Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Land of Yum

One of my favorite places to shop for food is Trader Joe's. If you live in an area devoid of a TJs, I am so terribly sorry. I lived in Vermont for awhile where not only are there no Targets, there are no TJs in the entire state. Ugh. Then I moved to Washington and discovered the goodness of TJs.

Here's how TJs describes themselves:

Just what is this thing we call Trader Joe’s? Well, we’re a grocery store, sure, but really so much more. Our shelves are stocked full of delicious foods and beverages from the basics like milk, bread and butter to more exotic fare like imported cheeses, organic produce and hand-tossed pizza from Italy. We taste every product before we decide to sell it, and we guarantee you’ll like it.*

You might expect indulgences like these to come with unbecoming prices. But at Trader Joe’s, we’re as much about value as we are about great food. In other words, we keep our costs low, cut out the middleman whenever possible and pass our savings on to you in the form of terrific everyday prices. So you can afford to be adventurous without breaking the bank.

*Our Product Guarantee: We tried it! We liked it! If you don’t, bring it back for a full refund, no questions asked.

Every time I go to TJs, I seem to find something new to try out. If I go in for a gallon of milk, I typically leave with a bag full of stuff and at least $60 deducted from my checking account. I also noticed several Trader Joe's inspired cookbooks springing up during the holiday season. I have not yet purchased any of these cookbooks and don't have plans to do so, even though I am a TJs shopper. are a few of my TJs favorites:
  • Milk! Their milk is a great price and doesn't contain tons of hormones.
  • Nuts. If you need a bag of salted or unsalted nuts of almost any variety, TJs has you covered and you're not going to spend a lot.
  • Meats. Again, high quality; reasonable prices.
  • Frozen pizzas. My husband loves their super thin-crusted European-style frozen cheese pizzas.
  • Frozen rice. Sounds weird, but packets of frozen jasmine and brown rice save the day when I'm trying to cook a super fast dinner after working all day.
  • Refried beans. Their beans are squishy and favorable. (And cheap!)
  • Pita Chips and White Bean Hummus. A perfect combo. Snarf!
  • Pita Crackers and Pub Cheese. The crackers are perfectly salty and crunchy and are especially yummy paired with pub cheese.
  • Olive Oil. A big bottle won't break the bank.
  • Cheese. TJs sells my beloved Cabot cheddar and they also have a very tasty, very affordable goat cheese log that I'm a big fan of.
  • Wine. I don't drink a whole lot of wine (I leave that to my sister and mother!), but TJs has a great selection of wine and beer at very reasonable prices. They're known for their 2 Buck Chuck.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. And like I said, I tend to find something new each time. If you're a Trader Joe's shopper, let me know what you love. It's always good to add new items to my cart.


Lynn said...

I was excited when TJ opened here a couple of years ago and I can walk to it! I like their pretzel crisps, cheeses, the pizza dough.

phairhead said...

The Fried Wontons, the cheesecake, the Nuts about Chocolate trail mix, sweet n' salty granola bars, low fat fruit granola (Chris' pick!), and the taquitos!!!!!! They can come in 3 varieties: beef, chicken and bean.

Totally agree about the olive oil and it's soooo cute that they put Trader Giotto on the label :D

Andrea said...

LOVE TJs!! And was way too excited about one opening about 2 min from my house this summer. The prices & quality are great & they have tons of things that are healthy & preservative free, with kids I couldn't live w/out it. My favorites: carrot & broccoli slaw, mini gold potatoes, bags of small sized apples, pita crackers & hummus, string cheese, the best dill pickles, all of their granola & fruit bars, frozen naan, frozen pesto tortallini, organic marinara, baked nacho chips, great now I'm hungry!

Greta said...

TJ's is one of my favorites too! I love the Naan, pita chips, hummus, goat cheese and all their nuts! Yum!