Trader Joe's is one of the three grocery stores we shop at on a regular basis. Who doesn't love the reasonable prices, unique options and friendly staff? Even with a slightly limited selection, we can still find 75% of our groceries there, but instead of five options for canned tomatoes, there will only be one, which can be refreshing. Sometimes it's nice to just have one option instead of having to decide between many.
These are 10 (plus a few extras) of my top picks from Trader Joe's that I buy nearly every time we go there. Of course there are many more items we buy regularly, but these are my current favorites.
1. Chocolate covered banana slices- $1.99. The perfect bite of frozen banana + crunchy chocolate. These are a great after-dinner treat!
2. Bruschetta- $2.49. This pre-made jarred bruschetta is really tasty and makes a great sauce for pasta, on top of turkey burgers, or of course, as bruschetta. It's nice and chunky with great flavor and seasoning.
3. Coconut Shrimp- $5.99. I just started eating shrimp in the past year or so, and this was my intro to it. It's crispy and slightly sweet and tastes delicious with a dash of Frank's (My husband likes them with honey mustard). We love these shrimp for a super easy and quick dinner. Throw them in the oven for 12 minutes, make a veggie and some quinoa and boom, dinner is done.
4. Plain Hummus Dip- $2.99ish. Smooth, creamy, and perfect for pretzels. Not the most flavorful hummus, but paired with the saltiness of pretzels and it's perfect.
5. Organic full fat coconut milk- $1.69. I mostly use this in a few recipes like the PaleOMG Asian Noodle Bowls and Ashley's Fresh Fix Coconut Chicken Chili, and save the leftovers in ice cube trays for smoothies. Normally I do not worry about buying organic, but I do like to in this case because the organic version doesn't have any fillers or added ingredients- just coconut and water.
6. Fruit Bars- $.99. The apple + mango are my favorite, but there are also other flavors like apple + strawberry and banana + coconut. There are only two ingredients in these bars- the two fruits they are made of- so there is no added sugar, making them a healthy snack that we all love.
7. Green Tahini Dip & Sauce- $2.99. This was new find for me when I did Whole30 in September. This dip/sauce is so flavorful and is really delicious on chicken. Now that I'm off Whole30, I also really like to dip pretzels in it. Again, it's a super clean and healthy dip or sauce to keep in your fridge.
8. Turkey Burgers- $2.99. Four burgers for $3 is such a steal and these are really good, too! I cook up a whole box of them on the weekend to have on hand for breakfast and lunch at work throughout the week. They are lightly seasoned, so you can top them with your usual favorite burger toppings, but I do love pairing them with some runny eggs. Yummmm.
9. Roasted Plaintain Chips- $1.69. I think I discovered these about two years ago during my first Whole30 and I haven't looked back since. They look like fried bananas, but plantains are more savory. These are a good replacement to tortilla chips on taco night, and are mui bien crushed up in chili.
10. Produce- varying prices. OK, this one is sort of a cop out, but the by-the-piece produce at TJ's is an amazing deal. The reason? They charge per piece, not per pound, which means you can pick the biggest, fattest apples you can find, and pay the same price as if you'd chosen smaller/lighter apples. At most other grocer stores, you're paying by the pound, so bigger pieces = more money. They also have very reasonably priced packaged produce. But, we never buy berries or grapes there, as those do seem much more expensive than other stores.
BONUS! Here are a few more things I just couldn't leave off:
11. Marinated mushrooms- $2.99ish. I love to eat some of these with olives for a salty, savory afternoon snack.
12. Quinoa pasta- $1.99ish. I pretty much only buy quinoa or corn pasta these days, and TJ's has it for a great price.
13. 72% Dark Chocolate Bars- $1.79/3. I love dark chocolate and taking a few squares off is perfect for a sweet treat.
So there you have it, my current top 10 picks from Trader Joe's! My husband loves a few of their cereals, my kids love the pea crisps, and I also love their inexpensive spices, canned pumpkin and some of their salsas!