Any Trader Joe's shoppers? What are your favorite items? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 12-19-2007, 11:57 PM
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Hi everyone



It's been less than a week since becoming vegtarian, but I did one trip to Trader Joe's for my first strictly vegetarian shopping experience. I was in a hurry, so I didn't get to every aisle.



Here's a few things that I always buy:



-Pita bread (wheat is just as good as regular, I think)

-Hummus (I've tried the plain and tomato one, which are both good)

-Sea salt pita chips

-Frozen organic asparagus

-Stripples (scrumptious)

-Grillers (original and prime are both delectable)

-Kashi cereal (they've all been good)



I need some suggestions on what you think is tasty. So, which products float your boat?
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#2 Old 12-20-2007, 04:13 AM
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It's a bit harder finding vegan items at TJs, but I usually end up with some of their fresh vegetables, like mushrooms and zucchini...and they have a nice selection of frozen veggies as well...

I love their Ciabatta bread...

Soy pita bread

Almond milk

Earth Balance

Hummus

Olive tapenade

Coffee

Dried fruits/nuts

Peanut Butter

Organic Sugar

Vegetable Bird's Nests



A lot these are staple items but I really like shopping at Trader Joe's!

I'm sure I left out quite a bit....
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#3 Old 12-20-2007, 04:14 AM
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Black bean soup

Lentil soup
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#4 Old 12-20-2007, 07:08 AM
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Simmer sauces. I rarely get to Trader Joe's (none in my area), but simmer sauces make great quick dinners. Simmer some tofu or beans in the sauce and pour on top of rice.
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#5 Old 12-20-2007, 07:10 AM
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I like their sprouted breads

and they have good coffees

good produce selection - much cheaper than whole foods
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#6 Old 12-20-2007, 07:43 AM
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Can I just be a Negative Nancy ((as always)) and put in my two cents regarding Trader Joe's?



I DESPISE them! At least the ones around me....they have little to no selection ((i.e. only one type of dairy-free chocolate chips, NO dairy free shortening/margarine in stick-from, only tub)) and they sell BUFFALO [[as in, made from an actual buffalo, checked the ingredients then almost threw the package at the floor in disgust]] jerkey!

Now I realize that they are not a striclty veg*n store, but really. Buffalo!? Gross.



I prefer Wild Oats/Whole Foods, any day. They have better selection, and good bulk items as well.

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#7 Old 12-20-2007, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Scorpius View Post

they sell BUFFALO [[as in, made from an actual buffalo, checked the ingredients then almost threw the package at the floor in disgust]] jerkey!

Now I realize that they are not a striclty veg*n store, but really. Buffalo!? Gross.



Just playing devil's advocate here (if only for a moment!):

First of all, Trader Joes is a place for convenience foods, not for daily shopping. I think that most people buy convenience foods at TJ's because their convenience foods generally offer more flavor and less additives than convenience foods that you might find at your regular grocery store. Also, they're generally more affordable. I, for example, often buy a few things from TJ's and then do the bulk of my grocery shopping at a grocery co-op in my town.



Secondly, what, exactly, is more 'gross' about buffalo than other meats? Buffalo may be considered 'gross' (I wouldn't know, I've certainly never tried it), but it's slaughtering practices are generally more humane than that of more heavily slaughtered animals like cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, etc. I mean yes, Buffalo are certainly farmed in the states, but not to the extent of other animals and their lives are usually better comparitively (they're often allowed graze time unlike most of the cows used in beef production). I think, in a sense, giving meat eaters an option like Buffalo may be allowing them to choose from the better of two evils.
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#8 Old 12-20-2007, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stellar26 View Post

Just playing devil's advocate here (if only for a moment!):

First of all, Trader Joes is a place for convenience foods, not for daily shopping. I think that most people buy convenience foods at TJ's because their convenience foods generally offer more flavor and less additives than convenience foods that you might find at your regular grocery store. Also, they're generally more affordable. I, for example, often buy a few things from TJ's and then do the bulk of my grocery shopping at a grocery co-op in my town.



I never considered TJ's to be a "convenience store", I always got the impression that it was a regular grocery. I guess if one were to consider it a "convenience store", its not too bad then, maybe a tad bit more overpriced than 7-11 or Cumberland Farms ((where I'd normally do pitstops and manage to find decent veg foods)).



