Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Trader Joe's???




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auntie g
11-06-2008, 08:33 AM
I just found out we're getting a Trader Joe's in our area - opening next week! I've never been to one before, but I've heard so much talk about good things that are only available there. So, my question is... what is your favorite healthy food item that is only available at Trader Joe's? I want to be prepared for my first shopping excursion. Thanks!


Thighs Be Gone
11-06-2008, 08:37 AM
I want a Trader Joes. No one can tell me why they don't come here! We have everything else under the sun--Whole Foods, Central Market--but what I really want is TJ.

azmom
11-06-2008, 09:55 AM
So many but here are a few of my favs!

Chile-lime burgers(in the frozen foods)
Whole wheat english muffins
non-sorbate prunes
frozen bags of edamame
whole wheat pizza dough (already prepared-usually near the produce)
packaged salad mixes
feta cheese
I love Trader Joes! There prices are great and the quality is amazing!


the slim me
11-06-2008, 09:59 AM
AND their Greek yogurt is the best and so much cheaper than you find it at the grocery store. So is their NoPudge brownie mix. Lots of things are cheaper there than at the grocery store. It was the only place I could find the Ezekial bread too, but they finally started carrying it at my local grocery store.

go in, wonder around...too many treasures to list

grneyedmustang
11-06-2008, 10:29 AM
Here's my list:

Buffalo Burgers in the frozen section
Pre measured packs of roasted almonds
Pesto
Their famous wine (2.50, can't beat it!)
Freeze dried strawberries
Frozen precooked brown rice

Melody2006
11-06-2008, 11:18 AM
Your so lucky. There isn't even a Trader Joe's in a 40 mile radius around my area.

Kritter
11-06-2008, 11:24 AM
Your going to love trader Joe's!!! I'm so upset. I'm moving next month and there won't be one where I will be living! :(

I love the Trader Joe's grilled eggplant parmesan!!! Its tastes just as good as one you would get in a restaurant without all the fat and calories! Its only 160 calories!!!

Another great item which I just discovered is the Trader Joe's everything crackers! Yummmy... It's great because you can have 15 crackers in a serving!

They have a lot of good frozen items without all the preservatives you find in name brands and a large supermarket. The frozen fruit and veggies are awesome! Be careful though... a lot of things look healthy, and they are but they still have a lot of calories!

Overall its a great store and I think you'll like the variety and healthier options they have! Hope that helped some!

:broc:

LindaT
11-06-2008, 11:46 AM
Meatless meatballs
Frozen edamame
Mineral water
Red pepper and eggplant spread
Veggies - cheaper and fresher than the grocery store IMHO
Canadian Bacon - also cheaper than grocery store
Soy cheese - shredded and sliced
Unsweetened vanila almond milk
Stocks in a box - also cheaper than grocery store
Tomato soup in a box
Fat free feta
Fiberful - a fruit leather thingy
panini rolls - good sized rolls for 140 calories
Hebrew national 45 calorie hot dogs - cheaper than grocery store
Fresh Tuna, Wild salmon, tilapia

etc etc etc.. Lots of stuff is cheaper than the grocery store so look at everything.


They have free samples of something every day and I always try everything. I've found some new favorites that way.

nelie
11-06-2008, 12:25 PM
I think Trader Joe's is fun for perusing. It has a lot of convenience foods and some unique items.

I don't really shop there much anymore since I went to the 'dark side' of Whole Foods which is better for what I buy.

cbmare
11-06-2008, 01:29 PM
One thing I don't like is the prepackaged produce. I do buy the Just Leaves lettuce at times. But I'd like to pick out my peppers myself. I walk across the street to one just about every day. I like to see what they are sampling in the "Taste of Trader Joe's" area. Sometimes I have to ignore what they are serving. It was green bean casserole the other day. YUCK!

They have a soy chorizo that is wonderful. It really does taste like chorizo without all the fat, grease, etc. I bought some of the organic tomatoe and roasted pepper soup as well. We really like it.

