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What To Buy At Trader Joe’s


Oklahoma got its first Trader Joe’s store a couple of months ago. It has brought quite a bit of excitement to our area.

I have really wanted to go, but it is not super close to me and is not in an area I go often. However, I plan to make a trip in the next week or so. It won’t be a place I shop often, but since it is less than an hour from me I am guessing it will be worth shopping at occasionally.

I have been to Trader Joe’s before, but it was when I was visiting family or on vacation on the west coast. The times I went I was only able to pick up a few things and I did not really have time to spend looking through the store. They were always more of a quick trip to pick up a few items. I always wished I had time to really browse the store.

So here is where I need your help. I would love to know what to put on my shopping list for my first trip to our new Trader Joe’s.

What should I buy at Trader Joe’s? What items do you love? What items do I need to try? 


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Lynn's (Gluten Free) Kitchen Adventures

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  1. I have 3 things I find myself regularly buying when I go:

    Treat: dark chocolate almonds with sea salt (yum!)

    Regular: sour dough bread

    Fast meal: quinoa burger (frozen and a little spicy but so good for a fast meal!)

  2. There are so many things! We love the Pineapple Salsa and the Smoky Peach Salsa. All of the nuts are great. We’ve recently gone gluten free for my daughter’s health, so I bought the GF pasta the last time we were there. It was really good. I buy the GF Rolled Oats every time we go. My family really likes the GF Jo Jo’s, too.

    • I love Jo Jo’s so I will have to look for those! I have heard a lot of good things about their gf pasta and oats, so I look forward to trying them.

  3. Jean Marie says

    The first thing that comes to mind is their spinach artichoke dip!!

  4. For me personally, the 2 best things at Trader Joe’s is the Coconut Cream in a can (like other canned coconut milk but only the wonderful thick coconut cream part), and the Shelf Stable Whipping Cream in a tetra box. I love having cream that will whip up beautifully at a moments notice and not sit in the fridge going bad!

    I’m sure there are a million other things that are just great there, but I haven’t tried any yet. Don’t bother with the gluten free cookies, like the Oreo copycat; they’re okay, just not good enough to justify the price tag.

    Also, they have great deals on organic produce all the time so I usually get whatever’s on a great sale while I’m there (once every 6 months or so, I have to drive 1.5 hrs.)

    That’s about it for me! They tent to be a bit pricey for my blood so I take the few really awesome things they carry and leave the rest!

  5. Love Trader Joe’s – but it did take me a while to find my favorite things – almond flour, frozen or refrigerated “rice” cauliflower, their organic vegetables are much cheaper, mint tea bags, and so so much more!

  6. I recently found Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend mentioned on another blog. It’s a mix of dried Israeli Couscous, orzo, baby garbonzo beans and red Quinoa. I would normally not buy something like this but thought I would try it. It’s a nice change from rice, pasta or potatoes as a side dish. It cooks up in water in only 10 minutes! I use chicken stock to give it more flavor. You can add meat and/or veggies to it to make it even healthier. It as different textures so it’s really interesting. A subtle flavor that will go with lots of dishes. I don’t have a TJ’s where I live so I purchased it online. You can google it or go to TJ’s website to find out more about it. Enjoy!!

  7. I think that you will love their gluten free Rice Crackers. They are in a clear plastic bag and they are delicious, especially with hummus (the Three Layer is amazing) or other dips. I buy their almond milk and butter (the sticks are a handy size). I LOVE the frozen Masala Burgers (vegetarian, but I don’t think they are gf.) They have a pesto with quinoa in a jar that we love. Their Flame Roasted flour tortillas are amazing (an employee recommended these.) I like their brown rice fusilli too – I think it’s $1.99 a bag. Their spices are a good deal (pink Himalayan sea salt!)
    In the refrigerated section, there is a vegetable mix (7 veggies??) in a plastic dish. I use either their Pear Champagne vinaigrette or poppyseed dressing. It’s even better if you add some toasted sliced almonds. I also use their cooked lentils when I need some vegetarian protein in a hurry, they are good in a dish or even on their own with some brown rice.
    Fresh flowers are a great deal too – have fun shopping!

