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dlm2000

Time for an Update? Favorites from Trader Joe's &/or Costco

DLM2000-GW
4 years ago

I always look forward to these threads even though my waistline may not! But of course there are other items besides food so I'll justify it that way. Any new finds at either? And of course your standards as a refresher for those of us who forget or may not have participated in one of these threads before.


At Costco

TortillaLand uncooked flour tortillas - I slip a piece of parchment between about every 4,wrap & freeze unless my kids are here and then they are eaten long before they get moldy.

Organic sugar - takes me along time to go through the bag but prefer organic

Cranberry Orange scones - they're really not scones, more like muffin tops to me and large. I cut into triangles to portion out one or two with coffee in the morning, wrap and freeze most of the package.

Kirkland Organic olive oil - can't beat the price and it's very nice, use it all the time.

Ruta Maya organic whole bean coffee - I buy online. Comes in 5# bags which is overkill but use Weck or other clamp seal jars and keep them in a dark cupboard. REALLY good coffee.

Nina imported peeled Italian tomatoes - use them all the time in soups, sauces, pizza

Coleman organic whole chicken - I prefer whole but they have parts as well, great price


At Trader Joe's

Steamed baby beets - love them in salads

Greek apricot mango yogurt - I don't eat yogurt at all but this is one of DH's favorites

Corn and Chili salsa - I could eat it with a spoon but use it in salads, soups, mix with diced mango and black beans.... yum

Cotton dish towels - my favorites, perfect casual napkins, too (though no where near as classy as mtn's blackbirds!!)

Pastora med dry sherry - if you like sherry this is really lovely and dirt cheap

Cotes de Provence Rosé - have always been a rosé fan and now it's in again!

Contadino Pinot Grigio -

Cocobon red blend - I do buy things other than alcohol there - honest! - but you can tell I have no palate for fine wine - I'm a peasant

Dark chocolate wedges - in tins at the checkout - perfect portion control unless you're my DH


Next....



Comments (55)

  • Olychick
    4 years ago

    I don't use much bacon, but my grandson loves it for breakfast. I've been buying TJ's nitrate free, precooked bacon. It is SO good, not too fatty, not too salty. I heat it in the microwave on a paper towel, for about 1.5 - 2 min at 40-50% power and it's perfectly cooked and crispy. A great find, as I hate cooking bacon, esp. 3 pieces at a time on top of the stove. Not energy efficient to bake that few pieces at a time, so the micro is perfect.

    He also loves their mini cheese filled crackers. They're organic and lower sodium than other brands I've found. And he'd eat their frozen black bean taquitos every day, if I'd let him. I bake, not fry them.

    I love their organic Persian cukes. I was buying them even when I was getting all my other produce at the local farmer's market, because they're that good.

    The truffle Marcona almonds are a favorite - the rosemary ones are good, too.

    I am too lazy to rice cauliflower, so I buy TJ's frozen organic cauliflower rice. So easy and so good (and good for you)!

    It's not a TJ's brand (you can find it elsewhere) but I discovered Spindrift sparkling water there. It is the best unsweetened sparkling flavored water I've ever had. They only use a little bit of fruit juice to flavor it, so it has a few calories (less than 10 or15), but is so much better than waters that use fruit flavoring/oils. I esp like the orange/mango, lemon, grapefruit, and blackberry flavored.

    DLM2000-GW thanked Olychick
  • cooper8828
    4 years ago

    TJ's Ultimate vanilla wafers.

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  • runninginplace
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Sigh, we have one Trader Joes in this area and it's pretty much (literally) impossible to shop there on my schedule. it's on a major highway and located in the midst of an upscale area to boot, with a parking lot that is far too small; the only time I suppose one could actually get there is on weekdays but since I am not a SAH my only options are evenings and weekends and....there is no parking to be had. The neighboring businesses actually banded together to hire security to prevent overflow/sneak parking by TJ customers in their lots. So, not happening for this worker bee.

