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What are the Best Things to Buy at Trader Joe’s

What are the Best Things to Buy at Trader Joe’s, we asked the same question years ago and have created the ultimate list with all of our favorites including pictures!

 

 

Don’t be shy, we all know the feeling. Trader Joe’s seems to be a secret society of the best people ever, but if you just walk into one you might feel a little lost, what to buy and what not to buy?!

And in case you had more questions, scroll down to our FAQ section!

Just Wander

My best advice, just start walking.

Truly.

Trader Joe’s is often changing things out and so even with a perfect list you might not find everything you wrote down. But if you take your time to wander and look at products you’ll realize it’s all completely regular meal stuff but better.

I mean, how often do you find frozen croissants that taste like a bakery once baked? 

Or trying to eat better? No worries, they’ve got every spiralized, funny shaped veggie you could name to help you and your kids get in their vegetables. 

Snacks and candy, salad dressings and perfectly marinated meats, they’ve got it all and these are our favorites!

What are the Best Things to Buy at Trader Joe’s

mexican roasted corn from trader joes

Mexican Style Frozen Corn-{Freezer Section}

  • This Mexican style corn is one of my all-time favorites to keep in the freezer. I use it all the time as a side dish, for burrito bowls or even in soups! 

 

cinnamon apple snack sticks bag from trader joes

Cinnamon Apple Snack Sticks- Snack Aisle

  • These little crunchies are a perfect replacement for chips in a lunch or after school snacking! 

 

Savory Corn Pie from Trader Joes

Savory Corn Pie- {Freezer Section}

  • A frozen savory corn pie from trader joe’s is the perfect side dish to chili or delicious eaten on its own!

 

gone bananas box from trader joes with chocolate dipped frozen bananas

Gone Bananas-{Freezer Section}

  • These chocolate covered frozen bananas are a healthier guilty pleasure that even our kids can’t turn down.

riced vegetables in a bag

Riced Medley- {Produce Section}

  • Riced vegetable medley includes carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, green onion, yellow onion and is great for soups, casseroles, sides, rice bowls, Asian dishes etc!

Bamba Peanut Butter Puff Snacks by Trader Joes

Bamba Peanut Snacks {Snack Section by Chips}

  • Bamba peanut butter puffs are like the peanut butter version of Pirate’s Booty. Need I say more on this addicting little snack?

marinated carne asada from trader joes

Marinated Carne Asada {Meat Department}

  • Marinated steak for carne asada from trader joe’s is totally worth the buy!

 

a box of frozen mac and cheese bites from trader joes

Mac and Cheese Bites

  • Find these little mac and cheese bites in the freezer section and have a fun little restaurant at home night! Serve these as an appetizer!

frozen multigrain blend with vegetables from trader joes

Multigrain Blend with Vegetables

  • Multigrain blend instead of white rice and bonus, it comes full of veggies! We grill up a marinated chicken breast to eat over the top with some freshly sliced grape tomatoes.

sweet potato gnocchi in a bag from trader joes

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

  • This gnocchi has wonderful flavor and it takes only a few minutes to throw together. It’s probably only enough for 2-3 people. You might want to buy more. 

 

a bag of frozen cauliflower gnocchi by trader joes

Cauliflower Gnocchi

  • Frozen Cauliflower gnocchi is one of my favorite healthier substitutes to allow me to still eat favorites without the major calories. 

a bag of frozen vegetables by trader joes

Green Vegetable Medley

  • Frozen green veggies that are totally worth the buy! Throw them into literally anything or just serve on the side. 

roasted frozen corn bag from trader joes

Roasted Corn

  • This is soooooo worth it!! Not only is frozen corn the best for recipes vs canned corn, but this one is roasted! All the flavor and you didn’t do any work!

a bag of frozen vegetable fried rice by trader joes

Vegetable Fried Rice

  • I love me some fried rice, but because we don’t eat a ton of rice, and the BEST fried rice involves day old rice I love to buy frozen fried rice! 

