Day 18 of My Favorite Things: Trader Joe’s
Aye yay yay. You know the saying “the first step is admitting it”. Well in taking pictures for today’s “favorite” post I’ve come to the realization that – yes loyal readers of The Mint Chip Mama – I am hereby admitting to my addiction. I am addicted to Trader Joe’s. I know I shop there a lot. By a lot I mean exclusively. I’ve come to say to my friends “if it is not sold at Trader Joe’s I no longer buy it.” It is part – I like to buy my groceries at a reasonably priced health conscious store where “organic” is everywhere and only a few cents more, part – I am lazy and don’t want to go to another store, and part – comfort level.
After living in Manhattan and using Fresh Direct (a grocery delivery service where you shop online and a delivery fairy brings your groceries to your door) for over a decade I have lost the ability to go to a mega supermarket and shop. It freaks me out. I’ve tried tirelessly to find a “the supermarket is too big and it gives me the shakes” support group on Long Island but to no avail. So I like going to a store where it is a manageable size and you don’t need a Segway to grab something you forgot while on line. Plus all the staff is so nice, friendly and helpful (they always carry my groceries to my car when I have my son with me). Everyone working there seems happy to be there. So in exchange the customers want to be there too! Why reinvent the wheel and go somewhere else? Ever? Plus they have a funny newsletter that makes me happy.
So in light of my other posts where I wrote about a favorite thing in my hilarious, witty, erudite way, today’s post will let the pictures speak for themselves. My addiction came to light because for every photo I snapped I went “oh this too, and this too”. I did my best to get the breadth (speaking of I tried Quinoa bread this week) of my favorites below. It is safe to say any category item you don’t see is only because I didn’t want to go too too overboard (I like it when she says ba-ba ba ba ba). These items are all on my shopping list and have been bought over and over again. They are not only MY favorites but my family’s favorites too. Stock up for back to school!
This pasta is one of my absolute favorite products. It is a fun shape, organic, and made with vegetables. My children inhale it. I love it. It is a great base for anything – beans, tofu, feta cheese. I serve it hot or cold for lunch or dinner.
Joe O’s and single serve macaroni and cheese. Both life savers and immediate kid pleasers.
Everyone in my family likes a different kind of yogurt. My daughter likes these little individual strawberry ones and can take it out of the fridge, open it, and eat it all by herself. I will take a swig of the Kefir if I find myself hungry and don’t know what to eat. It is like a shot of protein.
I am a HUGE fan of this yellowfin tuna in olive oil. I eat it out of the can or open it and dump it in pasta without draining. The sardines and trout are quick lunches for me when I don’t have second to think about what I want to eat. The salmon is great over pasta too for a quick kid’s dinner.
We are big veggie eaters in my house. We have recently been all about celery – just wash, slice and bam! The cauliflower, carrots and brussel sprouts I roast in the over and they are fantastic. Kid tested, kid approved!
Drinks galore! My husband was loyal to Tropicana until I introduced him to Trader Joe’s orange juice and he loves it. We give my daughter this decaf green tea when she doesn’t feel well. She calls it “Mama Magic”.
I dare anyone to control themselves if these apple sticks or Inner Peas are open. Great snacks that aren’t terrible for you. Which is important when you can’t help but eat the whole bag…
These “mini” desserts are perfect for kids. They get a whole item but it is small so you win – ha ha! Picking it out of the box themselves is a thrill – except for the mint ice cream sandwiches which I won’t share with anyone. Just kidding (no I’m not). The “Hold the Cone!” mini ice cream cones are just about the best dessert out there for a kid – it is a cone with a little chocolate covered ice cream scoop (chocolate or vanilla) the size of your palm.
I studied abroad my junior year of college in Seville, Spain. This marmalade is not only delicious but takes me back and makes me happy. Pretty much any combination of the above makes a good sandwich. The sunflower seed butter is a great alternative for those who can’t eat peanuts. My daughter loves it too so if she wants to take a PB & J sandwich with her somewhere I use this instead if another child has an allergy or in a “peanut-free” zone.
We are huge bean eaters in my house. There would be a can of kidney and black beans up here too if we didn’t just finish them. I love putting beans in pasta for protein. Both of my kids will just eat a bowl of beans and be happy (sorry JHK).
OMG: salt + dark chocolate + crunchy = perfection.
These non-pareils are often sold out so we stock up. My husband loves them.
*GIVEAWAY*In honor of back to school Trader Joe’s has offered to give away four (one of each flavor) vegan, gluten free Fruit Bars to one lucky reader! Made with only the two fruit items listed (no added anything – literally) they are perfect for your kid’s lunchbox!
To win – please post in the comment section below:
Talk to me about your Trader Joe’s addiction. Extra points if you start it “My name is X and I’m a Trader Joe’s addict”
Winner will be chosen Tuesday, August 26th.
Here is a little more on Trader Joe’s because as you know – I LOVE learning about the heritage of brands:
It all started in the 50s… Would you believe we started out as a small chain of convenience stores? It’s true. Way back in 1958. We were called Pronto Markets. In ’67, our founder, the original Trader Joe, changed our name (yes, to Trader Joe’s) and the way we do business.
We made the stores bigger (if you can imagine), decked the walls with cedar planks and donned our crew in cool Hawaiian shirts. Most importantly, we started packaging innovative, hard-to-find, great-tasting foods under the “Trader Joe’s” name. That cut our costs and saved you money. Still does.
And that’s important, because “Value” is a concept we take very seriously. And by ‘Value,’ we mean great everyday prices on all of our great products — no sales, no gimmicks, no clubs to join, no special cards to swipe… How do we do it?
- We buy direct from suppliers whenever possible, we bargain hard to get the best price, and then pass the savings on to you.
- If an item doesn’t pull its weight in our stores, it goes away to gangway for something else.
- We buy in volume and contract early to get the best prices.
- Most grocers charge their suppliers fees for putting an item on the shelf. This results in higher prices… so we don’t do it.
- We keep our costs low — because every pennywe save is a penny you
It’s not complicated. We just focus on what matters — great food + great prices = Value.