Our Typical Trader Joe's Haul
One of the things that we get asked so often about is what exactly do we buy from Trader Joe’s. When you have a newer grocery store in town (and one that is further away) people are curious before they make the drive there. I have to admit, it took me a long time to finally go there because for us it is somewhat of a drive. But after hearing so many people say over and over that I should check it out, I finally made the trip last summer.
And let me tell you, I miss it the weeks that we don't go. I am hooked.
From the start I was very impressed with this place because of the insane prices for organic and natural items. I love that nearly everything there is organic and what is not organic is still made from good, clean ingredients. You won’t find anything artificial there and what you will find is food typically sourced straight from smaller farmers and made of non GMO ingredients. Learn more facts here!
As one person referred to it before, Trader Joe’s is like the “poor man’s Whole Foods.” If you are into buying healthy food with REAL ingredients and cutting down on your toxins, artificial flavorings and so on…then this place is for you! They also have a variety of health options for various diet needs.
Typically we come in around $170 for groceries here for a week for a family of 5. I will say that I sometimes stock on our favorites just in case I can’t make it the next week, so we probably could spend a little less. This is a huge improvement compared to $220 we used to spend at Target for healthy groceries each week.
Here are some tips for navigating your shopping trip at Trader Joe’s:
They ONLY sell their brand of items >> You can’t go there and get any of the brands you are used to. It is strictly Trader Joe’s brand (but they do have a small section of Cliff and Lara bars).
You won’t find your typical beer there >> There’s different brands of alcohol than what most are used to.
There’s no baby products >> You can’t purchase diapers, wipes or baby food here. There are some food pouches that my children love but that’s it. This is my one thing I hope they one day improve on.
It’s a small store >> I can get our groceries within 30 minutes and be done. There’s NO distractions of things to look at other than plants and flowers.
They have an insane amount of flowers >> If you like fresh florals, herbs or cool little house plants, you will love this place. They have some of the best florals and prices!
The layout can be weird >> Your cookies and candy are located on a shelf above freezer items. The layout does take a bit to get used to.
They ring bells >> You hear bells ring for various reasons - it’s the way that cashiers communicate for different needs.
Children have their own buggy >> They love it!
There’s a hidden tiger >> Locally there is a hidden stuffed Tiger that is in a new place every day, so your children have something to look for and get a sucker if they find it! Although they get a sucker no matter what!
Employees help >> Yes they are actually walking around ready to help you! And check you out!
What do we typically buy there?
Children’s snacks >> We love their JoJo’s cookies, fruit pouches, fruit wraps, dunker cookies, cheese crackers and ice cream cones. We also keep bananas and clementines on hand with cheese sticks as well.
Produce >> Bananas, blueberries, strawberries, pineapples, salad, cucumber, peppers, asparagus, cauliflower, zucchini and everything you need. We also get some frozen veggies and frozen fruit.
Breakfast >> Cereal, grits, granola, yogurt (we don’t care for the instant oatmeal), waffles
Cold Goods >> Milk, cinnamon rolls, biscuits, yogurt, eggs, juices
Grains >> They have a variety of breads! We also love their french brioche for french toast.
Meals >> I can buy nearly everything I need for cooking dinner. The canned goods are slightly limited in comparison to other big box stores, but they have fresh produce in its place. We can buy 95% of what we need for meals.
Meats >> I frequently purchase chicken, whole chickens, bacon, sandwich ham and sometimes pork here. Although we usually get our pork elsewhere and use our own deer for ground meat.
My personal favorites:
Dark Chocolate peanut butter cups
Ice Cream cones
Cheddar Cheese Cracker Cuts
I encourage you to definitely check them out. Some months we make it weekly while other months I can only make it 1-2 times. We spend significantly less there and get much higher quality products than when we shop elsewhere. It really is a fun trip for the kids and I and for some reason, my children love going there!
I have always loved grocery shopping but when you stay under budget and you are in and out in a jiffy, then it is even better!