It has been quite awhile since we made a favorites list from Trader Joes. I was always so envious of everyone who had one near them. Now I have one and would love to know your new or oldfavorites.
Bagged Spinach SaladBagged mixed greens (kale, turnip greens, collards)Flaxseed & Almond barsCranberry Walnut TarteChocolate Peanut Butter cupsOlive Oil (cheapest in town!)Frozen salmon steaks (when they have them!)Fresh flower bouquets & potted herbs & orchids (cheap!)
I love TJ's too but we live an hour away so I don't buy much produce. And we eat weird and I cook so that refelects what I buy from there. Ingredients, mostly.
Nuts- raw cashews, almonds and walnutsTurkey BaconGnocchi on the shelf- nice to have some in the pantrysmoked oysters- only place I can find them in olive oil and not cottonseed
natural unsalted peanut buttermahi mahi pieces- LOVE theseAhi Tunafrozen garlic naan breadfrozen thai shrimp potstickersred peppers- always good pricesmushroomstofuvarious cheesesmultigrain savory thins- my main go to crackerRicesBoxed Beef brothwine
Many other things are good, meats, but I usually buy loss leaders at the local stores. And I buy dairy and flours locally.
Trader Joe's Favorites
Another Trader Joe's Favorite
What do you like at Trader Joe's?
Trader Joe's 44 Favorites List
BB, no TJs here (yet), but we used to stop at one in Indy on the way to visit my mom (she lived 2 hours from Indy). I bought produce and frozen items. They traveled fine in that time. Shopped at the one in Athens, GA couple months ago and bought cheese and fresh fennel. Good cooler kept them cold for 9 hours.
It's not that Natal, I have a cooler with me, but I only go once a month but bananas only keep a few days.But I do not like that much of the produce is wrapped too, I won't buy asparagus or okra wrapped ever.
When I lived two miles from TJs I shopped there all the time. Now that I am nine miles away (in either direction) it seemd to be just too far - LOL!!
I love TJ chocolate chips. They are bigger and richer than Nestle, plus they are made in a nut-free facility. We don't have nut allergies but lots of friends do so it is nice to be safe. I also stock up on wine when I stop there.
Which olive oil do you like? I have tried one (I can't remember which one) and wasn't happy with it at all.
The candy in the freezer section is good too. All of those chocolate-covered whatevers - mmmmm! And DH loves the Mochi Japanese Ice cream. I think it is strange.
BB reminded me about the nuts! Yes dh love the walnuts that come in zip loc type bags. Good price on those too.
My sis loves the black tea that's sold in a large plastic jug. The unsweetened one with the yellow cap. She's very, very picky about iced tea, & she drinks this stuff daily now. Must be good!
I just tried their frozen chicken tikka masala and it was delicious.
Here is what we love:
Kerrygold Irish butter (this is what we spread on things, I keep it in a butter bell)regular butter for bakingpasteurized heavy cream (not ultra pasteurized, has a cleaner flavor)half n halfsprouted tofusoyrizo (vegan chorizo, great with eggs, kale and potatoes)bagged salads and greens
baby jazz applescreimini mushrooms (best price)vanilla hemp milk (makes a good vegan ice cream)gluten free oats (by far the best price around)Envirokidz cerealsjalapeno cilantro hummus, not a lot of heat, but silky smooth and light
frozen spinachfrozen roasted cornfrozen garlic, basil and cilantro (in little cubes, Dorot brand, great for when my frozen garden stuff is gone)frozen french green beansfrozen fruit, best prices around, especially love the black raspberries when they have them
olive oilcoconut oil (just started carrying this, organic, in a glass jar and only $6 for 16 oz)grapeseed oilgluten free pastagluten free mac and cheese (I detest mac and cheese but the kids like it)starter Toscana sauce (for the too tired to cook days, makes a decent pizza sauce too)light coconut milk ($1/can)canned pineapple (excellent flavor)nuts, especially love the sesame cashews and the chili lime cashewsalmond mealdried fruits, orange flavored cranberries, berry medleys, dried mango, dried cherries, etc.almond butter, best price in town, they have raw and roasted (we do not care for their peanut butter though)reduced sugar jam
white cheddar puffs (their version of pirate's booty for a much better price)the french orange blossom hand soap is lovelycastile soapbuffalo mozzarella, when I want a treatchevreValrhona dark chocolate bars (for snacking)Pound plus dark chocolate (I use this for baking)JoeJoe's (what an Oreo wishes it tastes like, the Candy Cane ones at Christmas time are especially good)Pomegranate juice (excellent price in the juice aisle)My son loves the omega-3 carrot pineapple juice, I admittedly have not had enough courage to try it yet
Most of their prepared items are good but only serve 2-3 which does not work for my family of 6. My mother did try their 4 cheese scalloped potatoes for Christmas and they were delicious. In the past we enjoyed the orange chicken in the freezer section.
