So by now you’ve probably noticed that we have an affinity for Trader Joe’s here at Style Elevator. What’s not to like? Super friendly staff, extremely creative marketing (especially their flyers), a commitment to the communities where they’ve opened stores and some really good products at reasonable prices. It’s kind of like the Willy Wonka of grocery stores…fun and funky. I must admit, I stop by Trader Joe’s at least a few times a week to stock up on things.
While there are so many things to like at Trader Joe’s, here’s a list of my Top Ten Faves. I’ll admit, the list is a little heavy on frozen foods, but that’s a lot of what I buy there. (Plus, right now, I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad idea to buy a few extra things for your freezer.) As a rule, I tend to shop for produce and meat at other stores. Yep, I’m one of those people that buys her meat at one place, her fish at another and her produce somewhere else. You get the idea.
But back to Trader Joe’s and My Top 10 Faves
Marcona almonds. I like both the truffle and rosemary versions; they’re a staple at my house and part of every cheese tray I serve. Everyone loves them! Plus, they’re so well-priced compared to other stores.
Spanakopita. I’ve tried many different spanakopitas out there and this one is one of my favorites. The Trader Joe version has the perfect ratio of spinach to cheese. One thing: you’ll need to cook them longer than the package says. That is, if you’re like me and like your spinach pie flaky and golden brown.
Fresh flowers. From bouquets to plants, make this one of your first stops for fresh flowers. They are so affordable you can keep flowers in your home all year long. I really love the flower selection during the holidays. This past year, I got the prettiest ivy topiaries with fairy lights; perfect for gift-giving. I’ll be buying my shamrock plant this week.
Reduced Guilt Mac & Cheese. One word: yummy!
Vegetable Spring Rolls. My friend, Kelly, turned me on to these. I bake these little crispy and fresh-tasting goodies for my lunch or serve them as a side if I’m doing Asian. They are vegetarian; you won’t miss the meat, promise! Pair them with TJ’s sweet chili sauce with the pink label.
Cards. You simply can’t find a better card for 99 cents. Stockpile them so you’ll never run out when you need one. Ditto with their wine bags.
Hashbrowns. I like these so much better than the ones you prepare in a skillet. Just pop them in the oven. So easy and delicious!
Cheese. I view the cheese counter at TJ’s as a great place to sample a bunch of different varieties because they’re so well-priced. Comte or Camembert? Gouda or Gruyere? You’ll find it here. Once you find a few types you love, splurge on delicious (and probably more expensive) versions elsewhere. One standout: I especially love the bag of shredded swiss and gruyere. The add of gruyere elevates whatever recipe you’re making that calls for swiss cheese.
Mini Mint Ice Cream Mouthfuls. When you want just a bite or two of dessert, these are the perfect choice, especially if you’re a mint and chocolate fan. A little goes a long way.
Chocolate. I buy them year-round; I load up on bars during the holidays and use them as stocking stuffers or present toppers. And the chocolate is really really good. Try the dark chocolate with hazelnuts.
A Little Note From Ann: I have a couple extra items you might want to check out also. A friend of mine recently told me about an awesome cast-iron pizza recipe (See below). Now, you can make your own pizza dough, but why bother when Trader Joe’s has a ready to make amazing one! My other favorite item is their bottled lemonade. It comes in three flavors: lemon, lime and berry. My son loves it, and I rather like it with a little something extra (wink).
Happy Shopping At Trader Joe’s!