My Trader Joe’s Essentials

Happy Friday my little spring chickens!

I hope everyone enjoyed their first day of SPRING yesterday…well, unless you areΒ Arman or Jan and happen to live in Alice’s Wonderland of Confusion. I know I learned it in school, but it’s still so hard to wrap my head around the fact that the seasons in Kangarooland are completely opposite!Β Anyway…um, how is it that the majority of my intros have to do with the weather??

So, after the shopping EXTRAVAGANZA that went down last Saturday with Melissa, I ended up with quite the grocery haul and thought I’d share some of it with you guys today because 1. I know there are plenty of people out there in blogworld who are just as nosey as me and 2. it’s Friday and Friday’s aren’t suited for anything that causes me to think too much!

Trader Joe's Grocery Haul

Clockwise from the bacon (because duh, you ALWAYS begin with bacon):
Fully Cooked Nitrate-Free Bacon
Bite-Size Everything Crackers
Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin “British” Muffins (well don’t we just think we’re fancy?)
Reduced Carb Whole Wheat Tortillas
Raisin & Rosemary Crisps (basically Raincoast Crisps for a FRACTION of the price!)
Mediterranean Greek Yogurt Dip (impulse buy, Melissa made me do it!)
Spinach, Fontina & Roasted Garlic Chicken sausage
Assorted cheeses
Unsweetened Organic Applesauce
Creamy & Crunchy Unsalted Roasted Almond Butter
Freeze-Dried Strawberries
Light Coconut Milk x 2
Frozen Chopped Spinach x 2 (unpictured)

TOTAL COST: $64.45

Trader Joe's Cheese

Let it be known that I still have a drawer OVERFLOWING with cheese from my trip to Atlanta AND my ladies’ wine night, but hell, how could I say no to:

PESTO Gouda and
Toscana soaked in SYRAH?!?!

My point EXACTLY!

Now I’d like to remind you guys that Trader Joe’s is a good hour drive from Casa de Broccoli so obviously I’m given a pass on the food hoarding here I thought I’d highlight a few of my “essential items” ie, the ones I ALWAYS pick up when I make a trip out!

Trader Joe's Bacon

Again starting with bacon because…say it with me class:


Especially when it’s of the fully cooked variety which translates into actually being able to enjoy it without having to con someone into coming over and cooking it for me. Anyone else out there totally get skeeved out by the sight of raw bacon? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Trader Joe's Almond Butter

Next up: Unsalted Almond Butter

I love…let me repeat, LOVE making my own nut butter (especially when it tastes like candy), but when it comes to processing almonds? Well, I’m lazy…and I worry can’t help but worry that I’m going to kill my food processor before I actually have anything that resembles a spread. Solution? Let Joe do it for you! I only care for the taste of the roasted almond butter…which it seems they’ve just started carrying in plastic jars instead of glass…meaning there will be no HOT oats in a jar when these babies are on their last leg (I’d rather not eat plastic particles), but STILL, you can’t beat $6.99 a pop!

Trader Joe's Applesauce

And then there was: Unsweetened Organic Applesauce

I do my best to buy organic when I can, but long gone are the days of feeling physical GUILT over buying conventional when it’s either a. the only thing available or b. saves me from having to carve out a kidney in the middle of the produce department in order to pay for it. I mean, buying conventional spinach is still better than buying a bag of potato chips, right? Glad we had this talk.

All that to say that APPLES are the one thingΒ I try to always purchase organic since they are known to contain the most pesticides. So when I’m looking to buy appleSAUCE, it’s important to me to look for organic. And due to personal preference (and since I bake/make pancakes with it), it’s also important to me to look for the unsweetened kind. Basically, Trader Joe’s sells a jar that’s about $2 less than what I can find here…at the ONE store in my po-dunk town that actually sells it!

Trader Joes's Whole Wheat Tortillas

And last but not least: Reduced Carb Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas

Now back in my calorie counting days, these babies were absolute gold clocking in at only 45 calories each (how sad that I remember that without having to look at the package?), but beyond that, I think these are some of the best tortillas out there…not dry and flaky and they don’t break/tear as easily as a lot of other whole wheat versions I’ve tried in the past. They’re also myΒ go-to for breakfast pizzas and fish tacos! πŸ˜€

What are your MUST HAVES from Trader Joe’s?

