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What should I buy at Trader Joes?

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I'm not sure if this has been asked before, I just signed up to CC last week (yay!).  Sorry in advance if it has.

I'm going to Trader Joes tomorrow, believe it or not this will be the 2nd time in my life ever shopping there.  I started a heavily vegetarian diet a couple months back (I'll eat meat occasionally, like in a sandwich, etc) and I am hoping that Trader Joes can supply me with food I'm finding it nearly impossible to get at Safeway/Raley's (Tempeh and seitan are both things I've never found at either of my regular grocery stores).

But!  My question is, what are some of your favorite healthy foods to buy at TJ's?  Something I just can't miss out on?  I'm making a list and hope to stock up on some good healthy food instead of trying to sift through the regular grocery stores shelves.

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We usually get our hummus there because they have a pretty big container for a good price.

We also like their baked tofu....yum.

I really like their blueberry crumpets in whole wheat...they aare 100 calories and delicious for breakfast! They have lots of different types of nut butters. Almond butter is my favorite they have it unsalted,roasted,salted,etc. Cashew butter, pumpkin butter, etc is also there! Their fruits/veggies are realllly good usually! I like to get their low fat cheese puffs...theyre like cheetos but sooo low cal! Their granola selection is good
Mar 06 2008 04:18
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My tj favorites are:

frozen fire-roasted corn kernals -- add to soups, stews, salad, everything!

indian simmer sauces -- with rice & vegetables, delicious!

whole wheat pitas -- cheapest around & pretty low-cal

fat free feta -- theirs is hands-down the best, very flavorful and creamy (tastes full fat!)

chocolate covered edamame -- way, way better than it sounds!

do you eat fish?  tj's frozen fish selection is awesome -- tastey, pre-portioned, and healthy

the basked tofu is awesome, gwen's right!

frozen vegetarian tamales

great prices on luna bars, clif bars, etc.

i could go one and on....

oh, and i always pick up a couple bottles (or a case!) of two-buck chuck!

mmmmmmm, now i'm hungry for some tj's treats!  have fun!
The ones I have been to (CA and OH) have both had these delicious high fiber cakes. The ones in California are much better (made by Zen bakery). Also, their cereal selection is terrific: cheap Kashi cereals, whole grains galore, steel cut oats at a really cheap price. If you eat yogurt, eggs, or milk/silk substitute their prices are better than Safeway. I prefer almond milk and get it there cheaper and sometimes splurge and get the refrigerated soymilk.

In the freezer section, there are several terrific veggie finds. The black beans enchilada, the eggplant Parmesan in the single serving (only 140 calories and has cheese!!) and the fake meat corndogs are terrific. In the fridge section, in addition to cheap staples like cottage cheese and yogurt (much cheaper greek yogurt than safeway), they have veggie sandwich slices which are an acquired taste, but good if you like things like seitan.

In my experience all the produce there is exceptionally fresh.  A pack of three romaine lettuce hearts from TJ's will easily stay good in my fridge for two full weeks, which is twice as long as the ones I get at Food Lion or Farm Fresh.

I will also second the endorsement of the freezer section.  If you're looking for frozen convenience foods like pastas, vegetables, etc you really can't beat the ones from TJ's.

I'll third the freezer section at TJ's - they have a wonderful selection of indian dishes, not to mention a fabulous eggplant lasagna.

If you haven't tried it already, while you're there, get some Quinoa.

Frozen edamame.  Yum!  And cheaper than at a regular grocery store.

I second the frozen fish section, the quinoa, and the produce, too.  

Their cheese, chocolates, and cookie selections are fantastic, but as I'm currently watching my calories... only rarely.  :x

I'm sad that there is no trader joe's around my area.. sounds like i am missing out Yell

trader joes has the best organic apples i have ever had. they smell and taste wonderful.

and quinoa is a great alternative to brown rice. very tasty and fun to cook with. try finding a recipe you like for it ahead of time. I like cooking it to soften it then putting it in the refigerator then adding green onions, tomatoes, and juice from a lime or lemon.  

