Grocery Haul-Trader Joe’s Edition

Hey Friends!

I asked you guys what you wanted to see more of on the blog and you know what you told me?


Are you surprised?

I sure was!

But, I give the people what they want so my first EVER grocery store haul is happening today.  To make it a little more exciting than an average trip, I’m sharing what I grabbed from Trader Joe’s.

The Trader Joe’s isn’t super conveniently located near me AND I’m addicted to grocery pick up or delivery so Trader Joe’s isn’t somewhere I typically go every week.  They do have some things we LOVE but I just stock up when I go.

I hit the store up last week on a Tuesday and it was EMPTY.  If I’m gonna shop in store, this is my favorite way to do it.  🙂

As soon as I got home, I laid it all out and am ready to share.

I want to let you know I went inside the store WITHOUT A LIST.  

Yes, yes, I know.  

WHAT was I thinking?  

And…I was hungry.  

The two biggest no-nos EVER.

1. Brussel Sprouts Saute Kit-We had this as a side last week.  It comes with chopped nuts, shaved parmesan cheese, and a vinegarette.  I’m a HUGE brussel sprouts fan but this wasn’t my favorite.  I’m skipping this next time and just grabbing an extra bag of the shaved sprouts.

2. Cauliflower Gnocchi-Okay, prior to last week we were gnocchi rookies.  So, I can’t really tell you if these were super similar to regular gnocchi BUT I can tell you-they didn’t taste like cauliflower.  I like cauliflower but some cauliflower products aren’t fooling anyone.  This gnocchi would fool people.  Wanna know the real test?  I told Nixon {who HATES most vegetables} they were a cheesy pasta AND he ate them and asked for more.  Should I have fibbed?  No, but if I’d have said the word, “cauliflower”, he’d have been out.  I’ll definitely grab these again!  I served them with a pasta sauce and meatballs.  Next time, I’ll try something else.

3. Hummus-I love snacking on hummus in the afternoon and this hummus was GREAT! 

4.  Zucchini Noodles-We haven’t tried these yet.  They’re a good alternative for Tab and I to eat low carb at nights while the kiddos eat pasta.  But…we haven’t tried this particular brand before.

5.  White Truffle Potato Chips-These chips are DELICIOUS and so addicting.  I don’t allow myself to get them often because I eat them.  No will-power when these are in the house, but if you’ve never tried them…you should!

6.  White Cheddar Corn Puffs-Trader Joe’s version of Pirate’s Booty.  My kiddos called these a major win!

7.  Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes-I’m not vegan by any means, but I have a weird thing with meat.  My friends can attest to this fact.  We eat chicken and beef all the time but when it comes to my lunches-I can only eat certain meats leftover.  Chicken?  Pretty much out of the question as a leftover, so I’ll grab random things like these crab cakes instead to have for a quick lunch.  Gotta be real here-I didn’t realize they were VEGAN crab cakes.  I had them for lunch and they weren’t my favorite.  I’ll be passing on this purchase next time.

8.  Hard Boiled Eggs-My boys are big hard boiled egg fans and on this particular day I was feeling extra lazy so I grabbed two bags for their breakfasts.  #truth

9.  Tomato Basil Marinara-I’d heard AMAZING things about this marinara and I just thought it was -eh.  Apparently, I should stick to my fave, Classico.

10.  Marinara Sauce-I grabbed this for turkey meatballs {wait for it-they’re coming up} and I preferred this sauce over the Tomato Basil.

11.  Tempura Chicken-This is one of the reasons I tend to limit my Trader Joe’s visits.  I end up grabbing a lot of frozen food!  Anyone else?  That aisle gets me EVERY TIME!  Remember my weird chicken thing above?  I didn’t try this one, but my kiddos enjoyed it.  They skipped the sweet and sour sauce though, which made the chicken basically chicken nuggets.

12.  Honey Walnut Shrimp-I grabbed a bag of this too and we had a variety of our Chinese food favorites.  If you ever have a craving for some fried shrimp at home, grab this!

