July 25, 2019

Trader Joe's Grocery Shopping Haul: How We Spent $75

For us Torontonians, no trip to Buffalo, New York is complete with a stop at a select few retailers. One such location is Trader Joe’s. Today, I’m sharing our recent Trader Joe’s grocery haul - what we bought for under $75!

Trader Joe's Grocery Shopping Haul: How We Spent $75

Before leaving for our trip to Buffalo, I took to the wonderful world wide web and googled, “what to buy at Trader Joe’s”. I was instantly inundated with hundreds of product recommendations. Turns out, there are entire blogs, Instagram accounts, etc. dedicated to this store. It’s insane. And also, insanely helpful!

From these sites, and my question put out to you on my Instagram stories, I compiled my list. Here is what we actually came home with.

Trader Joe's Grocery Shopping Haul: How We Spent $75

Unexpected Cheddar Cheese - $3.99
This inexpensive cheddar cheese popped up on all of the “must buy at Trader Joe’s” lists. It is the perfect addition to a charcuterie board, or just eaten on its own or with crackers. Think cheddar meets parmesan. At first bite, it tastes like an aged Cheddar. Then, the smooth creaminess gives way to a tangy flavour and slightly crumbly texture, a subtle hint of salt crystallization, like an aged Parmesan. 

Bacon Cheddar Ranch Dip - $2.99
Raise your hands if you love dips! Trader Joe’s had a variety of signature dips in the refrigerated section, but we opted for just these two. They were eaten with tortilla chips and TJ’s ridge cut salt and pepper chips (below). 

Caramelized Onion Dip - $2.99
Of the two dips we bought, this was definitely my favourite! Also eaten with tortilla chips and TJ’s ridge cut salt and pepper chips (below). 

Trader Joe's Caramelized Onion Dip

Aioli Garlic Mustard Sauce - $2.49
If you look in our fridge, it’s filled with condiments. What’s one more?! We have yet to try this, but I imagine it would be good on sausages, sandwiches and even in a homemade salad dressing.

Chili Onion Crunch - $3.99
We have yet to try this new condiment, but I bet it would be good on pasta, in a salad dressing or as a marinade for meat.

Roasted Gorgonzola Crackers - $2.29
While I was hesitant at first when Steve picked these off the shelf, I now wish we had of bought more than one box! For all of you blue cheese lovers, these taste exactly like the name suggests and are just as tasty to eat on their own as they are paired with cheese or meat. Would be a great addition to a charcuterie board.

Ridge Cut Salt & Pepper Potato Chips - $2.99
No explanation needed.

Chile Lime Blend Spice - $1.99
Trader Joe’s has some really unique products in the spice aisle, and this is one that I bought on my very first trip to TJ in Chicago. I put it on watermelon, but have also heard it’s good on pineapple and for rimming margarita and Caesar glasses. The perfect combo of salt and sweet, with a touch of smokey spice.

Everything But the Bagel Spice - $1.99 (x2 = $3.98)
Another good find in the spice aisle, this tastes exactly how it sounds. This seasoning is good on avocado toast, sandwiches and BBQ chicken. 

Trader Joe's Speculoos Crunchy Cookie Batter

Speculoos Crunchy Cookie Batter - $3.69
This one was for my mother-in-law, so we didn’t actually get to try it. But, like other speculoos, is probably delicious!

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA (6 pack) - $11.49
This beer is not a Trader Joe’s brand, but it is one of our favourite IPAs. Whenever we’re in the States, we always pick up a 6-pack. It doesn’t last long in the fridge. 

Boatswain American IPA (6 pack) - $4.99
As IPA lovers, we’re always up for trying new ones. Unlike Dogfish Head, this is a Trader Joe’s brand beer. Also, not my favourite. The price was right though, so we’re glad we tried it.

Trader Joe's Boatswain American IPA

Popcorn in a Pickle - $1.99
I’m a salty person, so this popcorn was right up my alley. Very addictive!

