I absolutely love to go grocery shopping. I've been going to the grocery store ever since I was a little girl going with my Mom. Growing up, my Mom had to have someone tag along because she was buying groceries for a family of six. There was no way she could remember everything, pack it all in the car, unpack it & store it away all on her own. Plus it taught us discipline and we got to see firsthand what all it took to provide food for a family.
Plus, when you went to the store you usually got little treats. Slices of cheese or meat from the deli, all the samples on Sample Day at the store, or even a candy bar or juice on the way out. Or hell, sometimes you were there so long that you actually went to get lunch before you even got home to cook something up. Looking back, grocery shopping (while I didn't always love it as a child) was the bee's knees.
We usually went shopping on a Saturday which, why in the hell would we choose a Saturday of all days, but we did. And of course, it was like the old tv show, Super Market Sweep where you're running & dodging to grab all the items you need. We also always had a grocery list. One side was things we were out of and must not forget and the other side was our weekly meal plans. I truly did learn all I know from a young age, it's amazing. And we'd go up & down each and every aisle until pushing the cart was an arm workout in and of itself.
Sometimes these bi-weekly trips were annoying, especially as a teenager when all I wanted to do was sleep in. But, most of all, I think this is when my love for grocery shopping began. The idea that I could truly make anything I wanted. Everything I needed was right here and I could create it and feed the ones around me that I loved.
And once you bring Trader Joe's into the situation, my love goes to another level. I love this grocery store. The food is mostly healthy, the produce is always fresh and the workers are so friendly. I've literally gotten recipe ideas from cashiers before. And, I think they're starting to know me by name but, oh well.
Trader Joe's has been my saving grace through every Whole30 I've done & especially now that I'm living a gluten-free & dairy-free lifestyle. So, I thought I'd round up my favorites for you. Whether you shop at Trader Joe's or not, these items will give you a good idea of some things to look for. Not all are pictured and remember, some items vary by store & region.
1| Almond Milk or Coconut Milk (refrigerated)
Perfect for smoothies, cereal or splashing in your coffee.
2| Almond Butter
3| Tomato Paste
I sometimes use tomato paste in my spaghetti sauce and I like this version (pictured) because it has a screw on cap so you don't waste it when the recipe calls for 1/4tsp. (eye roll)
4| Canned Coconut Milk Or Cream
These are great pantry staples to always have on hand. Whether you're making smoothies, ice cream, or anything else, these should be in your cart.
5| Marinara Sauce
This is the only marinara sauce I buy these days. It's Whole30 approved and obviously gluten & dairy free. It doesn't have a ton of flavor so make sure you add your favorites to it.
Other pantry/refrigerator items to check for:
- Almond Flour
- Coconut Flour
- Salsa Verde
- Avocado Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Lara bars (if you're not avoiding high-glycemic fruit)
- Manuka honey (if you're not avoiding sugar of all types)
Due to direction from my doctor, I'm currently avoiding high-glycemic fruit to help heal my gut. Thankfully, Trader Joe's keeps fresh, in season fruit which is so helpful. I'm also not listing vegetables because let's be honest, get them all. Except starchy ones like potatoes, butternut squash, etc.
1| Cherries (I'm obsessed. Sorry, not sorry)
5| Green Apples
I really enjoy and trust Trader Joe's meat selection. They have many options for organic, free range meats and I'm all about that. They have a variety of seafood, chicken, pork, beef, etc. Whether you want chicken tenders or a filet mignon, they'll have it for you at a good price.
1| Chicken Wings
Don't wait for game day, Grab these chicken wings, toss them in your favorite seasoning or sauce and bake them up. I love them!
2| Sundried Tomato Chicken Sausage
This stuff rocks my world. I love grilling these up for lunches or they're good for a quick weeknight meal, too!
3| Ground Beef
I really like their ground beef. They have different meat to fat ratios depending on your preference, which I like. I usually go for a 90/10 ratio.
4| Organic Hot Dogs
These hot dogs are Whole30 approved so I've been eating the for awhile. They're perfect to take to cookouts or just for an easy weekend lunch when you want to spend more time hanging than cooking.
What are your favorite finds at Trader Joe's? Share them below so I can grab them on my next trip!