Quote:
Originally Posted by stellar26 View Post


Secondly, what, exactly, is more 'gross' about buffalo than other meats? Buffalo may be considered 'gross' (I wouldn't know, I've certainly never tried it), but it's slaughtering practices are generally more humane than that of more heavily slaughtered animals like cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, etc. I mean yes, Buffalo are certainly farmed in the states, but not to the extent of other animals and their lives are usually better comparitively (they're often allowed graze time unlike most of the cows used in beef production). I think, in a sense, giving meat eaters an option like Buffalo may be allowing them to choose from the better of two evils.



Good point on the buffalo meat, you're right in the fact that they are all sentiment beings ((whether it be a chicken, cow, pig, buffalo, dog, or cat even!)). I was just not expecting to see it [the buffalo jerky], it was more of the shock factor that "grossed me out" than anything.

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#9 Old 12-20-2007, 08:30 AM
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I never considered TJ's to be a "convenience store", I always got the impression that it was a regular grocery.



I've always thought of Trader Joe's as the Aldi of health food stores. They don't carry everything, they usually only have one brand of the things they do carry, and they may not have the same items/brands each time you go back.

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#10 Old 12-20-2007, 08:30 AM
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I like TJ's, last weekend I bought a lot of stuff from them:

Soy and Almond Milk

Tofurkey Products (I got carried away by the selection, too excited haha)

Plain Organic Tofu

Cereals

Snack bar things

Flaxseed



They didn't have quinoa or kale, they told me to go to Whole Foods. It is more expensive as most of you know and I dont really like it's capitalist ways....
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#11 Old 12-20-2007, 08:37 AM
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I love TJs, some of my staples are: soy pita, Gardenburger Riblits, soy nuggets, veggie buffalo nuggets, veggie burgers, hummus (when I'm too lazy to make it), 5 Countries Organic Blend Coffee, Vanilla Soymilk, Tofurky, sea salt pita chips, cereal, shampoo & conditioner, almonds, olive oil. There's more, but that the stuff I buy most often.
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#12 Old 12-20-2007, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post

I've always thought of Trader Joe's as the Aldi of health food stores. They don't carry everything, they usually only have one brand of the things they do carry, and they may not have the same items/brands each time you go back.





I think that's a good way of putting it, Micheal . The way that I described it was apparently a bit confusing. TJ's is certainly not a 'convenience store' as in 'gas station' like 7-11, but it isn't a regular grocery store, either.
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#13 Old 12-21-2007, 11:31 PM
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I'm just too damn cheap to shop at Trader Joes. I will never understand how people think it's cheaper than a traditional market (I don't have a convenient Whole Foods so can't compare them, but wouldn't shop there either).

I definitely consider Trader Joe's a luxury and a convenience store... I can't AFFORD their specialty items/convenience foods... prepared sauces and mixes and premade frozen foods and such. Even the produce comes wrapped in cellophane on styrofoam meat tray thingies... I want to pick out my OWN zucchini, thank you!

I don't care for the flavors and ingredients and especially the prices of premade-premixed foods, no matter how convenient they are.

Soymilk, tofu, bread - staples that peple say they get at TJ's... all of that I can buy at regular grocery stores - cheaper even than Whole Foods.
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#14 Old 12-21-2007, 11:31 PM
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I'm just too damn cheap to shop at Trader Joes. I will never understand how people think it's cheaper than a traditional market (I don't have a convenient Whole Foods so can't compare them, but wouldn't shop there either).

I definitely consider Trader Joe's a luxury and a convenience store... I can't AFFORD their specialty items/convenience foods... prepared sauces and mixes and premade frozen foods and such. Even the produce comes wrapped in cellophane on styrofoam meat tray thingies... I want to pick out my OWN zucchini, thank you!

I don't care for the flavors and ingredients and especially the prices of premade-premixed foods, no matter how convenient they are.

Soymilk, tofu, bread - staples that peple say they get at TJ's... all of that I can buy at regular grocery stores - cheaper even than Whole Foods.
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#15 Old 12-22-2007, 05:00 AM
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Raw cashews, tofu(it's the cheapest I've ever seen), unsweetened soymilk, almonds, peanuts, natural peanut butter, tofurky, pizza dough, EB, soy creamer, organic high fiber o's, peanut butter filled pretzels, some of their frozen veggies. I love TJs, they have a lot of stuff I can't find elsewhere and I think their prices are the same if not cheaper than local grocery stores. I only buy their tofu cause it's a buck a pound. I don't usually buy their produce because it's rather pricey. But a lot of their store brand stuff is pretty cheap IMO, at least for ingredients, not as much for prepared foods and such.
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#16 Old 12-22-2007, 05:00 AM
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Raw cashews, tofu(it's the cheapest I've ever seen), unsweetened soymilk, almonds, peanuts, natural peanut butter, tofurky, pizza dough, EB, soy creamer, organic high fiber o's, peanut butter filled pretzels, some of their frozen veggies. I love TJs, they have a lot of stuff I can't find elsewhere and I think their prices are the same if not cheaper than local grocery stores. I only buy their tofu cause it's a buck a pound. I don't usually buy their produce because it's rather pricey. But a lot of their store brand stuff is pretty cheap IMO, at least for ingredients, not as much for prepared foods and such.
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#17 Old 12-22-2007, 06:35 AM
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I don't have a TJ's nearby, so I'll go to the one near my parents' house when I'm downstate. I don't buy any premade sorts of foods... but I do buy their nut butters, nuts, dried fruits, and olive oil, since they are cheaper than elsewhere. I also buy cat treats there because my cats adore their holistic treats (not TJ brand though... I haven't seen them anywhere else)