13.  Frozen Chopped Spinach-To be honest, there was nothing fun about this but I make Shay’s Spinach and Sun Dried Tomato Meatballs quite a bit so I’m always needing spinach.

14.  Cauliflower Fried Rice-Okay, this dupe is one that is REALLY close.  Because of the vegetables and seasonings,  my kiddos didn’t second guess this being “fried rice” at all.  Its a little different but really the closest cauliflower product I’ve ever tried.  We’ll have this again for sure!

15.  Mashed Cauliflower-Ebby Lee is a big mashed potato fan but I only make them about twice a year.  I thought these might dupe her…I liked them but she wasn’t fooled.

16.  Artichoke Antipasto-A random impulse buy and I’ve done nothing with it.

17.  Fully Cooked Quinoa-Let me tell you a little secret…when a regular box of quinoa says to “rinse it”…I have no idea how to do that.  The quinoa is so tiny I lose half of it through the colander as I’m rinsing.  {Does anyone have this problem or do I need a new colander?}  So, pretty much any recipe that calls for quinoa is getting a substitute in this house.  Until I found this.  🙂  This box contains two pouches of frozen quinoa you simply heat in the microwave.  I made Shay’s Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Soup and this little box made it so easy.  #anddelicious

18.  Butter Lettuce-I’m sure this lettuce is barely one step up from iceberg on the nutritional scale, but my kiddos are fans.

19.  Grilled Chicken Breast-Remember my weird meat thing we talked about above?  Let’s just say I haven’t tried these yet, but Tab prefers to eat pretty healthy food {and doesn’t like to cook/prep lunches}.  I grabbed these for him.

20.  Seasoning Salt-Gotta be honest…I was just out of Lawry’s Season Salt {which we use when we roast veggies} and saw this as I was perusing the aisle.  It’s pretty much equivalent in my book.

21.  Butternut Squash Zig Zags-I sauteed these with some brussel sprouts and definitely underestimated the time they needed so these were a bit crunchy.  But, if I had an air fryer I think I’d dump these right in for some squash fries.

22.  Pepperoni-My kiddos are big Lunchable fans and often times we just make our own.  I grabbed this to add to cheese and crackers for lunch.

23.  Epic Bars-Last year Santa filled Tab’s stocking with a variety of Epic bars.  He loved them!  I just forgot to grab him more and haven’t seen them in a store.  I grabbed a few for him.

24.  Frozen Turkey Meatballs-I know I’ve said it three times, but I know I have weird meat issues.  I’m aware.  🙂  {Which means your family might love these so don’t mind my opinion one bit!}  I’ve never in my life bought frozen meatballs.  For some reason, that doesn’t sound good to me at all.  I’d much rather mix up my own and bake them.  But, I thought I’d give these a shot-especially since they were turkey.  All in the name of HEALTHY, right?  Wrong…apparently, I’ve spoiled my kids with homemade meatballs their whole lives.  Tab approved but everyone else just ate enough to survive until breakfast the next morning.

25.  Silver Dollar Pancakes-My neighbors’ kiddos LOVE these…they’ll even sneak in the freezer to eat a frozen one.  They REALLY like them.  My kids?  Thought they were good but I never saw them sneaking around to eat them.  

26.  Veggie Sticks-My kiddos were big fans, but if I’m telling you my honest opinion I think the Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Straws are better.  Probably because those taste more “potato chippy”.  These sticks taste a little more healthy.  Still good but in a blind taste test, I’d prefer the others.  However, if I keep our pantry stocked with these I’ll eat less.  Win-win!

27.  Three Seed Sweet Potato Crackers-I think I had these for the first time at Shay’s house served on a cheese board.  Tab and I both really liked them.

28.  Fish Nuggets-Several of the Instagram accounts I follow have mentioned these.  The way I looked at it-if several moms were talking about fish nuggets, they must be good.  Right?  I haven’t made these yet, so I’ll have to keep you posted.

