PDA

View Full Version : Trader Joe's Opening in 8 days. . . what to buy?


aheape1979
07-21-2011, 06:36 PM
There is a Trader Joe's opening in 8 days about an hour away from my house. Before I make the drive, I want to know. . . Is it worth it? I usually go to Whole foods 3-4 times per year and stock up on organic frozen veggies and other nonperishables, as well as fresh goodies.

What products do you LOVE from Trader Joe's? I don't want to buy a bunch of stuff that isn't good and waste it. Thanks!

marcemc
07-21-2011, 07:08 PM
There is a Trader Joe's opening in 8 days about an hour away from my house. Before I make the drive, I want to know. . . Is it worth it? I usually go to Whole foods 3-4 times per year and stock up on organic frozen veggies and other nonperishables, as well as fresh goodies.

What products do you LOVE from Trader Joe's? I don't want to buy a bunch of stuff that isn't good and waste it. Thanks!

We are frequent TJ's costumers, here is a list of our favorites:

Coconut Water (Zico brand no added flavor)
Rice Medley (frozen section)
Ice Tea
Chamomile Tea
Reduce guilt brownie mix
Lowfat vanilla yogurt
Meringues
Blueberry Scones :worship: (they are soooo good, don't even read the label, they are basically flour, sugar & butter)
Mini chicken tacos
Treats for the doggies
TJ's Sunblock
TJ's moisturizing cream

Their wine & cheese selection is great & they have really good prices :thumbsup2

Enjoy the shopping spree.

java
07-21-2011, 07:34 PM
I'll add

Granola bars(my kids love these)

I like the buy the pork dumplings to have on hand when I am lazy. My kids like the chicken fried rice

Buy the little ice cube tray things of Garlic! They are great for those nights when you don't have a fresh bulb of garlic.

Wasabi peas
Oh if they have the little raspberry ice cream bars- mmmmm get those!
The molten lava cakes are delicious but so bad for you so I have been skipping them.

I have not been disappointed by too many items. So if it looks interesting to you - try it.
I love the ham and onion pizza- my dh not as much as I do. Oh and they have an individual puff pastry pizza with tomato mmmmm
Shoot now I need to head to trader joes!

Sinderelly
07-21-2011, 07:50 PM
Definitely worth the trip!
Our favorites:
mandarin orange chicken (frozen)
homemade tortillas (refrigerator section)
pineapple salsa
longboard tortilla chips
frozen croissants
frozen chicken breats
Trader Joes Os (cereal)
maple pecan granola
Jo Jos cookies (like Oreos. so good I call em crack) :rotfl:
cocoa
multi grain frozen cereal

si-am
07-21-2011, 07:51 PM
Bring an ice chest! My closest TJ's is 45 minutes away, so I can't buy any frozen stuff unless I prepare ahead of time.

If I buy frozen stuff, I absolutely love their mandarin orange chicken (tastes just like a Chinese restaurant) and vegetable fried rice. Also the pizzas are really good (especially the ham and gruyere cheese).

Non-frozen, they have interesting pasta and grains. Their snacks (crackers, chips, munchies) are good and also cheap.

My husband loves the tea tree soap (2 pack for $1.99)

If you're a wine drinker, they have awesome prices.

staciepm
07-21-2011, 08:03 PM
The store opening in Mt. P? It is to open July 29 at 8. Yeah.

Keep the product recommendations coming.

MikeP22
07-21-2011, 08:06 PM
Here's a secret about Trader Joe's...

A lot of the packaged foods you buy there are the same foods you buy at Whole Foods, only in a Trader Joe's container and anywhere from 1/3 - 4/5 the price you would find it at WF.

Some other things may be made by some of the larger manufacturers to TJs specifications (organic, minimally processed, no food dyes, etc).

In either case, the manufacturer essentially just sends TJs the food who then packages it up and distributes it to their stores, but will make that item/variety the only one they carry.

All that being said, the breakfast cereals are an EXCEPTIONAL value...
The same cereals (e.g. Barbaras) that at WF or in the "natural" section of Stop and Shop cost $4.89 for I think a 14 or 16 oz box, costs $3.69 for a 24 oz box at TJs.
I think a bag of frozen organic green beans is ~$2.
1 lb. of organic carrots is ~$1.00 (being someone who grows his own organic carrots during the summer, that's a freakin' steal).
The prices on their frozen berries are really good too.
As well as apples (.59 each), bananas (.19 each), bagged lettuce (~$2.00).
Their peanut butter and various jellies are REALLY good too. Sadly, we haven't been able to buy PB in ~2 years or so since our little girl is allergic... but their price on Sun(flower seed) Butter cannot be beat.

