Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s finally opened up two locations in Kansas City a couple weeks ago.  People have been asking them to open stores here for years (myself included).  I was so excited when they announced the locations that I vowed to go on opening day.  Benzo wanted to go too so we all went as a family after he got home from work.

This turned out to be a very bad idea.

I did not anticipate the rest of the city being as excited as I was.  The parking lot was totally full and the store was completely packed.  I had forgotten my baby carrier so we had to take Jack in the car seat.  Luckily a nice person gave us a cart.  We went about 20 feet into the store, gaped at the crowd and lines, turned to each other and walked right back out.  We got in the car and proceeded to head home.

That would’ve been fine except Jack chose that moment to have a complete meltdown.  There are only so many ways you can soothe a screaming baby strapped in a car seat when you are in the front seat and you can’t pull over because of traffic.  It was a highly stressful situation for everyone!

I finally made a trip back to TJ’s last Friday.  I told Benzo he would have to wait as I was going during the day when it would be less busy.  I remembered my baby carrier as well.

The store was still crowded but not crazy-opening-day-crowded.  I picked up a few things but I wasn’t able to linger and peruse the shelves like I wanted since I had Jack with me.  Some of my purchases were:

A package of cheese tortellini for $1.99.  I thought this was a great deal!  It made a really nice and FAST dinner last night with some tomato basil sauce and a sprinkle of fresh chopped basil from my garden. 

A package of organic spring salad mix for $1.99.  I also thought this was a good deal.  I mean organic greens for two bucks?  Benzo and I used this for salads to accompany our tortellini last night.

A sicilian style roasted vegetable frozen pizza for $4.99.  This looked good and I suppose it was a decent deal.  When did frozen pizzas get so expensive?  I only say that because I can go to my local pizza place and get a carry out cheese pizza for $5.99. 

Since I didn’t get to do a thorough investigation of the store, I thought I’d throw out this question to the blog world:  If you shop at Trader Joe’s what are some of your favorite products?  I’m looking for new things to try and it would be nice to go in with some recommendations.  Even if it has meat in it, go ahead and leave it in the comments because Benzo may be interested.



6 thoughts on “Trader Joe’s

  1. Hi there, I am so happy to have found your are adorable! i shop at Traders and I love there Mediterranean hummus, also there banana and strawberry yogurt 9not the light ones though) they also have a great breaded tilapia filets that we make fish tacos with…so good…couple it with litehouse salsa ranch….so good…and we love there unsalted tortilla chips along with there organic salted ones….they have good bruschetta in the fresh section…just add in some fresh basil…which this is where I buy a basil plant…has lasted for months now…love it…only 1 dollar more than buying it off the vine…hope this helps!

  2. Yeah I’m ridiculously excited about Trader Joe’s being in town! I haven’t been yet since I had so many friends go on opening day and it was ridiculous. So I’m waiting for things to calm down a bit. haha

  3. pulled up your blog to get your pb dog treat recipe that I love so much and decided to read some more! : ) Love TJ’s!! My staples are the orange chicken which tastes amazing and only takes 20 min in the oven, the sauce is great! Shrimp fried rice is awesome, one bag is about 4 bucks and feeds two people, love their baked goods although a bit expensive but super convenient, like the blueberry scones, yum! definitely hit up TJ’s around the holidays for pecan and apple pies! also like their cilantro lime vinagrette, think its new just picked it up last week, great on a salad with grilled chicken. Hope you learn to love TJ’s as much as I do, now off to make those doggie treats!

  4. I shop almost exclusively at Trader Joe’s (except for dairy/eggs) – as weird as it sounds, I like having a smaller store with a smaller selection, it makes shopping much quicker/easier for me. Some favorites:

    -fresh squeezed orange juice
    -multi grain sourdough bread
    -frozen fish (salmon, mahi mahi, halibut)
    -CHEESE! Their cheese is like 1/2 the price of the same exact cheese (same brand) at Whole Foods. Our favorite is Cabot Extra Sharp.
    -artichoke ravioli (I make a fresh tomato sauce with chopped tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper to top it)
    -pantry type stuff – Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, olives, no-salt-added canned tomatoes, maple syrup, flour/bread flour
    -frozen artichokes, frozen corn, frozen mixed berries (they have one variety with cherries, it’s fantastic), frozen edamame
    -Fage Greek yogurt – the big tub (way cheaper than Whole Foods)
    -coffee and tea
    -CHOCOLATE! Their “pound plus” chocolate is actually Callebaut, and so are their chocolate chips! Their chocolate chips are the best I’ve ever had – so melty and delicious.
    -frozen prepared Indian food – samosas, paneer tikka masala, garlic naan

    I’ll be honest – their produce is hit or miss. Our store carries a small selection of local produce, which is usually pretty good (and very cheap), but the rest of their produce is usually shipped from Chile and Mexico and the quality can be iffy. And their bagged salads – I ONLY buy the organic bagged lettuces. I had a horrible experience with a conventional salad once – it literally tasted like pesticide (or what I’d imagine pesticide would taste like). This is the longest comment ever, but feel free to email me if you want to discuss TJ’s items! I’ve been shopping there for 10 years, so I’ve tried most of their items (except for meat/chicken).

  5. Balsamic vinegar and olive oil and cheaper there. Also, during the holiday season, their TJ mint oreos (don’t know the TJ name) are gone in a hurry. Get them early and get all you will want til next year; they’ll be gone when you go back for more!

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