29.  Spinach and Kale Greek Yogurt Dip-Okay, this dip is WAY healthier than any other spinach dip I’ve ever tried.  I think it tastes way healthier but is worth it when it comes to everyday eating.  I wouldn’t serve this dip at a party, but I’d totally eat it with those sweet potato crackers on a Tuesday.

30.  Hot and Sweet Pepper Jelly-STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING RIGHT NOW AND GO TO TRADER JOE’S TO GET THIS PEPPER JELLY.  I had this at Shay’s with that cheese board {mentioned above} and couldn’t stop thinking about it.  This is hands-down my favorite item from Trader Joe’s.

31.  Eggs-Nothing fancy about this…we were out of eggs.  🙂

32.  Cheddar Cheese with Caramelized Onions-I walked by the cheese section very slowly and spotted this gem.  Paired with that pepper jelly….it’s SO good!

33.  Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups-The key phrase is “dark chocolate”….that spells healthy, right?  All my kiddos were big fans.  Britt even found herself attempting to scale the pantry shelves to get into these.

34.  Organic Wheat Bread-I grabbed this for kiddos’ lunches, but it’s really hard.  Granted, we don’t eat organic bread much so maybe that’s the difference?  My kiddos all commented on their sandwiches being hard {not in a bratty way-just stating a fact way} and I completely agreed.

35. Another type of bread-I think it was a multi-grain wheat…we haven’t eaten this one yet.

36.  Sriracha Ranch-I like my food spicy so this is a great addition.  I even add a little more sriracha to give it an extra kick.  This will be a new Trader Joe’s staple for me.


38.  Cocktail Sauce-I’ve mentioned before I love a condiment and this happened to be sitting above the fish nuggets.  This was an impulse buy as well.  🙂

There you have it.  My first ever Grocery Haul post.  🙂

WHAT ABOUT YOU??  What are your MUSTS when you head to Trader Joe’s?

Thanks so much for reading today!

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  1. 1.16.19
    Jennifer said:

    LOVE Trader Joe’s but the only one we have is wayyy out of the way for me.. boo. Something about it just makes it a fun place to shop! And the employees are always so so nice, to me it’s worth going! Hands down my fave item, the Trader Joe's Quinoa & Black Bean Infused Tortilla Chips!!!!!!! Even better with guac! The plantain chips are also super yummy and healthy! I always get fresh flowers when I’m there bc they are cheap and they have a huge assortment, and at Christmas time I always by the Trader Joe’s peppermint Oreo cookies…. SO good!! Now I want to go to TJs!

  2. 1.16.19
    Katie B. said:

    Their Caesar salad dressing is THE BEST! Also love their Canadian white bread, Everything but the bagel seasoning, 21 seasoning salute, frozen blueberry waffles, and their super fruit juice!

  3. 1.16.19
    Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} said:

    No Everything But The Bagel Seasoning? Other Trader Joe faves for me: the reduced guilt guacamole (it's mixed with pico and Greek yogurt), the reduced guilt Mac and Cheese (frozen), the reduced guilt shells and cheese (frozen), the Argentinian Shrimp (frozen), the wontons (frozen). Those are just off the top of my head. And yes, I wish we had one that was closer! Going to try a few things off your haul today!

  4. 1.16.19
    Anonymous said:

    This is making me want to go to Trader Joe’s today! So many great tips on what to get here! 🙂

  5. 1.16.19
    Mix and Match Mama said:

    Yessssssssss!! I love, love, love me some Trader Joe's! This post has me wanting a cheeseboard with pepper jelly for breakfast now!

  6. 1.16.19
    PSKC said:

    Shrimp tempura, pork pot stickers and the Gorgonzola crackers are my favorites!

  7. 1.16.19
    Erika Slaughter said:

    I should have added I had an entire bottle of Everything But the Bagel Seasoning. That’s why it missed my haul. 🙂

  8. 1.16.19
    Toni :0) said:

    Their orange chicken is the number one seller in the store. Put it over their brown rice and it’s an awesome meal with an Asian salad and fruit.

