Grocery Shopping At Trader Joe's


Yesterday I changed up my routine a bit. Instead of going to the grocery store, I went to Trader Joe's. 

I've been in there 4-5 times for flowers or dried fruits since they opened here in Tulsa about a year and a half ago, but I've never gone in for my groceries.

I was delighted with their prices.

  
I purchased some frozen meals like enchiladas and tacos that were cheese, veggie and chicken. 

I don't mind small amounts of meat, but I find big pieces tedious somehow. I sometimes get choked on meat.


My main reason for shopping at Trader Joe's yesterday was because the last time I bought cooked beef brisket at my grocery store, which had been delicious every time I'd purchased it, it was downright awful.

I had also bought two chicken breasts at the same store that were almost $11. And when I cooked them, they were for some reason non-edible. 

I ate what I could and had to toss the rest. (My pupsters cannot eat people food.)

So right then and there I told myself, I'm getting away from meat and going toward beans and rice dishes and other veggies that are easy to cook. 


The only problem I encountered was when I was walking to my car. It was right out front in the handicapped parking space. 

One of my two paper grocery bags broke and some of my groceries spilled out onto the concrete. (Next time I'm buying those cloth bags I saw up front.)

A woman walking into the store immediately stopped and helped me pick up the groceries. And her family helped me get everything tucked away in my car. 


So I will be trying out the new foods I purchased. And I do believe I will go back and get my groceries there again.

Another plus is that the store is small and easy for me to navigate without my ankle getting too sore.

So who loves Trader Joe's? And what do you like best from there?


66 comments

  1. I love Trader Joe's! It is owned by Aldi's but much more interesting. It tempts one to try different things. Best of all, the employees seem happy that you are shopping with them!!

    Best,
    Bonnie

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    1. You're right. I was tempted to try lots of new things!

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  2. I shop there on occasion but not all the time. There isn't one very close to me. Sounds like you did great though.

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    1. There was lots of buzz about this one coming to town. It's been there about a year and a half now.

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  3. Trader Joe's bags are notorious for tearing. So nice of folks to help out. TJ's has some nice produce and we especially like the bourbon vanilla...yum. The Chis, Riley and Jacob, are partial to the organic chicken treats. Jake recognizes the package and his eyes sparkle and his ears go straight up...ha! I follow another blogger who shops at TJ's regularly and uses a lot of the frozen entrees. Sounds you bought some good things...will you go back? They do have excellent employees (and the shirts are fun!). Years ago I overheard a conversation between two men working in different grocery store, and they had both previously worked in Aldi's. The gist of the conversation was that one man was told not to talk to customers. This is only one of the differences between the two stores. Oh, and being greeted by a beautiful flower display as you walk in the door is just lovely. Classical music would be nice too...

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    1. You all are giving me great suggestions!

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  4. I live in the Outer Banks and we do not have a Trader Joes. I wish we did. I hear so many good things about this store.

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  5. Hi. We sometimes go to the Trader Joe's in Lexington KY. We live in another town about 30 miles away so we only get to the store every couple of months if that often. It's on just about the busiest street in town so it's not a place we can pop into easily. We get nuts, dried fruit, apples, cherry tomatoes, rice and couscous, and the Trader Joe's version of Cheerio's. Sometimes I get flour there, and I definitely get their baking powder because it is aluminum free. I love their Fall Harvest Salsa and Pineapple Salsa -- I think they are available year round but I'm not sure. I don't like hot salsa and those are both very mild. I also love their jam called Holiday Spread that is only available at Christmas. This past holiday season I bought about six jars and it only got me through March, so I next year I'll buy more of it! We don't do all of our grocery shopping there due to its distance away from home, but do like getting these specialty items that I've listed. We keep a couple of heavy duty shopping bags in the car in case we are in that part of town and can stop in.

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    1. I bought some of their olive oil and a spice too. Can't wait to try them out.

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    2. Hi. Just wanted to correct something -- I just opened a jar of Fall Harvest Salsa and it was hotter than I remembered. Maybe it would be considered medium hot. But it was not mild as I stated in my comment. I must have been thinking of some other salsa flavor. Don't want to lead anyone astray on the salsa hotness!

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  6. Love Trader Joe's and wish there was one closer to me. My dream is to have a Trader's and a Panera's very close. Love their scones, coffee, and just about everything else. Oh, and the plants and flowers and cards!
    Mary

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    Replies
    1. We have both. They're not particularly close by, but within 5-6 miles.

