Why You Need to Start Shopping at Trader Joe’s ASAP

While I am not a native to California, there is one place that was founded there that has become very near to my heart and to my belly. I remember when the first Trader Joe’s opened near me, how excited so many people were. I remember thinking, “What’s the big deal; it’s just another grocery store.” But that thought was quickly put to rest. I can’t remember the exact thing that made me a Trader Joe’s convert. Maybe it was the crispy Orange Chicken, the amazing mini chocolate chip cookies, or the delicious precooked sushi. Whatever it was, I have been hooked ever since.

Why you should be shopping at Trader Joe's
Photo by Matheus Cenali, found on canva.com

When my husband and I lived in rural Wyoming, we would make the drive to the closest Trader Joe’s at least once a month to stock up on our favorite items! This process quickly turned my husband into a Trader Joe’s lover himself. He now jokes with me that there is no way I could ever live somewhere far from Trader Joe’s again, when I know he really means there is no way that we could ever live somewhere far from Trader Joe’s again.

Trader Joe’s is also very easy on your budget. Most trips, I can leave the store with seven full bags of groceries, including a bottle or two of wine, for $150 or less. We are by no means the healthiest bunch ever, but we do try to eat balanced meals as often as possible and with their commitment to their brand of products using non-GMO ingredients, I feel pretty confident in my purchases.

My Favorite Trader Joe’s Purchases

Kung Pao Chicken with Veggie Fried Rice: Honestly, I think this meal is better than take out and it’s a whole lot cheaper, too! Add some of their egg rolls on the side and you’re all set. I usually cook the whole bag of both the chicken and rice and mix them together in the panl this makes two adult servings.

Trader Joe's Veggie Fried Rice

Southwest Chopped Salad with Pinto or Black Beans, Corn, & Ground Beef: This is such a good go- to for a busy weeknight! Just brown the ground beef, add in either a can of TJ’s corn or their frozen roasted corn, and a can of beans and you are good to go! We usually add a bit of their jalapeño sauce on top for a little extra spice!
Pizza Dough, Pizza Sauce (in the refrigerated section, not the jarred one), Mozzarella, Pepperoni, Salami, Red Onions, Black Olives, etc.: You can find the dough in the refrigerated section of the store right next to the pizza sauce. We enjoy this with a Caesar salad on the side, made with all Trader Joe’s ingredients, of course! This is so customizable.
Chopped Romaine: Such an easy hack for any salad. I love keeping this on hand for last- minute dinner guests or for lunches.
Coconut Strips: My husband and two-year-old son are huge fans of these. I am not a coconut person, but they both could eat these by the bag full.
Everything But The Bagel Seasoning: What don’t I add this life-changing seasoning blend to? I put it on eggs, potato salad, really, the sky is the limit!
Chili Lime Seasoning: Another great! Add to any Mexican inspired dish or meat.
Turkey Corndogs: A great lunch for kids and adults alike.

Ice Cream Sandwiches: These are my favorite treat from Trader Joe’s.
Chinco Valley Ranchers Pasture- Raised Eggs: These are the cheapest pasture-raised eggs I have been able to find. We eat a lot of eggs in my house.
Raisins: Pretty sure my son would live on these if we let him.
$4 Organic Charles Shaw Wines: $4 wine, need I say more? But I will, these are actually really tasty wines for the price and perfect for you nightly table wine.
Pasta: Most of their standard pastas are made in Italy and are $.99 each.
Salad Dressings: My personal favs are the Red Wine & Olive Oil vinaigrette and the Caesar dressing.
Cheese and Garlic Croutons: I love adding these to any salad. Epically to some Romaine and Parmesan cheese, topped off with Romano Caesar dressing.
Nut Butter: This is such a great alternative to peanut butter, especially if you have anyone with allergies in your house. Bonus: It tastes amazing!
Meg is a Collin County native. She earned her BA in Communications and enjoys writing as a creative outlet. Meg works as a small business content creator, helping local service-based companies share their work on social media and other areas of the internet. She and her husband recently bought her childhood home and are renovating it slowly on their own. Together she and her husband have two boys and a beloved pup. In her free time, you can find Meg browsing the aisles of local thrift stores, TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, writing, or creating a new craft project.