Corn and Chile Salsa

  • You guys, buy this salsa. We use it in everything- Tacos, soup, chicken in a slow cooker, burritos and just with chips!

a bunch of bananas on the counter

Bananas

  • Um yes. Bananas are almost always a better price and quality than bananas at other stores.

a bag of peanut butter flavored snacks called, bambas from trader joes

Bamba Peanut Butter Flavored Snacks

  • These are a great little peanut butter flavored school or after school snacks for the kids, aka shovel them into your mouth when no one is looking. 

a red bag of churro bites from trader joes

Churro Bites

  • Even BETTER than Bambas Peanut Butter Snacks!

a jar of green jalapeno sauce from trader joes

Jalapeno Sauce

  • Jalapeno sauce from Trader Joe’s is one of the best pantry staples! It’s got a creamy texture and a bit of a kick!

a container of chocolate babka bread from trader joes

  • I’ve eaten Babka in New York City and let me tell you, it’s delicious! I’ve never had any chocolate Babka quite as good until trying Trader Joe’s Chocolate Babka. Totally worth it!

a bagged salad kit

Mediterranean Salad Kit

  • I’m a big fan of salad kits for when I’m in a hurry but not all salad kits are worth it. I really love this Mediterranean salad kit, but I tend to add some fresh greens like spinach or kale and some chopped, grilled chicken.

two small avocados

Avocados

  • I love that avocados are smaller at TJ’s which is perfect for when I’m eating just a little with my lunch or dinner. 

trader joes zig zag shaped butternut squash

Butternut Squash Zig Zags

  • These zig zag shaped butternut squash totally make them more friendly for small kids to try and I love that their shape creates more texture and caramelization with all of those edges. 

riced cauliflower in a bag

Riced Cauliflower

  • This is the absolute FIRST THING that I buy at Trader Joe’s every time I go. I love that it’s all the work done for me and that it freezes quite well. In fact, I cook it straight from the freezer!!

small sweet potatoes on a counter

Sweet Potatoes

  • It’s a little hard to tell but these sweet potatoes are mini! They are a little smaller than those huge sweet potatoes that you see in a regular store. It’s the perfect size for a normal dinner side!

What is Special About Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s is well-known for low prices on special food items everyone obsesses over like:

  • Cookie butter
  • Turkey corn dogs
  • Fall Leaf Shaped Chips
  • Marinated Carne Asada

The chain is also known for its culture. Employees often sport their Hawaiian shirts with huge smiles, go out of their way to be helpful, and plastic lobsters are used to decorate stores.

Do I need to bring my own bags to Trader Joe’s?

It’s a great idea to bring your own bags to Trader Joe’s but it’s not necessary, they have paper bags that they will pack with expert precision. No really, it’s amazing how well they can pack those bags!

If you do want to use reusable grocery bags like we do, I LOVE Baggu, but these are a cheaper option.

Trader Joe’s Flowers

What’s the deal with the flowers? Plants and flowers at TJ’s are no joke. They have beautiful, well cared for plants and florals so ditch the other stores and buy your pretty things here. 

 

Why Do They Ring the Bell at Trader Joe’s

If you’re ever in line and hear the bell ring, don’t panic! Here’s what they say on their site,

“One bell lets our Crew know when to open another register.

Two bells mean there are additional questions that need to be answered at the checkout.

Three bells call over a manager-type person.

And Three short bells–two long bells–three short bells… now we’re just playing.”

 

 

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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

Leave a comment

4 comments

  • Hi, I’m new to your site. I just baked your The best ever sour cream banana bread, and while it’s baking I am reading your blog about what to buy at Trader Joe’s. TJ is my favorite! There is no TJ in our city, unfortunately. So, when I see one I always visit one.
    Hmmm.. the corn…You seem to be a big fan of corn 🙂 I never buy corn, never eat it either, because it’s most likely GMO. I try to avoid everything GMO and buy organic whenever possible. I do use cauliflower rice a lot, it’s great with anything, but I buy it from Costco. — Keep up the good work, your recipes look yummy!

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much! Isn’t Trader Joe’s the best?!

      • Reply
  • Hi! Thanks for this post. I was going to TJ’s today anyway and made sure to get many of the items you had on this list. It’s always nice to know what other people love and buy repeatedly!

    • Reply
    • Yay! Glad we could help!

      • Reply

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