Oh the things I do for a quality blog post, aka make my family eat the most random concoction of meals from the freezer & pantry for weeks so that I could go shopping and create the ultimate Trader Joe’s Haul. We have been out of town here and there for the month and my family has been surviving the in-between on a hodgepodge of meals. You know all of those weird freezer items shoved way down in the bottom that you never get to? Yep, we ate them. Every can of beans and pasta in the pantry? Yep, ate those too! All so that my OCD self could create an (almost) exhaustive Trader Joe’s Haul full of our favorite items. I highlight almost because I could always add one more item to the buggy, and I usually do.
If you’re unfamiliar with Trader Joe’s let me catch you up to speed. Founded in Pasedena, California in the 1960s Trader Joe’s is the ultimate spot for healthy eats, specialty foods, great produce and an unbeatable selection of affordable flowers. They buy direct from suppliers and resell the items at the best possible price. They also source specialty foods and repackage under the “Trader Joe’s” name, all of which have no artificial flavors, no preservatives, no added trans fats, no GMOs & no MSG. They sell so many items that you simply cannot find anywhere else which is why I make the bi-weekly 35 minute drive to stock up. Crazy? Maybe. Am I going to quit? Never. In fairness to me I lived a lot closer to a Trader Joe’s when my love affair first began and now the drive is a simple sacrifice to make to stock up on my favorite grocery staples.
TRADER JOE’s HAUL
When I walk into a Trader Joe’s I suddenly feel the urge to act like I’m in an episode of Supermarket Sweet and sprint through the store cramming everything imaginable into my buggy. I find a new item each time I go and I will try to keep this post updated as I stumble across new favorites. In the meantime here is the Trader Joe’s Haul I buy whenever I want to stock my refrigerator, freezer & pantry. These are our tried and true favorites that I highly recommend.
Edamame – Such a easy snack or salad topping. Be warned, you need to eat these soon or they get mushy & gross. Worth it to buy & eat promptly though!
Sugar Snap Peas – This is another win for snacking. These snap peas steam in the bag and then I pour them into a ziplock with a little Himalayan sea salt. Win!!
Heirloom Tomatoes – Hayden will eat tomatoes like an apple but I need a little more convincing. I do however love a heirloom tomato. I eat them on salads or cooked with shrimp and cauliflower rice!
Pre-Made Salads – We also love their pre-made salads & the broccoli & kale slaw!
Fruit – Trader Joe’s has a great selection of fruit and we typically buy apples, berries, grapes & pineapple!
Carrots – My girls love carrots! We buy the multicolored carrots and I will bake them or slice & boil them as well as shredded carrots for salads & baby carrots for snacking & dipping.
Cucumbers – These mini cucumbers are my favorite & my girls eat them like candy.
Broccoli – I don’t buy broccoli unless it’s chopped & in a bag waiting to be steamed!
Lettuce – I buy romaine lettuce for lettuce wraps, bibb lettuce for salads & spinach for well, everything.
Peppers – I buy the trio of peepers to use in stir-fry and to sauté in the frying pan with chicken & coconut oil. Also, I didn’t include coconut oil on this list but that is another thing I buy at Trader Joe’s!
Squash Zig-Zags – My girls eat these up! We bake them at a high temp (425) and then broil to get them crispy.
DAIRY, DIPS, CHEESES & SWEETS
Coconut Creamer – I typically drink my coffee black and save this for a treat! Froth a little in your coffee, add some cinnamon & thank me later!
Sour Cream – A fridge staple for lovers of Mexican bowls like myself.
Squeeze Yogurt – My girls will eat these refrigerated or I throw them in the freezer for a “popcicle”.
Chocolate Almond Milk – We quit drinking cow’s milk when we were battling Scottie’s Eczema. My girls are obsessed with this almond milk. It has a lot of sugar but they also sell the unsweetened vanilla which you can mix with Ovaltine for the same effect.
String Cheese – Every toddler’s drug of choice.
Greek Yogurt – Zero fat Greek yogurt is a great way to get some protein in. Mix with a fiber cereal, berries & a little honey for a great treat!
More String Cheese – Again, toddlers.
Hummus – This is but one sample of the incredible selection of hummus at Trader Joes. I typically buy the plain but there are so many flavors! I love the black bean hummus, too!
Bacon Cheddar Ranch Dip – Just look away if you are trying to lose weight. On the contrary, buy it in bulk if you’re having a girls’ night.
Cookie Dough – See above. The cookie butter is also insane but I try not to even look at it to save myself the temptation!
Yogurt Cups – One of my girls loves the strawberry & the other loves the banana so it works.
Chunky Guacamole – My girlfriend introduced this to me and I am obsessed! It’s made with greek yogurt and has way less calories than your average guacamole. I eat it with the quinoa & black bean chips!
Kerrygold Butter – I read the book, Bulletproof, and only eat this butter now. I’ll save you the details but it’s the best and you should buy it.
Pesto Chicken – Buy it. Bake it. Pretend like you made it.
Ground Beef – I buy this (and ground turkey) and make more days than not. Tonight I cooked the beef on the stove with some onions and carrots and put on a bed of spinach with avacado & sriracha ranch! Yum!!
Pork Tenderloin – 3.99 are you kidding me?!?! Cook this baby in the crock pot with some potatoes & carrots!
Deli Meat – My girls will eat this Black Forest Ham in one sitting! We also buy turkey!