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  7. Trader Joes is one of my favorite stores! I shop there all the time. I've even been a chili judge for them twice, and one winter, won their soup contest. Anyway, besides great prices on produce, I also buy nuts, coffee, canned coconut milk, GF pasta, wine, meats, cheese, salsas, almond milk, nut butters, crackers, low-sodium tomato and roasted red pepper soup in a carton (in the winter), olive oil, organic free-range eggs...that's just off the top of my head!

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    1. You've given me lots of great ideas for my next shopping venture there!

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  8. I don't shop at Trader Joe's very often as it's in a town about a half hour away from me, but when I'm in that town I go there. I like their free samples. The other day they were giving a slice of a black bean burrito topped with guacamole, neither of which I had ever tasted. The burrito was a little too spicy for me, but I learned (at 72) that I do like guacamole.

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    1. They gave me a free sample of the pulled barbecue chicken, and I bought some. Had half of it for dinner last night. Will have the rest tonight I guess.

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  9. I love Trader Joes! I think the food is reasonable and very good. IF you like macaroni and cheese you must try their frozen 5 cheese macaroni, it is delicious. As mentioned above they are owned by Aldi and aldi is another great place to shop if you have one. The prices are great, and they have a lot of grey produce.

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    1. What is grey produce? I love TJ's too!

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    2. Maybe meant great produce?

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    3. I am thinking she meant great produce. :)

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    4. I would love to try a Trader Joe's. I live in the boonies. 70 miles from the nearest mall, 40 to the nearest Wal-mart. Yep, country girl here. :)

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  10. I love Trader Joe's and I drive 45 minutes to go there. There frozen vegetables are delicious, I keep a styrofoam cooler in my trunk and put them in there. By all means do buy some of those tote bags, they are so cute and tell the cashier not to pack them too heavy. I have about 6 of them because I do not live close so I stock up. If you have an Aldi anywhere near you try them also. Their prices are really good and they are the sister company of Trader Joe's.

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    1. Sounds like a great plan! I'm so glad this one isn't too far from me so I can go quite a bit.

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  11. I've only been there a couple of times, but it was years ago. We have one about 5 miles down the road, but traffic causes it to be 20 minutes away, so I go to Sprouts. From what I remember though, it's a wonderful store. The meat at the regular grocery store is over priced and practically inedible here as well. I don't understand why. It says organic or free range, but there's got to be a bit of fibbing on their labels.

    Anyway, I hope your meals turn out great :)

    xo,
    rue

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    1. We have a Sprouts about five miles from me. I've shopped there before.

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  12. I get the Orange Chicken in the frozen section. It comes with the chicken and veggies. You cook the chicken and add the sauce and veggies. It is delicious.

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    1. I saw the orange chicken and considered buying it. I think it will be on my list for next visit.

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  13. Yes. I like Trader Joe's store also. They have good prices and some very interesting foods I like to try. I also am trying to focus on plant foods.

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    1. That's what I loved about the store. I saw things I didn't see anywhere else in town.

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  14. Brenda, I've been shopping at Trader Joe's since 1969. I'm a 'scratch' cooker most of the time, but their prepared foods are good. I love the Orange Chicken (frozen). I'm glad for you that going there is less stress on your ankle. I love your pix. Sandy.

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    1. That's what I will try next time I go: the orange chicken.

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  15. I love Trader Joe's and as it is only 10 minutes from me I shop there often. I had tortilla chips topped with refried beans, fresh tomato, grated cheese, guacamole, and sour cream for my main meal today. I'll have it again tomorrow so that I can use up the beans. It all came from Trader Joe's. I love their prices. xo Laura

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    1. That sounds like a delicious meal. I may plan that one myself.

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  16. I too like that it is small enough to get what I need without a trek. I especially recommend the Sweet Corn Tamales (vegetarian)--they do have a little green chili in them, but are not hot or spicy. Just a little cheese on top and yum--the sweet taste of the corn really comes through. I find the employees at Trader Joe's are always helpful. It's nice to hear there are nice people out there who helped with your spilled groceries. (I always use TJ's cloth bag--it holds alot.)

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    1. I did see the tamales, but I didn't notice if they were sweet corn tamales.

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  17. If there was one close by I'd go all the time! I think the closest I'd about 60 miles. I do ship at Aldi's every week and am very happy with that!

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    1. I don't know if we have an Aldi's or not.

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  18. Trader Joes is a good 45 minutes or more from me so I only go when I need flowers. Best prices and selection.

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    1. I do love their selection of flowers.

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  19. The supermarkets here long ago stopped giving out bags, even paper ones. That is OK. I have some large woven shopping bags that I keep in the trunk of my car and just grab when I go in. I have had them for over a decade and they are still holding up. Much better than paper or plastic.

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    1. I think your country is more evolved in terms of paper and such. You're right, your idea is much better than paper or plastic.