I get my almond milk there. It is way cheaper than the regular grocery store. High fiber cereal as well.

They do have quite a bit of organic stuff there. Good prices.

gailr42
11-06-2008, 03:34 PM
I guess if I had to pick one favorite thing, it would be their reduced/low fat salad dressings. They have two in the refrigerated area that I especially like. One is parmesan ranch, the other cilantro. There are several more that I like in the regular salad dressing area. Most purchased salad dressing taste like chemicals to me. For whatever reason, these from TJs don't have that same taste.

I also like their pound plus, 72%, dark chocolate bar imported from Belgium. It is a huge bar in a red wrapper. I break it up along the sections and freeze it. I eat one section after dinner.

I buy raw seeds, nuts and dried fruit to make my own snack mix. I got some at Costco once that I really liked, so I sort of semi-copied it with stuff from TJs.

PhotoChick
11-06-2008, 03:58 PM
Yeah, we got Trader Joe's last year and I gotta say, I don't really see the hype. Other than the Two-Buck-Chuck (which is about $3 here), there's not anything at TJs that I can't get cheaper at Whole Foods or even my local grocery store.

It's fun to browse some of the things, but in general (this is just my opinon, and I don't mean to offend anyone! ) it's just a yuppie grocery store. ;)

.

auntie g
11-06-2008, 04:47 PM
Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! And I'll keep that in mind, too, PhotoChick... I've just heard so much hoopla over this store and never got to see it for myself, so I am a little excited!

mandalinn82
11-06-2008, 04:54 PM
Photo - maybe your prices in grocery stores are cheaper down there? My grocery bill is an average of $15-20 cheaper when I shop at TJs vs. a grocery store here...

I love their pumpkin butter. It's seasonal, so get it while you can, but its a wonderful alternative to maple syrup on pancakes, and excellent drizzled on roasted butternut squash.

PhotoChick
11-06-2008, 05:03 PM
Photo - maybe your prices in grocery stores are cheaper down there? My grocery bill is an average of $15-20 cheaper when I shop at TJs vs. a grocery store here...Wow. Yeah, I think because TJ is seen as a "specialty" or "gourmet" store here, it's a little more price-inflated.

.

kukristen
11-06-2008, 05:05 PM
TJs is pretty much the ONLY grocery store I go to... and I can get two bags full of stuff (STUFFED) for about $40!

They have AMAZING stuff... just explore the aisles!

Two of my favorite "convenience" things are:

Garlic Spread (GREAT for sandwiches!)
Roasted Red Peppers (in a jar.. also great for sandwiches!)
I like their "popped" bbq potato chips too -- the whole bag is about 300 calories (So I don't feel TOO guilty if I end up eating the whole bag... haaa)

They also have low-fat brie -- which is FABULOUS for a treat...

SOOO many great things... really. I could go on and on... but you'll discover for yourself :)

nelie
11-06-2008, 05:11 PM
I find my grocery bill went down when I started shopping at Whole Foods more. I've priced compare between TJs and Whole Foods and TJs is generally more expensive UNLESS I buy something with a name brand.

mandalinn82
11-06-2008, 05:17 PM
I think it depends a lot on what you're buying. Meat at TJ's is REALLY expensive (I have a different supplier for that...), but nuts, eggs, and dairy tend to be much cheaper. I get good deals on cereal, but coffee is cheaper at Costco...you get the idea. The bulk stuff at WF is cheaper by the lb than TJs, but we have a grocery co-op here with a larger selection of bulk foods (100 teas!) for even less.

So YMMV, depending what you buy and what other stores you have around you.

cbmare
11-06-2008, 05:55 PM
Photo - maybe your prices in grocery stores are cheaper down there? My grocery bill is an average of $15-20 cheaper when I shop at TJs vs. a grocery store here...

ITA! My cereal is over $1.50 cheaper at TJ's. Same with the almond milk.

I can get a small package of smoked salmon for about $3.

