I love Trader Joe’s!  I mean what’s not to love?  The prices are amazing, the staff is super friendly and they have some really cool items you can’t find anywhere else.  And, on top of all that, you can usually get in and out in a flash….unless of course it’s Friday afternoon at 5:00!

Since I know I’m not alone in my love for TJ’s, I thought it might be fun to share my list of favorite things that I like to buy at Trader Joe’s.  You may already be using some of the items on my list, but I’m hoping there will be at least one or two things that you have not tried.

I have to admit the one area that I typically do not shop in at Trader Joe’s is the produce section.  I know…..I can already hear your groins but let me explain.  It’s no surprise that I am a farmers market junkie!  Every week I go to the market to peruse the aisles and fill my bags with all of the beautiful freshly picked fruits and vegetables.  I have been shopping at the farmers market for years so I freely admit I am pretty picky when it comes to buying my produce.  Because of this, it’s really hard for me to buy veggies that have been wrapped in plastic.  When I see all of that plastic, I can’t help but think of all those toxins (from the plastic) being absorbed into the food.  Not to mention what it is doing to the environment.  So that’s why I don’t buy much in the produce section at Trader Joe’s.  That being said, I do have a few favorites from the frozen section so sometimes you can’t help but get things that are in plastic bags!

So without further ado, here is my top 10 list:

1.  Frozen artichoke hearts and frozen organic peas – I love artichoke hearts so I always have a bag of these in my freezer.  I toss them into my stir fry or add them to my salad.  And the peas are a great way to add color and some protein to any dish.  The peas are $1.99/bag and the artichoke hearts are $3.29/bag.

2.  Anchovy fillets – At just $1.59, these little tins are the best deal in town!  Anchovy fillets are a great way to season any dish.  Simply “melt” one in a hot skillet and then add whatever veggies you want to cook.  They give a nice salty flavor to the dish and you will never know there was an anchovy in the skillet!

3.  Lentil pasta – I have tried lots of different gluten free pastas and I keep coming back to this one.  It’s made with just one ingredient…..organic red lentil flour!  I love the shape of the pasta and it doesn’t get gummy like some gluten free pastas.  Plus, there are 13 grams of protein in each serving!  The pasta is $2.99/bag.

4.  Frozen Cauliflower Gnocchi – Another great alternative to gluten free pasta.  These gnocchi are little puffs of goodness that you can saute in a skillet and top with your favorite marinara or pesto sauce.  You definitely do not want to boil these like traditional gnocchi because they don’t hold together well when boiled.  A bag of the gnocchi will set you back $2.69!

5.  Yuzu sauce – My sister just turned me on to this.  With the weather getting a little cooler, I have been craving some spice on my food and she told me about this little gem.  Yuzu is an Asian citrus fruit and this sauce combines yuzu zest with vinegar, chilies and salt.  It has just the right combination of spice, sour, salty and sweet!

6.  Dukkah – This is a nut and spice blend that is made from almonds, sesame seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, anise seeds and kosher salt.  It’s great on avocado toast or anything else you want to season.  One thing to be aware of with this spice is that it seems to come and go from the shelf.  So when you see it, stock up because it may be gone for a few months.  As long as we are talking about spices, my other favorite spice is Everything but the Bagel.  YUM!

7.  Fresh flowers – You can never go wrong with a bouquet of fresh flowers from Trader Joe’s.  They always have such a great selection, the price is amazing ($3.99 to $9.99) and I swear the flowers seem to last forever!!  Treat yourself or someone you love….it’s worth every penny!!

8.  Candles – I love these seasonal scented candle tins.  They are made with a natural soy wax and they have a lead free cotton wick.  Where else can you get a great smelling candle that burns forever and only costs $3.99?

9.  Laundry soap – Because I do ALOT of laundry with my massage therapy business, I am really picky about what I am washing my sheets (and my clothes) in.  This soap is made with 100% plant based ingredients so there are no phosphates or formaldehyde.  It’s also completely biodegradable.  At just $9.99 for 128 fl. oz., this is such a great deal!

10.  Cards – Last but not least, Trader Joe’s is my one stop shop for all of my cards.  Cards seem to have gotten ridiculously expensive but not at Trader Joe’s…….99 cents for any of their cards!  Now that is a great deal!  And, I always seem to find the perfect card for any occasion.

With the holiday season fast approaching, Trader Joe’s always has a really fun selection of seasonal goodies so be sure to keep an eye out for those.

Making healthy changes can be challenging and finding affordable and tasty options at the grocery store can be overwhelming, time consuming and costly if you don’t know which brands to choose.

Truth be told, I have a ridiculous passion for grocery shopping!  I have spent countless hours (and lots of money!) walking grocery store aisles, reading labels and taste testing new products.  I’ve had many fabulous finds but I’ve also bought lots of products that were a total bomb!!

Recently, I have been experimenting with helping clients in a new way and I’M SO EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE that starting in November, I will be offering an amazing personalized Grocery Shopping Experience!!!

What does that mean exactly?

Starting in November, I will now be taking clients on a 1 on 1 personalized Grocery Shopping Experience that is customized to meet your individual goals and needs.

* First, we have a phone call to discuss your goals and any obstacles you are facing with meal planning and grocery shopping. (If you have not already had your free consultation with me, we can do that too!)

* Next, we pick a time to meet for an hour at a grocery store of your choice:  Natural Grocers, Sprouts, Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.

* When we meet, I will show you my tried and true favorites and teach you the in’s and out’s of shopping to make things easy for you.  You will leave with a greater awareness of healthy choices, a sense of ease knowing where and what to look for and best of all, you will feel empowered to make changes to better support your health and your well being.

The cost of my Grocery Store Experience will be $75 but during the month of November, I will be offering a special introductory offer of $50.

If you’d like to get your time slot set up for your personalized Grocery Shopping Experience or, if you know someone who would love to do this, hit reply and let’s get you scheduled.  You can also contact me via phone or text at 520-471-2837.

See you at the store!!

Be sure to stay tuned for details on an upcoming virtual cooking class!