Yes, I am one of those people- a shameless Trader Joe’s crusader, always asking, “What? You’ve never been to Trader Joe’s?”. No, I’m not being paid by Trader Joe’s to write this. Dear reader, there are reasons I’m such a die hard fan of TJ’s, and not just because a family member worked there or because I enjoy the alternatives to what’s in the mainstream. We do go way back, but Trader Joe’s has never ceased to amaze.
It is consistently a healthier, more affordable grocery store with just the right amount of products and creates a pleasant shopping experience every time. Hand-written signs, silly cartoons, and friendly faces make this place head and shoulders above your average grocery store experience. I loathe going to most grocery stores because there are too many choices of brands, the stores are enormous, OR you end up in a small specialty grocery store with prices through the roof and you leave with a big bill and nothing in the bag. By having their own brand of almost every product in the store, Trader Joe’s keeps prices low and somehow also manages to consistently have products with good ingredients, too. This ensures customers get the best of both worlds. I haven’t even gotten to the frozen foods part… Ok I’ll stop, but seriously people of Gainesville, especially if you are a student on a budget (or anyone on a budget) you have a Trader Joe’s, so go!
Here are my favorite things to get from TJ’s:
Habanero Lime Tortillas
These tortillas have a real kick! Spicy, with a little bit of tangy, pulls your tortilla based meals together perfectly every time.
$2.99 a pack
Aloo Chaat Kati Pouches
These are basically Indian Hot Pockets and they’re surprisingly good. Most of the time, foods of this realm fall short because they’re bland, but these little vegetarian turnovers are packed with flavor.
$2.29 for a pack of 2
Another superbly seasoned vegetarian favorite, this soy chorizo adds flavor to anything you mix it with. It’s perfect for Mexican inspired meals as well as great with eggs for breakfast.
I am completely incapable of eating peanut butter now (it suddenly tastes like dirt in comparison) thanks to this cashew butter, which is beyond delicious! Just ignore the calories on this one.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The staple of all my cooking, TJ’s olive oil is good quality and so much less expensive than what you find elsewhere!
$3.99 – $14.99 for regular and infused oils
These are some of my favorite cookies to go with tea or coffee- they’re spiced Belgian cookies, crisp and caramelized to perfection. They are also the magical main ingredient of the ever popular Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter, which I strategically don’t keep in the house (but if I did, I have a feeling I’d keep it with a giant spoon handy).
$1.99 a box
Charles Shaw Wine
The BEST inexpensive wine you can get – buy a case while you’re at it. They have a multitude of varieties in the Charles Shaw section, so stock up!
$2.99 a bottle
Get a second opinion! Here are their 2015 customer choice award winners!
(photo credit: traderjoes.com)