I'm going to have to look for those salad dressings.

nelie
11-06-2008, 06:00 PM
One thing about WF is they don't have their own brand of almond milk, someday I hope :) They did have a 64oz container of almond milk on sale for $3 though. I've been buying their rice and soy milk which are $1.49 container. I also don't have other stores near me that sell bulk foods so WF is the only place. I also don't buy any meat so can't compare that.

I find bulk nuts at WF are decently priced but nothing really beats Costco for nuts.

gailr42
11-06-2008, 06:30 PM
Yes, it depends on what you buy. I get things there that I can't get at my local grocery store. I have to travel 90-100 miles to TJs. We don't have a Whole Foods within 200 miles. I've been to WF, but really don't know it well enough to comment.

I concur that TJ's has become a "yuppie" grocery store. Sometimes annoyingly so. Many, many, rude, entitled folks on cell phones. It used to be more of a "hippie" grocery store where the yuppie or preppy (as they used to be known) wouldn't have been caught dead. My dh comes from a very non-entitled background and really hates TJs because of the customers. He admits, and I agree, that their staff is wonderful.

nelie
11-06-2008, 06:37 PM
gail - "hippie" grocery stores don't seem to fair very well while "yuppie" grocery stores thrive. How else can you charge so much for some things? :)

PhotoChick
11-06-2008, 06:38 PM
concur that TJ's has become a "yuppie" grocery store. Sometimes annoyingly so. Many, many, rude, entitled folks on cell phones. It used to be more of a "hippie" grocery store where the yuppie or preppy (as they used to be known) wouldn't have been caught deadI have to admit, I have similar mixed feelings about Whole Foods. I went to school in Austin, TX, which is where Whole Foods started and I remember when it really was just a little organic co-op down on Guadalupe by the University.

I'm thrilled that it's grown so much and done so well since I was a student, but I have to admit that the one near my house now in Georgia is in one of the more affluent areas and there's a lot of "yuppification" going on. ;)

I love my Whole Foods and the prices are quite good, but every now and then I get a little nostalgic for my hippy-dippy co-op from Austin. :D

.

Glory87
11-06-2008, 06:38 PM
I’m probably going to repeat a bunch of folks, but here are my Trader Joe’s favorites:

• Greek yogurt (I love the non fat with honey)
• Grape tomatoes (my grocery store always has the GROSSEST tomatoes, Trader Joe’s are good and cheap)
• Berries (almost always cheaper than the regular grocery store)
• Natural peanut butter (cheap and good)
• Grated Parmesan cheese
• Fat free feta cheese
• Shredded purple cabbage (love this stuff and my grocery store doesn’t carry it)
• Cheap bagged salad greens
• Cheaper cereal – I love Nature’s Path organic pumpkin flax and it’s at least a dollar cheaper at Trader Joe’s
• Cheaper bread – I love Milton’s and it’s a dollar cheaper at Trader Joe’s
• Super lean hamburger patties (in a 4 pack)
• A nice selection of chicken sausage
• Frozen “just chicken” breast strips (I use them in my salad almost every day for lunch)
• A good selection of frozen fish
• Frozen fruit, frozen roasted corn (love this stuff), frozen shelled edamame
• Fun salad stuff – refrigerated beets, for example
• Spicy Asian Peanut Vinaigrette – love this stuff (in the refrigerated aisle, not the salad dressing aisle)
• Maple syrup
• Cheap organic ketchup
• Pumpkin butter
• Microwaveable brown rice (A LIFESAVER)
• Whole wheat lavash, pita bread and tortillas
• Great selection of hummus and spreads
• Cheap kalamata olives (so much cheaper than my regular grocery store)
• And just FUN stuff, Trader Joe’s is so much fun. Try to limit yourself to ONE fun thing a trip or you’ll end up spending 100 bucks! It's not really a HEALTH food store, it's a YUMMY FOOD AND SNACK STORE - so be warned.

