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Trader Joe's Products (2002–2011)


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Trader Joes has very good orange juice (and the price is very good too). This is the "fresh" in the qt/half gallon thing. I used to love a pretzel they carried that had sunflower seeds in them. I don't remember the name or manufactuer. Hawaii really could use a Trader Joes!

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The best market I have ever been to is The Berkeley Bowl (on Shattuck in Berkeley,CA). The produce section will blow you away! Unlike Whole Foods, you can exit Berkeley Bowl with a full bag costing you$20! Their seafood is always amazing and fresh.

I go to markets everywhere I visit, and have lived in France.

I tell everyone to go to the Marin County Farmers Market- at the Civic Center in San Rafeal. Thursdays and Sundays. This is a market that will make you really smile.. It is the biggest that I have ben at (plus most of the farmers and staff are on hand to chat).

The good news for Honolulu is that we are just starting a big market at kcc (the community college at Diamond Head). I'll check back to you on that!

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Trader Joe's is great, but like a lot of you, I only like certain items. I looooove their coffee - it's the only kind I will let in my kitchen. (It's the TJ's brand Mexican & Peruvian Organic Blend.) I also really like their olive oil, sauces, beans, etc. And we're hooked on those Cafe Twists. Yum!

But it's true that it's impossible to get out of there without spending less than $50, and then you get home and wonder what you bought. Oh well. It's so much fun to go there, even if I do have to drive about an hour to get there now that I live in NJ and not SoCal. :sad:

In fact, I'm going this weekend. Time to get some more coffee and stock up on the 2 buck Chuck! :laugh:

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Awbrig - thanks for the great photos and input. You seem like a person that would be fun to know!

I break up my shopping between Coscto, Trader Joes, Safeway and very select items from Whole Foods. We have had to rethink our gormet luxury items and Trader Joe's has helped - so has the FoodSaver from Costco (that's another thread).

I am lucky to have a TJ's to walk (SF Bay Area) to so I can get there in a pinch. My sister's have started shopping there as well. My sister needs organic milk for her kids and TJ's has the best price.

What I like at TJ's:

Coffee - we had to switch from Peet's and this is a great sub for less $

Canned black & white beans - much cheaper than Safeway and not mushy

Avacado - 5 for 4.19

Frozen edamame, blueberries, veggies great value

Frozen shrimp and scallops, shrimp is great for last min. pot luck hors d'oeuvre

Wine - is there such a thing as a good, low price Pinot Noir?

Frozen cheesecake, key lime pie, choc. decadence cake - great for pot luck's on the run

Whole Wheat Tortillas

Potted Plants - cute presentation, easy to cart as hostess gift

Blank Greeting Cards - .99 each

Dried Pasta - rustic, rough exterior, cooks up nice and sauce sticks well

Cereal - maple pecan crunch, great snack in baggies

Best deal and variety on spices is at Whole Foods, where they sell them in bulk, even coarse sea salt. I've started stocking my empty spice containers for their products. Comes in handy if you are doing sesame coated whatever or making rubs in bulk.

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The canned artichoke bottoms and hearts of palm are a great buy and the frozen creme brulee are great-you get two in a box-and each one is in it's own crockery container, that you can re-use forever. Of couse I have about 8 of them now...maybe time to throw some out.

Edited by Janedujour (log)

JANE

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My constants at Trader Joe's (where I have been shopping for fifteen years, yikes):

• Some of the produce: cleaned white mushrooms, the baby new potatoes, basil (a huge bunch, already cleaned, for under $2), red/orange/yellow bell peppers

• Any and all packaged nuts, especially pine nuts and hazelnuts

• Earl Grey tea (under $2/twenty bags, compared to Bigelow's price of more than twice that)

• Niman Ranch bacon (the Best. Bacon. Ever.) and pork tenderloins (so well-priced!)

• Cheeeeeeeeese, Gromit. That's it! We'll get cheeeeeeese. Specifically: raclette, smoked gouda, cheddar x 3, brie, camembert with mushrooms, parmigianno regianno, asiago, etc.

• smoked salmon

• cream cheese

• pizza dough: $.99 for a ready-to-roll dough ball that makes a fantastic pizza when you're in a hurry

• Salad dressings (#1 of all time is the Trader Joe's Vidalia Onion, followed by Annie's Sesame Shiitake, Goddess, and others)

• Canned beans

• Dried pasta

• Frozen quiches for the teenager; frozen enchiladas and lasagne and other such for quick/easy dinners when I just don't have the wherewithal to cook

• Frozen shrimp and seafood

• Canned/jarred tomatoes of every stripe, including the new golden Romas

• Pomu tomato sauce in the cardboard box (the best tomato sauce I've found outside of Italy)

• Condiments (I am a condiment freak, and it's time I went to confession. It's also time to say that the Mario Batali jars of tomato sauces are the worst such I have ever put in my mouth, and shame, shame, shame! Ptoooey! I haven't bought any other celebrity chef stuff. I thought I could trust Mario. Ptoooey! Blegh! The one I tried was a tasteless saltfest.)

