Eat & Drink

15 Trader Joe’s Items I Can’t Live Without

  • May 22, 2018

Ever since I graduated from college and moved out on my own, Trader Joe’s has been there. Like an old friend, there are so many items I’ve been buying for as long as I can remember. However, one of the best things about Trader Joe’s is that they are always coming out with new items. I know some people are confused by Trader Joe’s. It is definitely different than your standard grocery store, but I love it! Here are some tried and tested items that I can’t live without:

Frozen Minced Garlic Cloves

These are seriously one of the best time savers. I use garlic all the time and I love the ability to pop a few of these into any recipe. No mess, no stinky fingers, and no cleaning the garlic press. (They also have basil which I used in a pinch the other day when I was making some spinach pesto and needed a little basil).


We love our morning coffee and really like the small batch fair trade brands that Trader Joe’s carries. They change regions/kinds regularly but it keeps it interesting.

Minced Ginger in a Tube

I love, love the flavor of ginger. But its tough to peel and mince, especially when you’re trying to get dinner on the table quickly. Trader’s solved this problem with their tube of minced ginger. Now I use ginger all the time, for Asian roasted greens, soups, and more.

Frozen Croissants

A friend of mine turned me on to these last year. Trader’s has three different kinds of frozen croissants: Chocolate, Almond and Mini. They are all fantastic. You leave them out overnight and they rise. When you bake them in the morning they are flaky, buttery perfection. I use these when I have guests in town and they are always a huge hit!

Sparkling Water

Trader Joe’s has always had their own version of sparkling water but with the popularity of Le Croix and other brands they really upped their water game this year. The came out with a bunch of new flavors. My favorites are the Starfruit and Winter Sangria. I drink sparkling water all the time and I love these flavors!


Every week a new bouquet for generally under 5-7$ is on my table. I haven’t found any flowers that you can buy for the same price as Trader Joe’s.


Trader Joe’s has the best cheese at the best price. I always have sticker shock when I buy cheese somewhere else. I also love their cream cheese and string cheese. Its also the best place to buy everything you need to make an amazing charcuterie board.

A charcuterie board made with Trader Joe’s cheese

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

I am not even a huge chocolate fan and I can’t get enough of these dark chocolate peanut butter cups. I put them in the fridge and they are the perfect after dinner sweet!

Dried Herbs

I use a boatload of cumin and oregano in my cooking. Fortunately Trader Joe’s has some awesome quality spices and great prices that beat supermarket brands.

Manuka Honey 10+

I love that Trader Joe’s is usually quick to offer some of the big trends in health – usually for a much lower price. Case in point is their Manuka honey. Manuka Honey is touted for its healing properties. I take it when I am feeling a sinus infection coming on.  Its usually very expensive, but Traders started offering Manuka Honey for under 13$ which is a steal. They also have good prices for things like Maca powder, chia seeds and more.

Wine and Beer

We can always count on Traders for some good, well priced beer and wine. They also have local brands and rotate new bottles in all the time.


Unless you buy nuts in bulk, Traders really does beat most prices on nuts. I love sprinkling them in salads and eating them as snacks. They have traditional roasted brands, but also unique flavors.

Strawberry Yogurt O’s Cereal

This is hands down the favorite cereal in our family. Its not too sugary, but has dehydrated strawberries and some of the O’s are covered in yogurt.

Balsamic Dressing

I like to make my own salad dressing, but when I’m out of time I always reach for Trader’s Balsamic dressing (found next to the olive oils) for salad. Its fantastic on both savory and more sweet salads. (For example, I love cutting up strawberries, avocado, goat cheese with spinach).

Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce

This is our favorite pasta sauce. Its a little more creamy than a traditional marinara.  It has amazing flavor and I use it all the time as a base for meat sauces, and any other recipes that call for a marinara.

What are your favorite Trader Joe’s items?

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