Trader Joe’s doesn’t have everything, sadly. Luckily, my Trader Joe’s is in the same shopping center as my Ralph’s (CA grocery chain) so I usually end up hitting BOTH places.

nelie
11-06-2008, 06:58 PM
I've only known the 'yuppie' Whole Foods store. There is another similar type store further away which is a bit more hippie than yuppie but still it attracts both :)

Wolf Goddess
11-07-2008, 12:51 AM
I like Trader Joe's, but I do think that it is overrated. The one in my area is rather pricey on most of their products - and manages to be full of people who clearly think that shopping at an organic store makes them saints. The staff is friendly, and they have some interesting things, but I only ever buy a couple of specialty products - if I shopped for everything there, my budget would be shot.

BlueToBlue
11-07-2008, 05:34 AM
I love Trader Joe's. I absolutely do not think I could have managed this diet without them; I depend on them for a lot of products that I can't get elsewhere (TJ's is the closed thing we have to a specialty grocery store--no Whole Foods anywhere near me).

Here some of my favorite TJ staples:

Nonfat Greek yogurt (I seriously live on this stuff--the TJ's brand is significantly cheaper than other brands and I like it better, too)
High Fiber Cereal (yup, that's the name. Only 120 calories per cup)
FF chicken broth (only 5 calories per cup)
Marinated mushrooms (love these, so low in calories)
Roasted red peppers (way cheaper than what my Safeway sells them for)
FF Vinaigrette (one the best FF dressings I've tried)
Egg white salad (50 calories for a pretty generous serving--it makes a great snack and comes in two flavors, ranchero and chive)
Pre-cooked polenta and grits (in vacuum-sealed tubes)
canned tuna
Whole wheat pitas
Mini whole wheat bagels
Reduced fat cheese (cheddar, feta, brie, gouda, havarti, jarlsberg)
Whole milk mozzarella that is only 60 calories per ounce
Unsweetened frozen raspberries (I cannot find unsweetened frozen raspberries anywhere else)
Frozen mango chunks (also unsweetened)
Pollo Asada (great for tacos)
97% lean ground beef (yes, it's more expensive than the ground beef sold by my Safeway but it is noticeably better in quality)
99% lean ground turkey
lean beef stew meat
turkey kielbasa
Gerhardt's chicken sausage (only 120-130 calories per link, a flavorful alternative to hot dogs)
Chicken Chile Verde (makes a great meal served over rice)
Eggplant hummus (the lowest calorie hummus around, 35 calories for 2 tbsp)
Bread: Fat-Free Multi-Grain or Alarado St. Bakery Flaxseed
Cats cookies (cat-shaped cookies in vanilla, ginger, or chocolate flavors--120 calories for 15 cookies, I smash up 1/2 serving and sprinkle them over low cal pudding)
Mini-meringues (like eating crunchy marshmallows and also very low cal for a cookie)
Soy Creamy mini chocolate ice cream sandwiches (90 calories each--I add sliced bananas to them)

stacylambert
11-08-2008, 03:17 AM
Yeah, we got Trader Joe's last year and I gotta say, I don't really see the hype. Other than the Two-Buck-Chuck (which is about $3 here), there's not anything at TJs that I can't get cheaper at Whole Foods or even my local grocery store.

It's fun to browse some of the things, but in general (this is just my opinon, and I don't mean to offend anyone! ) it's just a yuppie grocery store. ;)

.

I thought I was the only one! It seems very overpriced to me. I do most of my "fresh" shopping at Sprouts and then canned/frozen stuff at Costco. I've actually gone into Trader Joe's a couple times because I was in the neighborhood (it's right across the street from my Barnes & Noble) and ended up leaving empty handed.

I'm glad other people like it though. Maybe I just don't know what to look for. Maybe I'll go back and look specifically for the things people have listed.

EZMONEY
11-08-2008, 12:55 PM
STACY ~Angie and I do "date night's" sometimes at Barnes and Noble then run over to Trader Joe's. We feel the same way but Angie is finding some packaged lunches she really likes. Several of her teacher friends buy them and she is finding some that work for her. See you at Sprouts/Frazier Farms.

