Fun fact about Trader Joe’s: it originally started as a chain of convenience stores called Pronto Markets in 1958. I have so much love for this company and that’s why I want to give you the Ultimate Trader Joe’s Shopping List with all the best healthy finds.
Want another fun fact? The founders of Trader Joe’s and Aldi are brothers! In fact, Aldi is the parent company of Trader Joe’s. This is why you can see some similarities in their products.
Whether you’re an Aldi snob or lover that little piece of information might have peeked your interest. And if so, you must read my Ultimate Guide to Grocery Shopping at Aldi to save BIG on groceries.
Unlike Adli though, I’ve always been a Trader Joe’s fan. There really isn’t anything not to love about this store. Although it’s a small store, I get lost in all the products they offer. From their cheap flower prices to their wide variety of organic options – they’ve got it all.
I used to call Trader Joe’s the “Snack Store” because if you really look at what all they sell...it’s a lot of snack items. I would always get sucked into buying something that wasn’t on my list because it looked so good. So consider yourself warned. Be mindful of what you’re adding to your shopping cart.
A few things I love about shopping at Trader Joe’s
Be sure to snag a Fearless Flyer every month for free at Trader Joe’s when you go! When Trader Joe’s first introduced their newsletter in 1970 it was called “The Insider Report”. It was highly coveted by customers and sold for 5 cents each.
This monthly newsletter is humorously written and highlights different products each month. It gives a witty description of the product and even shares the ingredients and nutrition facts. There’s even a cartoon section on the back!
You can return anything
I remember being curious about a product (I wish I could remember which one!) and asked one of the store workers about it. He kindly told me about it and then proceeded to open the product for me to try! I felt a bit awkward but how cool is that that they are willing to just open up their products for us to try and make sure we like it before we buy?
You can also return a product, no questions asked. The cashiers have often reminded me of this when I’m buying something new. It can even be opened, half eaten, and yet, if you aren’t happy with the product you can return it no questions asked.
I haven’t personally done this only because I’m not sure I have ever found a product from Trader Joe’s that I’m not happy with! But it’s good to know they stand behind their products, especially when trying something new.
If you have a receipt, you’ll get the money back. No receipt? No problem, they will just give you the amount on a gift card.
“2 Buck Chuck”
If you’ve been around the Trader Joe’s world long enough you’ve heard of the infamous cheap wine under the label Charles Shaw or also known as “2 Buck Chuck”. It’s actually 2.99 so more like 3 buck chuck but whatever, I’m not complaining.
It’s incredibly cheap wine but actually tastes decent. I’m not a huge drinker, mostly because I can’t handle it and always get headaches! But my husband is actually a fan of the Cabernet, so I usually pick up a bottle or two. They also have a wide variety of other wines and beer to satisfy your pallet.
I always recommend going to Trader Joe’s for specialty food items like coconut aminos or almond flour (if you don’t have a membership to Sams Club that is) because they are always far cheaper than other stores.
I used to stock up on things from Trader Joe’s for the whole month until the next time I was there so I wouldn’t have to overspend on something. Is it just me or is that the worst: Buying something you know is more expensive somewhere else but you have to have it? Convenience always wins!
The nearest Trader Joe’s is a good 30 minutes away so I don’t make it there as often as I’d like. But when I do, I definitely stock up on coconut aminos, coconut sugar, organic turmeric tea (my absolute favorite, you must try it!), cocoa powder, and a few other items.
Oh, I also stock up on their gluten-free dry oats because it’s insanely cheaper and I refuse to spend 8 bucks on a bag of gluten-free oats at Target (and it’s even smaller than Trader Joe’s). I included the prices below for the items that I really like, or regularly buy, so you can see for yourself if it’s cheaper to buy at Trader Joe’s or not.
What to watch for when shopping Trader Joe’s
Don’t forget to read labels
It can be easy to get caught up in the fun packaging and alll the tempting snacks Trader Joes offers. Which is why I feel it’s good to mention to be mindful of reading labels. It may look, even sound healthy, but make sure you read the labels and not just the fat content or how many calories there are. Read the ingredients. What is the food made of? I think Trader Joe’s has some really awesome products but it’s always good to create that habit of reading labels and knowing what is in your food.