The ones in NY just started carrying beer too, some of which are pretty good. And they do mix-and-match 6-packs.

Really, SO much is good there and there is hardly anything there which you cannot find for MORE at WF.

I'd have an easier time of it telling you what I don't like...
So far I am not a fan of their taco seasoning or taco shells.

ENJOY!
And let us know what you've tried/purchased.

tpimental
07-21-2011, 08:07 PM
Dark chocolate joe joes!

Orange Chicken is YUM too. Fan of so many of their frozen items.

DisneyMamato4
07-21-2011, 08:10 PM
Olive oil! Much cheaper than the supermarket around here.

From the freezer section -
Garlic Naan (my kids are addicted to it)
Anything Indian - Butter Chicken, Tika Masala
Steel Cut Oatmeal
Frozen veggies
LOVE their frozen herbs especially the already chopped garlic.

Their Vanilla cake mix is insanely good, doesn't even need frosting. My kids will toast up a piece for breakfast.

The closest Trader Joes to us is about 30 min so I don't go super often but when I do I stock up on those things.

minnie1012
07-21-2011, 08:12 PM
I like the bottled Mango green tea the pita chips!

crisi
07-21-2011, 08:19 PM
Mine is ten minutes away. I've been in three times. I find it a very disappointing place to shop.

I'd go and pick up some stuff and see if you like it. I get much better quality organics from my local coop for much cheaper and TJs has way too much processed food. But I have a local coop.

princessdi81
07-21-2011, 08:21 PM
If you like wine - Purple Moon Merlot is phenomenal...and it's only $3.99!!!! There was a TJ's about an hour away from where we used to live, and we'd always buy a case of Purple Moon Merlot. There aren't any near us in Texas, but I may stop by and stock up on wine when I go home!

MikeP22
07-21-2011, 08:21 PM
I'd also like to mention that some of their whole grain sliced sandwich bread is really good. Namely the high-fiber (5-6 grams/slice) TJ brand.
I'm also crazy about the Milton's brand "Healthy Multigran" english muffins. They are lightly sweetened and offer a great contrast of flavor and texture when toasted, *lightly* buttered (with TJs Earth Balance, of course), with a slice of cheddar cheese and an egg over (easy/medium). Note that I find that these muffins are not the pull-apart type and need to be cut with a knife.

Also, if you are a coffee lover but have reflux/heartburn they have a low-acid French roast that is really good. I have a cousin who loves coffee but has a esophageal valve issue and has to take a ton of meds for, and this is the only coffee he can drink. Fortunately for him he loves it.

Also, their plain old basmati and jasmine rices are real good bargains when compared to the regular supermarket.

About the Jo-Jos... Like most people I am an Oreo lover. I mean, they are probably the best manufactured cookie in existence, after all. Jo-Jos DEFINITELY give them a run for their money, and cost maybe half or two-thirds the price. Simply put, they are damn good.
They have some seasonal kinds too. Around Christmas they do candy cane Jo-Jo, with crushed up pieces of candy canes in the cream. My wife loves to eat them frozen.

Also, their ice cream is REALLY good too. As are their sorbets. I even liked their coconut milk "strawberry ice cream".

CandleontheWater
07-21-2011, 08:29 PM
I like their selection of dried fruit, and their carrot/applesauce crushers.

Mostly I go for the wine ;)

averill94
07-22-2011, 05:07 AM
Right now I am addicted to the Veggie Masala burgers...cant eat them enough!!!! I like Indian food but dont like very spicy stuff but these are perfect.
Their brand of Greek yogurt is awesome.
Their blueberry bran muffins are delish.
SHredded cheeses are a pretty good value.
Potato pancackes - yum.
TIny fresh potatoes - a bag for 1.99. Perfect cook them up whole in minutes

Just go! You wont be disappointed.

Those small crunchy choc chip cookies......

Cindy B
07-22-2011, 05:29 AM
I've been slightly disappointed in TJ's lately. It seems that in my local store they tend to discontinue items that I like. We also have a glut of supermarkets in my area, so the tiny parking lot and crowds at TJ tend to drive me crazy.

My local one seems to be going the route of processed quick prepared foods versus "make your own with ingredients". For example, I wanted to buy tahini so I can make my own hummus. I have bought tahini before there. The employees looked at me like I had three heads and showed me the ample (8 varieties or more) of pre made hummus. I also was looking for a certain type of flour once... they didn't have it but they had the bread I was going to make.

