For those of you who have been following along my food adventures, you’ve come to realize my favorite food store and happy place—Trader Joe’s! I will forever thank the genius behind this grocery chain because I will usually leave the store with a new food product to try out. Fun fact: Trader Joe’s was originally called Pronto Markets until 1967 and the rest is history! Why do I love Trader Joe’s so much?? First and foremost I appreciate how much they value their products and how they want to give you the best without paying an arm and a leg for it! Another great aspect of TJ’s is that if you try something new and are not 100% sold on it, you can bring it back! No questions asked. Lastly their, vegetarian products and wine selection is one of the best I’ve seen and it helps me stay within my food budget for the month.
So let’s take a walk through the store and I’ve created a list of food products that you’ll find in my cart almost every trip!
- Chocolate covered espresso beans (if you love coffee + chocolate then you need these in your life)
- Tofu/Tempeh/Soy Chorizo (I’m telling you TJ’s soy chorizo is life changing and I’ve had meat eaters rave about this meat substitute!)
- 3-pack of zucchini (great for making zoodles or adding to my lunch/dinner)
- Cruciferous crunch mix (this bag packs a ton of nutrition—composed of kale, shredded brussels and purple cabbage. I add this to my power bowls for the week typically)
- Almond cheese and their cheese in general. You can never have too much cheese.
- Greek yogurt (Their vanilla bean yogurt to this day is my absolute favorite! Recently, I’ve been seeing some fun flavors like watermelon + cucumber, matcha, and grapefruit + citrus)
- Almond milk (Can’t beat this price of $2.99)
- Trail mix (Funny that I would like trail mix 😉 I particularly like their omega trex mix)
- Seasoning! I cannot find another place that sells spices as inexpensive as Trader Joe’s. I pick up Everything But The Bagel, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Pumpkin pie spice, 21 seasoning, onion mix, chili lime seasoning…to name a few)
- Nut Butters. I always grabbing a jar of their natural salty smooth peanut butter, cashew butter or almond butter.
- Farro, quinoa, and pasta (You’ll find these in my lunches, dinners, etc)
- Wine! (My two favorite white wines are Honey Moon and Belles Vignes. I Thee Red is my go to red blend.
- Frozen section: I will always have a bag of riced cauliflower, tri-colored cauliflower, frozen mango, vegetarian meatballs, frozen veggie medley, and their cauliflower gnocchi.
- Plantain chips and crispy ranch flavored chickpeas. Great for snacking during the week!
- Non-food items: Plants, cards (only $0.99), body scrub, body butter, lotion, and soap!
Trail Mix For The Sole Shopping Tips: How To Stay Within Budget
- Buy what is in season or buy frozen.
- Meal plan for the week! Take some time to decide what you want to make that week and create a list. This will help you stay on track and not put random items in your cart.
- Always add color to your cart. Pick up 2 different kind of fruits and 2 different kinds of vegetables that you can add to your meals. This will help prevent boredom and also encourage you to try some new produce.
- Try some of the store brand products (likely cheaper than brand names and taste/work just as well).
- Assess your pantry (See what you already have at home and what you can make with it!
- Try to limit prepared foods and make it yourself! You’ll be glad you did and so will your wallet.
- Coupons!! Take a peak and see what coupons are out there. Some weeks I don’t find anything, but other weeks I can use 5 coupons a trip.
- Grains: Choose whole grain breads, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, oatmeal, high fiber cereals etc. These will keep well in your pantry, too.
- Dairy products: Try Greek yogurt (packs 2x the amount of protein than regular), cottage cheese, and low fat cheeses.
- Canned goods: chickpeas, black beans, low sodium canned vegetables, or low sodium soups for those busy nights.