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  20. I thought of a lot more! Their condiments - ketchup, mustard and pickles - are fantastic. No high fructose corn syrup in the ketchup or pickles, like most major brands. Organic, pure maple syrup; spices (try their 21 Seasoning Salute!); hummus; Ezekiel bread; naan bread; olive tapenade (in the refrigerated section by the hummus)...you want something sweet, try their Speculoos cookies or their almond biscotti dipped in dark chocolate. Both of these are so good dunked in coffee! And then, of course there's a fantastic wine and flower selection. Love their $3.99 flowers!

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    1. I will be needing more dill pickle slices for my veggie burgers. Thanks for all your suggestions!

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    2. Anything with a Trader Joe's label (which is about 95% of all their products) is guaranteed to have:
      No GMO
      No high fructose corn syrup
      No artificial colors
      No artificial flavors
      No nitrates
      No trans fats
      They do carry a few items that aren't TJ's label like Morning Star, Columbus...

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  21. I do love Trader Joe's too, but closest one is about 45 miles away, so hardly ever go there. I used to live closer to one and went more often. I loved mostly that almost all of their foods are ORGANIC and I knew and could trust that there weren't preservatives and pesticides in what they stock, so I could shop there with confidence that it was healthy. Loved their meats.. so good! and prices were so reasonasble.. always had good fresh produce and great prices and always foods there that I couldn't find anywhere else, like their havarti dill cheese, seasonal pumpkin butter (delicious!) and various nuts and milks. They were the first ones I found to have coconut milk! I would go all the time if I lived closer!

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    1. I feel fortunate to have one here in town.

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  22. I love TJ's! The flowers and cards are great! I love that the employees are so friendly and fun. They will give you a sample of anything in the store if you are hesitant about buying. I love the Orange Chicken and the brown rice (frozen) and there are lots of veggies and other dishes in the freezer section too.

    I agree with you about meat. I check the labels to ensure it's not from China. It's also getting more expensive each time I go to the store. I'm thinking that having fresh veggies and fruits from a Farmer's Market might be the best. We just need to make a point of having enough protein!

    Have a wonderful week!
    xo
    Pat

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    1. I didn't even see the cards. Will have to look next time.

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  23. I shop there about once a month to stock my freezer. I do not eat much meat, but need protein. I eat a lot of their salmon, tuna, veggie and turkey patties. I am obsessed with all of them. I lightly fry them in Pam spray, make a side salad or vegetable and dinner is done in 12 minutes.

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    1. That sounds like a plan. Like my veggie burgers.

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  24. Hi Brenda, my family loves TJs. Freezer section: vegetable samosas (Indian spices & veggies in small crispy bundles), Joe's low fat Mac & cheese, STEEL CUT OATMEAL w/ or w/o quinoa (I always add fresh or TJ's frozen blueberries, bag of fettuccine w/pesto & cherry tomatoes (I add extra fresh grape tomatoes-SO delicious), small box of cheese tortellini w/pesto & zucchini. Pita crackers w/sea salt always on hand for when my meds cause nausea. Frig section: chicken piccata. Just as good as my homemade.
    I don't buy bread-it always seems stale-except for packed sealed whole grain sliced varieties. Yummy cookies if you like sweets. My dietician turned me on to the triple ginger cookies (round clear tub). Winter Spice blend coffee at holiday time is a family staple.

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    1. Oh yes, that Winter Spice coffee is THE best! I look forward to it every year.

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  25. If you get the orange chicken (so good!) try the vegetable fried rice (frozen dept) with it, too. You heat it in the skillet with only a small bit of oil. If you make pumpkin bread or other pumpkin recipes in the fall, their canned pumpkin (seasonal in the fall) is the BEST. So fresh tasting. I stock up. I also like their turkey meatballs (frozen). Good with spaghetti or just with your meal as your meat dish. Very good. I love their cereal called High Fiber Fruit and Nut Wholegrain Medley which has 7 grams of fiber per serving. Their cookies are good, too.

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  26. Oh, there are some cookies and candies that are crazy good. We need to lose weight so we haven't bought them in awhile. My favorite is a maple-flavored cookie shaped like a leaf -- two layers of cookie with a white crème in the middle. Yum.

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  27. Dear Brenda,
    I live near TJ in NYC and love to shop there! I always buy cottage cheese and peanut butter as their prices are great for many staples too. Do be careful and read labels as in canned tuna comes from Vietnam. I like almost every section in the store and you can get on their mailing list as they mail a very informative news letter that has a shopping list on inside back page. Enjoy! Robin from NYC :)

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  28. Miss TJ since moving from AZ to MT. One thing I love from there is their "21 Seasoning Salute." No salt. Delicious on veggies, in salad dressing, eggs. I have my Seattle daughter bring some every time she visits.

