My Permanent Trader Joe's List: Part 1


I keep my shopping lists in my Notes on my phone. I have a separate list for Stop & Shop, Target/Walmart, and Home Depot (for the three times a year I might get there). I add an item to my Notes when I need it, and delete it at the store once I’ve put it in my cart.

Then there’s the Trader Joe’s list. This list gets added to on a regular basis (when I discover new items), but I don’t delete items from the list as I put them in my cart. I keep a permanent TJ list since I always need (basically) the same things. I get to Trader Joe’s about once a month to make sure I stock up in the “only found at Trader Joe’s” items — in addition to double bagging to replenish my paper recycling bags!

Notice that I titled this blog “Part 1.” There are several reasons for this:

1) I’m always finding new products I like, either from the sample kitchen in the back corner (gotta stop there every visit!), seeing what other people are buying, or hearing about what my friends buy there. I think Trader Joe’s should have a “shopping buddy bench” similar to the “buddy benches” at playgrounds at elementary schools. If a kid needs a friend to play with, he/she can go sit on the bench and another kid will see them and ask them to play. Similarly, TJ shoppers could go around TJ together, showing each other their favorite items. My favorite things I get there have been from recommendations from friends!

2) As we all know, Trader Joe’s likes to switch things up a little! You know, like how your favorite peppermint tea is only available around Christmas? If you are obsessed with pumpkin-flavor anything, you’d better buy in bulk by mid-September! Plus, they run out of things, but I do like how willing the workers are to go check in the back, and can usually tell you if the item is coming in or if it is (sniff, sniff) never ever coming back so you had better get over it…

3) There are just too many things to list at one time. I just went two days ago to stock up on some favorites, but we ate several of them before I had a chance to photograph them!

So, on to Part 1 of my Permanent Trader Joe’s Shopping List, in no particular order:

Multigrain O’s Cereal — I think the “O” could stand for my daughter’s '“obsession” with this cereal. Her absolute favorite! With milk for breakfast, without milk for afternoon snack — she’s even requested that I send it in as her mid-morning school snack. Yum!

Low Fat Granola Cereal Mixed Berry — my son’s favorite yogurt topping. I love that it is dairy-free and nut-free (though does say “May contain traces of tree nuts and soy”)

Mixed Berry Scone Mix — Though I do have Scottish heritage, I’m perfectly fine with the “just add water” box scone mix. Just like Grandma would make (in about a quarter of the time!)

Banana Bread Mix — Very tasty, and (please don’t cringe at the word) moist, and perfect if you need to use up a few brown bananas (though the added bananas are not needed).

Sweet Potato Bisque — a quick gourmet-tasting heat and eat soup — definitely could be served at Thanksgiving, though it, fortunately, is available all year-round!

Lite Kettle Corn — These snack-size bags come in packs of 6. Perfect for the snack bag in my car for when the kids are so famished they can’t wait the 3 minutes until we are home. I often hear “Oooo! Kettle corn!” calls when they have a friend in the car, just before I hear the bag being ripped open!

Crunchy Curls — Yes, you read that right, these curls are made with lentils (and potatoes)! My son’s favorite snack.

Original Savory Thin Mini Crackers — These rice crackers with sesame seeds are tasty and gluten-free! And with 37 crackers per serving, they are great for a Japanese-inspired snack!

Sunflower Seed Butter — Perfect nut-free spread! My daughter takes a small container of it in for school snack, along with celery or crackers. We also like to mix it with oatmeal, honey, flax seed, cinnamon, vanilla, and chocolate chips to make no-bake oatmeal energy bites.

Fruit Wraps — One of the few “fruits” that my son is guaranteed to eat from his lunchbox. I love that the ingredients really are all fruits!

Just Mango Slices — Another great ting to add to the lunchbox for a quick mid-day sweet snack. The dentist might not like sticky dried fruit much, but it is oh, so tasty!

New Zealand Sweet Apple Rings — These dried apple rings don’t last long in my house. Just be careful about the hard seed casings that might be in there.