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!
I always stock up on spices when I go to Trader Joe’s! Around here, plain spices – oregano, cumin, garlic powder, etc. – are a fraction of the cost at TJ’s vs. my grocery store. And the quality is much better too. My daughter also LOVES the fruit/cereal bars. She takes one almost every day to school for snack.
Great list, and thanks for the reminder about their cards! I always forget they carry them, since our card selection is near the exit.
Ours is sort of hidden too by the flowers and the exit. I can’t believe how expensive cards are now so the Trader Joes ones I always look for. 🙂
Yes spices and seasonings are a great deal! I’ll look for the bars for sure Mara.
I love TJ’s and your list is great. My favorites include the peanut butter (all-natural and even better than other brands), seasonal items like pumpkin stuff in fall and halloumi grilling cheese in summer, my kids love the vanilla/blueberry cream yogurt pack, and I love the blue cheese dressing (in cold area) and the cruciferous crunch salad bag. So many goodies here! p.s. I also don’t see the cookie butter hype, but my daughter loves it.
The kitchen towels! I love the kitchen towels! I sometimes buy them as a gift and keep them for myself 🙂
I always grab a bag or 2 of the dark chocolate peanut butter cups by the checkout. Yumm! And I love the dried pineapple rings for a quick snack on the go.
Yes those cups are dangerous Julie! 🙂
Oh really Lori I can’t say I have ever seen them? I will keep an eye out!
Oh! Halloumi! I need to watch for that. And yes absolutely on the pumpkin every single thing during the holidays 🙂
Mrs S says
The Bruschetta is a must have for me, followed closely by the Unexpected Cheddar cheese. I find them helpful in adding flavors to almost anything.
We love the nacho cheese tortilla chips–really flavorful and not too messy! We also love the selection of teas, staples like the Moroccan mint and the seasonal like the candy cane!
I love Trader Joe’s! I buy many of the same items you mentioned. I also like to buy the coconut hair mask, rose petal toner, the vegan chocolate chip walnut cookies (white bag near the breads), sliced brioche loaf, 6-pack individual bags of kettle corn (for movie nights), and of course the wine!
Trader Joe’s Sunscreen is on my list. It ranks #3 (scoring 100) on a recent Consumer Reports list for top 5 sunscreens.
Hi Christine- so glad you mentioned that! I just bought my first can a few weeks ago and I agree. Great sunscreen.
Oh dang Rachel the brioche always calls my name but I haven’t picked it up yet. I really need a hair mask this summer so will add that to this week’s list!
Yum! Have had the cheese puffs not the cheese tortilla chips!
Mrs S is the bruschetta in the frozen section? Haven’t seen that yet!
I’m late to the game on this but have to share our favorite meal! By all the stuff to make cheese pizza and then we fry up some of the eggplant cutlets, chop them up, put on top of the pizza and bake. It’s like eggplant Parmesan pizza! Amazing!
That sounds delicious Molly!
I am very disappointed that sun dried tomatoes are not available anymore.. I will really miss them