    Oh well I suppose it saves me money since I won't ever be able to buy some of the yummy stuff mentioned LOL

    DLM2000-GW thanked runninginplace
  • ks92
    4 years ago

    I'm 90 minutes to the nearest TJ and will plan trips around airport runs!!


    DLM2000-GW thanked ks92
  • Kitchenwitch111
    4 years ago

    I like TJ's frozen Asparagus Risotto. Microwaves in 5 minutes for a great side dish. There's a mushroom version too. The frozen chocolate croissants are also great but you have to plan ahead and remember to take them out to rise the night before baking.

    DLM2000-GW thanked Kitchenwitch111
  • DLM2000-GW
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    running that's just sad! I now have to travel 30 miles to get to TJ's so don't get there as often as before moving but would sure miss it so do what I have to do.

    CindyMac I wonder if the towels have changed? - mine are quite absorbent. Had to look up Zhoug Sauce but DH is one of those who hates the taste of cilantro so probably won't be trying it but we love any type of squash so will check out the honey nut variety for sure. Are these the towels you bought?

    crl that shawarma looks wonderful - on my list!

    oh cooper - vanilla cookies? yes please.

  • DLM2000-GW
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Kitchenwitch I've had both of those and agree they are wonderful!

  • deegw
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    TJ's Kung Pao Chicken. Our Asian restaurants aren't great. It is a good substitute for restaurant Asian.

    I also use their frozen brown rice. I have a terrible time cooking rice in our altitude. Three minutes, no spill overs, no gummy rice pan.

    We also use their frozen fire roasted onions and peppers for fajitas and sausage meals.

    I try to stay away from their sweets. Too many temptations!

    DLM2000-GW thanked deegw
  • Nothing Left to Say
    4 years ago

    FWIW, our Trader Joe’s is fairly uncrowded if you go when they open on Sunday mornings. That was true in SF too.

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  • lisaam
    4 years ago

    Orange muscat champagne vinegar. This and olive oil for a light fruity dressing.

    DLM2000-GW thanked lisaam
  • Olychick
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Oh, I forgot about the TJ's frozen Mushroom Medley. Is it yummy and easy to have on hand. I cook it according to the package, take it off the heat and add some plain greek yogurt (or sour cream would work) and serve it over their frozen cauliflower rice for a pretty low cal, no meat mushroom stroganoff.

    DLM2000-GW thanked Olychick
  • Fun2BHere
    4 years ago

    I like TJ's plain low fat Greek yogurt and romaine hearts. They have awesome prepared salads, too, that are $4 - $5, perfect for a grab-and-go lunch or dinner. This one is my absolute favorite. It's crunchy, sweet, salty goodness, but pretty decent nutritionally, especially if you only use half of the included dressing.



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  • chispa
    4 years ago

    TJ's always have parking lots that are way too small.

    DLM2000-GW thanked chispa
  • Olychick
    4 years ago

    I don't know if it's the same everywhere, but I think all Tj's I know of in my area were opened in previously built and vacant strip malls. I think those notoriously have less parking for the previous businesses than TJ's would usually need. But it's one of the reasons I like supporting them: reducing urban/suburban sprawl and breathing life into a dead space.

    DLM2000-GW thanked Olychick
  • lukkiirish
    4 years ago

    We don’t eat a lot of meat but the organic hamburger at Costco is second to none when you’re in the mood for an old fashioned hamburger! When we bbq, it’s first on the list.


    DLM2000-GW thanked lukkiirish
  • Annette Holbrook(z7a)
    4 years ago

    DH went gluten free a few years ago, so most of my pics are gluten free.

    Trader Joe’s-

    We love their GF Ginger cookies and Choc chip cookies.

    GF choc cupcakes with buttercream frosting.

    The Green Goddess dressing is great on grilled chicken as well as salad!

    DH loves the 3 berry juice mixed with a bit of Club soda or sparkling water.

