Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite grocery stores because of their amazing selection and prices. Believe it or not, I didn’t jump on the Trader Joe’s bandwagon until about 2 years ago. For some reason I thought their prices were comparable to Whole Foods, so I avoided them. Toward the end of our time in Oklahoma City, I discovered that they are actually very affordable and have an amazing selection. I go about 1-2 times a month to stock up on things, especially from their freezer selection. I love to use their products as a component to make meals easier. This post has been in the works for a long time, so I’m excited to finally share my favorite Trader Joe’s finds.
My Favorite Trader Joe’s Finds :
- Mandarin Orange Chicken: We just tried this and it was excellent. I was a little afraid the chicken would be fatty and cheap, but I should’ve known better. They never let me down! It’s honestly better than orange chicken at an Asian restaurant.
- Cauliflower “Fried” Rice/ Regular Fried Rice: If you haven’t jumped on the cauliflower trend, it’s actually a surprisingly good low carb substitute for rice, pasta, and potatoes. The “fried” rice is one of my favorites products to buy from them. I cook 2 bags, then have Jake de-bone a rotisserie chicken. After the rice is done, I add in the chicken and serve with soy sauce. This a great meal that provides us with a few dinners and lunches for a low price-per-meal. Although the regular fried rice isn’t as healthy, it’s delicious and pairs perfectly with their orange chicken.
- Cauliflower Gnocchi: This is another great low carb substitute. Since it’s not the lowest of low carb meals, I usually only eat 1/2 a serving size. I serve it with ground chicken cooked in pesto sauce topped with fresh parmesan. This goes great with a Caesar salad as well.
- Meatballs: Trader Joe’s has some of the best meatballs I’ve ever eaten. They are comparable to an amazing Italian restaurant. I just follow the microwave instructions and then cook them in a plan of tomato sauce. I usually serve them with zoodles (zucchini noodles).
- Cookie Butter: While this is not healthy, it’s such a treat. Everyone talks about cookie butter for a reason. I cannot keep this stuff around the house because it will be gone quickly.
- Flowers: Trader Joe’s is known for their beautiful and affordable flowers. Anytime I have a work event where I need to make arrangements, they’re my go-to. I’ve been impressed with the quality as well. If you have a big event coming up, you can preorder the amount you need. You can see tips to make flower arrangements in this post.
- Wine: They have such affordable wines. Some of my favorites are Moon X Pinot Noir and La Ferme Julien Rosé. I also love to pick up La Marca Prosecco for mimosas.
- Everything But The Bagel Seasoning: This is another popular item you may have already heard about. It goes perfectly on avocado toast or chicken salad.
- Turkey Jerky: Their turkey jerky is something that I almost always buy when I go. It doesn’t last long in our house because its so tender and delicious. It’s a perfect low carb snack.
- Greeting Cards: I just discovered that their cards are only $1 and are so cute. I need to stock up on birthday cards, since they’re so expensive at other grocery stores.
- Cheese: Their cheese selection is always amazing. I love their goat cheese and the Unexpected Cheddar is delicious as well. This is the perfect spot to get affordable cheese for a cheese board. They’re my go-to for a wine and cheese night at home.
- Salmon: I will say that their meats do seem to be more expensive than most grocery stores, however I was delighted to find that their salmon is affordable and very delicious. I bake it at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. I drizzle olive oil over it and sprinkle on some lemon pepper. It’s also an easy and delicious meal served with a veggie or salad.
- Black Cold Brew Coffee: These come in cans and are delicious. I don’t add any cream or sweetener and they’re not bitter like some black coffees can be.
- Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups: These are such a treat, but I cannot keep them around the house because both Jake and I go crazy over them. They do sell small packages of them by the register and I will buy those sometimes. I don’t have the willpower to resist eating the whole tub if I buy the large tub of them.
- Crab Cakes: These have an ideal ratio of crab and fillings. Many crab cakes skimp on the crab and have too much filler, but these strike an excellent balance between the two.
- Oven Baked Cheese Bites: These are low carb and are perfect to serve with a dip. They don’t taste as good alone, but I discovered that they’re delicious dipped in pimento cheese.
- Hand Soap: Their lemon and lavender hand soaps smell great.
- Hot And Spicy Chicken Wings: These are an easy dinner and taste great served with ranch, carrots and celery. While they’re no Buffalo Wild Wings, they’re low carb and satisfying.
- Avocados: They have some of the best avocados because they’re not over ripe or too hard to eat. The only problem is they don’t last as long, since they’re already the perfect ripeness in the store.
- Southwestern Chopped Salad: This is the perfect side to go with any Mexican food dish.
- Seasonal Items: Make sure to check out their seasonal items, especially fall/Christmas. Their pumpkin body butter is amazing and would be great in a gift basket as well as their jellies. The pumpkin bread and jam are also so delicious.
- Olive Oil: I love that they sell huge things of olive oil that are amazing quality. I use olive oil in so many recipes and this one comes with a topper that makes it easy to pour.
- Almond Danish Kringle
- Cauliflower Pizza Crust: For a lower carb alternative to pizza crust, this is pretty good. The only thing is the serving size is tiny. I always serve it with a salad though.
- Macarons: These are found in the frozen area and are so delicious.
- Nuts: I love their slivered almonds for my yogurt in the morning.
- Seltzer Water: My first impression of some different flavors was not great, but I have found that I love the ginger and lemon seltzer water.
My Least Favorite Items I’ve Bought:
While Trader Joe’s items are mostly great, these are a few that I have been disappointed in.
- Scallops: The texture was really bad in my opinion. Maybe I cooked them wrong, but I was not a fan.
- Jerk Chicken: The chicken quality was bad and it tasted pretty gross.
- Cashew Pesto: I accidentally bought this and it has absolutely no flavor.
- Cashew Cheese Dip: I’ve heard people rave about this as a dairy alternative, but I was not impressed. It didn’t taste like cheese at all.
What are your favorite Trader Joe’s finds?
We miss Trader Jo’s so bad!!! There isn’t one in Midland 🙁 But I’ve had so many of the items on your list and completely agree–they are amazing! Same for us on cookie butter haha. So dangerous!
Katherine | http://www.oneswainkycouple.com
Aww I am so sorry y’all don’t have one. You’ll have to take your Yeti when you go see your family and stop by one. It really is dangerously good.
I’ve heard so many good things about “Everything But the Bagel” seasoning! I need to try it!!
It really is great! You should try it 🙂
I actually prefer their carrot spirals to the zucchini noodles because the texture feels much more like al dente pasta, but oh do I agree with you about the yummy meatballs, the cheese, and the crab cakes! I’m also a fan of their butter chicken and their orange chicken. My Mom adored their green olives.
Thank you so much for letting me know! 🙂 I have actually not tried the carrot spirals, but will grab them next time. I will also have to try their butter chicken, orange chicken and green olives.
Oooh thanks for sharing- I haven’t tried a lot of your favs! I also love the flowers there!
Thanks, Annaliese! Let me know what you think of them when you try them.
I love going to Trader Joe’s! Can’t really eat much of what you listed right now but I did before I had Candida!
It really is a great store! Aw, I’m sorry. I hope you’re getting better.
I so wish we had a Trader Joe’s by us! I have my fingers crossed that one day we’ll get one in the Appleton area of Wisconsin. Right now, the closest one is in Milwaukee. When we finally get one (or I head down to Milwaukee) – I’m printing this list and buying it all! Haha. It all sounds so good.
Aww I hope you get one too. Trader Joe’s is such a great store. I need to go back asap.