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#18 Old 12-22-2007, 06:35 AM
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I don't have a TJ's nearby, so I'll go to the one near my parents' house when I'm downstate. I don't buy any premade sorts of foods... but I do buy their nut butters, nuts, dried fruits, and olive oil, since they are cheaper than elsewhere. I also buy cat treats there because my cats adore their holistic treats (not TJ brand though... I haven't seen them anywhere else)

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#19 Old 12-22-2007, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlfIsMyHomeboy View Post


-Stripples (scrumptious)



I just Googled this. I am mad that they aren't vegan. I want to be able to purchase an item called stripples.



I also hate my Trader Joe's. They're like a specialty food store with nothing I need. And I agree that the individually wrapped produce is aggravating. Maybe I don't want four bell peppers today. Maybe I only need one, dammit.



I am spoiled, however, because I have New Leaf Market, a natural foods store that is perfect, and (usually) cheaper than the conventional grocery store.



I do occasionally buy things at Trader Joe's, since it is next to my work and thus convenient for lunch:



- unpasteurized orange juice

- Trader Ming's Kung Pao Noodles

- I bought fried onions there for my green bean casserole this Thanksgiving

- fresh pizza dough (almost cheaper than making it myself, and much quicker.)
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#20 Old 12-22-2007, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by AlfIsMyHomeboy View Post


-Stripples (scrumptious)



I just Googled this. I am mad that they aren't vegan. I want to be able to purchase an item called stripples.



I also hate my Trader Joe's. They're like a specialty food store with nothing I need. And I agree that the individually wrapped produce is aggravating. Maybe I don't want four bell peppers today. Maybe I only need one, dammit.



I am spoiled, however, because I have New Leaf Market, a natural foods store that is perfect, and (usually) cheaper than the conventional grocery store.



I do occasionally buy things at Trader Joe's, since it is next to my work and thus convenient for lunch:



- unpasteurized orange juice

- Trader Ming's Kung Pao Noodles

- I bought fried onions there for my green bean casserole this Thanksgiving

- fresh pizza dough (almost cheaper than making it myself, and much quicker.)
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#21 Old 12-22-2007, 11:00 AM
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That's true. The closest one to me is a half hour drive, so I only go occasionally to stock up on frozen foods and canned goods. I also get tempeh and polenta and other specialty items regular grocery stores still don't carry.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post

I've always thought of Trader Joe's as the Aldi of health food stores. They don't carry everything, they usually only have one brand of the things they do carry, and they may not have the same items/brands each time you go back.


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#22 Old 12-22-2007, 11:00 AM
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That's true. The closest one to me is a half hour drive, so I only go occasionally to stock up on frozen foods and canned goods. I also get tempeh and polenta and other specialty items regular grocery stores still don't carry.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post

I've always thought of Trader Joe's as the Aldi of health food stores. They don't carry everything, they usually only have one brand of the things they do carry, and they may not have the same items/brands each time you go back.


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#23 Old 12-22-2007, 01:14 PM
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I'm just too damn cheap to shop at Trader Joes. I will never understand how people think it's cheaper than a traditional market (I don't have a convenient Whole Foods so can't compare them, but wouldn't shop there either).



Trader Joe's has the least expensive price on many of my staples. I especially like their price on cold cereals and Clif bars. The only places I've seen with lower regular prices on some of my staples are Target and Super Wal-Mart, but they usually don't have all of my items and there isn't a Super Wal-Mart in my area.