    The low acid French Roast coffee

    The GF battered Halibut for some fish and chips(we ate these while watching 800 Words)

    The sprouted Ezekiel bread is my go to toast

    When DH is away I get the frozen Chicken Tika Misala or Butter chicken, yummy and low calorie


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  • dragonflywings42
    4 years ago

    I like the TJ store in our city as an interesting alternative, but I mostly avoid it because of the parking issue referenced above.

    DLM2000-GW thanked dragonflywings42
  • czarinalex
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    The closest TJ's to me in Pennsylvania is 50 miles away! But when I am in CA for the winter, I can almost walk to one.

    I always have a bag of their mandarin chicken and a box of jasmine box in my freezer for a quick meal. The frozen mac n cheese is a guilty pleasure comfort food. Love the Butter Almond Thins cookies. Green Goddess dressing.

    Non-food items - I love their pop up sponges and of course their flowers.

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  • Allison0704
    4 years ago

    TJs - Smores. Enough said. I also love their cauliflower rice.

    Costco - Late July, Sea Salt Multigrain chips.

    Not repeating others things already mentioned.


    DLM2000-GW thanked Allison0704
  • Springroz
    4 years ago

    We are gluten free, and can’t eat anything pre made anymore, due to DH’s allergies.....I must go to the same TJ’s as @runninginplace! At any rate, if I am near it, which is 75 miles from my house, I get:

    Organic sour cream- side- by -side taste tests proved this superior

    Uncured Brats

    Kerrygold butter

    Tuna for Cats- for cats

    Skipjack (I think) Tuna- for me

    Olive Oil

    Coconut Aminos

    DLM2000-GW thanked Springroz
  • eld6161
    4 years ago

    TJ's, Turkey Bolognese Sauce. If great to have on in in the freezer. I use one for 1/2 pound angel hair.


    Praline Pecans. These are fattening, so they are a super treat for me. I throw a few on my cottage cheese/apple breakfast.


    Orange Chicken. Again, great to keep in the freezer. We do not like the sauce that comes with it so we use our own sweet and sour and dip them rather than pour a sauce over them

    Coconut Shrimp. These are really good!


    The lentil soup in the refrigerated section. Also the split pea. I only buy when the date is really extended as I use it as a quick fill in meal.


    The dips: Haven't done them in a while but the spinach dip, yogurt and kale kip, hummus etc are all good.


    Vegetable Fried Rice. Comes in chicken and shrimp but we prefer the veggie version. Sometimes I add a scramble egg ad this can be a quick dinner for DH and I.


    Any of the chocolate covered anythings! Nuts, raisins etc.


    Costco


    The roasted chicken, of course. Getting one today.


    Chicken wrap. It's okay, not great but again fine for a quick meal.


    Dolce Vita Biscotti. Comes in a large container. Only eat two because they are high calorie! We have several container backed up downstairs. Everyone loves to open the lid and take a few.


    Tates Cookies or Walker's Shortbread, when in season.





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  • Mrs. S
    4 years ago

    Trader Joe's Green Tea Mints (at the checkout stands). Try to stop yourself.

    DLM2000-GW thanked Mrs. S
  • dees_1
    4 years ago

    I have to drive at least 100 miles to get to either of these stores so when we go, it's stock up time! I can think of so many things but these are staples.


    Trader Joes:

    Chocolate covered peanut butter filled pretzels (so good!)

    Haricort Vert (frozen)

    Roasted Corn (frozen)

    Frozen Mac N Cheese

    Frozen Palak Paneer

    Maple Syrup in the tall bottle

    Olive oil

    Tea Tree face wash


    Costco:

    Chocolate covered almonds or raisins.

    Chocolate macadamia nut caramel clusters (crack I tell ya!)

    Ground beef; really any of their meats

    Nina tomatoes

    Mushrooms!!!

    DLM2000-GW thanked dees_1
  • Mimou-GW
    4 years ago

    Costco gets their parchment paper in for holiday baking around this time every year. I stock up so I have enough to make it through until it becomes available again.