  9. 1.16.19
    Laura said:

    You should rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer, not a colander, and you shouidnt lose any. 🙂

    If there’s anything you don’t like, take back the package on your next trip for a refund! Trader Joe’s is great about refunds!

  10. 1.16.19
    susanep said:

    We love there mango salsa it's not spicy and also there tortilla chips are so good not too salty.

  11. 1.16.19
    Jennie said:

    Add their chili lime seasoning to your list, too! So yummy!

  12. 1.16.19
    Corinne said:

    I can never buy bread from TJ’s, it always starts to mold before we can use it. Too bad preservatives aren’t good for you : ( For a easy breakfast that my husband loves I scramble eggs and the last 30 seconds of cooking I add the Cowboy Caviar Salsa. At the beginning of the week I like to get the containers of Greek Salad and the Butternut Squash salad to have for my own lunches. If I’m smart I use their Goddess Salad dressing and marinate/grill chicken or salmon to throw on top of those salads and it feels decadent!! I keep the Frozen Butter Chicken and the Garlic Naan on hand in case I have nothing for dinner. It’s a little spicy but everyone in my family loves it. For dessert, my kiddos blow through the boxes of mini ice cream cones! At Christmas, they had peppermint ice cream cones : ) Now I am starving!

  13. 1.16.19
    Kelly Henderson said:

    Frozen mexican street corn for the win.! I also prefer their coconut oil.

  14. 1.16.19
    Simple Purposeful Living said:

    We love their pretzel bread, guacamole, fondue, raclette cheese and the chocolate covered peanut buttered filled pretzels (say that 5 times fast ;). Wish we had one closer. Ours is about 40 minutes away! xoxo ERIN @ Simple Purposeful Living

  15. 1.16.19
    Taylor said:

    I also use a mesh strainer for quinoa, but if you don't have one, you can line a colander with a thin (cloth) napkin, coffee filter, or (strong) double-layered paper towels. It'll take a bit longer to drain, but that should do the trick! 🙂

  16. 1.16.19
    Megan & Jeff said:

    Chili lime and nothing but the bagel seasoning, three layer hummus, the best gluten free bread, plantain chips, frozen cauliflower rice, organic pepper tomato soup, liquid stevia (their brand)……. could go on and on! I'm getting that jelly when I go back!

  17. 1.16.19
    Unknown said:

    I'm SO glad I'm not the only one whose not vegan but still has an issue with meat! I don't feel like such a freak now! LOL

  18. 1.16.19
    Megan Albano said:

    Try the cauliflower gnocchi with pesto next time- SO GOOD! We also love their sweet potato & sage gnocchi.

  19. 1.16.19
    Sarah said:

    The chili lime seasoning is so good on everything! A sprinkle of it on taco or tortilla soup makes all the flavors pop. I also like to put it on chicken and pan sear. I can't taste it if I put it on chicken for the grill though.

  20. 1.16.19
    Abby said:

    I love posts about Trader Joe's because we have one, but it's not convenient so I don't go. but I WANT to go. And now I might 🙂 If you haven't, get their everything but the bagel seasoning—–it's the best on hard boiled eggs, avocado toast, etc.

    And I am with you on the meats, specifically leftover meat. I cannot heat up leftover chicken because it gets the grossest taste ever. I hate raw meat too, so I hate cooking meat. But I do like eating it hahaha.

  21. 1.16.19
    a little bit of emily said:

    The dark chocolate peanut butter cups are SO GOOD! I can't get them often, because I eat too many of them! I really love their vegan pesto. That is what I pair with the cauliflower gnocchi and it is SO GOOD!

  22. 1.16.19
    Kristin L said:

    Tempura Shrimp, Orange Chicken, PB&J bars – my kids love these, jarred salsa – tastes like restaurant salsa. Pressed fruit bars for my kids, chocolate mint star cookies, frozen pizzas, frozen brown rice. Gyoza sauce with their frozen dumplings/wontons. So yum!