    • Thank you! I will have to try the rice crackers. And everything else sounds good too. I am afraid my list is going to be really long. 🙂

  8. Their gluten free pasta is good. It is also cheaper than other brands. I found a quinoa brown rice blend spaghetti noodle that is good too. I get their gluten free oats and make oat flour or gluten free oatmeal packets for my daughter. Their fruits and veggies are always delicious. Sometimes I stop in and get some flowers, they last forever and are so pretty. My husband loves the orange chicken but it isn’t gluten free so I’ve never had it. I’m sure there is something that I’m missing but can’t think of it now.

    • Do they only have rice and quinoa gluten free pasta or do they have a corn based one too? I keep hearing good things about their gf oats, so I will definitely add those to the list.

      • I think they are only brown rice based. I don’t like corn based pasta so I avoid it. I remembered what I forgot the other day, dark chocolate covered almonds. Although they recently slimmed down the package for a slightly higher price so I don’t buy them often anymore since it isn’t friendly to the budget. And my daughter really likes the black bean taquitos when we can find them.

  9. I love their rice from the frozen section. It comes in a box – 3 bags in each box that you microwave. You can get multi grain, brown or Jasmin rice. So easy!
    Also check out their spice section. Their Vanilla and other spices are much more reasonably priced than other stores. I like their spice blends too like their 21 salute. I also buy the sugar/cinnamon grinder.

  10. Amber Edwards says

    We buy sun butter there, it’s a lot cheaper. They only have creamy, but for the price I don’t care. We buy the gf toaster waffles for the kids. They’re good, but not great. Handy to have for some mornings. Their kefir is best priced. Coconut milk in carton or can are good. I like the quality better & it’s about half the price than in stores. Check out the barbecue sauce, they have a sriracha bbq sauce that is really good. It’s not spicy (my kids eat it), but very flavorful. If your looking for a treat the Scandinavian fish are really good. Oh, and the mahi mahi is excellent. It comes four to a box, so can get spendy but worth it once in a while.

    • Thanks! And their sun butter was one thing that we bought in OR one time and my daughter loved it. So that is already on my list. I am glad to now have a good and cheaper source for it.

  11. Maudie the Maid says

    We love their Mandarin Orange Chicken. Good prices on all nuts. For a special treat my kids like their cookie butter.

  12. I love Trader Joe’s. I only stick to gluten free items. They have a list online or you can get one at the service desk. My favorite frozen foods they carry: grass fed ground beef, turkey burgers, wild caught shrimp, creamy polenta with spinach and carrots, bags of hash browns and Jasmine rice. In the regular grocery aisles, I like to buy their bags of Jasmine rice, jugs of maple syrup, gf black bean pasta, white cheddar popcorn puffs and dried fruit. I enjoy their organize lettuce and all the various cheeses they sell. They even carry many nitrate free lunch meats. They do have a few gf baked goods and breads, but I cannot eat them due to a sensitivity to brown rice flour. Have fun exploring. The food is good, the staff is fun and friendly and you will find lots of options for gluten free eating.

  13. The olive hummus is awesome. We also love the meats…good quality decent price. They have a chocolate covered cranberry that is yummy..and addicting. Remember they will let you try items before you buy them up to 10 I think. And they are always super friendly and knowledgeable about their products.

  14. Here are a few things I like:
    *Dried pineapple rings. They have no sugar added and taste like candy to me!
    *Frozen Chili Lime Chicken burgers. Come 4 to a box.
    *Frozen green beans…the thin ones.
    *Coconut oil spray…in a can like Pam
    *Balsamic vinegar
    *Olive oil
    *Quinoa and Brown rice pasta
    *Dark Chocolate Nibs (in a cute little tin by the cash registers)

  15. Teresa Rouzer says

    Some of the items I usually get at TJ’s:

    smoked sardines
    whole wheat “British” muffins
    Fat Free Sesame Salad dressing
    TJ’s strawberry jam
    creamy no stir peanut butter
    a tub of Gingersnap cookies
    yellow organic tortilla chips
    produce – whatever is a good buy
    XX do not care for their canned beans – too watery, not enough actual beans in the can, yes, I’ve sent them an email about this

  16. Terri Gosage says

    We love:
    73% Super Dark Organic Chocolate Bars,
    Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups,
    Raw almonds
    Raw pumpkin seeds,
    Almond meal

  17. Things I buy:

    Olive oil Potato Chips
    Bacon ends and pieces (so good)
    New Zealand grass-fed cheddar cheese
    plantain chips
    gf bread
    corn tortillas (really soft and delicious)
    Rosemary Ham
    gf buttermilk pancake mix for in a pinch when I don’t make my own from scratch
    dark chocolate peanut butter cups
    produce in season

    I love Trader Joes! Can you tell?