    DLM2000-GW thanked Mimou-GW
  • DLM2000-GW
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Mimou I'm right there with ya!! Use that parchment ALL the time!

    I have lists going for both stores and adding to them from your suggestions. I'm an hour from Costco in SC - they were supposed to be building one here and that was a draw in our move. Same with TJ's - they did build but it's 30 miles away. In one of the perversities of life there is a TJ's near the Costco but being SC they can't sell sherry :-/ so I still have to trek north of Asheville to the TJ's there. Yes, first world problems but compared to suburban Chicago with multiple choices for both and more..... still trying to adjust.

  • CindyMac
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    DLM, same towels.

    Our TJ’s is located in a former strip shopping center that was completely torn down and rebuilt. Parking generally isn’t an issue even though there are a number of other stores & restaurants in the center … Pier 1, Petco, Nadeau, Ruby Slipper, and a few others.

    Shopped there today and was so disappointed they were out of the Chicken Shawarma. I’ll keep looking for it. Did buy some beautiful organic red pears, Starkrimson. Hope they taste as good as they look.


    ETA: The pears are absolutely delicious! I ate 2 today. Going back for another bag.

    DLM2000-GW thanked CindyMac
  • mtnrdredux_gw
    4 years ago

    Their Chicken TikkaMasala/Butter Chicken is low-calorie?

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  • CindyMac
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I tried the Butter Chicken last week. Think it was less than 300 calories. Didn't really care for it.

    DLM2000-GW thanked CindyMac
  • just_terrilynn
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Lately we have been enjoying the Costco prepared spinach salad with the Costco rotisserie chicken thrown in. We also add Trader Joe's black berries, raspberries and strawberries to the salad. I use half the poppy seed dressing that comes with the salad and half balsamic vinaigrette.

    The only problem is that it's hard for the two of us to get through that humongous salad before it goes off. Luckily my son lives near.

    DLM2000-GW thanked just_terrilynn
  • gsciencechick
    4 years ago

    I haven't been to Trader Joe's in a few years. I generally avoid frozen entrees due to to sodium so I stopped going there. Also, like runninginplace, the TJ's closest to our house is in a similar type of strip mall where there is no parking and also near a greenway, and it is slammed all the time. The one uptown is near where I used to go for my women's group meetings, but since we are not there anymore, that one's not convenient either. I really don't have time during the school year to go anywhere that's not convenient.

    Our house is too small to make it worthwhile to do any warehouse clubs.

    DLM2000-GW thanked gsciencechick
  • cran
    4 years ago

    Our Trader Joes is next door to a Christmas Tree shop and the parking lot gets crazy, especially when the tour buses are dropping tourist off ! We enjoy many of the things that have been mentioned along with their blue cheese dressing in refrig section by the salad goods, also the frozen key lime pie is delicious. Usually I buy the kale mix and add it to our salads. I always have an orchid growing or in my Trader Joes cart to bring home. Thanks for all the suggestions.

    DLM2000-GW thanked cran
  • mtnrdredux_gw
    4 years ago

    Their Sweet Tango apples are back. Love these and they are hard to find. very crisp, gorgeous color, very juicy, a tad tart.

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  • Olychick
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I don't know if some of their produce is just sold regionally or not, but yesterday I picked up a bag of the most gorgeous organic red pears, called Starkrimson. They are grown in WA and Oregon, so not sure if they're shipped to TJ's other places. I'd never heard of the variety and they aren't quite ripe enough to eat, but were so beautiful I had to put them all in a bowl so I could enjoy looking at them. I looked up the variety and they get high marks for flavor and sweetness, so am anxious to try them.

  • Bluebell66
    4 years ago

    The triple cream brie at TJ's is delicious! I also really enjoy the popcorn with herbs and spices.