Scandinavian Swimmers Gummy Candy - $2.99
Morley is a big fan of gummy candies, and because of that, they are the perfect bribe treat (#momtruth). Each unique shape has it’s own distinct and delicious flavour - the orange rockfish are orange-flavoured, the blue dolphins taste like huckleberry, the yellow sea horses are mango-peach and the red lobsters are berry. And if you’re curious, Trader Joe’s recently posted a video on their IG about how they are made. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bz9YbYEnqD2/

Bamba Peanut Snacks - $0.99
This popped up on many different lists when I googled “what to buy at Trader Joe’s”, and for good reason. One, this snack is a great price and two, they’re both adult and kiddo-friendly. Think a peanut butter-flavoured cheesy (minus the cheese) that melts in your mouth. There’s no wonder our littlest loves them so much. 

Trader Joe's Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups - $4.29
On my one other trip to Trader Joe’s in Chicago, this was in my haul. They are a bite-sized piece of delicious. So, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to grab them again on this trip. 

Enrich Facial Moisturizer (4 oz.) - $3.99
This moisturizer (with SPF 15) was on many of the must-buy lists I came across. And at under $5, I had to give it a try. I’ve only been using it for a few days, but do like the way it feels on my skin after putting it on. It’s light-weight and fragrance-free. While it can’t be a substitute for a normal facial sunscreen because of the low SPF, it will do a good job at keeping your face moisturized. 

Trader Joe's Enrich Facial Moisturizer

Dark Roast Ground Joe Coffee (14 oz.) - $3.99
When it comes to coffee products, Trader Joe’s has a large selection. From cold brew to ground coffee, there are quite a few options to choose from to get your caffeine boost. We were running low on coffee at home, so we picked up a bag of the dark roast (the darker, the better in our house). It was comparable to other grocery store brands, and at $4 a bag, I would definitely buy it again.

Organic Apple Strawberry Fruit Wrap - $0.49 (x2 = $0.98)
This fruit wrap is like fruit leather found in the grocery store, and full of flavour. The perfect toddler snack. Also comes in Apple Blueberry, Apple Raspberry, Apple Banana and Apple Wild Berry.

Apple + Mango Fruit Bar - $0.99
The fruit bars are similar to fruit wraps, but thicker. Another perfect toddler snack. They are full of flavour, and also gluten free. Also comes in Apple Coconut, Apple Strawberry and Apple Banana.

Trader Joe's Fruit Bars

Just a Handful of Olives - $0.99 (x2 = $1.98)
Our resident olive monster Morley was tasked with picking out her own snack. When she saw these individual bags of olives, she thought they were “so cute” (her words, not mine). They contain about 15 small pitted buttery green olives, and are the perfect addition to a lunch bag. Again, I wish we had of bought more.

Trader Joe's Just a Handful of Olives

Beef Jerky Strips Dog Treats - $1.99
Morley is always thinking of her furry friends Lola and Titus (my parents’ chihuahuas). She picked up a bag of these treats for our camping trip, and they loved them. Since they are senior dogs, they have a hard time eating the harder jerky treats. These ones were just soft enough for them to mow down.

Green Tea Matcha - $0.99
I’m not a fan of matcha, but my sister is, so this one was for her. Her feedback was that it was really good. It comes in a grab-n-go 245mL can.

Total Spend (before tax): $73.04 

Trader Joe's Grocery Shopping Haul: How We Spent $75

Since we made the trip at the start of our recent visit to Buffalo, we strayed from the refrigerated and freezer items. If we had of stopped on our way home, I’m sure our list would have been a lot longer (and closer to $100). But, we’ll save that for the next visit.

Morley was also a big fan. Guys, they have mini grocery carts! While it was kind of dangerous because she started shopping for herself, it did make the experience fun for her. Now if only other grocery stores would get mini shopping carts…

Trader Joe's Grocery Shopping Haul: How We Spent $75

All I can say is that I’m glad the nearest Trader Joe’s is almost 2 hours away, or our grocery bills would probably be a lot higher. And that grocery budgeting we’ve been trying so hard to stick to, would be right out the window.

Do you shop at Trader Joe’s? What are your favourite items? I’d love to hear!

*Disclaimer: Prices may change based on location, time of year, etc. 


Trader Joe's Grocery Shopping Haul: How We Spent $75

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