I’m gonna be straight-up honest here and let you know right off the bat that Ryan is the grocery shopper in our family. I know! A dude who’s cute and does the shopping? Jackpot. But over the years we’ve definitely honed our Trader Joe’s shopping list together, as we’ve figured out what we love, don’t like, and what now works for our family of four (helloooo, toddlers). The great thing is that our Trader Joe’s go-to shopping list checks all the marks, and there’s definitely something for everyone. I actually think that it’s a great place to grocery shop for kids because there are lots of healthy (and organic) options with flavor profiles that encourage them to be a little adventurous in their eating habits. This list is full of our very favorite, tried-and-true items that we always have stocked in our pantry or fridge.
Trader Joe’s Shopping List
We often get our produce from our local Farmers Market, but we do have a few things that we love to pick up at Trader Joe’s. Here are our faves.
- Shelled edamame. Great for kids’ snacks or adding to a stir fry or salad.
- Steam-in-the-bag veggies. We often do the green beans or broccoli. Perfect for putting together a quick and simple dinner. We steam them a little extra for kiddos with no teeth. 😉
- Limes. For some reason, the TJ’s limes are better and cheaper than anywhere else!
- Fresh flowers. Their florals are always fresh and totally affordable.
Meat and Dairy Section
TJ’s has an awesome selection of pre-seasoned meat, fish, and more — and a killer cheese section, too. These are great places to stock up for easy weeknight dinners, or if you’re entertaining soon.
- Ground Turkey. Always the most budget-friendly ground turkey we can find (and it’s great quality).
- Tamales. If you can’t get fresh, handmade tamales, these are a pretty good substitute.
- Pizza Dough. Hands-down, one of the things we stock up on most at TJ’s. The Garlic and Herb is amazing, and they have plain or whole wheat as well. We often have pizza nights where we prep the dough and let the kids choose and add their own toppings. We’ve been using this dough for almost 10 years now and love it every time.
- Cheese. All of it! The selection is amazing and it’s more affordable than almost anywhere else. I love the Triple Cream Brie.
- Nonfat Greek Yogurt. We always keep a selection of flavors on hand for kid and grownup snacks. (Favorite flavors are pomegranate, blueberry, and honey.)
I think we can all agree that the Trader Joe’s snacks are next level. I just love combing through the aisles looking for new things to try! Here are the ones that are always on our Trader Joe’s shopping list.
- Some Enchanted Cracker. Always my favorite cracker for dressing up with meats, cheeses, dips, and more.
- Sweet, Savory, & Tart Trail Mix. The kids love this stuff (just make sure no one’s allergic to nuts!). It’s full of protein, and has some sweet treats in it too.
- Organic Mini Sandwich Crackers. I have to put the brakes on, because my kids would eat these by the handful (they have peanut butter or cheese flavor).
- Fruit Pouches. We get these four-packs of pouches to have on hand for the kids, mostly during travel or for on-the-go snacks.
The freezer section has been our savior on more than one occasion! While we try not to eat a lot of frozen food, we keep these standards around for a quick meal when needed.
- Meatless Breakfast Patties. Both of our kids love these, and it’s a fast way to get a little protein into their breakfast if they won’t eat eggs.
- Gnocchi a la Sorrentina. If you asked Henry, he would tell you this was his favorite meal in the whole world.
- Party Meatballs. Awesome for adding to pasta dishes. Also a great meat for little ones who can’t chew tough meat.
- Turkey Corndogs. They don’t have these often but they love them.
- Frozen Rice. We do the brown rice, the jasmine rice, or the rice medley, depending on the meal. It cooks really quickly right in the bag so it’s great if you’re in a time crunch.
Sauces & Dips
I could go on and on about the sauce section, but we’d be here all day. So here are the jars and bottles that we always have on hand.
- Olive Tapenade. Another one that we’ve been buying since we first met. Put this out with a cheese and cracker platter at a party.
- Curry Sauces. We use the green, red, or yellow when we’re making a stir fry. Combine with some chicken and veggies and serve over rice for one of our go-to meals.
- Sriracha Garlic BBQ Sauce. This stuff is not joking around. Perfect for seasoning meat or for dipping. Ryan makes party meatballs with it and they’re insanely good.
Hope our Trader Joe’s shopping list helps you out! I’d love to know if you have any favorites that you always pick up when you’re there. Happy shopping! xoxo