A good example of this is their dried mango slices. They have two different dried mango products. One has sugar added (why?!) and the other does not have sugar added (woohoo!). My husband and I both LOVE the dried mangoes (without sugar, of course) and there was a time we went through them like water. It wasn’t the best habit.
So read labels, and choose products with ingredients you know and trust.
My favorite Trader Joe’s finds
You probably skipped right to this section and I don’t blame you. Just give me the grocery list, am I right? Since 1967, when founder Joe Coulombe changed the name and moved into groceries, TJ’s has been a family favorite and continues to grow in popularity. If your family is anything like mine, then you have your favorite go-to options. But you might be unaware of all Trader Joe’s has to provide.
To make you fall in love with this store, even more, I’ve compiled my favorite healthy finds at Trader Joes and created a convenient grocery list for you. It seems they are always adding something new so if I missed something, comment below with what I missed. And let me know what you’re favorites are. I love to hear what others are buying at Trader Joe’s.
Just almond meal 5.99
Organic apple sauce 1.99
Organic fruit pouches 2.79
Excited bars 1.99
Coconut milk 1.69
Coconut oil 4.99
Avocado oil 8.99
Nutritional yeast 2.99
Tricolor quinoa 3.99
Brown rice fusilli 1.99
Peanut butter 1.99
Almond butter 5.99
Organic tahini 3.49
Organic chicken stock 2.29
Coconut aminos 2.99
Organic Dill Pickle Spears 3.29
Organic Ginger Turmeric Herbal Tea 2.49
Spindrift Sparkling Water 3.99
Charles Shaw wine (aka 3 Buck Chuck) 2.99
Roasted Plantain Chips 1.69
Organic Unsweetened Coconut Flakes 1.99
Organic Coconut Cream 2.29
Just Beets Chips 2.99
Organic Lollipops 2.99
Organic Coconut Sugar 3.99
Fruit Bars .99
Kerrygold Butter 3.19
Cauliflower Gnocchi 2.69
Organic Fruit + Veggies price varies
Ginger Chews 1.79
Ezekiel Bread 4.99
Gluten-free rolled oats 3.99
Chia seeds 4.99
Hemp seeds 5.99
Organic Flax seed meal 2.79
Roasted cocoa nibs 1.99
Organic Maca powder 4.99
Fair trade cacao powder 3.99
Peanuts bar 2.99
Frozen brown rice 2.99
Cauliflower crust 3.99
Turkey burgers 2.99
Organic turkey bites 4.99
Organic blue corn tortilla chips 2.99
Organic cauliflower rice 1.99
Nuts price varies
Just mango slices 2.99
Seedy almond salad topper 2.99
Dried fruit price varies
Freeze dried fruit price varies
Fruit bars .99
Crispy broccoli florets 2.99
Chomps free range turkey/beef sticks 1.69
Epic bars 2.49
Roasted plantain chips 1.69
Organic popcorn 2.99
Organic popcorn seeds 2.29
Perfect bars 1.99
Organic string cheese 4.99
Applegate turkey breast 3.99
Organic shredded 3 cheese blend 4.49
Organic canned pumpkin 1.99
Coconut sugar 3.99
Garlic salad blend 1.99
You’ll notice I also included the prices so you can decide for yourself if it’s cheaper than other grocery stores
The gluten-free options are endless at Trader Joe’s but it’s important to know what’s in the food. So be sure you read the labels before you buy. We leave room for balance. That’s why not everything we buy is 100% healthy, as you can see on the list! But we also aren’t buying all these items at once either. Remember to not be fooled into thinking something is healthy just because it’s gluten-free or even organic.
I hope this Trader Joe’s shopping list prevents you from feeling lost with all the goodness the store has to offer.
I’d love to know what items you buy regularly. I know I’m barely touching the surface and probably missed some really good items so comment below what you love and/or what I missed so I can be sure to get it added!
P.S. Here’s another fun fact about our beloved TJ’s: There’s a plastic lobster in every Trader Joe’s store. It was first used as decoration in 1976 and has been in every store location since 1983. So next time you’re there, see if you can spot the lobster.