The 10 Best Values at Trader Joe's (IMHO)

When I gave a bargain shopping workshop recently, one mom asked what store I would pick if I had no coupons and no time to prepare. My answer: I would go to Trader Joe's, where there are no weekly sales to study, but instead reliably low prices for the quality. When Trader Joe's opened in Oak Park this year, it revolutionized my grocery list. Really! (TJ's doesn't know I'm writing this post and is not paying me to say so.) My monthly...

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LisaLou said:

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I always stock up on their cinnamon almonds, frozen mandarin orange chicken, chicken egg rolls, and roasted red pepper & tomato soup (but not the low-sodium variety - didn't like that one bit). They also have really great and inexpensive spices, though not a big selection. We also like their multi-grain crackers, which I think are less than $2 a box, and their hummus, too. I'm glad you posted this - I love finding new things at TJs!

Sara said:

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Definitely the organic potatoes (half the time I can't even find organic potatoes in other stores, and if I do the price is astronomical). We also like the jalepeno chicken sausages (3.xx), whole wheat hot dog buns (1.99, so only if I can't do better elsewhere with a coupon), canned coconut milk (can't remember the price but I know it's the cheapest I have found), and organic jellies/jams. Not to mention that the possibility of stickers, balloons, and maybe even a lollipop help convince my son to be a patient shopper!

Resweater said:


We buy the no sugar natural peanut butter too, but also get the organic no-sugar jelly that is just fruit. We buy the organic plain yogurt & mix in a little jelly for flavor & sweetness. We use the jelly in Cream of wheat, oatmeal, and other cereals too. My son just fell in love with a juice they have, that is really healthy. The ingredients sound horrid... carrots, cinnamon, anchovy oil, tilapia juice, and sardine oil, in addition to some fruit juice. Since my son hates fish (always willing to try a new kind, but never ends up liking it), he gets his omegas from the juice now. Their stoned wheat crackers are the best crackers. We also get the natural no nitrates hot dogs... sometimes the turkey, sometimes the beef. Until I found out I had an allergy to brewers yeast, I liked the Fife Cabernet wine.

Lauren Strec said:


I recently trying cous cous for the first time, and I'm happy to hear of a whole grain version at such a good value. Thanks! I'll have to add it to my list. This entry is on today's "Hot on ChicagoNow:"

SuburbanMatron said:

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Great post! I needed reminding about the great produce there. I have so many closer shopping options, and TJ's is about twenty minutes away, but I should make the trip.

shuckahuck said:


How would I live without TJs? Big fan...don't forget the asiago peppercorn sourdough, giant tub of hummus dip, raspberry walnut gorgonzola dressing, their version of Pirate Booty that I can never remember the name of, frozen sweet potato fries, frozen waffles (especially now that Eggo is lacking), and Latin Black Bean soup base. Yum.

JenK said:


We also love the Tomatoe & Roasted Red Pepper soup (in the box), although I couldn't find it on my trip yesterday. The fresh pizza dough is a great time saver for $1!!

Kaylea said:

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I'll take the cutie posing with the olive oil, even if he's not on sale!

Kaylea said:

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I admire your willpower :). TJs is a little too far on the dangerous side for us right now -- so many delicious things. Orange chicken, meatballs, ginger carrots, naan, salsas, pasta sauces, flax tortilla chips, chocolates, wine.... With enough sale shopping, stockpile building, etc., I am hoping that one of these months I will end up with enough extra in the budget that it's safe to go there again!

An Ordinary Cook said:

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The frozen potstickers & Trader Jose's salsa verde can't be beat!

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