Trader Joe's Opening in 8 days. . . what to buy?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by aheape1979, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. aheape1979

    aheape1979 Mom of 2 princesses!

    Mar 5, 2008
    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!
  2. marcemc

    marcemc I wouldn't be able to handle such fluffliness eith

    Dec 7, 2008
    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
    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.
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  4. java

    java <font color=darkorchid>I am embracing the Turkey B

    Jan 18, 2005
    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!
  5. Sinderelly

    Sinderelly Princess

    Jan 27, 2009
    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:
    multi grain frozen cereal
  6. si-am

    si-am DIS Veteran

    Apr 16, 2006
    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.
  7. staciepm

    staciepm Mouseketeer

    Oct 9, 2004
    The store opening in Mt. P? It is to open July 29 at 8. Yeah.

    Keep the product recommendations coming.
  8. MikeP22

    MikeP22 Awesome

    Jul 12, 2010
    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.

    And let us know what you've tried/purchased.
  9. tpimental

    tpimental Mouseketeer

    Dec 27, 2009
    Dark chocolate joe joes!

    Orange Chicken is YUM too. Fan of so many of their frozen items.
  10. DisneyMamato4

    DisneyMamato4 Disney Obsessed!

    Mar 25, 2011
    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.
  11. minnie1012

    minnie1012 DIS Veteran

    Nov 25, 2008
    I like the bottled Mango green tea the pita chips!
  12. crisi

    crisi DIS Veteran

    Feb 25, 2002
    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.
  13. princessdi81

    princessdi81 Mouseketeer

    Nov 4, 2009
    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!
  14. MikeP22

    MikeP22 Awesome

    Jul 12, 2010
    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".
  15. CandleontheWater

    CandleontheWater Forever in love with Hathaway Browne

    Mar 5, 2007
    I like their selection of dried fruit, and their carrot/applesauce crushers.

    Mostly I go for the wine ;)
  16. averill94

    averill94 DIS Veteran

    Aug 14, 2004
    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......
  17. Cindy B

    Cindy B <font color=blue>Have taken some furniture polish

    Oct 8, 2000
    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.
  18. MEM

    MEM DIS Veteran

    Oct 25, 2001
    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.
  19. Sagginit

    Sagginit Hulagirl_Tiki

    Jul 15, 2009
    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.
  20. prncess674

    prncess674 DIS Veteran

    Apr 8, 2003
    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.
  21. snoopybabe

    snoopybabe Mouseketeer

    Aug 24, 2007
    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
    dried fruit
    fiberfilled ends & pieces (think fruit rollups but healthy)
    frozen fruit
    sunflower seeds

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