Trader Joe’s is a magical unicorn of a shopping experience, but there is a lot going on so it can be hard to navigate. I shop there about once a month and after I wrote about our weekly shopping list, I got a lot of requests for a full post on what to buy at Trader Joe’s so here we are!
The first rule of Trader Joe’s is to never go there hungry. They have too many amazing snack options and you will overshop, it’s just a fact of life. Start with produce and work your way around the outside of the store. End with the frozen section. I find that I end up buying too much prepared frozen food if I head that way first. A fun rule that I made for myself is to try one new product every time I go in. That’s how I’ve discovered much of the list below.
Trader Joe’s carries so many beautiful and affordable flowers, and I’ve personally never found such a great collection at such a low price point anywhere else. Their roses are beautiful, and I always stock up on tulips in the spring and hydrangeas in the summer. My go-to purchase, however, is Eucalyptus which I put in a big ginger jar on my kitchen table. You seriously can’t beat the prices and the flowers usually last for a surprisingly long time.
Shaved Brussels sprouts: I use them in this 20-minute recipe.
Sweet potato ribbons: Great for this recipe
Cruciferous crunch salad mix: I top this with a simple vinaigrette and grilled chicken or shrimp for a quick and easy dinner.
Mediterranian style salad kit: I make this for lunch a lot and serve it with a side of hummus.
Organic spinach: I put this in my smoothies and these muffins.
Carrot ginger miso salad dressing: This dressing is so so good. I love it on a crunchy salad or a brown rice bowl.
Green goddess dressing: Same as above.
– Bamba: Our pediatrician recommended giving these to Amalia for her first peanut experience, so I went and bought them the next day. I ate an entire bag on my drive home, oops! My whole family has an unhealthy obsession with Bamba.
– Peanut butter filled pretzels: Just yum.
– Soy and flaxseed tortilla chips: Serve them with the salsa below. Perfectly crunchy and salty.
– Salsa autentica: Find a better store-bought salsa out there and I’ll give you $1 million… OK maybe not but this one is hard to beat. I am truly addicted.
– Mini rice crackers, multiseed with tamari: These are my favorite crackers of all time. I use them for eating hummus.
– Freeze-dried fuji apple slices: Amalia loves these for snacking on in the car.
– Salt & pepper pistachios: Anel goes through a bag of these a week so I stock up whenever I can. They’re a super flavorful and filling afternoon snack.
– Thai lime & chili cashews: I prefer these because they’re a little sweet, a little salty, a little spicy, and a great snack option that’s a little different.
– Organic dried Turkish apricots: We eat these with peanut butter for dessert.
– Organic fruit wraps (found at checkout): Amalia likes these for an after-lunch dessert/snack. They’re all organic and have no added sugar which I love.
– Goat milk: They sell Amalia’s goat milk at a lower price than other stores, so I always stock up when I shop at TJ’s.
– Goat’s milk yogurt: I mix this yogurt with fresh fruit or applesauce for a snack for Amalia.
– Organic buffalo style hummus (this review says it all): It is so good. Just trust me and buy it. I love most of their hummus options, but this new flavor is a current favorite.
– Vegan kale cashew and basil pesto: It’s hard to find dairy-free pesto that actually tastes good, but this one does the job. I put it on pasta and in salad dressings.
– Goat’s milk creamy cheese: Amalia and I like this on toast. I put avocado on top of it for me.
– Organic string cheese: Great for packing in a lunch box.
– Everything but the bagel seasoning: I put this spice blend on everything (pun intended) from scrambled eggs to avocado toast to brown rice to baked chicken.
– Chili-lime seasoning blend: I love this tangy, slightly spicy blend for fish or on my chicken taco bowls.
These are my personal favorites but Delish tried and ranked every single frozen meal at TJs and listed them here which has given me some ideas for new products to try.
– Organic brown rice packets: This is probably my favorite and most-used Trader Joe’s product of them all. The individual-sized bags of brown rice heat up in only three minutes. I just mix it with some olive oil or ghee and salt and then top it with whatever I’m feeling. A few of my favorite rice bowls are this peanut sauce rice bowl and this honey teriyaki chicken bowl.- – –– Organic riced cauliflower: I like to buy the fresh packs better but I always have a frozen one on hand because they last so much longer.
– Organic wild blueberries
– Organic chopped spinach
– Indian food: Vegetable biryani, chicken tikka masala, veggie samosas, butter chicken, and garlic naan: Anel is in charge of dinner on Thursday nights and he started the “tradition” of making Trader Joe’s frozen Indian first. At first, I thought it was a major cop-out out but now I look forward to it every week because it’s so delicious!
– Mandarin orange chicken: Great over brown rice and cheaper than takeout for those nights when you have no time to cook.
– Sprouted grain sourdough bread: TJs has a surprisingly good bread section. Their gluten-free bread is pretty great for toast too. I personally like the sprouted grain sourdough.
– Matcha green tea powder: I love that these come in single-serve packets so I can easily make my once-a-week matcha latte with almond milk at home.
– Reusable kitchen cloths: I wrote about another brand of kitchen cloths lately, and some of you told me that TJ’s carries them too! I think they’re $2.50 and you can use them over and over again. It saves the waste of paper towels.
– Speculoos cookie butter: Don’t buy this unless you want to eat the whole jar in a matter of days. I buy it when I’m on my period (TMI?) and put it on a banana.
So those are my Trader Joe’s go-to’s! What am I missing on my list that I have to try next? FYI didn’t include non-frozen meat or fish because I don’t like to buy it there (I had more than one bad experience and gave up).
I have no affiliation with Trader Joe’s except that I’m a big fan!