Pita Bite Crackers - both versionsSavory Thin CrackersPirate's Booty White Cheddar (I can't eat popcorn so this is my replacement snack.)S'mashing S'mores candy...pop one in the microwave for a few seconds...heaven!I also like to browse the cheese section and try different varieties.
Tish, we still have a bag of the chili lime cashews from last visit. I didn't care for them. Did used to LOVE the lemon chile pistachios. So sad they stopped carrying them.
Lemongrass Chicken Sticks - frozenRoasted Corn - frozenChicken Chili Lime Burgers -- frozen-- these are SO GOOD and low in fat. I think they are best grilled.Garlic Olive OilThe frozen pizzas that are actually labeled as tarts - they have a mushroom one and I can't remember the other one -- they are delicious and much lighter than a normal pizza.Wine of course and their english toffee and peanut butter cups! Much more that I can't remember but this thread is making me want to run there this afternoon!
Oh, I wish I'd seen this list earlier! We just visited the one in Athens, GA, (Hi, Natal!), where our daughter lives, and didn't know what was special. We bought some great wine to give as gifts to family, but were otherwise at a loss. Now I know. I'll be back in Athens in the spring, so I'll make a list of these recommendations.
I literally just walked in the door from TJ's. We have one that is maybe a mile from my house. I need to go back and look at everyone else's lists, but some of our regulars from TJ include:
frozen pizzas -- my kids love them
sesame honey cashews -- dangerous because they are addictive
their bars that are like Nutrigrain bars -- I forget the name but it's something goofy and long, but they're a lot less $ than the Nutrigrain bars and my kids can't tell the difference
frozen bags of rice
Joe Joes (faux oreos)
I also love the iced tea in the big jug!
I am not a fan of their produce. And, although I usually do like their cheese selection and it is less expensive than the Whole Foods right across the street, I did buy some bad Brie at TJ's a few weeks ago.
I like to go there and stock up on things like the frozen pizzas, the Nutrigrain-type bars, and cereal (their prices are lower than anywhere else around here) rather than doing my regular grocery shopping there.
frozen cilantro chicken pot stickersfrozen mini chicken tacosfrozen mushroom cheese tart (pizza) YUM!cornbread mixtriple ginger cookiespita crackers - multi grain and plain
GEROLSTEINER mineral watermy toddler grandson loves the frozen organic mixed veggies (corn peas carrots and green beans). the carrots are cut in little strips instead of cubes and are more tasty.
I try to not buy produce that is wrapped there, too. So much stuff is over packaged. We have a great farmer's market as well as a good food coop that has superior produce.
