that, we love:
    *bagged salads
    *mushroom ravioli
    *almost homemade tortillas
    *refried pinto beans (I know. But these taste really good!)
    *salsa verde
    *corn salsa
    *whole milk yogurt
    *sparkling water
    *CHEESE. CHEESE. All the cheese.
    *Ginger cookies (The really thin ones)
    *Brioche
    *Mandarin Orange chicken (My little one is OBSESSED)
    *Jerky
    *Ginger and Turmeric tea
    * Breakfast Blend coffee (I like it for cold brew in the summer)
    *Sipping Chocolate (I think that’s what it’s called. It’s in the dark brown tin. It tastes divine. Except I’ve just discovered chocolate triggers my migraines. Booo. More for everyone else, I guess.)

  45. Anne McD says:

    I rarely get to Trader Joe’s because it’s so far from us, but I happened to be driving in that area today and we needs bread, so… :). I must say, the first thing I grabbed on my way in was a beautiful bunch of ranunculus!

  46. Patricia says:

    My husband is lactose intolerant and is, alas, an ice cream lover. One day I stumbled upon Soy Creamery Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. It tastes like real ice cream … I’ll even eat it (and sneak into the freezer for a spoonful). His favorite non dairy ice cream ever! It only comes in this and vanilla flavor. Someday I hope they’ll branch out into other flavors (chocolate please?).

  47. Kara says:

    We love TJ’s and shop there at least twice a month, stocking up on our favorites so we don’t have to be without them between trips. Their fresh veggie and fruit selection are good and the quality has improved so much in the past few years.
    -Chili Lime seasoning – we use it for seasoning homemade refried beans, shredded chicken for tacos and dips. So good.
    -Everything But the Bagel seasoning – love this on hummus or avocado toast.
    -Brioche or Challah for making a killer french toast. Their pricing is so much better on these items than anywhere else locally.
    -Multigrain Crackers – good for dips and perfect size for making homemade “luncheables” with sliced deli meat or pepperoni and cheese for my kids’ lunches.
    -Salsa Verde – a staple in our house to mix with TJ’s avocadoes for a quickly prepared guacamole.
    -Goat Cheese – the herbed version is so good and cheap, perfect with crackers and veggies or salad.
    -White Chocolate Chips – they don’t always have these but I stock up when they do. They work in any recipe I’ve baked with that calls for “good quality white chocolate” but at a fraction of the price of the good stuff (most grocery stores’ white chocolate has a lot of filler).
    -Reduced Sugar Strawberry Jam or Grape Jelly for PBJ’s and my weird family who likes to add jelly to their egg sandwiches and breakfast burritos 🙂
    -Riced Cauliflower, Spiralized Carrots, Quinoa, Turkey Burgers and Bambino Pizzas are my freezer favorites for coming up with quick meals.
    -Humboldt Creamery ice creams. So creamy and rich for an ice cream.
    -Ranch Seasoned Roasted Chickpeas – great for a snack by the handful or for adding some crunch to salad.
    -TJ’s brand egg whites – cage free and at a good price. I do 1/2 whites and eggs with frittatas, and use the egg whites to whip into oatmeal for a little extra protein.
    -Honey Dark Chocolate mints for an indulgent little treat. I got some chocolate mints for my birthday from a “fancy” chocolatier and my first thought at trying one is that the TJ’s ones are better.

  48. Lisa says:

    The school where I teach is right across the street from a Trader Joe’s but I’ve never been! I WILL be going there soon and I look forward to checking out the products everyone has mentioned here. It all sounds so good (really stoked about the flowers, I had no idea!).

