I was browsing Apartment Therapy the other day and came across this article about what it’s like to live two blocks from Trader Joe’s and could totally relate–I love having one super close to my current apartment! In New York, I would take the subway and bus across town and back just to be able to stock my kitchen with delicious, cheap groceries. In Philly, there was a TJ’s that was a quick Uber ride away, but I didn’t get over there as often due to my lack of time and the cost involved in getting there. Last year in DC, I’d visit the West End location every now and then, but now, having a Trader Joe’s just a few blocks away from my new place has been a game changer.
Lots of other bloggers I follow have shared their TJ’s must haves, although I’d say that mine tend to change each time I go, so I don’t know if I really have a reliable “list” to post on here! I’ve been trying a lot more of the frozen items while still stocking up on things like peanut butter pretzels (so good), a four-pack of Simpler Wines (so cheap and perfect to have on hand when friends come over), and practical things like yogurt and mini avocados (the best!).
I’ve learned over time that just because something is sold at TJ’s doesn’t mean it’s healthy, though. The salads always looked amazing until I started looking at the nutrition information on the back of the packaging–yikes! Obviously they’re worse for you when you include all of the dressing, but they still aren’t that great if you’re trying to be health conscious! Some of the frozen dinners are even more dangerous and are packed with fat and sodium. I believe in “everything in moderation” most of the time, but I can’t get myself to pick up some of these items, no matter how good they look and how affordable they are!
That said, I’ve found lots of delicious alternatives that allow me to compromise a bit. The other day, I picked up a package of the “bambino” pepperoni pizzas, which are perfect for when you need to satisfy a craving but don’t want to heat up or order a whole pizza for yourself. The cold brew latte popsicles are also great to have on hand–they’re only 40 CALORIES a pop (ha!) which I think is so crazy considering how creamy and delicious they are, but hey, I’m not gonna question it! I also love the TJ’s version of Pirate’s Booty, which comes in both a traditional cheddar flavor as well as a sour cream and onion one.
And back to the mini avocados…they’re the perfect size for a serving for one, and they’re great for my avocado toast habit. My blog friend Colby introduced me to the whole grain crispbread that TJ’s sells (there’s both a regular and a gluten free version) and combined with avocado and Everything but the Bagel spice (another must buy!), they’re AMAZING.
What are your favorite TJ’s items? I’m always looking for more to add to my list! PS- I’ve noticed that TJ’s recently started selling Nespresso pods–a game changer for those of you that own machines! Unfortunately, the machine I have takes the larger (Vertuoline) capsules, so I can’t buy these, but definitely try to snag a few if you go through the little ones religiously!
All images via traderjoes.com