I really dislike my weekly shopping trips- it is one of my least favorite things to do every weekend except when Trader Joe’s is in the rotation.
I just love Trader Joe’s and I seem to find something new and fun on every trip. My children love Trader Joe’s too- it is the one errand they don’t complain about running with me. That is saying a lot because my little weird-os don’t even like Target runs. So I thought it would be fun to put together a list of some of my personal favorite items from Trader Joe’s and I’d love to hear what your favorites are too!
Note Trader Joe’s changes merchandise constantly so you may not find everything listed but it is certainly worth the hunt.
Ready? These items are pretty consistently on my grocery list.
1. Seasonal Jams- I find seasonal jams in interesting and unique flavors. Over the holidays we found Sugar Plum jam and in summer Peach Bellini flavor. I love these for semi-homemade gifts- pop in a basket with fresh bread, scones, croissants etc.. and wrap with a pretty dishtowel and you are all set.
2. Greeting Cards- Trader Joes has fun and graphic greeting cards for all sorts of occasions and the price can’t be beat at $.99 each. You will usually find the fun Birthday Cake Chocolate Bars nearby too. Add some flowers and it is a great simple gift idea!
3. Bourbon Vanilla Extract– another favorite of mine. This vanilla has a great flavor and I love it for baking.
4. Mini Ice Cream Cones- these are so cute and fun and just a few bites to satisfy your sweet tooth. I love the mini size and grab these all the time for snack duty, kid parties and so on. These are about two or three adult size bites. Perfect kid treat that will make you a hero- I have two boxes in the freezer right now for softball tournaments.
5. Chocolate Croissants- alright. These are as good as a bakery croissant. And I am a connoisseur. Pain au chocolate is one of my favorite desserts ever and it is so hard to find good ones. This is a tiny box so you are going to think no way are 4 croissants in there but you remove four croissants, let them rise overnight and bake. You are going to be amazed at how good these are. They seriously rise to at least 4 times the size they come out of the package. Whoever the genius is that came up with this product deserves a national holiday.
6. Mandarin Orange Chicken- this is a favorite of my entire family and we keep a bag in the freezer at all times for a super quick and easy dinner. I bake the chicken, then drizzle the orange flavoring on top to keep it crispy. This is one of my favorite meals for sports nights- I can put a little rice in a thermos and top with orange chicken and the kids devour it.
7. Fresh Flowers- I am sure everyone knows Trader Joes has amazing flowers at very reasonable prices. Of all the stores in my area, Trader Joes always has the best selection and prices around.
8. Frozen Pineapple- there are lots of frozen fruits and veggies to choose from but the pineapple is my favorite. Super flavorful and high quality pineapple that we use in smoothies and my children eat straight from the bag in summer.
9. Mushroom Medley- I love this little frozen pack of mushrooms. They are super flavorful and quick and easy to cook. I love these on steaks, burgers, omelettes, chicken, pasta or try it on flatbread pizza.
10. Speculoos Cookie Butter- This is Trader Joe’s big claim to fame- the cookie butter made from Speculoos cookies. I am not a huge fan of the cookie butter but I bet I am the only person ever to actually say that. This is great on toast or with apples or drizzled over ice cream.
11. Dog Treats. I find decent quality and very reasonably priced dog treats. Last year for Christmas we made ice cream for the neighbors and bought dog treats for all the neighborhood dogs. Bosley had a great time delivering the treats to all his neighborhood friends.
12. Mini Buns. I adore these darling little slider buns. My kids love these and they are so fun for parties. I only find these sometimes at my store and sometimes I find adorable little mini pretzel buns too. I use them for sandwiches, BBQ chicken sandwiches and Trader Joe’s often sells mini slider ground beef packages to keep things super fast and easy.
13. Seasonings. The Everything but the Bagel seasoning is hugely popular. I also love this chili lime seasoning. My daughter sprinkles it on fruit, corn on the cob, french fries and so on.
14. Coconut Oil Spray. I don’t use cooking sprays often but this is the one in the pantry when I do.
15. Mini Silver Dollar Pancakes. Another great find if you have children in particular. These silver dollar pancakes are bite sized and great for breakfast or pop them in lunchboxes or on very busy mornings I like to smear a little peanut butter on these to make a sandwich, grab a banana and the kids have something semi-decent and filling for breakfast.
16. Egg Salad. This is another item almost always in my fridge. Healthy-ish egg salad. Perfect quick snack wrapped in lettuce or on toast or crackers. I find this just a little bland so I always add a sprinkle of dill and salt and pepper. If you are a vegetarian like me, this is a really nice quick lunch option.
17. Packaged salad. Trader Joe’s always has a bunch of packaged salads available and I always grab a few of them. Perfect quick meals or even sides for family dinners. The salads tend to run right around $3 so they are really a great value.
And that is it for my Trader Joe’s must haves. I could do an entirely different list for the holidays as Trader Joe’s has such fantastic seasonal selections. These are just the items you should be able to find pretty much year round.
Happy shopping and please leave a comment below if you are inspired to try something new or if you have another favorite to add to the list!