Now my daughter and son in law swear by Trader Joe's...saying how cheap it is. Guess it is on what each of us looks for.

PHOTOCHICK ~I remember when $2 Chuck first came out, Angie and I liked it so much I bought a case of EVERY flavor! We finally finished it....and gave a lot as gifts!

Marms
11-08-2008, 01:25 PM
I don't really grocery shop at TJ, but there is one near work that I get lunch at occasionally. I love their black bean burger burrito. Very fiber and protein filled for only 340 calories.

The thing I can't stand about TJ and whole foods is that it is always so crowded. Maybe it's just the stores around Philly that are like this. Shopping in massive crowds and not being able to walk down aisles really annoys me. It reminds me of trying to shop at a mall on black friday, lol.

dreamingescape
11-08-2008, 04:17 PM
lucky! i've never been to one before, but i just looked and the closest one is about 45 minutes away from me. same with Whole Foods. laaaame. lol

Glory87
11-08-2008, 05:21 PM
I don't really grocery shop at TJ, but there is one near work that I get lunch at occasionally. I love their black bean burger burrito. Very fiber and protein filled for only 340 calories.

The thing I can't stand about TJ and whole foods is that it is always so crowded. Maybe it's just the stores around Philly that are like this. Shopping in massive crowds and not being able to walk down aisles really annoys me. It reminds me of trying to shop at a mall on black friday, lol.

Nope, mine is always slammed too. It's about the size of a big 7-11 and just wall to wall people/carts.

I forgot to mention the honey chevre. Mouth orgasm good - but not low cal or particularly wallet friendly ;)

stacylambert
11-10-2008, 04:55 AM
STACY ~Angie and I do "date night's" sometimes at Barnes and Noble then run over to Trader Joe's. We feel the same way but Angie is finding some packaged lunches she really likes. Several of her teacher friends buy them and she is finding some that work for her. See you at Sprouts/Frazier Farms.

I thought Chris and I were the only ones that considered a stop at B&N a date. :lol3: Throw in a burrito and you've got our Friday night!

nelie
11-10-2008, 10:08 AM
Marms,

It depends. My Trader Joe's is actually not crammed at all. It has a small selection like most Trader Joe's but seems to have plenty of space. My Whole Foods is the same. There is a huge Whole Foods that I went to in Virginia and it was just downright spacious and had mini restaurants in it. I went to another Whole Foods here in Maryland and it was crowded, the bulk section sucked and I couldn't stand it.

BabyFatGone
11-10-2008, 01:07 PM
Things I love at Trader Joe's
-- chocolate yogurt (dont remember the name) - 130 calories; it is my favorite morning snack right now
-- low fat mediterranian yogurt dip
-- whole wheat mini bagels
-- multi-grain frozen waffles (I know it is not that good a choice but it is sometimes hits the spot!)
-- whole wheat tortillas (my son will only eat this brand of tortiallas; eats it almost every day!)
-- Vegetarian black bean burritos -- favorite for lunch.

modkittn
11-10-2008, 01:15 PM
I like their Cat Cookies (they are for people! :)) and natural PB.

EZMONEY
11-11-2008, 12:49 AM
I thought Chris and I were the only ones that considered a stop at B&N a date. :lol3: Throw in a burrito and you've got our Friday night!

Seriously STACY....when Angie and I first met it was recession time and we were both knee deep in divorce debt. We would go to I-Hop on Sycamore, get the buy one get one free dinner....go get coffee at the little ice cream shop that used to be near Capizio's (pretending it was Starbucks) then go over and browse B&N! Chipotle wasn't there yet.

