I hope that doesn’t bring a whole new audience to my blog. I’m not “doing” Joe, to be clear.
But for real, I’m doing something wrong at Trader Joes.
I don’t know what I’m supposed to buy there.
Sure, I have a few favorites (keep reading), but when I go into a Trader Joes, it’s as if it’s the first time I’ve stepped outside of the bunker in 15 years.
Is it just me, or do you ever feel as if you don’t fit in at Trader Joes? Like, they must know I’m not a “regular,” or that I don’t know how to cook quinoa or use organic laundry detergent.
I don’t think I fit their demographic, but it’s so much fun to shop there!
It doesn’t even feel like grocery shopping!
My Aldi doesn’t have a nautical bell that they ring when they need to open another register, and the constantly unhappy employees at my local Walmart don’t wear tropical shirts or ask me what I’m going to make with my newly purchased Madagascar vanilla and navel oranges like the employees of Trader Joes do!
Then I wondered, how would I describe Trader Joes to someone who had never been there?
Mississippi, Arkansas, Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota are the only states that don’t have a Trader Joes. So how would I describe a Trader Joes to someone from South Dakota?
It’s similar to a high-end convenience store?
This is precisely why no one ever asks me for assistance with their blog bio.
Maybe this reason too.
So if you Google “what to buy at Trader Joes,” you’ll get three pages of blogs, websites, guides, and tutorials on what TO and NOT TO buy at Trader Joes pop up.
Well, I came to a halt at three pages.
I DON’T HAVE TIME TO COUNT THE NUMBER OF GOOGLE PAGES.
That’s just one page.
Got it. Thanks.
Then I found an article on Apartment Therapy about Trader Joes Most Loved Products, According to Superfans.
Well if the “superfans” say so, it must be true!
Not one damn grocery item on the list.
I’ll offer you some spoilers if you don’t want to read the article. You know you’re getting old when discussing grocery store items is considered a spoiler.
Candles, facial toner, body butter….WAIT, DOES THIS PLACE SELL FOOD?
Here is a much more detailed article by Business Insider.
Here are some of my favorite things to buy at Trader
An honest list from a someone who has nothing to gain monetarily by sharing this with you and who and who probably doesn’t have any business being on the inside of one.
They are selling this scent on Amazon for $14. I am quite sure it wasn’t even close to that price at Trader Joes. Way sleazy, Bezos.
I’m not always a fan of the candles at Trader Joes. I once bought a Honeycrisp Apple scented candle there and it smelled so strongly of apples that I had to give it away to get it the hell out of my house.
Okay, I might have put it in someone’s purse.
But my dear friend Melanie gave me the Cedar Balsam scent as a hostess gift, and it was divine. The ideal pine scent that doesn’t smell like a car air freshener.
Mandarin Orange Chicken
By the way, that photo up there is, yet again, Amazon. Who is selling a four-pack of this for $79. What the mandarin chicken, Bezos??
But I have to say, Trader Joe’s Mandarin orange chicken is tasty and is our go-to frozen meal to get from TJ’s. Easy to prepare, not at all authentic but it’ll do in a pinch.
Blue Fin Riesling
I haven’t had an alcoholic beverage since the week of Christmas, and I feel amazing. But when I do drink wine, the Blue Fin brand at Trader Joes is one of my favorites.
It gets you drunk quickly, it doesn’t usually give you a headache, and it’s only five bucks.
Rose Water Facial Toner
I happened to get two of these for my girls’ Christmas stockings and then found out that they both had been using them already and love this. I guess Anna introduced Ella to it since she started wearing makeup this year. One of the many perks of having an older sister. 🙂
They both love this, it’s very affordable, and if used properly will last a long while.
Ella has loved these since she was a toddler. She is also the kid that eats only the strawberries in the Special K with strawberries cereal and none of the cardboardy bran cereal.
Okay, we all do that.
So when I hit a Trader Hoes, I always stock up on these.
Also, don’t tell me to try and dehydrate at home in the oven.
I tried to.
It was ugly.
I don’t want to relive it.
Although according to Business Insider, you should skip their produce section altogether because most of it is near its expiration. Which might be why the bananas are so cheap.
Hands down favorite part of Trader Joes. Their flowers are relatively inexpensive and they have unusual varieties.
They also have really affordable house plants there as well.
Fun seasonal items
I love that trivet in the picture above. I bought it at TJ’s over the holidays and usually use it in the kitchen but right now it’s being used to protect a table from the heat of a metal candle.
Trader Joes has lots of fun stuff other than just chicken and flowers. Wool balls for the dryer, felt ball garlands, lotions in seasonal scents, trivets. All sorts of fun things that are seasonal. Christmas is usually the most fun time to buy these items.
But get them early in the season and definitely before the famous blogs start sharing these things or they will be gone.
I know this from experience.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
I’ve been buying this for years and it never fails to disappoint. I remember when my friend Melissa and I both had toddlers and would run to Trader Joes to get “fancy” food for playdates with each other to pretend like we were wealthy. We’d eat our dip with tortilla chips and feel like we were royalty. See? This is why Trader Joes is so good.
could have eat that entire jar in one sitting.
A couple of things I don’t really like that others love:
I do not “get” the body butter. I tried it once and it felt like using coconut oil.
The baking kind, not the tanning kind. Crumbly and absolutely no smell.
Everything but the bagel seasoning. I don’t like sesame seeds, so this is ruined for me.
Tell me every single thing you swear by at Trader Joes. Not your whole list, but what items you can’t find anywhere else that you love to get there.