If you’ve never been to TJ’s, what are a few of your go-to items from your favorite local grocer?

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48 Responses to My Trader Joe’s Essentials

  1. I totally still eat oats in a plastic jar….(embarrassed)

  2. Love all these TJ’s finds! I’ve only been to TJ’s once and that’s only because we don’t have a store that is very close by to where we live. I loved it there when I went though. I was amazed at how good the prices were!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Oh yeah, you definitely can’t beat the prices! And I love how they mix things up with the seasons…since I don’t go but every couple of months or so, it always feels like a treasure hunt when I’m in there! Ha!

  3. I swear, the first time I see a Trader Joe’s I will be RUNNING inside without a care in the world. Except, you know, to pick up some of these gems. πŸ™‚

  4. I was at Trader Joe’s last night and I think my purchases were about the same as yours except for like 3 things, kinda funny. We both must have excellent taste, happy Friday!!

  5. Those Crisps are this shizz. Especially with cheese. They taste just like the super expensive ones at Whole Paycheck!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      I KNOW! You’re the one who told me about them…I had to hunt them down specifically since I’m still on a huge cheese and crackers kick! Lol

  6. Well let’s discuss what I picked up at TJs in NYC last weekend:
    -unshelled pistachios (so much cheaper!!!)
    -thai cashews
    -almond meal (also so much cheaper!)
    -cashew meal (Say whaaaat?)
    -dark chocolate sea salt almond
    -sun dried tomatoes

    Things I would have bought if I was checking a bag:
    -almond butttah
    -almond milk (they have the best!)
    -coconut oil spray
    -jalapeno chicken sausage
    -packaged tempeh
    -edamame hummus

    oh man the list could go on…can you tell I have a thing for nuts?

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      That’s what she said!! Ha, sorry…couldn’t resist!

      Those sun-dried tomatoes are the best! I love that they’re not super hard and all dried up but also not swimming in a pool of oil…that seems to be the only thing I can find around here! I refrained from buying any chocolate (since I seem to have started quite the collection in recent months), but I was THISCLOSE to buying those chocolate caramel wedges when I was checking out! Have you tried them? They sounded great!

  7. I love those tortillas!! Man, I LOVE TJ’s! Their peanut butter is the BEST in my opinion. I’m so glad we have one in Richmond!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      I used to be addicted to their Valencia peanut butter…I’m still mad that it never made it’s way back to the shelves after that recall a couple years ago! Boo!

  8. I just died at “spring chickens”. Sooo making that my new greeting.

  9. Shannon says:

    Trader Joes is God’s gift to foodies. I was very disappointed they discontinued the Almond Milk Smoothie.. I would walk out with a minimum of five of them. But the cocoa coffee is my newest addiction πŸ™‚

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Oh, I never saw the almond milk smoothie, but I actually had my hands on that cocoa coffee! Sounds like I need to add it to the list for my next trip! πŸ˜€

    So I’ve only been once, but the things that I remember buying are: Cat cookies, cookie butter, caramel and black sea salt dark chocolate bar…triple layered hummus of some sort…and Greek yogurt? I know there was more, but clearly the cookies, cookie butter and chocolate and the most memorable.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Oh yeah, TJ’s knows their cookies FOR SURE! I’m still mad at myself for not buying the popcorn chocolate chip cookies they had about a year ago! And I’m not a huge fan of red pepper hummus (I think I OD’d on it when I first discovered the world of mashed chickpeas) but I lovvvvvvvve their horseradish and Mediterranean hummuses (hummi?) πŸ˜‰

  11. Curse you, Canada, for not having TJs. But you know what’s even worse? In all the trips I’ve taken down to the States over the years, I never managed to make it in to TJs. I’ve been to Whole Foods plenty of times, and I literally DROVE PAST TJs without going in. Ugh. I know. I’m ashamed of me too 😳

  12. Kate says:

    I am headed there in about an hour! So excited :))

  13. The closest TJ is about 50 miles away from me. I have the same problem with Whole Foods. Sometimes I get lucky and find a nifty thing or two at TJMaxx or Marshalls. There is a clearance center that sells scratch and dent products and they often get food from these places. So, I get lucky sometimes. Boo on living in a rural area. Yah on being able to move after hubs graduates , completes his clinical’s and passes his boards!