Skinny4baby
11-11-2008, 10:33 AM
*TJ's brand Bolgneise sauce....very good.
*TJ's brand whole-wheat pasta ($1.30 a bag!)
*TJ's brand Grape Tomatoes (they are always fresh and really sweet??)
*TJ's brand Wild Alaskian Salmon ($5ish..enough for 2)

ok...so this one is not "diet" but has anyone tried their Vanilla or mint-choc. chip ice cream? It is really gooooood! My hubby thinks their Vanilla is the best he has ever eaten? Very rich and creamy.

JulieJ08
11-11-2008, 11:51 AM
I thought Chris and I were the only ones that considered a stop at B&N a date. :lol3: Throw in a burrito and you've got our Friday night!

I thought everyone did B&N dates :dizzy: That's how you know you've got a good one - if he thinks that sounds like fun ;)

SouthLake
11-11-2008, 02:41 PM
TJ's is much cheaper than my grocery store for packaged foods, but then again, I live in a resort town so any time I drive off the hill (TJs is about 30 minutes away) my gorcery prices go down!

I don't shop there as much anymore, now that I've cut down on our packaged foods. But there are a few things I LOVE-

Fat free balsamic vinaigrette. OMG good.
Light chevre cheese
mini whole wheat bagels
handmade whole wheat tortillas
eggs- their free range organic are some of the cheapest I've seen.

We do keep a little stock of convenience foods in the freezer and I swear by
sweet and sour shrimp (yum! and low in cals)
gnocchi sorenta (or something like that- only 170 calories and delicious with some italian sausage squash)
their chicken gyoza potstickers- yum!

Skinny4baby
11-11-2008, 03:03 PM
Is the two-buck-chuck all natural...no growth horm or antibiotics? I never saw it before??

JulieJ08
11-11-2008, 03:09 PM
Is the two-buck-chuck all natural...no growth horm or antibiotics? I never saw it before??

It's wine - I don't think growth hormone and antibiotic apply.

Skinny4baby
11-11-2008, 03:17 PM
:lol:Duh. Can you tell I like a good hamburger maybe a little to much?

JulieJ08
11-11-2008, 03:22 PM
:lol:Duh. Can you tell I like a good hamburger maybe a little to much?

LOL, I thought you somehow meant milk. Can you tell I don't eat meat? ;)

EZMONEY
11-11-2008, 05:52 PM
Is the two-buck-chuck all natural...no growth horm or antibiotics? I never saw it before??

LOL, I thought you somehow meant milk. Can you tell I don't eat meat? ;)


:rofl: wet my pants :rofl:

grneyedmustang
11-11-2008, 09:40 PM
Is the two-buck-chuck all natural...no growth horm or antibiotics? I never saw it before??

LOL....I laughed when I saw this.

Seriously, if you're looking for a good burger, try the buffalo burger patties in the frozen section. It tastes great (just like ground beef), is leaner than ground beef, and there's no growth hormones or antibiotics.

ETA: And the two buck chuck is quite tasty. :D

stacylambert
11-12-2008, 02:45 AM
Seriously STACY....when Angie and I first met it was recession time and we were both knee deep in divorce debt. We would go to I-Hop on Sycamore, get the buy one get one free dinner....go get coffee at the little ice cream shop that used to be near Capizio's (pretending it was Starbucks) then go over and browse B&N! Chipotle wasn't there yet.

Are you kidding? We're WAY too cheap for Chipotle. We go to Cessy's in Carlsbad Village. I love that place. We used to live right in the village and we'd just walk over there whenever we wanted. It was like being on :cloud9:




;)

EZMONEY
11-12-2008, 09:17 AM
Even better STACY....but I can't take my son in law there...he won't leave! His favorite place to "fast food"

gailr42
11-15-2008, 11:30 PM
I am a day late and a dollar short here, but Blue to Blue mentioned only being able to find unsweetened frozen raspberries at Trader Joe's. I actually found them and other berries at my local Stater Brothers Market. They are the house brand. Except for TJ's, This is the only place I have ever seen them and I checked around quite a few places. TJ's is a long trip for me and sometimes getting frozen food there is inconvenient.