I never in my wildest dreams thought I would enjoy going into any grocery store. It was always the most dreaded chore for me. That was then, and this is now…for I have a new love in my life and his name is Trader Joe. My husband doesn’t see the humor in this joke I repeat all the time. But, whatever!
If you missed my announcement on Instagram or Facebook – I have cut down my hours at work to 80% full time. I’ll be home two weekdays now. This means that I will have more time for my beloved Trader Joe runs during the week!
Trader Joe’s is kind of a pain after work and on the weekends, ya know? Driving over there that time of day always has me wondering if I will find a parking spot?!?
Today, Thursday, I worked at home in the morning and headed over to TJs right around noon. Sure, it was a little crowded, but parking was not an issue at all.
Now, TJs is less than a mile from my house. I am very sorry to all of you reading this that have to drive for miles and miles to get to my beloved store. Before Keto, I had gone in that store maybe twice in all the years it has been there. Now it’s pretty much my one stop shopping hub!
People ask me quite often “what do you buy at Trader Joe’s?” As I was running in there today, I thought I should blog about this for you.
As with most grocery stores, I shop the perimeter, while grabbing just a few packaged items from the middle rows. So, let’s move our way around a Trader Joe’s.
First stop is the flower department. Now listen ladies – buy yourself the flowers! I’m not kidding, do it. They are really affordable and always something pretty to catch your eyes. And gentleman – buy your wife or your sweetie the flowers. Do it!
Alrighty – now let’s move on to the grocery items. First up is dairy. This is where I find the best deal in town on real butter. I always stock up on Kerrygold Salted, Kerrygold Unsalted (for baking usually), and Trader Jacque’s Cultured Butter. I had to buy the Trader Jacque’s Cultured Butter one time when they were out of Kerrygold. It is a delicious butter – you won’t be disappointed.
I also grab my eggs here (cage free brown), TJs Organic Sour Cream, TJs Organic Half and Half, and TJs Organic Heavy Whipping Cream. Occasionally I will grab some mascarpone or crème fraiche if I need to make a dessert for guests. I do not usually buy the TJ Cream Cheese because Philly brand has a lower carb count. Sadly, TJ does not carry Philly brand.
Next I head on over to the meat department. I always grab their 80/20 mix ground beef, a few packages of the pressed 4 pack hamburger patties, some organic chicken and whatever else I might need. I do buy a lot of my meat from a local farmer, so I don’t buy too much meat at TJ.
Near the meat is a large selection of nuts and seeds. If you need these items for baking, this is the place to look.
I’m always pretty satisfied with the produce department at TJs. Today I needed lettuce, spinach, avocados, and a head of cauliflower. I also shop for my produce on Saturday mornings at the farmer’s market. The only fruit I buy there is the small bag of lemons for cooking and squeezing on my avocados.
Up next is the BACON and deli department. I do love the TJ Uncured Dry Rubbed Bacon and will always stock up on that. They also carry keto friendly deli meat sold by Applegate brand.
One of the very best features of TJs is their cheese shop. Holy WOW, do they have a lovely selection of cheeses. I am in love with Irish Dubliner cheese, so always stock up on this. I will try new things, occasionally, but I am pretty much a creature of habit. It’s really hard to find something that tops my love for Dubliner. Probably the Irish in me! I know a lot of people love the “Unexpected Cheddar”. I have tried it and it’s okay…just not a huge fan. I think the texture is a bit weird. It’s like crunchy cheese. Odd.
The rest of the perimeter of the store is breads (no way), chips (pass) and wines. Now that I have found the perfect wine seller (ME!) and clean crafted wines (Scout & Cellar), I will no longer be buying wines in retail stores. There’s just no way to know what’s been added to those wines or the carb count. The Scout & Cellar wines that I sell are lab tested and guaranteed no added sugars and no additives. They are delicious and 2g or less carbs per 5 ounce glass. A perfect choice for my lifestyle!
Heading to the center of the store, I have a found a few NO SUGAR ADDED essentials. The TJ salsa is only 2 grams of carbs per serving. They have a few other tomato-based items with no sugar added. Make sure you read the labels! Avoid any packaged food with added sugar. Remember – sugar has many names. If you see something that ends in “-ose”, know that is a sugar. Check out this handy list published on Diet Doctor: 56 Names for Sugar the Food Industry Uses to Hide How Much is in Their Products.
They have a good selection of olive and avocado oils, canned coconut creams and milks, and a small spice and seasoning section. I’ve asked the staff many times to make the spice and seasoning selection larger. It’s just your basic spices. Don’t miss the “Everything But the Bagel” season! It’s delicious and can be used in many recipes. I like to sprinkle it on my avocado, too!
Here’s my pro-tip for fall! They have a nice can of organic pumpkin with no added sugar. It’s really good and it’s never too early to start thinking about fall pumpkin recipes!
We mustn’t forget COFFEE. I do love their canister of beans called “Wake Up Blend”. It is the perfect blend for my
morning “Bible and Beans” time.
My last stop is the freezer section. The only thing I buy in this section is the frozen cauli-rice, frozen zoodles, and frozen seafood (like the shrimp and the seafood medley).
Today, I did grab a bit more meat than normal and I racked up an easy peasy $130 bill. This stash will last me awhile, though. I had to stock up because I won’t be able to get there this weekend with the “Woodward Dream Cruise” happening. My whole neighborhood is grid-locked for the next three days. If you’re into classic cars, check out the link!
I have found that sticking to a Keto lifestyle has actually been way easier on the budget for my family. Mostly because I am always preparing my food at home (and most of my family’s food, too). We very rarely eat out – and that’s where our real budget buster used to happen. It is totally possible to stick to a budget on Keto.
Do you have a TJs near you? What MUST HAVE items did I miss? I made a TJ Grocery Shopping List for you, too. If you’d like a copy of it, you will find it on my SUBSCRIBER RESOURCES page. Subscribe to my email list and you’ll receive the password for the SUBSCRIBER RESOURCES page. I’ve also included the macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fat) for your convenience!
I hope this gives you some idea on my TJ staples. I was so happy when I discovered that they have almost everything I need for my Keto life. I love the convenience. Happy Keto & LCHF grocery shopping! Say hi to TJ for me!