Hi there! A few things before we jump into this awesome post (yes, I'm patting myself on the back)...You guys LOVED yesterday's post on 50 Uses for Coconut Oil! Did you see it? Thank you to all my new readers, and to my faithful ones, too! You guys ROCK! I also received lots of requests for health coaching consultations, and that means SO much to me! To learn more about what I do, and how you can sign up for a free consult, click here! :) Lately I have had several requests to share about how I shop at Trader Joe's. Do you shop at TJ's? Do you have a TJ's near you? I am definitely a TJ's gal, and besides picking up an item or two, haven't gone to a different grocery store in a long time (7 years?). This is not to say that other stores aren't great, they just aren't for me. In all honesty, I get a bit of anxiety when I go somewhere else. I do go to Whole Foods and the occasional health food store for supplements and specialty items, but that's probably three times per year, so I don't really count that. I will say that while I have a huge crush on TJ's, they did not pay me to write this post. :) Now, let's proceed...
- They have a great FAQ's page that has so much valuable information -- both about their company, but also food in general. I love that!
- Trader Joe's branded products are sourced from non-GMO ingredients!!!
- Their products are not marketed, so they can keep their prices low! I love a good deal!
- No artificial crap in their products. Yay!
- So many allergen free options. Gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, kosher, paleo, nut free, etc.!
- TJ's carries amazing organic products!
- I once read that the average grocery store carries about 50,000-60,000 products, where Trader Joe's only carries about 4,000. Personally, I think that is amazing! Their products are so great, that they don't need to sell 43 different brands of one product.
- Their employees seems genuinely happy to work there, and are super helpful! Love that!
Okay, now on to how I shop! In the past I have shared about how I meal plan/prep. Basically, I do that before I go shopping. Greg and I almost always go together. We enjoy it, it's extra time we can spend together, and while I do all the cooking, it is a way he can be involved too.
Now, everybody's family size is different, and everyone has a different budget. You may be a family of six, single, living with roommates, whatever. For us, right now, it's just the two of us. Either way, I've always liked having some sort of a "budget." We go shopping weekly, and spend about $100 (give or take). We eat out about two meals a week (usually take-out once during the week, and a weekend meal at a restaurant). So, for two people that is 38 meals a week (breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 19 meals x 2), plus snacks, and the occasional dessert. Basically it breaks down to less than $2.60 per meal. I think that's pretty darn good, especially because we almost always buy wine, flowers, and a few cards (they have the BEST cards for 99¢, too). Whatever your situation is, I'm confident you can make it work! If you have any questions on this, let me know!
THINGS I DON'T BUY AT TRADER JOE'S
There are only a handful of things that I do not buy at TJ's. They are:
- Trash bags (they don't carry)
- Feminine products <----TJ's, you totally should start carrying these products!
- Water (we get it from a local filtration place)
- Shampoo & conditioner for me (I either make it myself, or buy a super natural product online)
- Dry food for Charlie (TJ's doesn't have an organic option)
- Specialty items not carried: liquid aminos, nutritional yeast, and a few other things I get from Whole Foods or online.
First, 99% of what I buy is organic. I try to only buy organic, but occasionally I don't (it's usually because they don't carry an organic version). Okay, so obviously I don't purchase each of the items below every time I go to TJ's. Ha! I do buy many of them though (lots of veggies, Greek yogurt, eggs, fruit, etc.)! However, I did break it down into categories (yes, I'm obsessed with all things spreadsheets) so you can see my favorite items, and possibly get some new ideas. Take a peek below!
Here is a code:
You can download and print it here ---> Trader Joe's Shopping List
Alright, that was a long post! Did you find it helpful? Where do you grocery shop? If at TJ's, what items do you buy? I'd love to hear your thoughts!