2.12.18 5

Trader Joe’s Buys Vol. V

It’s time for another Trader Joe’s roundup! Please tell me someone else out there loves uncovering new favorites every time they go into the store…it’s seriously a gold mine to me and I’m giddy when I make a groundbreaking new discovery. If you take just one thing away from this post, it should be that mini avocados need to be at the top of your grocery list this week (and next, and the one after that)…trust me!

Cashew Macadamia Delight Trek Mix: J and I both really like snacking on nuts but they’re so damn expensive that it’s hard to justify picking some up every week. The trail mix varieties sometimes seem to be cheaper (not sure if that’s actually the case when you break it down per ounce, but it at least provides some variety) and this one has been my favorite so far. Anyone else a sucker for those mini dried pineapple chunks? We also picked up a bag of cashews and have combined the two to stretch out both portions for longer!

Teeny Tiny Avocados: These may be my best TJ’s discovery in recent months because they are the perfect portion size and ripen faster than normal avocados. This means the days of saving a half-eaten avocado and praying it doesn’t turn a disgusting color within twelve hours are gone! Don’t believe me? Bon Appetit agrees–also, they aren’t overpriced like most things that are miniature or a more sensible portion size, which is why I can’t go to TJ’s without leaving with a bag. One of these avocados + a slice of bread (mentioned below) + some everything bagel seasoning (mentioned below) and a crunchy side like crackers, pretzels, chips, or popcorn are my go-to desk lunch!

Gluten Free Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies: So you guys know Tate’s cookies? I’m obsessed with them (and this is coming from someone who ate cookies + milk nearly every night growing up) and heard that the Trader Joe’s gluten free chocolate chip cookies were very, very similar. Rumor has it that both the TJ’s and Tate’s varieties are made by the same bakery…whether or not it’s true, the cookies are undoubtably very alike. Not exact, but if you love Tate’s as much as I do and want to avoid the higher price tag (or are looking for gluten free), you need to try these!!

Butternut Squash Zig-Zags: Speaking of things that are kind of overpriced because they’re gimmicky, these butternut squash zig-zags definitely fall into that category but they’re perfect if you’re craving fries but are trying to stay healthy or if you want a pre-chopped veggie that’s a versatile ingredient or side to whatever dish you’re making. These cook well and are a favorite to put into veggie tacos…just roast them and toss with sautéed mushrooms and feta! They’re in the refrigerated produce section.

Winter Snowflake Pasta: I’m not sure if this is still available but am very confident they’ll at least bring it back next fall…it’s so good, though (like, I-bought-three-bags-of-it-in-case-they-sold-out, good), and holds sauce really well. Also, the pieces actually look like snowflakes. I normally try to buy wheat pasta or some kind of trendy new grain variety, but made an exception for this because something about it is uniquely delicious. If you see it on the shelves, snag as many bags as your pantry can hold a bag!

Panko Breaded Tilapia Fillets: I’ve mentioned these before but they’re a new discovery for us and have become a routine addition to our grocery hauls. We’ve been eating them with a squeeze of lemon + tartar sauce and a side of roasted veggies, and I’m planning on crumbling them into tortillas for fish tacos this week. The best part is they come individually wrapped and hold their crunch–make sure you follow the instructions that say to flip halfway through cooking!

Everything But The Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend: If you shop at TJ’s or follow their happenings on the internet, you’ve probably heard of this stuff…it’s amazing. I didn’t buy it for awhile because I didn’t think it could be that good (and everything bagels aren’t usually my preference), but it completely lives up to the hype. A lot of people put it on seemingly everything, but my favorite way to eat it is on avocado toast. I leave a bottle of it at my desk at work and it makes weekday lunches easy and delicious.

Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal: Not sure how this hasn’t made one of my past lists, but I buy this oatmeal regularly and prefer it to all other packaged varieties I’ve tried. It’s sweet but not overly sweet, and I’ll sometimes add crumbled walnuts if I’m feeling fancy. Also, if your office or home has one of those hot water dispensers, I’ve found that water to be hot enough to “cook” this oatmeal so you can skip the microwave (sign me up for any opportunity to avoid an oatmeal explosion).

Milton’s Multi-Grain Bread: I had a lot of trouble finding the image of the exact Milton’s Multi-Grain loaf we get, but the distinct green and purple packaging can’t be missed if you’re browsing the bread section. J grew up eating this bread and keep wanting me to try it, but I stubbornly insisted on sticking with my generic TJ’s honey wheat variety…until I caved, we bought the Milton’s, and it’s now the only sandwich bread we get. It’s a little pricier (the generic types were under $3, and this pushes $4) and what originally turned me off was the potential graininess (does anyone else assume this to be the case if you see the words “multi-grain” and think no thanks!), which is a pet peeve of mine when it exists in sandwiches. But lo and behold, it’s wonderful…soft, grainy on the crust but not in the center of the bread, and is especially wonderful when eaten straight of the toaster and doused with peanut butter :)


That’s it on my end–what TJ gems have you found lately? I’m thinking of doing a sort of grocery shopping diary since I consider myself a master at spending very little buying groceries each week (I probably averaged $25/week when I only shopped for myself, and that included food to pack a lunch each day), if that’s something people are interested in!

Leave a Comment


  1. Sarah wrote:

    Yes to the cheap groceries post! I also pride myself on spending very little $ on food (because I’d rather buy furniture…hahaha) but I can never stick to a budget at TJ because everything there looks so, so yummy! (Need to try those mini avocados…).


    Published 2.12.18
    • Monica wrote:

      Haha I love it!! You are the DC Craigslist queen, after all. YES to the avocados!! Best.work.lunch.ever.

      Published 2.12.18
  2. Charlotte wrote:

    I need to try that everything bagel seasoning. YUM!

    Published 2.13.18
    • Monica wrote:

      I feel like you will be ADDICTED! Seems verrry up your alley.

      Published 2.14.18