That being said I do enjoy some products.

I do like thier pita bread, eggs, and the imported cheese section.
The orange chicken is good.I also like the dumplings (thai chicken, pork gyoza and the chicken shui mai) The Indian food in the frozen section is really good.

I do like the "fruit walks into a bar" fruit and breakfast bars.

Bagels are decently priced and salmon pieces are really inexpensive compared to the other stores.

When in season, the blood oranges are delicious and are the best prices.

This local store seems to cater to the open the bag and heat it up crowd instead of the I want to make it from scratch crowd. Trader Joes used to carry more ingredients to make it yourself, but not anymore. Most of the store is aisles of cold stuff with a fairly limited produce section.

MEM
07-22-2011, 07:20 AM
TJ's is my all-time favorite store! Our favorites include: baby spinach at $1.99, granola with flaxseed and pumpkin seeds, oatmeal with flaxseed, bananas for 19cents each, bleu cheese crumbles, chile lime chicken burgers,
Mandarin orange chicken, Jasmine brown rice, very, very low-sodium chicken broth, triple ginger cookies, ginger cat cookies, petite peas, fire-roasted peppers, any of the Indian and Thai cooking sauces, Jams especially boysenberry and apricot, chocolate covered peanut butter filled pretzels, French orange blossom liquid hand soap, Fire-roasted salsa (salt-free!), peach salsa (great on salmon) all of their nuts and dried fruit. That's just off the top of my head. Not all of the stores in Mass. have licenses to sell beer and wine so we drive out of our way to the one in Framingham - I'm not a fan of any of the 3-buck-Chuck wines but for a few dollars more they have some very good to excellent wines.

Sagginit
07-22-2011, 07:51 AM
I'm GF so I shop at my TJ's a lo b/c the prices on GF products are great. I always stock up on Udi's GF bread/bagels when I am there, TJ brand GF waffles, TG brand GF rice pasta, and think thin protein bars- they are a quick and filling breakfast for when I am in a rush. I also like their fruit leather bars.

The big bag of corn tortillla chips is a good deal, the bananas are the best price out of all the local foodstores, and they have good prices on oils. I like the canola oil but just got their EVOO and found it was a bit stronger than I thought it should be.

In the frozen section I love the raspberry/vanilla bars and they raspberry/lemon/strawberry fruit pops. I also sometimes get frozen veggies but have found they are nothing spectacular.

prncess674
07-22-2011, 07:56 AM
TJ is not really a replacement for WF. I shop WF for the perimeter: fresh produce, wonderful seafood, fresh meat, antibiotic free dairy and gourmet cheese. TJ is much smaller, but all the produce is pre weighed and sometime shrink wrapped. So you can't really pick out the 6 squash that you would like. No custom cuts meats (i.e., not onsite butcher or fish monger) but I do love the reasonable prices on many staple items: olive oil, eggs, etc.

Most of these stores are pretty tiny and if they have just opened in your area expect to be able to barely move. I would plan on going on a weekday morning and avoid the weekends.

snoopybabe
07-22-2011, 08:27 AM
We have a TJ's here & I have found their milk, eggs, & olive oil are cheaper then even Walmart. Also the price for individual bananas (.19) comes out cheapter then (.54) per pound. Things we love:

Chocolate Torte cake (YUM)
Organice frozen green beans
Wine
dried fruit
fiberfilled ends & pieces (think fruit rollups but healthy)
frozen fruit
sunflower seeds
biscotti

SDSorority
07-22-2011, 08:47 AM
There is a Trader Joe's opening in 8 days about an hour away from my house. Before I make the drive, I want to know. . . Is it worth it? I usually go to Whole foods 3-4 times per year and stock up on organic frozen veggies and other nonperishables, as well as fresh goodies.

What products do you LOVE from Trader Joe's? I don't want to buy a bunch of stuff that isn't good and waste it. Thanks!

EVERYTHING.

HAHA

I have some trader joes grocery hauls on youtube if you'd like to see what I get (mostly) each week. From my bloggie (http://www.anniessimplelife.blogspot.com):goodvibes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNEq2j9hau8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SBN3K2MAjw

katrina1122
07-22-2011, 08:54 AM
I like their stuff but am very underwhelmed by their prices, they aren't any better than WF or a regular supermarket, but that's probably because our WF and TJ's are within 2 minutes of each other and are both in a Princeton, NJ zip code...read MONEY MONEY MONEY.

