…and left with a $150 receipt.
I got a little carried away at Trader Joe’s last Saturday but it’s so hard not to! I don’t make it to Trader Joe’s often because it’s not geographically convenient like Whole Foods, ALDI, Harris Teeter, Food Lion and The Fresh Market are. These stores are easy for me to pop into because they’re either close to my house or on my way to/from places I go frequently. Trader Joe’s always feels like it requires a special trip.
As someone who grew up in a small town in middle Georgia where Kroger and Winn-Dixie were pretty much the only game in town, I fully recognize and appreciate how lucky we are in Charlotte to have such abundant food shopping choices.
Random story: when I was living in Birmingham, Alabama and we first got a Whole Foods, I would sometimes stop on the way home from work if I’d had a hard or stressful day. Just wandering around the store, eating cheese samples and looking at everything would relax me. I have a weird love for grocery stores and food shopping.
Back to Saturday…Finn and I had a lazy day. We stayed in PJs until after lunch and then the rest of our day included a walk with Virginia and playing in the back yard. This PBJ lunch used up the last of the peanut butter so it made for a good excuse to take an outing to Trader Joe’s later in the day. One cannot be without peanut butter in the house for longer than 24 hours.
Important side note: PBJ + Cheez-Its is one of the greatest combos there is.
I’ve mentioned this recently but Finn is all about “cozy clothes” at the moment. He asks to wear these zippered, footed PJs every single night and would stay in them all day if I let him. I actually ordered these last Christmas but they were too big so I pulled them back out this year and they fit just right. It’s the first time Finn’s been in footed PJs in quite a while and he thinks they’re pretty awesome. I’ve promised him that I’ll get him more zippered PJs for Christmas. These are Amazon Essentials brand and I think they’re good quality for the price. Snug fitting and run true to size. He’s in a 3T here and I’ll probably order 4T for the next go-round. What is cuter than babies/toddlers in footed pjs?
Once I convince him to get dressed, he only wants the softest of shirts and joggers/sweatpants. Getting him into jeans these days is quite the challenge. But who am I to judge as it’s equally as difficult to get me out of my Aligns and into real pants. 😉
We set out for Trader Joe’s around 4:30p on Saturday afternoon, both of us in our cozy gear. For whatever reason, Finn has been a big fan of Trader Joe’s since he was a baby and is always really happy when we’re in the store. This time he brought his Godzilla in and had a great time showing him off. At one point he was singing Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer in the wine aisle. He cracks me up.
Here’s what came home with us!
There are those two jars of peanut butter that we went for! Also…
- Fair Trade Organic Bolivian Blend coffee
- Artichoke Antipasto – haven’t tried this before but I’m a big fan of all things artichoke so excited to give it a taste. Let me know if you have ideas for tasty ways to eat it.
- Yogi Tea Ginger Tea
- 10 Minute Farro – I like this for a salad topper
- Soyaki Sauce – one of my favorite marinades/stir fry sauces to keep on hand
- Cheesy Seasoning – 100% impulse purchase but very excited to explore the possibilities with this one. It’s making me crave popcorn!
What can I say? We love snacks, especially crunchy and salty ones.
- Organic Naan Crackers
- White Truffle Popcorn – first time buying and will report back!
- Yogurt Pretzels – I have been on a kick with these lately and enjoying them for a sweet treat after lunch or dinner
- Plantain Chips – Finn calls these “monkey chips”
- Strawberry Bars – Finn likes these
- Inner Peas – again, Finn, they are not my fave
- Carrot Ginger Miso Dressing – I’ve been in the mood to switch up my salad dressings lately and this one grabbed my eye
- Bacon – Finn adores bacon so I cook it for him a few slices at a time in the microwave
- Shredded Cheese Blend – for quesadillas and whatnot
- Avocado Tzatziki Dip
- Italian Truffle Cheese – to eat with above naan crackers
- Baby Beets
- Sharp Cheddar Slices
- Sun-dried Tomatoes
- Sauerkraut – love buying this at TJs because it’s delicious and half the price of the kraut I usually buy at Whole Foods
- Perfect Bars – I can’t find the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavor everywhere but I can at TJs
- Artichoke – total impulse buy. I steamed it on Sunday and have been working on it a few leaves at a time.
- Southwestern Chopped Salad – love this kit at TJs, it’s better than the Whole Foods Southwest Chopped Salad. I had both of them within a few days of each other and the Trader Joe’s one has better ingredients, is bigger and cheaper.
- Lemons – not sure why I felt like I needed lemons
The frozen food aisle is my favorite to shop at Trader Joe’s. In my opinion, they have the best frozen food selection (when it comes to frozen foods that are interesting and taste good) of any grocery store.
- Ultra Chocolate Ice Cream – promised Finn we could get this when I told him we were going to TJs for peanut butter
- Turkey Meatballs
- Fish Sticks – Finn loves these
- Riced Cauliflower Stir Fry – I’ve been buying this one for years. It’s good cooked like fried rice with shrimp or ground turkey and and egg
- Quinoa Duo with Vegetable Melange – it was my first time buying this and yum! I cooked it last night and mixed it with marinara sauce, shredded chicken and some shredded cheese. I just ate the leftovers for lunch.
- Melodious Blend
- Gorgonzola Gnocchi
- Multigrain Blend with Vegetables
- Mixed Mushroom Medley
The last four on the list are staples for me and I love to keep them on hand in the freezer because there’s so much I can do with them!
Finn was a great help in getting all the groceries unpacked while asking me, “When’s my dinner going to be ready? Is my dinner ready?” 🙂
Sometimes I’m amazed by the amount of groceries I buy and how much food we go through with it being just the two of us but we don’t eat out much and have almost every single meal at home.
2022 is going to be the year of more recipes and intentional cooking and less throw together meals and bowls. Setting that intention big time because I’m ready to get back in the kitchen in a more meaningful way and Finn’s at a great age to join in the fun!
Do you have a lot of grocery store options where you live?
Do you cook in or eat out more?
Do you write out a weekly meal plan or more wing it?
What’s one food you cannot be out of in your house? I’m peanut butter and avocados all the way. I will make a special trip to the store. I honestly can’t believe I ran out of peanut butter because I usually have 2-3 backup jars to prevent that from happening.