  23. 1.16.19
    Laurel said:

    I love TJ’s and about 8 months we moved really close to one! My staples are EBTB seasoning, umami seasoning (just replace salt with this!), chile lime seasoning, cauli rice and gnocchi, goat cheese medallions, fig goat cheese, low fat cheddar cheese sticks, Mexican style street corn, chicken fried rice, “walks into a bar” cereal bars, salmon dip, shaved brussel sprouts, sweet potato gnocchi. I might be hungry now ;D

  24. 1.16.19
    Laurel said:

    Oh and cowboy bark!!

  25. 1.16.19
    Paula said:

    I don't live very close to one myself. I live in the country and our grocery store doesn't really believe in italian turkey sausage and such, so I haul a cooler down for those kind of items. One's I havevto cook. Like yourself, frozen reheated meat…not my thing. Like you, I did frozen meatballs like 2 years ago…ick. Not our thing either.

  26. 1.16.19
    Linznoel said:

    TJ's is the BEST! I'm going to have to try this hot pepper jelly! I'm a big fan of their convenience foods- the frozen brown rice is great, garlic herb chicken sausage, the chicken fajitas in their prepared fridge section are AMAZING. Add some of their reduced guilt guac and that's a perfect 5 minute dinner. The sweet potato and sage gnocchi is really good too! And if you like hummus, the three layer one is so yummy! And the frozen spinach and artichoke dip is fantastic!

  27. 1.16.19
    Unknown said:

    Yum! I’ll have to get to Trader Joe’s soon!

    I love their orange chicken, Mediterranean hummus, and honey roasted peanuts.

    For bread (this isn’t at TJs), I am a big fan of Dave’s Killer Bread. It is super yummy, organic, and they employ former inmates to help them get back on their feet.

  28. 1.17.19
    ebaker said:

    My kiddos loooooooove the chicken fried rice!!!

  29. 1.17.19
    Meaghan P said:

    The reduced guilt guac and chili lime seasoning are some of my favs that are not on your list! Also the frozen brown rice. 3 bags come in a box and heats up in 3 minutes. Perfect for quick lunches/dinners!

  30. 1.17.19
    Sara F said:

    Chai latte mix at TJ's… my FAVORITE! Also their pb&j oatmeal bars (in the granola bar section). My son loves those and so do I!

  31. 1.17.19
    Unknown said:

    I just went to my local Trader Joe's (it's not in a convenient spot for me either) and picked up a bunch to try so this is perfect timing. If you love the Sriracha Ranch, next time also grab their Sriracha Barbecue sauce! We love spicy in our house so I grabbed both to try and they are huge hits. Also, their Chili Lime seasoning is so good! I got those turkey meatballs to try but haven't yet lol your review isn't promising – I'm weird about meat too!! I didn't see the frozen quinoa, I'm a fan of their frozen brown rice for the convenience so I will have to look for that when I go back!

  32. 1.18.19
    Parnell's Pantry said:

    I go to Trader Joe's only for a few things, because truth be told, I don't think their stuff is the best. I do enjoy most of their cauliflower products. Here is a tip for the mashed cauliflower..add freshly grated parmesan(the real stuff),a little salt & pepper..makes a big difference. Love the gnocchi, but make it with olive oil , not water..water makes them mushy. Try the Maple Leaf cookies..your kids will like them. The rosemary marcona almonds are very good($$$),and the roasted garlic hummus is pretty good. I'm not a big fan of prepared foods, but their mac & cheese with hatch chilies is pretty good. I usually go for the , Also, use a fine strainer to rinse quinoa. Have a great weekend.

  33. 1.18.19
    Good Better Best Food said:

    I am lucky that we have a Trader Joe's close to the house. I may even be going there on the way home from work. Loved seeing what you bought for new inspirations for my shopping cart.


  34. 1.22.19
    Unknown said:

    Love this post! 🙂