I go there for a few random things, but in general just hit our regular shoprite and find better prices even on organics.

SDSorority
07-22-2011, 08:59 AM
I like their stuff but am very underwhelmed by their prices, they aren't any better than WF or a regular supermarket, but that's probably because our WF and TJ's are within 2 minutes of each other and are both in a Princeton, NJ zip code...read MONEY MONEY MONEY.

I go there for a few random things, but in general just hit our regular shoprite and find better prices even on organics.


WoW!!!! Our TJ's has MUCH lower prices than WF (or as we call, "Whole Paycheck"). Amazing what location will do!! We're in central Ohio, and it's a good $1-$3 per item difference between the two.

Cindy B
07-22-2011, 09:17 AM
I like their stuff but am very underwhelmed by their prices, they aren't any better than WF or a regular supermarket, but that's probably because our WF and TJ's are within 2 minutes of each other and are both in a Princeton, NJ zip code...read MONEY MONEY MONEY.

I go there for a few random things, but in general just hit our regular shoprite and find better prices even on organics.

I agree. Shoprite and Wegmans are sometimes better priced for same items. Of course the double coupon policy is also helpful for Shoprite and Wegmans.

The WF and TJ in Southern NJ are about 5 minutes from each other as well. Not exactly Princeton, but still MONEY..

linnell
07-22-2011, 10:04 AM
I love TJ's, but we go there for more snacks and treats than regular food shopping. One thing that I really like is the frozen vegetables in balsamic vinegar, it is like carrots, pearl onions & mushrooms. We use that a quick filling for a chicken pot pie. Add chicken and gravy and cover with pie crust. Yum.

My kids love the cereal bars, so I buy like 8 boxes at a time.

Also, their chocolate chips are dairy free, and since my son isn't allowed dairy, I stock up on those.

A few treats that I really enjoy are the chocolate dipped pretzel thins. Also the dark chocolate caramels are delicious.

I also concur about the cereal prices. I have little ones that eat cheerios like they're going out of style, I buy the Joe's O's and I think they were like $1.99 a box?

99% of the time I also get suckered into whatever food they are demoing that day.

KCMiller
07-22-2011, 11:06 AM
WoW!!!! Our TJ's has MUCH lower prices than WF (or as we call, "Whole Paycheck"). Amazing what location will do!! We're in central Ohio, and it's a good $1-$3 per item difference between the two.

Word, and I'm probably shopping at the same store (on Sawmill, right :thumbsup2)?

I love their cheese - the prices are great.
the half salt roasted almonds are the best I've had
the wine is great!
They have great frozen veggies, and again, the prices are great!

KCpirate:

Ciao Mickey
07-22-2011, 04:08 PM
I am not crazy about everything at TJ.

That being said, some things that I will recommend:

charles shaw wine

jo-jo's (both chocolate and vanilla)

ice cream (their chocolate is one of the top rated brands on AOL)

milk chocolate covered pretzels (are to die for)

balsamic vinegar is really very good

unsalted peanut butter stuffed pretzels

chocolate bars

granola

organic yogart

organic brown rice and orange chicken

frozen blueberries

I tried their yellow cake mix, it's good, but it reminds me of corn bread for some reason.

KTSMOM
07-22-2011, 04:30 PM
I love TJ's! I go at least once a week. Their prices are MUCH better than our grocery stores, Whole Foods, and Earth Fare.

Here's what I get:
Bell Peppers-all colors are $1.29 a piece.. can't beat that.
Their organic lettuce and spinich.
Love their hummus and salsa. The hummus is a fantastic deal!
The whole wheat english muffins. Just place them in the fridge so they last a bit (no preservatives)
Brownie mix and their peanut butter cups. There's a fantastic recipe on their site for peanut butter brownies.
Chocolate pudding.
Olive oil.
Kidney beans-one of the only brands that is actually just kidney beans, none of the other junk that other brands put in theirs.
Thier version of mini-wheats. Taste the same as the real ones with less junk and cheaper.
Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies..Dunkers! YUM!
Great selection and prices on wines. They are so inexpensive that you can afford to try and see what you like.
Lemonade
Moisturizer-is nice and light for the summer and it's a great price.
Their sweet potato chips, organic white corn tortilla chips and pita chips.
Their pizza crust in the dairy section.

I'm sure there is more, but that is what I buy on a regular basis.
Enjoy your shopping trip!!

