If you follow me on social media (if you’re not, why aren’t you?!), you know that I’m at Trader Joe’s every week! We’ve worked it into our Sunday routine and honestly, it’s one of my favorite things to do! Not a lot of people actually enjoy going to the grocery store, but I look forward to it! Trader Joe’s is one of those places that’s basic, but unique. You won’t find 12 different brands of the same type of pasta, but you will find all of your essentials plus more. The “plus more” is what this post is all about.
I’m often asked what my favorite Trader Joe’s finds are, so I’ll be sharing some of my favorite items that are unique to Trader Joe’s in addition to a few staples. Here we go!
Vegan Kale, Cashew & Basil Pesto
I buy this pretty frequently when I want to prepare an easy dinner. I’m well aware that I could probably make something very similar myself, but sometimes I feel like taking shortcuts! Toss this in with some pasta and sliced cherry tomatoes and you’ve got yourself a meal (see here)!
I know, I know… you can find fresh flowers anywhere. But it’s hard to beat the prices at Trader Joe’s! Not only are the flowers always fresh, but there’s always a great assortment. It’s the perfect way to liven up your living room at home, or desk at work!
This cornbread mix is one of my absolute favorites! The directions on the box call for eggs and milk, but I simply switch them out for applesauce and almond milk and proceed as usual. I’ve made it a few times and it’s always perfection! I’ve been wanting to make cornbread from scratch, but never got around to it. Until that day comes, I’ll be using the mix from Trader Joe’s! Check out these: Waffle Iron Jalapeno Cornbread | Simple and Delicious Cornbread | One Dish Chili + Cornbread
Blondie Bar Baking Mix
So you want a dessert, but you don’t feel like whipping out your flour, baking soda, sugar, baking powder and all that… You’d rather crack open a box and add a few items to it and pop them in the oven for a few minutes. This is it! These blondie bars are so tasty and easy to throw together. I subbed the egg for applesauce and the butter for vegan butter. Easy peasy! 🙂
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Believe it or not, vegan chocolate chips can be pretty tricky to find. Majority of the options at local grocery stores contain milk, which is clearly a no-no. This is why these chocolate chips are on the list! Not only are they dairy-free, they’re pretty inexpensive! Just $2! Want to know my favorite way to use them? Check out these AMAZING chocolate chip cookies! If you’re really into chocolate, try these chocolate chip pancakes while you’re at it. They’re so versatile. Use them for whatever you’d like!
Organic Popcorn with Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Ya’ll, this is absolutely, positively one of my favorite snacks! I’ve always loved popcorn, but this is by far one of my favorite versions of it. It’s so simple and tasty. They add just the right amount of salt, and the olive oil doesn’t make them greasy at all, but is still noticeable in taste. I could easily make this bag disappear in 2-3 days (1 if I really tried). If you haven’t tried it, add it to your list!
Ghost Pepper Potato Chips
Are you into spicy food? Great! You’ll love these! Another great snack that’s perfect along side a black bean burger, or binge watching your favorite TV show. But be careful! They’ll disappear right before your eyes if you’re not mindful!
Shea Butter & Coconut Oil Hair Mask
Looking to make an addition to your hair regimen? This shea butter and coconut oil hair mask is definitely something you’ll want to consider! I’ve been using it for about two months and not only does it smell amazing, it leaves my hair feeling super soft and helps with the de-tangling process. I was worried that this small bottle would only last for 2-3 washes, but it’s exceeded my expectations! The consistency is really thick and creamy. LOVE IT! I would definitely recommend trying it out.
Green Plant Juice
This green plant juice is one of those items that my husband and I pick up on a weekly basis! I prefer to drink it alone, but Deryle likes to add it to smoothies in addition to other frozen fruits and veggies. I really like that it’s free from artificial colors and flavors. The older I get, the more I try to avoid things like that as much as possible.