  • Gooster
    4 years ago

    I think the suppliers change depending on the regions for both chains, and Costco varies their mix even store by store. I have so many around me, it keeps the traffic down (except at one exceptionally bad location --- if only they went through their plans to build one a mile away).

    Aside from those things mentioned, the things falling in my cart include: DeCecco organic pasta (our italian friend was scandalized that one of the most preferred italian brands is available in warehouse packs), the house brand almond flour, and this time of year, an unending danger zone of pre-holiday treats. Oh, and wine selection and the one near my work is excellent. Spindrift (and San Pelligrino soda - wish they had the blood orange) is available at my preferred location.

    TJ's I like the channa masala, the fresh bruschetta mix, salsa especial and the babka (if fresh).

  • Bunny
    4 years ago

    Costco: I'm a sucker for white bath towels. It's the only color I use. A couple of years ago I picked up a couple of "Loft" bath towels for $8 each and they are the best towel ever, even better than RH. Last week I thought they had more of the Lofts, but they were just plain Charisma towels. Only $5.99 each, so how could I resist? Well, they are so thick and soft and fluffy I had to check their ingredients. Yep, 100% cotton. I mean, for $6, it's a total no-brainer.

  • Bunny
    4 years ago

    Bluebell, the triple cream brie and popcorn with herbs are two of my favorites. I don't think you can find a better brie without breaking the bank.

  • mayflowers
    4 years ago

    I'm making brownies right now with TJ's cocoa powder. When you do a side-by-side smell test with TJ's and Hershey's, you smell pure chocolate from the TJ's can. It's cheaper than Hershey's too.

  • CindyMac
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Olychick, I mentioned the pears above. They're incredible! Tender, juicy, flavorful sweetness! We went back yesterday and bought 2 more bags. Today's visit (yeah, 3 in one week) and they were all gone. I don't know if they'll get more, but I'll be keeping an eye out. Btw, I was going to let them get bright crimson red like the website suggested, but found it's not necessary. Deep crimson is perfect. Try one and see for yourself.

    ETA: I live in southeastern Louisiana.

  • Olychick
    4 years ago

    Thanks CindyMac, I didn't look back before I posted. I guess that's 2 votes for them! Glad to know they are not just available locally. Always a good thing for our organic growers! I'll go get another bag or two if they are still there.

  • Bunny
    4 years ago

    mayflowers, that's good to know. I used to make my very excellent (if I do say so myself) chocolate chip cookies with TJ's chocolate chips. Until I switched to Ghirardelli's and there's simply no comparison.

  • CindyMac
    4 years ago

    Crl and Kitchenwitch, thanks to you both for the heads up on Chicken Shawarma and Asparagus Risotto!

    Dinner tonight was totally Trader Joe's. I made a Tzatiki sauce with all TJ's ingredients and served the shawarma with Tj's frozen Naan, fresh Haricots Verts and frozen Asparagus Risotto. 2 thumbs up!

  • Bunny
    4 years ago

    I haven't tried the Chicken Shawarma yet, but will keep on the lookout for it. TJ's Carnitas (refrigerated cooked meat section) is also very good.

    One of my current favorites from TJ's is Roasted Potatoes with Peppers and Onions in the freezer section. Heat up in a frying pan, no added oil necessary. Just before they're done, I throw in some precooked Italian pork sausage (hot variety) from Whole Foods and have a quick meal. So delicious.

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    4 years ago

    Love all the San Pellegrino soda. I don't usually serve or drink soda, but for a party I will get those. Sooooo pretty. The graphics from some reason remind me of documents or postage stamps.

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    4 years ago

    Not a food or beverage, but I only recently discovered Trader Joe's lovely greeting cards - and they're only .99!

    I read that some people even frame them, they're so pretty.


  • lascatx
    4 years ago

    Another vote for the Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar here -- I don't even need olive oil with it and have used it straight on some of my salads. It has just a touch of sweetness and is mild enough that you can do that if you want -- especially with a salad tat has a protein and fruit in the summer.

