April 11, 2014

1st Shopping Trip to Trader Joe's!!

Last week was my first week shopping at Trader Joe's.  

Gasp. Is she serious? Yes, I am. 

We didn't have one conveniently located near our home but I had always heard great things about the store.

{Enter an opening of a Trader Joe's near us!}

Everyone around the area, that I talked to at least, was very excited to visit the new Trader Joe's store and was excited to have one so close!  

If you call a 20-25 minute drive close. Around these parts where there's traffic galore, that's not too bad.

My first trip was planned on a day that I could go by myself aka a day without lugging an impatient toddler around with me. I'm glad I fit it into my schedule this way, because I wanted to browse the entire store and make an event out of it.

That morning before heading to the store, I asked friends via social media, what foods they loved at Trader Joe's. I got a lot of great responses and was excited to try new foods!

Here is what I tried first, what I loved and what I didn't care for. 
-Greek Yogurt: SOOOO delicious and creamy!! Much better than Chobani (and better for you) which is what we have eaten for years.
-Freeze dried mango: this is such a great snack for Christian. It takes so sweet and has nothing but mango in the bag.
-Speculoos Cookie & Cocoa Swirl: this comes in a jar like peanut butter and can be used as a spread on a cookie, bread or even mixed with some frozen banana for a yummy night treat. (They also have plain without the cocoa)
-Sliced seasoned chicken breast: This is great and easy to use for Christian's lunch, plus it's seasoned which tastes yummy and this price is comparable to the shredded rotisserie chicken we used to buy at Jewel.
-Eggs: We love these because they are all natural, no hormones, from local farms and we feel good about supporting that kind of business! Plus, the price is great.
-BBQ Chicken Teriyaki: (frozen section) this stuff is just plain awesome served with some jasmine rice, which they also sell right next to this. I bought 2 bags this time around to feed my healthy eating family of 3. Christian loves this stuff as much as we do, even without the added sauce!
-Milk Chocolate bar: it's so good, just try it.
-Fruit Wraps: all natural, yummy and an easy snack for C boy!
-Spinach Tortellini: These were very tasty and only $2 a bag! Next time I'll be buying 2 to serve all of us for one meal. 

-I had to give the produce and frozen fruit a "very good" because the avocados were expensive (around $1.50 for one!), and the frozen fruit bags were a little too small for me. Plus they didn't have a resealable top, which is something I need since we make smoothies every morning.
-The Steel Cut Oatmeal (frozen section) was good, but a little bland for me. We used this in a squeeze pack recipe for Christian and he likes it.

Veggies Sticks- nothing to rave about, but I don't dislike them either.
Did you know, which if you shop at Trader Joe's you probably already do :o), that if you don't like something you can notify your store and they will refund you? You don't even have to bring in the box or bag! I had to do this with the Spinach and Kale Pie. It was kinda pricy ($5) and it was not a hit at home. I told them this when I was checking out and they simply took it off of my bill! Awesome! They really are ranked #1 in customer service for a reason! I'm thinking they also track this some how but they didn't take any info from me, and no questions asked!
I love that when I came home from the store, they were able to pack everything into three easy to carry bags. Done! No more hauling in bag after bag! I'll have to try to remember to bring my reusable bags next time too!

I think I did pretty well for my first shopping trip and am definitely going back for more. In total I have gone twice and have found something new each time. If you have any other suggestions of Trader Joe's products, let me know! 

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