  49. Caitlyn says:

    I used to live right next door to TJ’s, which was so dangerous! Thankfully, for my wallet’s sake, I’m a little further from one now, but I am still obsessed. Because I used to live so close, I’ve literally changed my diet so I can shop exclusively there haha! Their frozen section keeps me eating healthy without having to cook a ton.
    Some of my favs:
    – Red lentil pasta which I usually serve with their chicken sausage, pasta sauce mixed with harrissa salsa (it adds an amazing kick!) and roasted veggies.
    – Cowboy caviar (I put this on EVERYTHING)
    – Southwest salad mix, which is one of my favorite things to eat for lunch. I’ll usually mix half the bag with cowboy caviar and pop some avocado or hummus on top, and serve with some plantain chips. It’s super filling!
    – Frozen black bean and corn enchiladas, which Ill usually eat for lunch served over their riced cauliflower
    – Frozen brown rice–it amazes me how perfect it turns out every time.
    – Cherry Blossom pinot noir

  50. Catherine says:

    I wish I had some healthy choices but TJ is my store for all indulgences. Topping the list is their Half Moon cookies which look and taste just like the black and white cookies from my childhood. In the freezer section their orange chicken is as good as a restaurants and their chicken and cheese tamales are yummy.

    Last but not least their wine section is the best. The guy who works at ours is always helpful and I trust his judgement completely. Too many favorites to name!

  51. Totally agree with you about the water crackers. They’re so good. Four boxes in my pantry right now.

    Next time you’re in the cheese section, see if they have St. André brie. Decadent.

    And I have to admit that I love the shelf-stable whipping cream. We keep a carton of this in the fridge all the time (tip: it needs to be chilled in order to whip).

    • Helena says:

      I’m so glad I saw this comment–we picked up some of the shelf-stable whipping cream on our last trip, just to try, but wouldn’t have thought to chill it first. Thanks for the tip!

      • Heidi Benson says:

        Got an ice cream machine? Take 2 boxes of the cream (chilled) and whisk together with one jar of their lemon curd. Churn and freeze. Amazing and shockingly simple.

  52. Helena says:

    The chocolate bars with the cookie butter inside, the Italian truffle cheese (a family favorite), their seasonal body butters, the cookie butter (and the one with chocolate swirled through it), saffron (AMAZING price, better than I’ve seen anywhere ever; my husband uses it to make yellow rice from scratch, among other things), banana chips, and a few flavors of whole milk yogurt, which is hard to find at a regular grocery store. There are other things we get too, but those are the ones I make sure to get more of when we’re down that way.

  53. Heidi Benson says:

    I can honestly say my children would starve without TJ’s — they eat something from there every single day. We live within walking distance of them, a Safeway and a gourmet market (New Seasons) — TJ’s is the one we do our weekly shopping at. Today’s (very typical) purchases included: Chocolate Almond spread (ever-so-slightly more healthy than Nutella and it doesn’t have peanut oil), pasta, Spanish olive oil, Pacific lox, kid’s yogurts, cereal bars, Crispy Rice cereal (tastier and less sugar than Rice Krispies; oddly, no one here likes their version of Cheerios), plain Greek yogurt, brown eggs, ginger, frozen naan (much better than their fresh), basmati rice, and dried Montmorency cherries (pricy at $4.99 each, but the best dried cherries anywhere and one of the few ways one kid will eat fruit.) At the holidays I stock up on their frozen puff pastry (easier to unroll than Pepperidge Farms), Wintry Blend coffee, and buy a Hexen Haus (the easiest to assemble gingerbread house you’ll find.) I too miss the hollandaise sauce, but with it’s departure came the arrival of the Everything But the Bagel blend — a trade I can live with. And flowers. Happiness for under $5? Sold!

  54. Katie says:

    I have one about a mile away yet I rarely go! I need to change this apparently. However, I do go just to get a few packages of the red lentil pasta. WAY cheaper than at regular grocery stores and much healthier than regular pasta.

  55. Angela says:

    I buy our food groceries almost exclusively at TJ’s. I’m lucky to be in Southern California where we have many locations to choose from. When my husband used to work weekends, I would make spaghetti for myself–Just Sauce Turkey Bolognese with whole wheat pasta, a bunch of grated parm and fresh ground black pepper.

    I love their hand cream!! It’s so rich but not greasy.

    I’m addicted to their Handful of Olives. I tried buying a similar item at Costco and it just isn’t the same.

    And, I love using their slightly sweet walnuts in salads.

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