I live about 20 miles from mine, but shop there weekly because I love it. Heck, pretty much everything is 20-some miles from me here in the mountains (LOL)!- Love their fresh flower bouquets.- great cards for only $1 each-Basil plants in Spring & Summer- Gourmet cheeses- hummus- Lox- their ready-made deli sandwiches are great if you have more errands to run and need a quick, healthful bite to eat- precooked, BBQ babyback ribs- bagged fresh arugula, spinach and baby greens- bagged(not the flat pkgs!) of orange cranberry scones are heavenly!- fresh pita bread- deli loaves of their Rosemary something bread- Veggie chips (like tortilla chips but more healthful)- Snap Pea Crisps (my kids love them!)- Tangerine juice: kind of pricey, but nice for special occasions- Greek yogurt- - Greenfin Chardonnay, a good "house wine" at $4/bottletheir green tins of Peppermint Hot Chocolate (DD loves them)- TJ's Organic Maple syrup- their organic honey- I think their cartons of beef and ckn broth taste too watered down, but I LOVE their Tomato & Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup- TJ's Italian Orecchiette pasta (imported from Italy)- Morning Star veggie & soy sausage patties & links- bags of frozen red, yellow & green bell pepper strips- bagged fzn roasted corn kernels- pear cinnamon cider- fzn individual Mexican quiche great for breakfasts!- wild mushroom flatbread (fzn)- fzn pizza with ham, onions and Gruyere(?) cheese (can't remember the name)- fzn appetizer with individual baby scallops in little wraps, kind of spicyand fantastic!- Tom Yam Soup (fzn). If you've ever eaten the wonderful Malay Coconut Soup at Jinja's Pacific Rim Restaurant, this is a very close cousin to it. I add cooked, shelled shrimp to mine and I can serve my favorite soup at home quickly and easily whenever I like.Lynn
This is so not fair! Sparsely populated NE. has a TJ's in both Lincoln and Omaha, two cities which are close to each other.
Not one in OK.
Lynn, I could use a cup of the Tangerine Juice!
Same here! According to TJ's website the first one is about to open in Florida.... 140 miles from here!
And how about TJ's square boxes of tissue? The sayings on the side never fail to make me laugh. I always keep one in my minivan.
There a TJs just a few miles from my house, but it's not on my way to work, so I don't go that often. When I do go, it's usually for wine or frozen appetizers when having a party. I still don't understand how they can sell some of the things they do so cheaply.
My list --Wine-Frozen tiramisu - I never bought it, but someone brought one to work for a party and it was really good.-They have a maple sandwich cookie once a year - around Thanksgiving I think - that is totally addicting. You can seriously eat an entire box in one sitting.
I LOVE those maple sandwich cookies Jill! You are so right.
Will have to look for the tissue!
Adding...bags of chopped frozen fruit for smoothies, & right now, TJ's Papaya Nectar is in the fridge to include in these concoctions. (DH whips those up, not me!)
Bumble - I just remembered them while typing my post and I cannot believe I forgot to go get some this Thanksgiving. Well, probably better that I didn't get any given everything I DID eat at Thanksgiving. But, so good.
Just a few favorites:
frozen cilantro chicken pot stickersDark Chocolate covered almondsJoe-joesOrichiette and other fancy pastas @ $1 /bagGravenstein apple sauceHot cerealsIsraeli couscousOlive oil popcornDog biscuits and chews - made in the USAGuacamole kit
Christmastime they had dark chocolate star cookies that were to die for...
Thai vegetable gyoza (Pot stickers)Fresh spinach dip (fpound near the produce)Pub chesse (horseradish cheddar)Vegetable fried riceVegetable egg rollsfrozen spinach artichoke dip (I find it salty bt the kids like it)7 bean dipLemn sherbert (Prresented in real lemons)All of the chocalted cover things!
I agree on a lot of these already posted:
Mini chicken tacosLemongrass chicken stix
Chili Lime Chicken Burgers
Mandarin Orange ChickenVegetable Egg rolls (one of my favorite dinners with brown rice)
Frozen macaroni and cheese, it is sooo creamy
Fresh cheeses like Kerrygold, but they seem to have quick expiration dates.
Smoked oysters in a can
Bananas always 39 cents/lb
Love their jams (esp. raspberry) and frozen polenta with spinach and carrots (to die for -throw a handful of Parmesan in after you cook it-yum!!!!!!) Second the frozen pepper strips and green beans. The bruschetta is great, but we drain much of the extra juice from it.
Oh, my gosh--it's so hard to think of everything that I love from Trader Joe's! There is just so much to love.