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  29. Wine, nuts, dairy including eggs, cheese, crackers, pasta, tuna, olive oil, fresh salsa, sourdough baguettes, coffee, frozen peas and string beans, dark chocolate, cous-cous and their absolutely yummy thin ginger cookies. Most of the prepared foods I stay away from but I do like their Beef and Stout Pies in the frozen food section, good for a quick dinner. As you can see I really, really like TJ's.

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  30. I do about 95% of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe's. Be sure to check out the prepared foods section - they have some really great wraps and salads. The bagged salad mixes are good too. I like the vegetable fried rice from the freezer section, and the fire roasted peppers and onions (great for fajitas or sausage and peppers). Favorite snacks are the white cheddar baconesque popcorn, the chocolate chip brownie bars, or tortilla chips with salsa authentica and guacamole. The various chicken sausages are really delicious too!

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  31. I like Trader Joe's but only for a few things they carry that my big grocery doesn't. They have awesome tabouleh that I like to add to salads. Their beef is exceptional. I really am not a person who is totally organic but I do like very few preservatives, but that's commonplace now. I do think they are expensive but I just love the people who work there. So friendly!

    I bring my own bags everywhere. Plastic. It's regulated in Chicago now. If you want something other than paper you pay 17 cents per bag, If you reuse the bag you get 5 cents back per bag. Great incentive and a way to keep our world a better place!

    Jane

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  32. Love TJ's! Try the Kale slaw kit the next time you go! I never thought I'd like kale but this is so good. Comes complete with everything you need!

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  33. I love Trader Joe's!! They have such a fantastic produce section, and their cheese selection is amazing also! Oh, and that bakery, oh my gosh! If I had one near me I'd do all my grocery shopping there, no doubt. Their prices are wonderful for the quality of the items. Too bad the closest one is an hour from me - so sad.

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  34. i too love trader joes. and i had no idea that it's owned by aldi's!
    i buy TJ's fried rice with chicken. the chicken pieces are tiny just like a Chinese restaurant ... even has the bits of egg in it too. it's absolutely delicious. i just take out however much i want and reseal the bag and keep the rest frozen. i put it in a bowl and strizzle a little bit of canola oil over it and stir it. that one little step seems to give it body.
    then i microwave it for a couple of minutes or even less. it's quick simple and delicious!
    with a fresh salad it's more than enough for dinner. i've also messed around with it sometimes and added pineapple tidbits or ... after it's heated even some cashews.
    i love EASY these days! and like you... i was amazed at TJ's prices. i thought it would be way beyond my budget! plus... cloth bags are the best. they're easier to carry too!

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  35. I joined Weight Watchers in September and Trader Joe's is right next door to my meeting. I've lost 60 pounds so far and eat a lot of their foods on WW. I love the spicy chicken jalapeno sausage, the 96% fat free ground beef, the fat free sour cream, the jalapeno and artichoke dip, the spicy hummus, the reduced guilt guacamole, the jarlsberg lite sliced swiss cheese, the lite shredded mozzarella (for pizza), and the lite shredded mexican cheese. In the frozen aisle, I LOVE the veggie and chicken fried rice (I add extra chicken and egg with sliced green onions), the orange chicken, chile lime chicken patties, handsome cut fries, reduced guilt mac and cheese (although the hatch mac and cheese is AMAZING), and the handsome cut french fries. Snacks above the frozen foods that are yummy are the cafe twists - cinnamon and sugar, the chocolate cats, the triple ginger snaps, and their pumpkin biscotti which is seasonal. I also really like their gorgonzola crackers. I also love the unsalted tortilla chips in the chip section.

    I like to get their pizza sauce on a Joseph's lavash bread (toasted first) and topped with the lite mozzarella with veggies or turkey pepperoni.

    If you enjoy soup, the creamy tomato and the roasted red pepper are great, and the boxes hold up well in the fridge.

    I'm glad you went. My husband (also lost 60 pounds) and I shop there weekly!

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  36. Trader Joe's doesn't own Aldi. One brother owns one store and the other owns the other.
    They have a Kona coffee cookie that is wonderful. I finally found a copy cat recipe on line that tastes just like them. So yummy.

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  37. I mostly appreciate that their TG turkeys are free range - raised in open pens where the birds get sunlight and fresh air. But I also love the cheesecake selection and the $6-7 price! There's an excellent veggie wrap, too, that's less than $4 and it's delicious and very filling!

    ReplyDelete

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Brenda has been writing since grade school. She majored in professional writing/journalism in college, where she won awards for her feature writing. She loves to decorate, garden, enjoy nature, read and spend time with her Yorkies.

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