Trader Joe’s Hall of Fame

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What’s not to love about Trader Joe’s? Fun, friendly, affordable, and full of innovative foods, a trip to TJ’s is *almost* as fun as a trip to Target in my book. For awhile there, we found ourselves in the black hole that is Whole Foods and thinking that everything on our list needed to be the best/most local/most organic version of it. Well guess where that mentality lands you? In the poor house. Don’t get me wrong, we still go to Whole Foods for a lot of our shopping but one of the ways we’ve been cutting back on our grocery bill is by STARTING at Trader’s to get everything we can possibly get there and then heading to Whole to get whatever can only come from there. It’s made me realize how great TJ’s is and how much we can accomplish without spending $350 on a weekly run (eye roll). I thought why not share my Trader Joe’s top picks with you guys? I should preface that this roundup doesn’t exactly depict what I buy every time I go. A lot of these items are the fun snacks/treats I love there and I usually pick a few of them to throw in on top of the more regular grocery items. I obviously didn’t need to include things like almond milk, avocados, and kale in this roundup (even though I love their bags of cut kale, if only they would remove the stems first – grr). So here goes!

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Mini Croissants – They take a little planning ahead because they have to sit out overnight, but these are so delicious and perfect if you have guests for breakfast!

Chocolate Coconut Almonds – Like mini Almond Joy’s (but with dark chocolate), these are my FAVORITE less-guilt chocolate treats. A small handful after dinner makes a great “something sweet” we often crave without indulging too much.

Kenya AA Coffee – I read somewhere that this was a coffee snob friendly coffee at Trader’s and I have to say, while it’s no Canyon Coffee or Modern Times (our snobby faves), it’s really NOT bad and nice to have a $7 option!

Everything But The Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend – This has been my jam lately on avocado toast.

Gently Gingered Kombucha – TJ’s also now sells my favorite Health Ade kombucha, but this is their own brand and it’s way cheaper and quite nice.

Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage – the best of their chicken sausages! It’s sweet and Sailor loves it too.

Coconut Creamer – I like to have a nondairy creamer around for when I’m not in the mood for black coffee and this one is really good.

Flowers – Probably my favorite thing to buy at TJ’s. They can be hit or miss depending on the season but if you follow me on Instagram then you know I make a sport out of finding the best, usually neutral monochromatic flowers there.

Coconut Strips – Such a good healthy sweet snack.

Tempting Trek Mix – My favorite of the pre-portioned trail mix options because of one thing: peanut butter chips!

Applesauce Packets – Sailor loves these and always has to break into the box while we’re still combing the aisles. I like that they have some flavors with vegetables mixed in (ie. the carrot one).

Seaweed Snacks – Another one of Sailor’s favorite snacks!

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Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burgers – a little spicy so these definitely speak my language. They are so good!

Chile Lime Seasoning Blend – I started using it on the rim of a margarita!

Frozen Brown Rice – These help make quick and easy dinners with some sauteed kale and an over medium egg.

Roasted Plantain Chips – My favorite for dipping into the next 2 items…

Avocado’s Number Guacamole – They come with a few individual packaged servings so it doesn’t go bad like when opening a bigger container of it that you don’t plan to finish it one sitting.

Artichoke & Jalapeño Dip – Honestly probably my #1 favorite food item at Trader Joe’s! It’s just so good.

Multigrain Pita Bite Crackers – They taste great with all the cheeses, and can kind of work for dipping as well.

Port Salut Cheese – Recently learned about this and it’s just beyond delish on crackers! It’s like a more flavorful, softer havarti.

Italian Truffle Cheese – Need I say more?

Spinach & Kale Bites – These make great snacks or meal additions for Sailor and a dinner appetizer for me while I’m feeding her dinner.

Cilantro and Jalapeño Hummus – All their hummuses are great but this one is my favorite right now.

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Half Moon Cookies – These honestly taste like the real NYC treat. I need to not make a habbit of buying them.

Dried Cherries – Sailor loves to munch on these in a snack cup when we’re on the go. A good mess free snack.

Just Mango Slices – These were my favorite healthy snack when I did Whole30 many moons ago. As you can imagine, I ate way too much of them and then felt sick which is one of the reasons Whole30 wasn’t a good match for me.

Favorite chocolate treats: PB &J Milk Chocolate Bar, Dark Chocolate With Caramel and Black Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate With Speculoos Cookie Spread, Golden Spiced Milk Chocolate Bar, Sponge Candy – I always refrigerate the dark chocolate, and keep the milk chocolate at room temp.

I’d love to know what you love too, so leave a comment and open my eyes to some new things to try!

Photography by Ashley Burns

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  1. Their spicy smoked salmon is awesome! I make special TJ trips for it. My new favorite is their yuzu hot sauce. It’s perfect on so many things, but especially eggs and avocado!

    1. thelifestyled 07/13/2017

      OMG I’ve never even seen those two items there but they sound right up my alley!

  2. Mary Jo Bishop 07/13/2017 Reply

    Oh so many favorites!! I for sure have to try some of yours Catherine!
    The honey goat cheese is about half the price of any goat cheese at our local grocery store and amazing with the honey blended in. I like to top it with TJ honey, their dried cherry/raisin blend, and the honey roasted sliced almonds. This is a huge favorite appetizer for any party. And those honey roasted almonds are amazing on any salad or stir fry!
    Then head to the frozen appetizer aisle for birds nests, gyoza, and shrimp toast, so fabulous! Often on Friday nights we just have “appetizer night” for dinner. Super yummy super easy!
    Trader Joe’s is our favorite!!

  3. I bought the chocolate coconut almonds today and my husband and I are in love with them!! They are so good!! The dark chocolate almond cookies are good too. Their Mediterranean hummus is super good! It’s our go to hummus! Thanks for sharing – can’t wait to try more of your favorites!

  4. When they have it, I always get the double cream gouda and pesto gouda! They are my favorite cheeses by far! I also love getting their water crackers and the log of herbed goat cheese when we do family picnics. Finally, in the fall I love to get the black bean pasta and the orange Harvest Sauce for a fun, festive Halloween dinner for my family. My 4 uear thinks it’s so cool to have black pasta with orange sauce!