Corn and Wheat Tortillas
I’m not sure how common it is to find tortillas that are made of corn and wheat, but I’m so glad I found these! Prior to discovering them, I would always rotate back and forth between purchasing corn and wheat tortillas. The corn tortillas always added an authentic taste, but the wheat tortillas were more malleable and didn’t fall apart as easily as the corn would (unheated). These still require being heated on the stove for the best taste, but the taste is great.
Organic White Tortilla Chips
Yes, these are basic, but they’re so tasty! What I love most about them is that the ingredients are so basic (Organic stone ground white corn with a trace of lime, organic vegetable oil (canola and/or sunflower and/or safflower), and sea salt). Try finding that at your local grocery store and if you do, I bet they’ll cost more than $2.69. You can’t beat this deal!
Sweet Potato Frites
Who doesn’t love sweet potato fries! These are perfect paired with my Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burger. I’m not sure what Trader Joe’s did to these fries to make them so good, but there’s something about the texture that makes them worth mentioning. They’re light, crispy, and easy to make! Throw some in the oven and a few minutes later you’ve got yourself a crispy little batch of sweet potato fries. These would probably be amazing in an air fryer!
Yellow Jackfruit Curry with Jasmine Rice
YUM! This is the perfect meal to take for lunch when you’re in a pinch! It’s so flavorful and filling. My only complaint is that I wish there was more rice (but I’m obsessed with rice, so pay me no mind). At $2.79, you can’t beat it!
Chicken-Less Mandarin Orange Morsels
Have you had a chance to check these out yet? They’re pretty new! To my understanding they’ve been re-released (they used to have them a few years ago and then stopped carrying them). If you’re not in the mood to cook, these are an easy fix! Throw these over a bowl of rice + mixed veggies and you’re set!
If you’re a transitioning vegan, you’ll probably enjoy these! My husband does and he’s not vegan at all. In fact, he requests these more than I do. Our favorite thing to do with them is make meatball subs. It’s super simple! All you have to do is toss a few of these in a pan along with your favorite marinara sauce and let them heat for a few minutes with a lid overtop (they cook quickly). Whi le the meatballs are cooking, grab a hotdog bun (toast it if you want) and your favorite vegan mozzarella cheese. Once the meatballs are done, toss a few of them on your bun along with some of the sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Voila! There you have it 🙂
In addition, you can throw these over some spaghetti noodles and call it a day!
This is probably one of my top 3 favorite items from Trader Joe’s. It’s SOOOO good! I usually add it to burrito bowls or make a quick chili with it. I have no idea what they season this stuff with, but whatever it is, it’s delish! If you hadn’t noticed the price, it’s only $2.29 (an increase from the $1.99 it used to be but…). Toss this in a pot with some black or red beans, a can of diced tomatoes and corn, throw it over some rice and you’ve got yourself dinner for a few days. Excited to discover what else it can be used for!
Did you know Trader Joe’s gets fresh bread deliveries everyday? Yep, they do! It took me a while to notice that they even sold fresh breads aside from their normally packaged bread section, but I’m so glad I discovered it. It’s got a great texture and freezes will too! The perfect side to your favorite Italian dish for only $1.99!
Crunchy Cinnamon Squares & Vanilla Almond Clusters
On those weekends when I’m not in the mood to cook a big breakfast, one of my favorite things to do is curl up with a nice bowl of cold cereal on the couch and catch up on my favorite TV shows. I’ve always loved cereal! To be honest, I don’t understand how people live life without it! Sometimes I’ll eat it for dinner too! Since I’m officially an adult, I’m all health conscious and what not :/ So as an alternative to the sugar filled Cinnamon Toast Crunch I grew up eating, these seem to be a much better fit. I’m not going to lie to you and say they taste exactly like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, because they don’t (trust me, I would know)! However, they make for a great compromise. If you’re into cereal, they’re worth a try!