I have two Trader Joe's I shop at, one I go to from work for my weekly work food (lunches and dinners) and one that's on the way home where I get stuff for home. Here's what I normally get at Trader Joe's for work:



Kashi Go Lean

Kashi Go Lean Crunch

Clif Bars

Baby Spring Mix

Herb Salad Mix

Baby carrots

Morningstar Farms Vegan Grillers

Morningstar Frams Buffalo Wings

Gardenburger Riblets

Trader Joe's rice milk



For home:



Gone Bananas frozen chocolate covered bananas (they're amazingly good!)

Gluten free TiraMisu for my wife

Gluten free Black Forest Cake

Trader Joe's rice milk

Brown rice fried rice

2006 TBD Zinfandel (Best $4.99 wine I've ever had, better than some zins that retail for $20)

2004 Chasing Clouds Shiraz (another amazing wine at $2.99 a bottle)

200? Traminer Reisling (I think it's Rosemont) a fantastic bargin at $3.99 a bottle and great with Thai or Chinese

Sparkling Sake (Really cool stuff, I'd never had that stuff before and it's interestingly wonderful.)

Frozen green beans

Belgium dark chocolate bars (a great little treat.)

Pasta sauces

Whole wheat pastas
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#24 Old 12-22-2007, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tofu-N-Sprouts View Post

I'm just too damn cheap to shop at Trader Joes. I will never understand how people think it's cheaper than a traditional market (I don't have a convenient Whole Foods so can't compare them, but wouldn't shop there either).



Trader Joe's has the least expensive price on many of my staples. I especially like their price on cold cereals and Clif bars. The only places I've seen with lower regular prices on some of my staples are Target and Super Wal-Mart, but they usually don't have all of my items and there isn't a Super Wal-Mart in my area.



I have two Trader Joe's I shop at, one I go to from work for my weekly work food (lunches and dinners) and one that's on the way home where I get stuff for home. Here's what I normally get at Trader Joe's for work:



Kashi Go Lean

Kashi Go Lean Crunch

Clif Bars

Baby Spring Mix

Herb Salad Mix

Baby carrots

Morningstar Farms Vegan Grillers

Morningstar Frams Buffalo Wings

Gardenburger Riblets

Trader Joe's rice milk



For home:



Gone Bananas frozen chocolate covered bananas (they're amazingly good!)

Gluten free TiraMisu for my wife

Gluten free Black Forest Cake

Trader Joe's rice milk

Brown rice fried rice

2006 TBD Zinfandel (Best $4.99 wine I've ever had, better than some zins that retail for $20)

2004 Chasing Clouds Shiraz (another amazing wine at $2.99 a bottle)

200? Traminer Reisling (I think it's Rosemont) a fantastic bargin at $3.99 a bottle and great with Thai or Chinese

Sparkling Sake (Really cool stuff, I'd never had that stuff before and it's interestingly wonderful.)

Frozen green beans

Belgium dark chocolate bars (a great little treat.)

Pasta sauces

Whole wheat pastas
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#25 Old 12-23-2007, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asp3 View Post

Trader Joe's has the least expensive price on many of my staples.



This is why I don't shop there I guess. The items you mentioned on your list of staples are items I would really never buy (with the exception of pasta and frozen green beans).



Nuts, bread, rice/soy milk and tofu I find cheaper at the Co-Op or asian markets. I don't buy much else that's processed/packaged/premade.
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#26 Old 12-23-2007, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asp3 View Post

Trader Joe's has the least expensive price on many of my staples.



This is why I don't shop there I guess. The items you mentioned on your list of staples are items I would really never buy (with the exception of pasta and frozen green beans).



Nuts, bread, rice/soy milk and tofu I find cheaper at the Co-Op or asian markets. I don't buy much else that's processed/packaged/premade.
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#27 Old 12-23-2007, 12:21 AM
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I think I am really lucky where I live, that I have a few great options for organic vegan foods, but Trader Joe's IS less expensive for whole wheat (and brown rice and regular) pasta, quinoa, tofu, frozen broccoli and green beans, tortilla chips, chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts and seeds.

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#28 Old 12-23-2007, 12:21 AM
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I think I am really lucky where I live, that I have a few great options for organic vegan foods, but Trader Joe's IS less expensive for whole wheat (and brown rice and regular) pasta, quinoa, tofu, frozen broccoli and green beans, tortilla chips, chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts and seeds.

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#29 Old 12-23-2007, 01:04 AM
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TJ's is less expensive than Whole Foods and in a lot of cases the other grocery stores here. I'm a sucker for TJ brand soy nuggets.
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#30 Old 12-23-2007, 01:04 AM
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TJ's is less expensive than Whole Foods and in a lot of cases the other grocery stores here. I'm a sucker for TJ brand soy nuggets.
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