Grocery Shopping Part 1

Grocery Shopping Part 1

To say I am a Trader Joe’s fan would be an understatement. I flat out LOVE the place, and we do about 90% of our grocery shopping there. Here are some of my top reasons I love it:

1. The employees: early on a Monday morning they are upbeat, kind, and always so willing to help me find something. There have been numerous occasions I have asked about a certain product and the employees go out of their way to check the stock in the back, look up when the item will be restocked on the computer, and even ask me if I want them to hold some for me when the product comes in!

2. The layout/item selection: TJ’s is the perfect size where it has just about everything I need, but not so much selection that I end up buying 25 things I don’t need. Also, the store isn’t huge, so I can get in and out in under 30 minutes (thought this rarely happens because I just enjoy perusing the aisles with my little free cup of coffee so much!). The store is also small enough that I can easily send Nate to get something and usually tell him exactly where it is!

3. The prices/way things are priced: To start, I think the prices at TJ’s are extremely reasonable. With Nate in school and me staying home with John Robert, we are on a tight budget. I also like that they price items by quantity verses weight. For example, an organic pink lady apple is currently 79 cents. I can decide how many I want to buy and quickly to the math, as opposed to trying to guesstimate the approximate amount of pounds of organic apples I am buying. When things are priced per pound I always end up spending more money.

Now, on to some actual things I buy and love. I should note, I am not a diehard organic person. I am slowly becoming more educated and have decided there are a few areas I do care about it. Namely, milk, chicken, and certain fruits/veggies. Since we are on a tight budget I have to choose wisely, so the things I do buy organic I really do consider worth it. Plus, I think TJ’s has the best prices for organic. If you can’t do organic, don’t sweat it! Last thing to note…I obviously do not buy every single thing on this list every single week. If i did, we would be broke. I tried to put prices for as many things as I could–hope this is helpful!

My favorite things:

  • cruciferous mix (2.29)–my go to for making a slaw/salad base
  • organic kale (2.99)–other salad go to! we just switched to organic recently as the price is very close and I have decided it’s worth it
  • riced cauliflower ($1.99)
  • canned coconut cream ($1.49) – how I make my coconut cream
  • balsamic glaze ($2.99)
  • dried cranberries fortified with cranberry seed oil ($2.49)
  • just mango slices ($2.99)
  • decaf Irish breakfast tea (40 tea bags for $2.49)
  • premium milk & dark chocolate covered almonds-these are my splurge item! ($6.99)
  • salsa verde ($1.99) –pour this jar over chicken in the crock pot and leave it! come back later, shred the chicken, and you are done. yum!
  • ghee ($3.99)
  • half caff coffee blend ($6.99)
  • organic “carrots of many colors” ($2.49) *I like to get these in the fall*
  • coconut oil spray ($2.99)
  • 4 pack of turkey burgers- very few ingredients! ($2.99)
  • spiced apple cider ($2.99)

Our staples:

  • organic broccoli florets ($2.79?)
  • organic whole milk greek yogurt ($2.99?)
  • unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • sliced turkey (for Nate’s sammies) ($3.29)
  • balsamic vinegar
  • shredded cabbage ($1.69)
  • bananas (19 cents each)
  • avocado (4 ct. bag for $2.99)
  • pearl tomatoes ($2.69)
  • sliced almonds ($3.99)
  • sweet potato ($1.69/bag)
  • red onion (89 cents each)
  • quick cooking barley ($1.79)
  • shaved parm, romano, and pecorino cheese blend ($2.99)
  • organic whole carrots ($0.89)
  • brussels sprouts ($2.49)
  • organic pink lady apples (79 cents each)
  • organic whole milk
  • sweet peppers bag ($2.69)
  • bag of chopped (or whole) cashews ($5.99 for pieces, $7.49 for whole)
  • bag of Old Fashioned Blister Peanuts (for Nate’s lunch)
  • shredded carrots ($1.59)
  • baby bella mushrooms ($2.49)
  • fresh style green beans ($1.99)
  • hummus (edamame is $2.49, or plain organic for $2.29)
  • OJ for Nate *he requests the cheapest kind possible. bless him* ($2.29)
  • Charlie Bear liver dog treats for Annie ($2.99)
  • organic arugula ($2.49)

Things I get for JR:

  • organic carrot apple squeeze pouches ($2.79 for a 4 pack)
  • cubed butternut squash (I steam it in my microwave steamer) ($1.99)
  • frozen peas (such an easy finger food!)
  • organic whole carrots (I peel and steam them)
  • frozen mango cubes (I take a few out at a time and let them defrost in the fridge; he loves them!)
  • creamy salted peanut butter ($2.49)
  • whole wheat pitas (very few ingredients in them!)
  • avocado, sweet potato, bananas
  • organic strawberry fruit spread (for PB&J’s)
  • organic blueberries (it makes me want to cry when he throws even one on the ground!)

Things I buy store brand wherever I find it cheapest (Kroger, Walmart, etc.):

  • whole wheat pasta (I try to find for $1/box)
  • brown rice
  • oats
  • dijion mustard
  • pasture raised eggs (I have just decided recently to buy pasture raised whenever it’s available)
  • chocolate chips (I eat an inordinate amount of these…)
  • canned things (black beans, chickpeas, tomatoes, etc)

And just for the sake of being thorough, these are things I currently get at Costco, but would get at TJ’s if we didn’t have the Costco membership: **many of these things are organic because that is what Costco offers, and they do it at a great price!**

  • organic coconut oil ($19.99 for 2.3 liters…it is a huge tub!)
  • organic chicken (if we are on a super tight budget I just buy natural, or none at all!)
  • organic quinoa (i get this huge 4lb. bag  for $14.79…that’s a great price and it lasts me a very long time)
  • organic spinach ($3.99 for a HUGE tub)
  • 2 lb. block of cheddar cheese ($4.79)
  • organic honey (I don’t necessary care that it’s organic, but the price is awesome; in the future I would love to buy local) ($12.99 for a 3 pack of bears)
  • 3 pack of chicken apple sausage (15.99?? can’t remember for sure)
  • organic butter (2 pack, aka 8 sticks for $7.69)
  • 4 pack of cheap cheese pizzas for Nate ($9.99)


I hope some of you found this helpful. TJ’s, I love you!!!

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