A couple weeks ago, a blogger friend asked on her Insta stories what everyone’s favorite Trader Joe’s products are. I fired off a list, and then became sentimental about it. I wanted to share a bit about that here.
I remember the first time I went to a Trader Joe’s store. My sister and I were visiting a great aunt, who was one of our favorite people, and really more like a grandparent to us. There was no Trader Joe’s in the small town we grew up in. When we’d visit my dad and stepmom in Southern California on holidays and school breaks, my sister and I would often spend a night at her house in Long Beach. On one such visit, she took us to Trader Joe’s to pick up a few things for that night and for breakfast, which consisted of plain bagels, cream cheese, and cherry preserves on top. It was such a simple breakfast, really, but it seemed so special. And it still does. I think that has a little bit to do with the cherry preserves, and a lot to do with the hostess. As I got older, and could drive myself to her house, I would almost always stop at Trader Joe’s to bring her fresh flowers. For this reason, I always associate Trader Joe’s with her. She passed a year before Pumpkin was born, but the two share a name, and we speak of her frequently. When I made this very special breakfast for the girls recently, Pumpkin was delighted to know where it came from.
When I was an editor of the school newspaper at San Jose State, and so was my roommate, our paychecks came once a month. And every month when we got paid, we took a drive to Trader Joe’s for our groceries (toward the end of the month, we ate a lot of peanut butter and jelly). I don’t even remember what I bought back then (other than the pineapple juice I always had on hand to mix with Malibu, lol) but I know this was a tradition we carried on our entire last year of school. Later, when I lived in Yuma, my first post-college roommate and I were always sure to bring back TJ’s items from trips to California – the smoky peach salsa was a staple in our apartment.
Now, the closest Trader Joe’s is about 9 miles away from my house, so it’s just a little bit too far to be my regular grocery store, which makes it still feel like a treat when I go there. And it’s fun now going with the girls (if not a bit terrifying), because they get to push carts just their own size, and they have their own favorite items, too! It’s always the first stop I make before traveling so we can stock up on snacks for the trip.
Without further ado, some of our favorite things (although there is always something new to love, isn’t there?):
- Honey Sesame Cashews
- Peanut Butter Pretzels
- Fresh Flowers
- Pre-Made Salads
- Smoky Peach Salsa
- Salsa Verde
- Peanut Butter/Cheddar Cheese filled Crackers
- Fruit Leathers
- Frosted Maple and Brown Sugar Shredded Bite Size Wheats
- Pumpkin everything (in the Fall)
- Spiced Cider (in the Fall)
- Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe Joe’s (in the Winter)
- Star-Shaped Dark Chocolate Covered Shortbread Cookies (in the Winter)
I could probably go on and on. Somehow, though, I’ve never tried the cookie butter? I think it’s because I’m afraid I’ll like it a little bit too much!
So, what else missing from this list that I absolutely need to try? Tell me all of your favorites!