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I am from Arkansas, the land of WalMart and nothing else. HA! Just kidding, we have other stores but when it comes to grocery shopping WalMart and Kroger are pretty much all we have. Of course we have Whole Foods and Fresh Market but I find those stores to be a little more “fancy” than what I’m used to so typically I stick with WM and Kroger. I remember the day I was driving in Ohio with my bestie and we passed a Trader Joe’s and I made her stop so we could shop. She didn’t fully understand my obsession with “just a grocery store” that I had never been to but once we were inside she understood.
I went in to my first Trader Joe’s with one sole purpose, Cookie Butter. I had been hearing about it for forever and had seen it on blogs and social media so I just had to try it. It’s kind of funny now because I don’t even buy Cookie Butter anymore but I am thankful my sweet tooth led me to one of my most favorite places on the planet, Trader Joe’s!!
Trader Joe’s isn’t just a grocery store, it’s a grocery store + flower shop + wine shop + so much more! They have incredible prices on all of their items and if you want to try something you just ask and you can try it, seriously they will open up anything in the store so you can try before you buy! I have purchased some of my very favorite wine from TJ’s at super cheap prices and my favorite hand soap comes from there too. Plus, if you are local their fresh fruits and veggies and freezer section looks amazing and you can’t beat their prices for fresh flowers. I’m telling you, it’s good stuff!!
Since I’m not local I usually only buy pantry staples from Trader Joe’s. The TJ’s on Lover’s Lane in Dallas is my FAVE store!! They have an amazing selection of spices, cereals, chips, noodles, crackers, coffee, etc. I will try anything once but of course I have my “must buys” too. Today I am going to tell you all about my top 5 must buys from Trader Joe’s so here we go!!
ONE. EVOO. Remember a long time ago when the Real Housewives of New Jersey came out and they were actually fun to watch? Teresa was paying for everything in cash to “boost the economy” and flipping tables and actually wrote a pretty decent cookbook. I was pretty obsessed with her at the time and bought said cookbook and surprisingly she actually had some really good recipes, tips and trick in there. One tip of hers that has always stuck with me is how she shops for her olive oil. She said to make sure the bottle/can has all the olives coming from the same place because if they are from all over then the taste may be off and you don’t know how fresh it is. You really want your olives to all be pressed ASAP and from the first press so do your research when purchasing your EVOO!! I LOVE this EVOO from Trader Joe’s because it tastes good, the price is right, all of the olives are from he same place and it is a first press.
TWO. BBQ Rub. I have mentioned on here that I eat a LOT Of chicken. Well chicken can get pretty boring after a while so I am always looking for new recipes and ways to spice it up. I discovered this BBQ rub a few years ago and always stock up on it when I see it in stores. It’s only available during the summer months so if you are obsessed like me then grab a few every time you go! They are only $1.99 each and they actually last a while.
THREE. Salsa. I am somewhat of a salsa snob, I don’t like it chunky at all and I like a lot of flavor to it. Good salsa in a jar is just hard to come by so when I discovered this one you better believe it in bulk. Ok, maybe not in bulk but I def get 5-6 jars every time I go and you can beat that $1.79 price tag!
FOUR. Everything but the Bagel Spice. This is a recent discovery of mine but I love this stuff on everything!! I put it on hard boiled eggs, as a topping for deviled eggs, on avocado toast, in guacamole, by itself…LOL!! It’s really good and the flavoring is fantastic!!
FIVE. Vanilla. If you aren’t in the kitchen much then you don’t understand the high cost of spices, especially vanilla. Sure, you can get imitation vanilla flavoring for pretty cheap at any grocery store but once you’ve had the real thing you can’t go back to imitation. I got spoiled on real vanilla after a friend brought me back a bottle of Mexican Vanilla from a trip and haven’t been able to use the imitation stuff since. I bought this vanilla a Trader Joe’s a couple of years ago and have been hooked ever sine, plus the price is pretty reasonable!
And of course there are a few honorable mentions including these fantastic pink and white cookies. I always forget how good they are until I try them. It’s a good thing I forget how good they are or I may buy/eat more of them!! I also discovered these Crispy/Crunchy Broccoli Florets and they are seriously addicting!! I literally ate the whole bag on my drive home from Dallas, LOL! Good thing the whole bag only has 250 calories! HA! I also love these new spices I got to try, if you love spices and don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for them you have to go to Trader Joe’s!!