Poohforyou
07-22-2011, 05:49 PM
I like their stuff but am very underwhelmed by their prices, they aren't any better than WF or a regular supermarket, but that's probably because our WF and TJ's are within 2 minutes of each other and are both in a Princeton, NJ zip code...read MONEY MONEY MONEY.

I go there for a few random things, but in general just hit our regular shoprite and find better prices even on organics.

We must be neighbors since I shop at the same TJs and WF plus the Wegmans just down the road. I have to say I disagree with you about the prices though. TJs is cheaper than WFs and Wegmans especially on things like cheese, nuts and fruits/vegetables. The quality is also better than many of the regular stores excluding Wegmans.

OP, it isn't a full service grocery so the choices are limited but what they do sell is good quality.

What I like most about TJs is that I actually enjoy shopping there and leave in a good mood which I can't say about going to Shoprite.

We love the following:

ezekiel bread (made with sprouted grains not flour)
rosemary ham
european style mocha yogurt
mini tacos
pot stickers
frozen quinoa blend
3 layer hummus
chicken parm
soups - carrot ginger & black bean are our favorites
tri tip steak
ground turkey
parm cheese wedge
frying cheese
sour cream & onion puffs
veggie & flax tortilla chips
olive oil popcorn
almond butter with flax
frozen veggies
nuts
cinnamon coffee cake mix

lovehoney
07-22-2011, 06:26 PM
I haven't had anything from Trader Joe's for over a year since my sister left Washington state to move back here to Texas. No TJ's in Texas. Our absolute favorite was the lemon curd. It was half the price of any place around here and super tasty. DS10 loves it on ritz crackers. :love:

SUSIEQ
07-22-2011, 06:30 PM
The store opening in Mt. P? It is to open July 29 at 8. Yeah.

Keep the product recommendations coming.

I have been wondering when this one was going to open!
Can't wait!:thumbsup2

nsmith
07-22-2011, 06:45 PM
In the spirit of the "budget boards" here is a list of items that I find are more economical to purchase at TJ's instead of the grocery store:

whole wheat english muffins (prob regular also, so much better than Thomas')
dryed cranberry's
bagged almonds
pizza dough
frozen asparagus (so delish, taste just like fresh)
frozen artichoke hearts
party foods like cheeses, pepperoni, salami slices

there are tons of great items but you can really blow the budget at that place.

MissUndastood
07-22-2011, 06:56 PM
I love their guacamole kit. (basically all ingredients needed to make fresh guac)

Morning buns cinnamin in the frozen section
Peruvian Cucumbers
Gerat prices on fresh flowers
Fresh shaved beef --- makes great cheese steaks
Organic tortilla chips
peppers
chocalate almond cookies........OMG
bag of red onions
Cheese puffs.(think pirate booties)
Pomegranite Lime juice
fresh salsa
spinach dip


|Just an FYI- We only use organic milk and their exp dates are really close to the buy date. So I get that at shop rite

kchughes
07-22-2011, 07:09 PM
I have a TJ's very near my work, so I go a lunch. I do not buy many perishibles, but have got some premade sandwiches and salads, instead of making a second stop. The things I think make TJ's worthwhile:
tea tree shampoo and conditioner
face soap
face moisturizer
hand soap for next to the sinks
grated parm/romano
shredded italian cheese blend
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
Occasionally tortilla chips (sometimes can get a better price with a sale/coupon)
Hummus

Bloom66
07-22-2011, 08:37 PM
Wine.

And when artichoke season is on, I've found huge ones for $1.00.

mirage0306
07-22-2011, 10:18 PM
There is so much good stuff there! I like to go for these things:

Eggs
Quick cooking steel cut oats
Blueberry bars (favorite of ds2)
Challah
Cheese--there's a dublin cheddar that's amazing
Frozen fruit and vegetables
Organic frozen brown rice
Gypsy chariot wine. Both the red and the white are fabulous
Olive oil and olive oil spray
Trail mix. They have a zillion different kinds and they're all great
Nuts. (Same as trail mix--tons to choose from and great prices!)
Salsa verde

Ack. Really, pretty much everything there is amazing and often it's a lower price than at the regular supermarket.

DisneyYahoo
07-22-2011, 10:29 PM
corn salsa
fresh tortillas - YUM!
pizza dough
dried fruit
guac (if you are desperate for some and avocados are super high priced)
salami (they have a chianti salami - YUM)

Have fun at your new TJ's!