    • Thanks for sharing your list. 🙂 I am loving all the Trader Joes suggestions. It is going to be tough to narrow down what to get on my first trip!

  18. S. Nightingale says

    Espresso pillows up front round tin
    Almond thins cookies
    Almond windmill cookies
    Just look around ☺

  19. Cookie Butter. Chocolates at Christmas for gifts.

  20. I enjoy buying the gluten free oats to use for morning oatmeal, oat flour, and oatmeal cookies. Our favorite cheese is their English Coastal Cheese, it’s wonderful. Another great find is the Sriracha Hummus and the Shaved Cheese Blend. The honey roasted almonds are addicting. Try to go during the week and in the morning or early afternoon. The employees are wonderful and can answer all of your questions. Oh, check out the wine. My favorite white wine for this season is Green Fin’s white table wine. Take your time and enjoy your visit. I’m very fortunate. I live in the Charlotte, NC area and we have 2 Trader Joe’s. What good fortune!!

  21. Love Trader Joes!
    Their frozen Orange Chicken is AMAZING!!
    Also in their freezer section that’s good is their spinach artichoke dip.

    They bruschetta sauce in the cooler is so delicious m!!!as long as you like garlic.

    Their spices are great with a great price point also.
    And they have a great flower department, so treat yourself! 🙂

  22. I am not gluten free, so none of my choices will probably be.

    Cranberry Oat Dunkers
    Multi Grain Crackers
    Frozen Mandarin Chicken
    Chicken Fried Rice…perfect for a quick meal
    pizza dough
    boxed tomato soup
    all fruit and veggies
    ground beef and other meats

    This list is not extensive as the closest one used to be KC. Hoping Wichita gets one!

  23. Son is gluten free, dairy free, and corn free…
    We buy:
    Irish Oats (cheapest price at Trader Joes)
    Rice Tortillas – yummy!
    Organic lollipops
    Coconut cream in the can

  24. Trader Joe’s favorites for us are:
    Green Dragon hot sauce
    Hatch Valley Salsa
    Sriracha and garlic barbecue sauce
    21 seasoning salute
    Smoked paprika
    Pumpkin pie Spice
    Cocoa powder, so rich and chocolaty

  25. D Bender says

    everything crackers, bacon & onion salad dressing, pinachio cookies, unexpected cheddar cheese and FLOWERS, FLOWERS, FLOWERS!

  26. Elizabeth Gillings says

    I love the frozen kung pao chicken, batttered fish nuggets and they have the best Belgian waffles.

  27. B. Shope says

    Dark chocolate sea salt almonds are AMAZING. 21 seasoning salute, spray coconut oil (great for making kale chips!), gouda/parmesean melange, olive oil popcorn, toilet paper (really!), everyday seasoning, dark chocolate almond small bars are a GREAT deal. I Looooove Trader Joe’s!

    • I will have to try the spray coconut oil! I have never seen that before. I will have to look for the olive oil popcorn. I love popcorn! Thanks for the suggestions!

  28. Pumpkin O cereal(only available this time of the year and sells out). Peach salsa, mango yogurt, gluten free pumpkin breadmix(only available this time of year), gluten free chocolate with white cream cookies, lightly salted nuts, Brazil nuts, mayo(only mayo I use), quinoa black bean corn chips, chicken wrapped dog chews and dried chicken dog treats, tea tree tingle shampoo and conditioner(the best!), candy of all kinds. I used to get orange jelly sticks but they have not had those lately, chocolate covered marshmallows, peanut butter/ dark chocolate cups, mint patties, nut covered toffee pieces, hot dogs(these are not polluted with nitrates), produce is always interesting, chocolate chips are also excellent… We mix them with the lightly salted pecans with a glass of red wine. Yummy!!!

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