So there you have it, my 5 Trader Joe’s must buys and a few super yummy honorable mentions. If you have never shopped at a Trader Joe’s then you seriously don’t know what you are missing out on. And if you live by one I am super jealous!!! LOL!!
Do you shop at Trader Joe’s??
What items are must buys for you??
robin rue says
We love shopping at Trader Joe’s! Their salsa is the best! Another thing I can’t walk out of there without is cookie butter – it;s out of this world.
Alli Smith says
I live in a small town and I don’t have a Trader Joe’s near me. I have visited once or twice while on a road trip. That salsa looks so good so I’ll have to grab some next time I’m near a store.
We don’t have a Trader Joe’s in our small area. First one I went into was California. Kinda expensive but the flavor d butters are excellent.
I love Trader Joes! All my must haves are sugary desserts like the sea salt caramels and french macaroons!!!! Yummo!
I feel like going to the store right now to purchase these items. I can’t wait until they’re done building my local store. I love finding new items to try at Trader Joe’s. It never disappoints.
Angela Ricardo Bethea says
Those are some amazing products, will check them out at Trader Joe’s when we have the time. That salsa and vanilla certainly got my attention.
Amber Myers says
I’ll have to try these. I don’t think I’ve bought any of them. Normally I go in and load up on Cookie Butter, I won’t lie.
Lisa Favre says
That “Everything but the Bagel” seasoning blend looks absolutely delicious! I hardly get a chance to go to Trader Joe’s but you’re making me want to now!
I love going to Trader Joe’s for certain things. They have such interesting things in their stores. A lot of stuff I’ve never heard of but it is fun to try new things. I will have to try a few of these that you recommended the next time I go to Trader Joe’s.
Pam Wattenbarger says
I wish there was a Trader Joe’s near me. I used to live near one and I bought most of my groceries there. I love their spices and seasonings.
I am in love with Trader Joe’s. I saw this Everything but the Bagel seasoning and picked it up. So cool!
I love Trader Joe’s! I’ll have to try their vanilla, so glad you mentioned it. I absolutely live their olive oil, mine looks different from yours though. And I love the wine, real potato chips, pink salt, everyday seasoning, their selection of flowers, and so much more! My only fav place to shop!
Chubskulit Rose says
Same here, I live in a small city here in WV and Walmart and Koregers are it. When we went to Virginia, we saw some grocery store that we don’t have here so we checked it out.
Bonnie G says
Walmart is our go to place normally. We dont have a Trader Joes near us but wish there was. Looks like some great products to find there.
Alison Rost says
They do have awesome products that we all can’t simply resist! Their EVOO is amazing! I have yet to try their bbq rub! I’d love to!
Gemille Sleweon says
I love shopping at Trader Joe’s! I’m vegan, so Trader Joe’s has great options for me to pick from as opposed to common grocery stores.
I love Trader Joes! I’ve never seen those crunchy broccoli florets. Guess where I’m headed tomorrow!
Bradley C Finnearty says
I have never been to Trader Joes although I have heard a lot about it. The BBQ rub sounds good. I may have to make a trip.
Maddy Gutierrez says
That is my all time favorite salsa. I use it for EVERYTHING! I live in NYC and TRader Joes is one of the cheapest grocery stores around. I love getting all of the fun things there, but my favorites are their dried mango!
Anosa Malanga says
New to cooking and now I am loving to buy and score good buys. Never been to Trader’s Joe yet this week and I guess this should be well noted. I must add this to my cupboard and prepare for some next cooking session.
I LOVE trader joe’s! Thankfully there are several here in nyc so i go with some frequency.
A few favorites that would survive your next trip back home:
– soyaki, the most amazing sesame soy terikyaki, great marinade or condiment
– pumpernickle pretzel sticks, really great flavor, perfect amount of salt
– canned cuban black beans, instant delicious dinner with some rice and veggies
– all of the nuts and seeds are a great price, the sesame cashews are AMAZING
– harvest grains, over by rice and pasta, a great mix of quinoa and lentils and orzo
– california estate olive oil, very mild mellow flavor, excellent for salads and garnishing dishes