Creating a healthy lifestyle through simple recipes

How to Shop Trader Joe’s (TJ’s)

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My TJ’s Cart

Trader Joe’s is fairly new to WI and I have many friends that avoid going there because the store can be overwhelming. When you aren’t familiar with it, you stay away. So much to look at and so many people in your way!! I’m going to help you. Take this list to your next visit!

Last year I did the “Whole 30” which is strict 30 days of eating clean. No carbs, No beans, No Sugar, No Dairy, No Artificial sweetener, NO FUN. But it did change the way I eat. And most importantly it changed the way I shop for food. On whole 30, I read every label and was forced to educated myself on what all those added ingredients mean. So much added sugar!

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All my faves!

Any way, I discovered Trader Joe’s in the process! While they carry a whole lot of items that aren’t good you (but who can resist their cookies & chocolate), I’ve discovered some staples that are part of my weekly shopping trip.

Here are my top 3 tips for shopping at TJ’s:

  1. Arrive at 8am when they open. Everything is full stocked including all herbs and veggies. Not to mention there aren’t many people so you can take your time browsing.
  2. Stay on the OUTSIDE square of the store. Once you start walking down the aisles, you will be tempted with chocolate, cookies, chips, nuts and a lot of bad temptations. The only aisle I recommend walking down is the 3rd one that contains all the pasta, beans, soup, seasoning etc.
  3. If you can’t find something, just ask! The staff that works there are amazing!!! They are everywhere in the store and willing to help. One morning, I saw the cashier give a lady free flowers for no darn reason. Serious, they rock!

Let me share with you my TJ’s staples by category.

Veggies/Fruits Area:
Low Fat Ranch Parmesan Dressing
Fresh herbs – Basil, Thyme, Chives, Parsley, Rosemary
Bananas
Diced Onions
Zucchini
Fresh Garlic
Carrot/Celery
Sweet Potatoes/White Potatoes
Lime/Lemon

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Fresh Meats:
90/10 lean ground beef
Turkey Bacon
Chicken Sausages (sweet italian & tomato basil)

Dairy:
Light Sour Cream
Coconut creamer (My fav!)
Milk
Fat Free Feta Cheese
Lite Shredded Mexican Cheese

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Frozen Veggies:
Spinach
Artichokes
Broccoli

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Aisle 3:
TJ’s Lavender Lotion
Whole Wheat Pasta
TJ’s Roasted Garlic Marinara Sauce
Dill Pickles
21 Season Salute
Low Sodium Chicken Broth

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Note: If you find cauliflower rice, I’m so jealous. My location has been out of stock for about a year. Whenever they get a stock of it in, someone buys it all out!!

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Don’t forget to buy yourself some very affordable flowers!
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