Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I'm actually excited about grocery shopping!

I've never been a fan of grocery shopping. Do you remember when I diagnosed myself with Grocery Store Sensory Overload? It's a real thing. I promise. I have a hard time planning a menu for the week and sticking to just the things on my list.

When Trader Joe's opened here, I thought for sure I wouldn't care or become a shopper there. The first time I went, Jill & I went just to look around. I was annoyed by the crowds, but it was still new at that point and everyone was super excited about TJ's.

Then, I asked Molly if they'd meet me at the Ward Parkway TJ's to do some shopping and give me suggestions of what to get. 4 weeks later, I'm completely hooked! For someone who used to typically hate my grocery store trips that happened every 3-4 weeks, I'm now excited about going once a week to get what I need for lunch and dinner. I thought I'd share a few of my favorites (so far).

Chocolate-covered banana bites - $1.99. These are in the frozen section and stay frozen. Just take out & enjoy as-is. They are pretty filling and usually, I can get over a chocolate craving with just one or two of the bites.

Bananas - $0.19/banana. Pretty cheap for bananas! They also carry organic bananas for a little bit more money. I love bananas, but I got burned out on them after peanut butter banana sandwiches for SEVERAL meals in a row.

Mini heirloom tomatoes - $3.49. So yummy! The last time I was there, they didn't have the heirloom tomatoes, but had regular cherry tomatoes for the same price.

Whole wheat slim sandwich bread - $2.49. These taste just as good as the Thomas' whole wheat slims I was buying at my other grocery store, but a bit cheaper. One of my coworkers told me today that all the bread from TJ's should be kept in the fridge (and they recommend that) because there aren't any preservatives. Just an FYI for you.

Half-gallon of fat free milk - $1.99. I normally drink fat free skim milk, but TJ's didn't carry it. this milk is significantly cheaper than the price of a half gallon at Walmart where I normally shop. I have a hard time drinking my entire 1/2 gallon, so sometimes I have to pour out half of it. I don't feel nearly as guilty when the milk is less than $2.

Organic brown rice - $3.49. There are three 10 oz. packages inside this box. It's found in the freezer section. So far, I've only made one of the packages, but when I mixed it with a bag of organic frozen veggies ($1.69), it was a great "side" to add to my lunches.

Turkey meatballs - $2.99. Frozen & fully cooked. This is next up on my list of things to make with pasta for some easy lunches for school. I haven't tried them yet, but Molly has and they are getting great reviews.

Chicken & vegetable potstickers - $2.99. These can be cooked quickly in the microwave and they are super yummy.

Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal - $2.99. I didn't actually buy this at TJ's. I'm sorry I didn't, because the day before I bought it at Walgreen's when doing some quick shopping for $4.99. Ugh. I'm still getting over the lack of taste, but attempting to like it because of the high amount of protein it has.

Organic fruit wrap - $0.49/each. I'm a hugh fan of fruit snacks and roll-ups. I used to buy the fruit wraps at Whole Foods, but I rarely shop there. Target's Archer Farms brand has great fruit wraps, too. I really like these, even though they are a bit expensive.

Quinoa duo with vegetables - $3.99. Have you ever tried to shop for quinoa at your grocery store? Of course, my Walmart didn't carry it. When I finally found some in the organic section of a Hen House, a small container cost a small fortune! I left it on the shelf. This is found in the frozen section and it's already pre-cooked. You just need to quickly warm it up in the microwave or a skillet. I got about 3 portions out of this bag and I added a little bit of cheese to it for some flavor and to tone down the spice. I'm sure most people wouldn't think it's too spicy, but I noticed it had a kick to it.

I'm also now a fan of the What's Good at Trader Joe's FB page, with the hopes that I'll get some other new ideas. With a little bit of searching, you can find plenty of blogs & twitter accounts where people share suggestions of what to buy at TJ's and what foods reviewed well (or not so well).

I hope you can find a few things to get next time you're there ... or maybe this will entice you to take your first trip to Trader Joe's. Let me know what you like to get when you are there!

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The Lunds said...

good selections! Just don't add yogurt covered raisins - they are my downfall. And, you do know that fat free milk is the same as skim milk, right? :)

distaff said...

We had some of the quinoa with roasted veggies last night, delish!