Thank you guys so much, I made an awesome list.  I'm going to go buck wild.  And I've been meaning to try quinoa so it's perfect timing because I'm sure TJ's supply of grains is much better than the grocery store could lend me.

quinoa is really great, but make sure you rinse it.


I eat the leftovers warmed up with milk and honey for breakfast. 

I love love love trader joe's... and I'm vegetarian

 here are some of my essentials:

~ sliced fresh mango

~ organic apple slices 

~ greek or plain non fat yogurt (great with fruit and splenda)

~coffee/tea - they have a great coffee selection

  ~ naan bread and indian foods

~ almonds (they have pre-counted one serving baggies so you don't eat too many)

~ edamame 

~ think thin bars 

~  kashi cereal


they have such good stuff and its actually really cheap, love it!  :)  enjoy 

I just went to TJ the other day,and spent way too much, as usual!

They have the best yogurts, for a really good price. I love the big containers of "vanana" - it's great with some frozen berries for dessert. Also, the individual cups of yogurt, especially the "Greek style". I am not a vegetarian, but I am always trying to get more protein, and Greek style yogurt has more than regular yogurts.

They also have lots of delicious frozen entrees, vegetarian and non-vegetarian... eggplant parmesan (not fried!) for 270 calories, stuffed salmon, and chicken burgers.

The low-sodium soups are great for easy lunches -- creamy tomato and roasted red pepper & tomato are my favorites.

The treat I usually get myself for dinner is called the 'mideast feast' -- hummus, falafel, pita, tahini and tabbouleh in a big container for 440 calories.

I was just at Trader Joe's a couple of days ago


I like their reduced fat cheeses.  Jalsburg light swiss and Cabot's 75% reduced fat sharp cheddar.

They also have great prices of frozen berries and fruit.

I always buy their frozen brown rice and steele cut oatmeal.

Frozen salmon patties are wonderfull if you like salmon.  They are not just mushed up fish, and only 80 calories.  I use them as a substitute for me when I am making every one else hamburgers.

I also bought sweet potatoe spears for the first time, there are instructions on the package to make "fries" in the oven with them.  Very good.

My favortie thing at TJ's is tofuti cuties, like ice cream bars.

Maybe you can try some of these things on your next trip


Maybe its where I live but I find them EXTREMELY over priced....  the idea of everything being organic is wonderful, but i find whole foods to be a much much better bargain for most of the things they offer and I find they have a bigger selection. And most of the time the TJ by me you can't walk in the door because there are so many people.... its ridiculous
Original Post by elizabethberg:

Maybe its where I live but I find them EXTREMELY over priced....  the idea of everything being organic is wonderful, but i find whole foods to be a much much better bargain for most of the things they offer and I find they have a bigger selection. And most of the time the TJ by me you can't walk in the door because there are so many people.... its ridiculous

 There is really big variation in the pricing and selection at the TJ's around the country.  They're based in California, so the closer you are to the headquarters, the cheaper and fresher things seem to be.  I live on the west coast, so my TJ's is cheap and well stocked with all kinds of fresh things.  However, my family lives in the DC area, and their TJ's is way more expensive and doesn't stock a lot of my favorites.  Even so, they're still way cheaper than whole foods (both out here and in the DC area), especially for staples like nuts and soy milk.

I live in the DC area, and it's not the TJ's themselves that are expensive... it's everything. :x  TJ's are still cheaper (for some things) than a lot of the other stores around here.
They sell lots of good beer.

I got a lot of great stuff, and now even more replies for NEXT shopping trip.  I'm so going to get those sweet potato spears for fries.

And as for the cost, it's actually really reasonable I thought.  But I'm in California, so that's probably why.  The produce doesn't cost any more than Safeway or G&G in my area, and is cheaper than Safeway's organic produce.  

It seems that this may be the one break I get for living in California because everything else here is waaay too expensive.   

Original Post by davey316:

They sell lots of good beer.


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