Family Life

30 Must Have Items for Your Trader Joe’s Shopping List

My sister makes fun of me for the amount that I shop at Trader Joe’s.

I am there ALL OF THE TIME!

When it comes to meal planning, I have my system down. Having said that, however, my weekly grocery shopping requires that I stop at a few different stores.  It’s not like I enjoy running around all day long on a Sunday to do our grocery shopping, but there are certain household favorites that are only available in certain stories.  Having toddler twin boys means our pantry takes a hard hit each week.

Due to my frequent visits to Trader Joe’s, people are always asking what to buy there, which is why I thought we’d share a post highlighting our favorite kid-friendly snacks as well as a few other of my favorite honorable mentions.

 Our Trader Joe’s Shopping List:

Chomps: These are some of my favorite snacks. They pack easier than beef jerky when you are on the go. I prefer the Turkey over the Beef flavor, however, they both get a thumbs up! These also have better ingredients than most meaty snacks and are obviously packed with protein.

Turkey Corn Dogs: These taste way better in the oven than when cooked in the microwave, but if you are short on time, they heat up in the microwave in under a minute.  At $2.99, these are nice to have in the freezer for a last minute meal.

Dried Pitted Tart Montmorency Cherries: These are always in our pantry. Not only do these make a great snack, but they are also a great addition to your favorite baked good! See how we added these babies to our gluten-free muffins here.

MacroBars: I love these and so do my toddlers. The Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter and the Coconut Chocolate Chip are my personal favorites. I keep these in my purse for a meal on the go or for the boys to share while we are running errands.

Manzanilla Olives: I originally bought these to throw in my backpack on a recent camping trip. I loved them so much, I now keep them in my purse for when I need a salty snack. The boys got ahold of these, and well, let’s just say there goes my stockpile! If your kids like olives and salt, try a pack of these for only $0.99!

Opal Apples: I buy these weekly from Trader Joe’s simply because they seem to be cheaper than our local grocery store and we love Opal apples in our house. They are sweet and are a nice change when you get tired of the other variations.

White Cheddar Corn Puffs: This stuff is crazy good. You’ll pour yourself a small bowl and go back for more. These puffy snacks are a staple in our pantry.

Monterey Jack Cheese Sticks: For some reason, my boys LOVE cheese. Maybe it’s because their dad hails from Wisconsin? Anywho, not sure why, but they prefer these over other brands.

Everything Bagel: We put this seasoning on most of our breakfast meals but also some of our snacks too. My boys eat avocado toast like it’s going out of style. So it’s no surprise that we blaze through this seasoning.  It’s great on popcorn too!

Kosher Dill Pickles: You can’t beat this price tag!  At about $2.99 these tend to be a snack item my toddler twins always ask for.

Mango Apple Crushers: These are delicious and come in a few different flavors. Again, this is a great snack to keep in the car or your purse when out and about with toddlers.

Fresh Sliced Mangos: I will be the first to admit that I don’t really like slicing mangos. Of all the fruit, this is my least favorite. However, I love to eat them! When it comes to fruit, I don’t typically buy pre-sliced. I try to save money and do it myself. These mangos are one of the few pre-sliced fruits I will purchase because a container is $3.00 and it is worth saving myself the hassle!

Fruit Bars:  Yum! This is all I can say. I feel slightly guilty that when these are in the pantry because I want to eat them all and hide them from my kids.  But alas, I usually fork them over.

Sun-Dried Apricots: Again, this is a great option to throw in your purse or in the kids’ lunches. My boys love these and always want to take these to the park. They also only cost $1.49!

Freeze Dried Blueberries: You know the Special K Cereal with the freeze dried strawberries? My kids only eat the strawberries from that cereal.  Problem solved! You can buy just the freeze-dried fruit without wasting your money on the cereal. They love the blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries!

Cilantro and Jalapeno Hummus: This hummus is AWESOME! The texture is smooth and it has a great kick to it.  You’ll be glad to know it’s not too spicy, just has great flavor. Both of my kids enjoy spicy foods and this is one of those perfectly spiced foods that they will eat!

Almond Butter: This is one of my favorite brands of almond butter on the market. It’s only $5.99, with only almonds and salt as the ingredients! There is an unsalted version, but I like this one better!

ABC Bars: Do you see a pattern here?  I love to buy things that are useful for snacking on the go from Trader Joe’s!  We are always out and about, exploring new things around town. The boys love the slight chocolatey flavor with almond butter inside. We like these because they are different from all of the other bars out there.

Trek Mix: There are several nut mixes at TJ’s to choose from. This is by far one of our favorites. With almonds, cashews and a bit of chocolate, I like to snack on it to curb my salty and sweet cravings. We like to put this in greek yogurt too!

No Stir Peanut Butter: Again, I tend to buy the salted version of this PB. The price tag is around $2.50 and doesn’t have a bunch added ingredients!

Fresh Mozzarella: One of my sons LOVES fresh mozzarella, he’d probably eat it daily if he could. Therefore, I tend to snag this one at TJ’s because it’s roughly $1.00 cheaper than the local grocery store. We pair this with pretzels or apples!

Smoked Turkey Breast: The deli meat selection is pretty good at Trader Joe’s. We love turkey and ham.  I find their deli meat to be a better price than the deli counter at most grocery stores.

Just Mango: Can you see a theme in our family? We are lovers of mango especially when there isn’t anything added into it. This dried mango is great to toss in your purse for a day out or into your backpack on a hike. The kids love it!

Organic Fruit Strips: We usually grab these as a special treat because they are near the checkout stand!  That’s never a good sign.

Mac & Cheese: At only $0.99 a box, this stuff is amazing. We keep a few boxes in our pantry for lunches and easy babysitter meals.

Strawberry O’s: This cereal is the best! If you love dried strawberries, you and you’ll love this. It’s super crunchy thanks to the yogurt bites! My kids like to eat them as an appetizer while I am making breakfast.

Honorable Mentions:

There are other products that aren’t snack items from Trader Joe’s that I love and always seem to find a place on my shopping list .

Balsamic Glaze: This little gem has a long shelf life and goes with just about any dinner. It has a slight sweetness and the kids seem to always ask for it. I will throw it on chicken, mozzarella, pasta, pizza crust…you name it!

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: We go through tons of this stuff because we make breakfast smoothies a lot, however, this tub will last you a long time.  You can add this cocoa powder to muffins or basically any baking treat that needs a chocolate kick.

Chocolate Mint Coins: Uhhhmazing! Similar to a Thin Mint…these are, in my humble opinion, better! They are smaller in size and make for a great treat!

Maple Syrup: This syrup is delicious and for pure maple syrup, $4.99 is a sweet deal!

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups: Hands down…by far…the best peanut butter cup we’ve tried. We also like to throw these in the freezer for a treat. This bag is only $.99 cents!

Almond Cocoa Almond Cashew Milk: I love this over any other chocolate milk that we have tried. My boys love it heated up to drink like hot chocolate or cold as chocolate milk.  You can also add this to smoothies or use when you bake as well.

This list could go on and on! If you have a Trader Joe’s in your area, stop in. They rotate out their seasonal products often and are always getting in new and fun things to try.  Also, I just want to mention that their customer service is over the top and fantastic. The service and great products keep me coming back time after time.

What are some of your favorites from Trader Joe’s? If I haven’t tried them, I will add it to my shopping cart!