• Fresh tangerine juice

• Butter and Plugra

• No organic milk (I buy mine at Safeway for one reason only: Trader Joe's puts their milk in plastic, which is just wrong)

• wine and spirits, of course. The Vin Santo is fine for the price, as is the TJ dessert wine for $5 (half-bottle). And all the cheap California wines, like J Lohr Chardonnay which we pay less than $10 for (it's $14 and up in stores). I wish they'd bring back the Amontillado.

• Seltzer and fizzy drinks (not soda, but things like the fizzy orange drink from France)

I figure I've paid for the three expansions of our local Trader Joe's, which opened twelve years ago.

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Tanabutler,

Thanks for the bacon and pizza dough tip, I have been wanting to try both. I forgot about the great mushrooms and nuts. I was just there today and the "snack ladies" were pushing bagels and cream cheese. Love that, espeically when I am with kids. I usually buy whatever I taste from them. Recently I got a tip from my friend who works there regarding biological vitamin E. She said that it works just as well as Lancome or Lauder eye serum. Thought I would try this - at $3.99 a bottle, it's worth the experiment.

Just to comment on the plastic, in our city we can recycle most all plastic, including bags and dry cleaner plastic - milk cartons and all paper, including junk mail envelopes w/ plastic windows. We can even place small batteries in a plastic bag and recycle those too. The city ajacent to us does not have to sort, they just throw it all in a separate "recycle" bin. I hope our city will get there soon!

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OK, I've talked to some peeps in Chicago about this, but haven't posted it yet. Every single worker at the Chicago (Lincoln Ave.) store is white (non-immigrant white). The typical grocery store around here has maybe a 25% (probably less) non-immigrant white workforce. What's up with this?

I promise I'll ask why next time I go in.

Oh yeah, why the hell don;t they have conveyer belts at the checkout? It would save a lot of time.

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Oh yeah, why the hell don;t they have conveyer belts at the checkout? It would save a lot of time.

I think it is because it would take up too much real estate. Our store was recently remodeled, but the check-out area didn't change too much. Folks kinda stand in a cluster with their baskets and carts and muddle through the process. I was wondering why the "manager" area has such a high wall. One can hardly see out into the store from behind it and customers cannot make eye contact with employess behind it unless they go around to where the swing door is located. It is kinda like a high pen. Not to accessible. The truck that brings the pallets of product has to take up a huge area in a busy parking lot. An employee off loads all the pallets in the parking lot, then as the day goes on, moves the pallets into the warehouse behind the store. I just see these things as quirks to be endured in order to get good products at great prices.

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I've just purchased a "Trader Joe's", private label product that been a real surprise. Since I have shopped at stores located in various cities on the West Coast for years there has never before been any item that was unacceptable for every criteria. Taste, Quality and Value, until today. We purchased Trader Joes Brand of "Normandy Carmels" Imported from France. This product is of purported various flavored individually wrapped Carmels. "Coffee. Hazelnut, Chocolate, Vanilla, none have any Caramel character, flavor or taste, only extremely sweet. They are the worst Carmel type products I have ever tried, and that includes most supermarket varieties. I'm not a big carmel fan, but my grandchildren prefer caramels. I was startled that they all found them "Yucky", but after trying them I agee. Anyone else tried this product ? Generally the TJ buyers are on the ball, hope this doesn't indicate a new trend. Irwin

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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I think their chocolate-pear truffles in a green box are sublime. But I am a well-known rube and bumpkin. (I mostly don't eat sweets. I'm a savory kinda gal.)

Tonight I came home with three kinds of goat cheese. I want to do a tasting of three of their goat cheese logs. Used one tonight in my husband's favorite chicken recipe (goat cheese, shallots and rosemary, stuffed under the skin of a breast).