Mostly, we tend to buy staples--canned, jarred and dried goods that are far too expensive at Whole Foods:-jars of oil-cured sun-dried tomatoes-olive oil-pesto-canned beans-pasta-gnocchi-pasta sauce-dips/condiments (which we use to make pasta sauce... such as caponata)
We also love their frozen items:-fire-roasted corn (best on the planet!)-veggie mixes (again, the best that I've found--so useful for pastas, soups and stir fries)-convenience items (nice for when you don't feel like cooking)
Wine. Lots of wine. There are really nice $4 wines, and a $9 or $12 wine is going to taste fantastic.
Cleaning products:-there's a spray now called "Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness" (it used to be called "Trader Zen")... it's the best surface cleaner I have ever encountered, and it's scented with cedarwood....yum.-essential-oil based air fresheners
xantippe - is that cleaner all natural?
I love Trader Joe's but I wish they'd go all natural. I have to read labels there as not everything is all natural. But, the price difference between TJ and Whole Foods justifies the time to read the labels, I guess.
To add a few I haven't seen listed:
bags of frozen artichoke heartsbags of the frozen seafood mix ( I use both in my paella)Meyer lemon cookieschocolate yogurtThai shrimp gyozafrozen sweet potato fries"just a handful" of roasted almonds
Sometimes I take a pre-made salad for lunch.
Daily lurker for years here. Since our move from So. Calif. to upstate NY 8 years ago, its been a long time with no TJs. But, it has just been announced that TJs is coming to Colonie, near Albany, just 1/2 hour from me this spring!!! Happy Day!! I will spend hours reaquainting myself, as I've pretty much forgotten what I used to buy regularly, and I'm wondering if they still carry the self-extinguishing candles. They came in a box of 6 or 8.
Because of NY stupid liquor laws, no 2 Buck Chuck for us :-(
Never been over here on conversation side before!! Went once to TJ's but couldn't find the organic products I use - shop for everything across the street at Whole Foods - have to travel close to 50 miles total up and back weekly, but I'm inspired by all your lists to try them again to see what I can find....Penny
Penny, I, too, am disappointed at the lack of organics at TJ's. So many of the things I would like to buy there are not organic, or the organic veggies are wrapped in plastic. I think they've lost some of the plastic packaging in my town because people simply won't buy it - they'll go down the street to our excellent food coop, or 9 months of the year to the wonderful farmer's market we have.
Our TJ's is about a mile and a half from my house. So many of my favorites have already been mentioned, but I also love:
St. Andre's cheeseFrozen cilantro (in tiny cubes)Olive oil popcornJazz applesLemon ice cream with gingersnaps
Because of Maryland's liquor laws, no cheap wine here, either--alas.
Hey, Wantoretire, where near Colonie are you? DH grew up in Saratoga Springs!
We live in So. Cal., so have lots of TJs here (three in my town) so I'd really miss it if we moved! Many favorites, but the two things we by regularly are dried Montmorency cherries, and the 50% less salt mixed nuts. Yum!
Interesting that several people have mentioned that their TJs is right across the street from Whole Foods. That's the case for me too. Which came first for you? For me, it was Whole Foods. Several years before the TJs opened.
Is it TJs business/marketing strategy to open near/next to/across from Whole Foods? Let Whole Foods do all the leg work of figuring out the best markets?
Our Whole Foods was here first. We've had Trader Joe's for years but I can't remember when it first arrived. There aren't many in this area (Maryland) but we were fortunate to get one in my town. It's not across the street from Whole Foods though. In fact, a couple of years ago, Whole Foods moved from its original location to a new upscale shopping center and it's one of the larger ones now on the East Coast w/its own parking garage underneath.
