I'm Lisa Kirk, a wife, mama, writer, and founder. Since 2010, Something Pretty has been home to my favorite memories, reflections, and inspirations. Thanks so much for reading!

What We Buy at Trader Joe’s


This is a bit of a random post, but I recently realized that I can’t resist peeking at other people’s Trader Joe’s lists. Our current grocery store rotation is Costco, Lidl, and Trader Joe’s, so it’s a weekly stop for Charlie and me, and one I really look forward to–it’s definitely the most fun of our go-to places! Just in case any of you are as nosy as I am about these things (ha!), I wanted to share some of our Trader Joe’s staples. Some of these items are only sold at Trader Joe’s, while others simply have the best prices there or aren’t available at the other two stores we go to.

  • “Teeny tiny” avocados (the perfect size for Charlie)
  • Bananas
  • Black Forest bacon (hands down, our favorite bacon)
  • Sunflower seed butter (one of Charlie’s staples, since he’s allergic to peanuts and almonds)
  • Daily bread (a cheaper alternative to Ezekiel bread)
  • Spinach tortellini (to freeze for quick lunches or dinners)
  • Chili Lime Chicken Burgers (freezer section; one of my lunch staples)
  • Turkey burgers (freezer section)
  • Pizza dough (we like the original the best, but they also have whole wheat and garlic herb, which are delicious), pizza sauce, and shredded mozzarella for homemade pizza
  • Mandarin Orange Chicken (freezer section; we try to always have this on hand for nights when we don’t have time or energy to cook anything else. It has saved us lots of takeout money! We mix it with broccoli and brown rice.)
  • Microwaveable brown rice (freezer section)
  • Multigrain blend with vegetables (freezer section; such a good side dish with some olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and pepper)
  • Grüner Veltliner wine (our favorite, and only $7)
  • Dark chocolate peanut butter cups
  • Soft-baked snickerdoodles (for Charlie, since they’re totally allergen-free! Praise hands!)

We also occasionally like to grab:

  • Macaroni and cheese (freezer section, I like the lighter one best)
  • Sweet potato chips
  • In the fall, pumpkin waffles (freezer section)
  • Fresh flowers! They always have the best peonies in the spring :)

Do you shop at Trader Joe’s? What are your favorite things to buy there?






  1. Love this list! I’m also obsessed with TJs! I really got into cheese boards over the holidays and they have a slicing Brie and a cranberry goat cheese that are delicious! I also love their flowers!

  2. Katie says:

    I love Trader Joe’s! I have a few things I love there: the HoneyMoon viognier wine, the mirepoix in the cold section- just sauté then add some red lentils, broth, curry powder, and when it’s cooked hit it with the immersion blender for a smooth red lentil soup. The frozen butternut squash Parmesan make a good lunch on the fly. And for fast fish tacos get the frozen breaded cod, broccoli slaw, tortillas, and the cilantro lime dressing to drizzle on top. Total win for a quick dinner! Love the sparkling grapefruit plus a splash of gin for a cocktail. The roasted garlic pasta sauce is also a staple in our house. TJs is the best!

  3. Alyce Shields says:

    I loveee when I can go shopping at TJs. I love their seasonings – we always have 21 Salute on hand (a good mixture of spices you can throw on anything – veggies, meat, even tater tots), and now we’ve been getting Everything but the Bagel Seasoning to put on top of bread+cream cheese, tomato slices or eggs!

    Their chai mix is also a sweet treat!

    • Lisa says:

      I bought Everything but the Bagel seasoning awhile back but haven’t used it yet! Putting it on eggs is a great idea!

  4. Ali says:

    This is the best post ever! We love TJ’s, too. Dane likes the frozen mini pancakes for a quick breakfast on weekdays. Their pizza sauce is my fave. I also usually buy the frozen wild salmon, because it’s a great price and we love to make that blackened salmon recipe you posted a while back! The seltzers are great too, and obviously so is their coffee- can’t get better beans for the price!
    I wish we could buy wine at TJ’s in NY!

  5. One of the biggest perks of moving to the USA!! Gotta love TJ’s – I’m a sucker for their vegetable zig zags and dried fruit!

  6. Darcy says:

    I love this post! We also love TJs. Would also recommend checking out some of their cheeses (the Syrah Soaked Toscano, Cracked Pepper Toscano, and Unexpected Cheddar are all amazing). Two things… 1) The chili lime chicken burgers are something I’ve never tried, but they sound delicious! You said they’re a frequent lunch for you, and I’m curious – how do you prepare them/ what do you eat it with? and 2) At some point, would love to see a similar post about Costco? We also shop there a lot and love seeing what other things people buy that we may be missing out on. Love your blog! :)

    • Lisa says:

      Oooh, Cracked Pepper Toscano sounds delicious! I usually eat the chicken burgers on a whole wheat burger bun (we keep a pack in the freezer) with avocado and maybe some cheese-nothing too exciting :) And I’ll definitely put a Costco post on my list–Costco is still kind of overwhelming to me so I love seeing what other people buy there too!

  7. Shannon says:

    I weirdly like seeing people’s grocery lists, too! It always makes me look for things I never knew about the next time I am browsing the isles. Ha! Some of our favorites at T J’s are: Just Mangoes dried mangoes, cauliflower rice, Brussels sprouts, any of their raw nuts – so many good ones for so inexpensive!, their seasonings with grinders (garlic salt, everyday seasoning, salt, pepper…the grinder on these containers are the. best.), frozen fruit, and their frozen grass-fed hamburgers. YUM!

    • Lisa says:

      Ooh, I forgot to mention raw nuts–we get ours there too! Charlie likes the cauliflower rice as well. I’ll need to check out the seasonings with grinders!

  8. Jennifer says:

    Trader Joe’s is hands down my go to for cheese boards! Sometimes for dinner we like doing cheeseboard/charcuterie so we don’t have to cook and they have everything the fancy grocery stores have but at half the price! And of course, wine and flowers :)

    • Lisa says:

      Such a good tip! I know they have some interesting cheeses but I haven’t taken the time to explore the section much!

  9. Dana says:

    I just found frozen zoodles at TJ’s and I’m thrilled! My HEB is usually sold out and sometimes I don’t meal plan well enough to use it all. I also like their rainbow trail mix because it doesn’t have an absurd amount of raisins and isn’t as salty as other premade ones.

  10. Kristen says:

    I survive off of TJ multigrain waffles, panko breaded tilapias, and arugula pizza!!

  11. Kristina says:

    I love that Grüner Veltliner is one of your staples. I don’t drink wine but just the name brings back wonderful memories from our annual vacations in Austria. The rest of my family enjoys wine and they always order the Grüner Veltliner. I assume you get it also for the wonderful memories it brings back? :-)

    • Lisa says:

      Funny enough, we didn’t drink it at all in Austria! It’s totally serendipitous that it’s now our favorite kind of wine :) We first tried it at dinner the night after we got engaged when we ordered it simply because the wine list said it was from Austria, and then we ended up serving it at our wedding!

      • Kristina says:

        That is awesome! Someday you will have to go back to Austria and drink it there as well. Maybe on a wedding anniversary trip in a couple of years ;-)

  12. Mary says:

    I don’t get to go often but I love the cheese, dark chocolate, mini ice cream cones and I really want to try the cauliflower pizza crust!

    • Lisa says:

      Their mini ice cream cones are so cute! I’ve never bought them but always admire them–here’s hoping Charlie grows out of his dairy allergy, because how fun would they be for a kids party?


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