*Not Pictured -. Hot dogs (don’t judge me I’m American), chicken tenderloins, chicken breast & pre-grilled chicken strips are also staples of ours.
Almond Butter Granola – Love this stuff!
Quinoa Pasta – We try to eat gluten-free as much as possible and we all love this pasta!
Joe’s O’s –Because for every gluten-free pasta there is a can of spaghetti o’s. Life is about balance, people!
Cinnamon Squares & Strawberry Yogurt O’s – Love these cereals more than the real things!
Coffee – I’m not a coffee snob by any means but I think this coffee is great!
Almond Butter & Peanut Butter – The “butters” aisle will overwhelm you & make your mouth water all at once. I stick to these two safe bets.
Wraps – I wouldn’t survive The Faster Way to Fat Loss without these wraps! Buy. Them.
Canned Veggies – Love a canned veggie. Heat it up & go & be proud of yourself.
Oatmeal – My girls are oatmeal & grits girls for breakfast and we find both at Trader Joe’s.
Rice Pasta – This is actually surprisingly good & I like to think it balances out the Joe’s O’s.
Black Bean Dip & Queso – You notice this is a photo from the store because if I bring it home I will eat them both within the week. So. Good.
Roasted Red Pepper Soup & Creamy Tomato Soup – My go-to easy weeknight meal in the fall or winter is a grilled sandwich or tuna melt and one of these soups!
Pop-tarts – Self explanatory.
Trail Mix – I’m addicted to this stuff!
Sweet Potato Chips – These are so good & my girls love them too.
Pea Crisps – I feel like everything in the snack section should just say how much I love it.
Veggie Sticks – Easy kid snacks 101 and yep, I love it.
RX Bars – I don’t love every RX Bar but these chocolate & sea salt ones hit the spot!
Ginger Snaps – Could eat my weight in them. Especially dipped in whipped cream… not that I would do that.
Dried Fruit – Trader Joe’s has a killer dried fruit section. I love these apricots!
Roasted Plantain Chips – Great to snack on or use as “chips” for your favorite dip.
Blue Corn Tortilla Chips – I eat these plain, crunch them as toppings for southwest salads or use to dip!
Fruit Bars – The go-to snack of my girls since 2015.
Peanut Butter Cups – Put these in the fridge & try to eat just one.
Squeeze Pouches – Toddler fan favorite.
Fish Nuggets – If you don’t like a fish nugget we can’t be friends. These are incredible!!
Mini Pizzas – I keep these on hand for when babysitters come over and need an easy meal for the girls. Cut up veggies, these mini pizzas, ranch & done.
Mac & Cheese Bites – Y’all, these are incredible!!! I’ve never met a fried ball of cheese I didn’t like.
Silver Dollar Pancakes – So easy to heat up in the am for a quick bite. Top with fruit or peanut butter!
Cauliflower Rice – A low carb staple. I also will mix a fried egg in this or throw in some peas & carrots for an easy “fried” rice. Also I will add in some coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.
Turkey Burgers – Not the greatest things in the world but a healthy option to keep on hand.
Turkey Meatballs & Mini Meatballs – What turkey lacks in a burger it makes up for in a meatball. These are so good!
Mac & Cheese – Because I’m definitely not making the real thing.
Waffles – We buy the whole grain & the blueberry waffles & both are great!
Fish Sticks – Nuggets, sticks, we don’t discriminate on fried fish in our house!
Veggie Fried Rice – Taste just like the real thing & so much healthier! I cook with coconut aminos & a fried egg. You can buy all sorts of Asian meals (like sweet & sour chicken) at Trader Joe’s to mix with this but I try not to so that I don’t survive on them.
Cauliflower Crust Cheese Pizza – It’s no Dominos thin crust but it’s not terrible either.
FREEZER SECTION SWEETS
Macarons – Perfect to buy when hosting a party!
Chocolate Covered Bananas – My number #1 weakness.
Mini Raspberry Pastries – Again, great for impressing brunch guests or party-goers alike.
Fruit Bars – I love these & may or may not make Prosecco pops with them!
There are SO MANY great sauces and condiments at Trader Joe’s that you could do a Trader Joe’s Haul on this aisle alone. This is just a small sampling of my MVPS.
BBQ Sauce – Cook a chicken in a crock pot with water & then mix in this towards the end. So yummy!
Coconut Aminos – This is the soy sauce alternative I was talking about.
Sriracha Ranch – I’ve tried to make my own (by mixing ranch & sriracha… don’t get crazy) and it’s just not the same. This stuff is awesome!
Sweet & Sour Sauce, Dragon Sauce, Sriracha – All staples in our fridge!
Green Goddess Dressing – I was nervous at first but I actually really like it!
What Trader Joe’s Haul is complete without some spices?!? These are a few of my favorites that I like to keep on hand. I love the Chile Lime on shrimp and the Everyday Seasoning, Lemon Pepper & 21 Seasoning Salute on everything!
WINE & BEVERAGES
I could seriously do an entire post just on the beverages at Trader Joes. There are so many great drinks, sodas, wines, beers & champagnes. Here are four of my favorites & I promise to add in more drinks to this post soon. Until then, check out Trader Joe’s Wine Insider on their site. I also love their What’s New page & their recipes!!
I hope you enjoyed this Trader Joe’s Haul! If you have any favorites leave them in the comments below! And keep checking back because I will update this post as I find new items I love. Also, here is something you can pin to remember where this post is or print to help see what you should buy!