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I've just purchased a "Trader Joe's", private label product that been a real surprise. Since I have shopped at stores located in various cities on the West Coast for years there has never before been any item that was unacceptable for every criteria. Taste, Quality and Value, until today. We purchased Trader Joes  Brand of "Normandy Carmels" Imported from France. This product is of purported various flavored individually wrapped Carmels.  "Coffee. Hazelnut, Chocolate, Vanilla, none have any Caramel character, flavor or taste, only extremely sweet. They are the worst Carmel type products I have ever tried, and that includes most supermarket varieties. I'm not a big carmel fan, but my grandchildren prefer caramels. I was startled that they all found them "Yucky", but after trying them I agee. Anyone else tried this product ? Generally the TJ buyers are on the ball, hope this doesn't indicate a new trend. Irwin

Yucky doesn't start to decribe my thoughts on these. Bad, and not in a good way.

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Went to Trader Joe's on my lunch hour today to get a gift certificate for a friend's birthday. Only intended to pick up a few things, but as usual the TJ bug got me and I spent $100 not including the gift certificate. :angry:

Despite having a six pound baked ham in my fridge from yesterday, I succumbed to: proscuitto, rosemary ham, Serrano ham, and Genoa salami. Plus about 5 types of cheese. Some very cheap wines (not 2 Buck Chuck). A 12-pack of Spaten beer. Extra green and murky reserve olive oil. A big hunk of Ghiradelli milk chocolate. Tomato and roasted red pepper soup. A roasted vegetable stromboli. Greek pizzas. Chovies.

I must be stopped.

I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

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I spent $100 not including the gift certificate.  :angry:

Despite having a six pound baked ham in my fridge from yesterday, I succumbed to: proscuitto, rosemary ham, Serrano ham, and Genoa salami. Plus about 5 types of cheese. Some very cheap wines (not 2 Buck Chuck). A 12-pack of Spaten beer. Extra green and murky reserve olive oil. A big hunk of Ghiradelli milk chocolate. Tomato and roasted red pepper soup. A roasted vegetable stromboli. Greek pizzas. Chovies.

I sure do miss TJs.

On the other hand, I love living somewhere where I have to take the subway everywhere I go, sure limits how much food I can buy on any 1 shopping trip. Good for the waistline, I suppose. :raz:

Sherri A. Jackson
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I think that Trader Joe's is a good starting point for people who like food. You can buy a large bottle of black truffle oil for $10. Now it's not exceptional, but it's as good as the bottles at my local "gourmet" emporiums.

I got hooked on Trader Joe's offerings and then I started branching out. This is my problem. When I first started getting cheeses at Trader Joe's I thought they were awesome. Then I tried the cheeses in Paris and even Beverly Hills Cheese Shop and then I stopped liking Trader Joe's stuff.

I kind of miss the days when I could buy Trader Joe's brie and not know I was eating something totally inferior to the real thing. Tben again, I do love a good cheese. It's a constant struggle.

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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  • 4 months later...

I've been going to Trader Joe's for year's, but have been seriously feeling the love for the place lately. All of a sudden, it seemed there were some awesome new products - or maybe it's because the one I usually go to is always severely understocked. Here's what I picked up recently that I love:

Grapefruit pastilles - lovely refreshing taste

Sugar-free Ricola mints

Snake River Ranch Burgers - hands down the best frozen beef patty ever

Some Buffalo Burgers that were quite good

Veggie Burgers by Dr. someone, the only ones I can tolerate

Emeril's Vodka Sauce

Total Yogurt

Smoked Salmon Tenderloins

King Arthur Flour

King Arthus Scone and Popover mixes (awesome, awesome!)

Plugra and Lurpak butters

Eggs and Organic Heavy Cream

Fancy brown sugars

Clarified Butter

Gummy-vites

Mochi Ice Cream

Avocados

Frozen French green beans

By far, the grapefruit pastilles, the Snake River Ranch burgers and the King Arthur scone mixes are reasons to live at TJs. The fact the prices are doable work for me, too.

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Recently purchased the pizza dough and the nitrate free Nieman Ranch bacon. Both are excellent. The pizza dough is great to wrap pre cooked sausages/franks and bake a la "pronto pup". Slice and serve w/ mustard, or if you have kids, let them make their own and have ketchup. Pizza dough is a great baby sitter dinner activity or kid's birthday party idea. For those interested in nitrate free products they have an new chicken apple breakfast sausage that is delicious. The new low carb flaxseed soy chip is great as well. It is a sturdy, nutty flavored chip that stands up to heavy dips and nachos. Also, check out the frozen french (from France) green beans. They are excellent, they taste so fresh. Keep the Trader Joe's food ideas coming, I love trying their stuff.

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  • 1 month later...

Valrohna (sp) chocolate (Noir amer 71% cocoa)

Blood orange juice, in the tall glass bottle

Thick, 0% greek yogurt

Fresh squeezed Grapefruit juice that doesn't require a second mortgage

Dark chocolate covered pretzles

dried cherries

all reasons I keep coming back!

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