    Now that I see your wonderful selection of cheese, we are having a party, right? I’ll even bring some of the best local made wine πŸ˜‰

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Girl, I’m ALWAYS down to party with cheese and wine! C’mon overrrrrr! And when you get here, we can drive around to TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Tuesday Morning, and Big Lots hunting for foodie gems! Haha!

  14. I don’t think I’ve seen those tortillas before but that sounds interesting. Although I try not to eat wheat unless it’s sprouted so I doubt I’ll be getting those. But yeah I feel ya on remembering calorie count on stuff even when we don’t really look now… hah, it stays with you I guess.

  15. We have some similar items! πŸ™‚

  16. jeri says:

    As a New Yorker, I depend on public transportation, so I have to consider the weight factor. I know I’m going to buy a bottle or two of the three buck Chuck, so I fill up the rest of my bag with cheese, coffee and flowers. TJs always has the nicest flowers at a really great price.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      I’ve STILL yet to get my hands on some of that wine! Our grocery stores here don’t sell liquor and the last one I was at out of state was sold out! #fail

      I should totally buy some flowers next time I’m there! It’s be forever since I’ve had fresh flowers in the house!

  17. I feel ya on having to stock up on the essentials… the closest TJ’s to me is an hour & a half drive! It sucks. When I go I stock up on their raw crunchy almond butter (got two jars last week & almost done with one) – soooo good & the price is killer! I also stock-up on their coconut oil (2 jars), coconut oil spray, raw nuts, & balsamic vinegar. I used to hate TJ’s, but now that I see some of the prices on certain things – such a deal!

  18. PESTO GOUDA?! Okay, I am SOLD…”runs to buy!”

  19. Jalapeno chicken sausages, chile lime chicken burgers, ALL THE CHEESE, and a bunch of other fun stuff pre-gluten free.

  20. Sarah Pie says:

    You have no idea how confused I was last weekend when I was looking for my almond butter… took me a good 3 minutes to figure out that they had changed the jar. Besides almond butter I always stock up on flax seed tortilla chips and pub cheese… though I’ve been trying to cut back on the pub cheese πŸ˜‰

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Mmmm, pub cheese? I swear, that cheese wall is so expansive…I’ve never even seen that stuff! But after Googling, I’m thinking it needs to be added to the list for next time! πŸ˜‰ And girl, don’t feel bad…I was JUST as confused about the AB! Ha!

  21. Trader Joe Racism.

    Hell, I’d be happy with one of your SUPERMARKETS!!! That pesto gouda…cheese and pesto having an affair. Genius.

    The cheapest almond butter here is around $10 for a TINY jar. TINY. Fail, Australia. On all accords.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Holy hell! Well you better be sure to stock up when you come visit huh? Or better yet, just move here instead! All us bloggers can form a little commune INSIDE a Trader Joe’s! It’ll be fun…and we’ll never go hungry! Just be sure to bring the Vegemite! πŸ˜‰

  22. Dude you are killing me here. Why don’t we have TJs in Canada? Why?!?

    I’m glad I at least get the chance to make a trip to a TJs once a year though. My fave products are coconut chips, coconut oil spray, and pumpkin butter!

  23. Pesto Gouda! Rosemary Crisps! Good god woman! Are you trying to give me a heart attack?!

    Confession: I am a master bacon cooker…for real, I get them perfectly crispy without being overdone or too fatty. Yep, your vegetarian friend can cook bacon like nobody’s business.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      WHAT?! How did I not know this?? That’s it, next visit, we’re making cheesy BLT’S…don’t worry, I’ll eat your portion of the bacon! Lol

  24. Ashley says:

    We FINALLY got Trader Joes in CO though they’re still an hour’s drive from me too and I’m about to move to another TJs-less state but I love their raw almond butter and their kale chips and their dried persimmons. Those things are crazy addictive and so cheap!

  25. Tracy says:

    Trader Joes has the best dark chocolate covered almonds. Otherwise, we always get our sweeet potatoes and bananas from there. Their bags of different nuts are also pretty cheap. I’m so glad we have one near us! I’ve also heard they carry ginger chews – something I’ve been wanting to try.

  26. I have a true obsession with TJs, and 85% of my grocery shopping is done there. The best combo? The raisin rosemary crackers + brie. Yeah. Sex on a freakin’ plate.

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