I have a love/hate relationship with Whole Foods though. I don't shop there often b/c of the prices, especially knowing that I can get many of the same things much cheaper at TJ's. TJ's doesn't have the greatest produce though and while I do get some produce there, there are certain organic produce items that TJ's doesn't carry. The produce section at Whole Foods, while HUGE, is so horribly laid out that I can't find anything! Last time I was there, I was looking for organic red peppers and organic zucchini. I found red peppers in two different places but neither was organic. No organic zucchini either. It just seems like there is no rhyme or reason to how they have the produce organized and then the signs don't often match up with what is below it (is this regular or organic? where is the price for this item?). So last time, when I asked where the organic red pepper and zucchini was, the woman couldn't find any and then said they were out. So I asked when I could expect more in and her answer was, "It's up to the produce manager when he orders things." Are you kidding me???? The whole reason I came here was for the organic produce and you can't even give me an idea when it will be in? Ugh, I didn't say anything - just walked away I was so annoyed. I will say that I love their prepared foods section (of course, I'm biased b/c I know the woman/chef who is in charge but the food/selection is awesome).
Kristine, dh is from Cupertino up in the Silicon Valley. When we go visit MIL, we have 6-7 TJs to choose from within 3-10 miles of her house. Here, there is the one in my town, but there are only 7 in the whole state and the next closest one is about 25 miles away. And no wine here in Maryland. :(
Jill, our Virginia Beach TJ's opened a few years ago on the ritzy side of town, & Whole Foods is slated to open in 2013 just blocks away from where TJ's is. As I've said before on other food threads, if only Wegman's would get on board! I used to live in Lehigh Valley, PA where there were 3 Wegman's stores! Sure do miss W's.
I'm not that impressed with Whole Foods. Besides the prices, in the last week there have been four recalls. One for listeria, one for staph and the other two for undisclosed ingredients.
jillinnj, to answer your question about the cleaner, I just pulled out my bottle, and here are the ingredients:
water, cedarwood and clary sage essential oils, grain alcohol, natural surfactants, color
Hope that helps!
I'm surprised by the negative comments about Whole Foods. Ours has the absolute best produce. No comparison to any other store around. And, I find it easy to find the organic stuff. The signs are clearly marked, and I think they are even color coded (one background color for organic and a different for non-organic).
The prices are high, though.
Jill, same here. We do have a produce stand with good prices, but Whole Foods offers a wider selection.
kristine_ca - Small world department: We are in SS (Wilton)!!! I grew up in Oceanside, CA. There isn't enough $$$ to ever get me to move back to CA!! So looking forward to TJs this spring.
Too funny! Well, you couldn't pay me enough to leave CA, so it's good we're both where we want to be! Hope the new TJs has all your favorites when it opens.
In August Consumer Reports rated brownie mixes. Trader Joe's Brownie Truffle Mix at $2.99 a box and the Barefoot Contessa's Outrageous at $10. a box came in tops.
Unfortunately I haven't been able to find them when I stop inand I've had to console myself with chocolate pieces.
Just saw on our news yesterday that we are getting a Trader Joes later this year!!!! Well, in the big city near me - but that's where I work, so it should be fairly convenient for occasional visits! I will have to print out this list.
My city is also getting a Trader Joes's this year. There was dancing in the streets when the announcement was made. ;)
Unfortunately I haven't been able to find them...
Ha, ha! Now I am going to have to LOOK for them...Oh, No! That TJ's brownie sounds amazing & at a great price. Thanks! I think.
Speaking of brownies...
I always loved the Ghiradelli brownie mix (never made them but had them at a neighbor's house and asked her for recipe since they were so good and she told me they were this mix). Anyway, it turns out that I always liked boxed brownies better than my own because they were chewier and I love a chewy brownie. Then one day I came across this (link below). Cooks Illustrated set out to figure out why boxed brownies were better than home made and this recipe is what came out of that. If you like chewy brownies, these are really, really good.
I was so excited to find this because first I don't use boxed stuff for baking. Always make from scratch. And, second the Ghiradelli mix has articifial ingredients so even if I was going to buy one, it couldn't be that one.
Sorry for the hijcak, but you got me thinking about brownies.
Here is a link that might be useful: Chewy Brownies
Thanks for the link - I'll have to try that recipe.
The CR report said that the winners - Trader Joe's Truffle and Contessa's Outrageous were the only mixes in their test that had semisweet chocolate chips and used butter rather than oil. The said these brownies were dense, chewy and had an intense chocolate flavor.