The Vanilla Almond Clusters are another one of my favorites! These sort of remind me of the days I ate Special K cereal like Kelloggs needed their boxes back. I like to rotate between “adult” cereal and “kiddie” cereals, you know… for balance and such.
Golden Rounds Crackers
These crackers taste just like Ritz! I could seriously eat an entire sleeve of these in minutes. Perfect for serving as an Hors d’oeuvre (imagine these topped with Chickpea tuna…) or eating alone of course! I don’t have to tell you about the different ways to eat these, I know you’ll find a use for them! And at $1.99, how could you pass them up?! Perfect pantry staple!
This one seems pretty basic… you’re probably thinking, “what’s so special about frozen fruit from Trader Joe’s?!” THE PRICE! Before I started shopping at TJ’s, I never really bought frozen fruit so I never thought about how much it cost. Believe it or not, there are some instances where I find myself in other grocery stores and on one particular occasion, I needed some type of frozen fruit (probably strawberries or mango or something). I was browsing through the frozen section and almost grabbed a bag of their store-brand frozen fruit until I saw the price. Unfortunately I can’t recall exactly how much it was, but I was willing to pay within $1 more than what I pay at TJ’s, so their’s had to be $2-$4 more than what I’m used to. Absolutely not! From that day forward, I knew that frozen fruit was only worth buying at TJ’s!
Spiced Apple Cider
In college, I drank apple juice like it was going out of style (don’t ask me why, it was just my drink of choice). After college, I laid off of it opting for more water instead. Since I’m knee-high in this “adulting” thing, I figured that spiced cider was a step-up from my apple juice days. Y’all, this stuff is so good! Especially in the winter and you have a glass of this to warm up to (pop it in the microwave for a minute or so). If you’re not into warm drinks, it tastes great cold too! I can taste it now… YUM!
I’m often asked where I purchase my jackfruit for meals like these, and 9 times out of 10 it came from Trader Joe’s. When I’m in a pinch, I’ll visit my local Asian super market because they also carry canned jackfruit as well. If you’ve never tried jackfruit, now is a great time to do so!
Whole Wheat British Muffins
If the name threw you off, they did for me too. Do “english muffins” ring a bell? Anywho, these are one of my favorite breakfast additions. Perfect to accompany your tofu scramble, or simply eat alone topped with vegan butter. Or better yet, top it with vegan butter AND agave. OMG. So good! Yes, I know it sounds over the top but it’s my favorite! As with a number of my favorite items at Trader Joe’s, yes you can find these at a regular grocery store but with no preservatives, artificial colors or flavors? For $1.79? Good luck!
Maple Agave Syrup Blend
I love maple syrup just as much as the next person, but not the price! So glad I discovered this syrup blend because it’s tasty and sells for only $3! I could go for a stack of pancakes right now…
Who doesn’t love marshmallows?! Cant’ think of anything to do with them? Try these rice krispie treats! You’re probably wondering how these made it on the list… have you ever tried looking for vegan marshmallows? Majority of the ones at the grocery store contain gelatin. Wuck!
Lavender Tea Tree Liquid Dish Soap
This one is an item I’ve recently discovered. In an effort to decrease the amount of weird chemical-filled items I purchase, I decided to try this dish soap. It’s made from natural ingredients and smells divine!
My husband and I LOVE these! This is one of our go-to’s for weekend brunching. They’re so simple to just pop in the oven for a few minutes and pair them with whatever! Imagine a plate with veggie sausage, some avocado toast topped with tofu scramble, along with one of these hashbrowns. Looks tasty, right?! I usually season mine a bit with salt or whatever “season-all” I can quickly reach. Give them a try!
If you’re looking for a tofu marinade, this one’s perfect! It’s so simple and tastes great. I typically marinate mine for a minimum of 30 minutes. Longer is always better, but if you’ve got 30 minutes to spare you can make something happen!
What are some of your favorite TJ finds? I’d love to hear them! Let me know in the comments below!