    This time of year, butternut squash mac and cheese makes a brief appearance. It is better than the plain, I wish they had it year round. I am going to have to figure out a similar homemade version. It isn't something I eat very often, but it sure can hit the spot. My son always has the hatch mac and cheese in his freezer -- it's pretty good too. The butternut has a noticeable amount of black pepper, but neither should be too spicy for anyone not on a bland diet. IMO (in TX but not a total pepper head)

    My dogs love the pumpkin dog biscuits (and all the others too), but the oldest has been diagnosed with kidney disease and we are working on diet changes for them.

    If you see a little foil pouch with a red top near the checkout that is dark chocolate almond toffee bites, you might want to try one.

    Simple thing -- garlic and shallots. Better at TJ's than the grocery and we were getting CJ Ranch from Gilroy, CA garlic and we prefer that.

    Kalamata Olive Oil -- we just like the flavor.

    I am going to have to look for the pears. I bet I missed them if they are gone in Louisiana now.

    Costco -- always for meats, rotisserie chicken, organic unbleached flour, wine and fruit, vanilla beans this time of year, ciabatta rolls, and another vote for multi grain chips and the Charisma and no-name towels. I bought a bundle of the wash cloths to try as single use hand towels in my powder room -- almost too thick to put out as many as I would like at once, but playing with the fold/roll options.

    If you have't tried one, I'll make a plug for the Amope foot file and the deals they have at Costco (bundle and sometimes a coupon special), The new wet/dry one is a drastic improvement -- never used it wet, but love the two speeds and the fact that it doesn't eat up disposable batteries.

    Hard to remember what we have been buying there -- the other things that come to mind are the office supplies, kitchen organizers and things we have gotten for the son who graduated and just started teaching. And tires for my car.

    Oh -- for your own car or a holiday gift -- this

    https://www.costco.com/Lithium-Jump-Starter-Portable-Power-Bank-with-Brush-Metal-Finish.product.100383979.html 

  • Peppapoodle
    4 years ago

    We just got a Trader Joe's &I I used many suggestions from this thread!! Thank you!

    I also like their little tin candles. It's honey crisp apple now.

    Wish I had gotten the cocoa powder, but had just bought a Hershey's. We've been using the "everything but the bagel" seasoning &I love it. I roasted some cauliflower with it & olive oil/it was very good. I also bought the frozen roasted cauliflower &hope it's good!

    Costco- I bought many things while building there also-hansgrohe faucets, instant hot water dispensers, garbage disposals, led recessed lights, bulbs, batteries, etc.. Also, get 2% cash back. I've gotten garland with lights for Christmas & if the lights go out--they will take them back.

    If you are a keto person, the Parmesan crisps are a life saver & so good! Vidalia onions, strawberries, blueberries, spinach, portobello mushrooms. Second the olive oil.

    I like Costco as a company, as well. They treat their employees well -cashiers that have been there are making 70k, great benefits, 2 weeks paid vacation starting out.

  • lovemrmewey
    4 years ago

    Peppapoodle, Costco is my favorite store! Like seeing the same employees, great Christmas decor, fruits and vegetables, can't think of anything I don't like! TJ's opened 1/2 mile from me a week ago. People were in line before 4:00AM for opening day! Store was planned for 4 years before opening and after reading all your favorites, my head is swimming!

  • PRO
    Lars/J. Robert Scott
    4 years ago

    For my new diet, I have to drink a lot of protein drinks, and TJ's sells the Pure Protein brand, which is very good - very high ratio of protein to calories. They also have a very good selection of protein powders, which I have been added to food and drinks so that I can reach my protein goal without exceeding my calorie limitation. I now have to avoid many things I used to buy there.

    I hate the Costco stores here because it is impossible to park. There are always people circling the parking lots waiting for someone to leave, as that is the only way to get a parking space. I've only been inside Costco twice, and I never bought anything there. I much prefer smaller stores.