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Trader Joe’s | My Fav Foods and Must-Haves to Try


June 10, 2020

I have a love-hate relationship with Trader Joe’s. One, I love so many things that fill their shelves, yet I despise the cluster that is their parking lot at my closest location. First world problems nonetheless, but it’s always a debacle getting in and out of their store without door dings, but alas it’s worth it for the Trader Joe’s haul goodness that comes home with me.

A few weeks ago, I headed in early to stock up on all our favorite foods and thought it was the perfect opportunity to share some of our tried and true staples we never leave without… even if we have to tackle another shopper to get the last one–just kidding!! P.S. I know a lot of you have been anxiously awaiting this post so I appreciate your patience 😉

Trader Joe's Haul by popular Nashville lifestyle blog, Hello Happiness: image of sour cream, Trader Joe's Organic wild berry smoothie, whipped cream, and Trader Joe's Fancy Shredders Mexican Style cheese blend.

Trader Joe’s Haul

All the Dairy 

Whipped Cream [the Coconut Whipped Cream is great too] | Low calorie and my girls LOVE to top frozen berries with this for a light after-dinner treat!

Mini Brie Bites | These are my jam… I’ll toss them in my bag when I am on the go or when I need a good low carb day snack that’s a great source of fat! I love brie, but it’s hard to find these little ones sometimes so snag them when you can.

Mini Babybel Lite Cheese Bites | Caroline and Carson’s favorite cheese snack. These make great items for packing in lunches as well.

Light Sour Cream | They have the tried and true sour cream + the fat free version, but I prefer the light variety… great for making my Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas and Low Carb Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken.

Fancy Shredded Cheddar Cheese | We use A LOT of cheese at our house… and yes, for those of you out there embarking on FWTFL, we encourage you to be dairy and gluten free for your first round [I did that as well], but in our house cheese is a food group.

Wild Berry Smoothies | I am FOREVER trying to get my girls to get enough calcium into their diets, as weak bones and osteoporosis run through my side of the family… these yogurt berry smoothies are super tasty and they LOVE them! I also enjoy the screw on cap for taking with us on the go.

Trader Joe's Haul by popular Nashville lifestyle blog, Hello Happiness: image of Trader Joe's Smoked Apple Chardonnay chicken sausage, Trader Joe's Carne Asada, Trader Joe's Pesto Chicken Breast, and Trader Joe's Grilled chicken breast.

Mega Meat Must-Haves

Smoked Apple and Chardonnay Chicken Sausage | The tastiest chicken sausage in town… they have a variety of flavors and I’ve sampled most of them–hands down this is my favorite. Easy to toss on the grill during the week for a quick, but delicious dinner. Just don’t forget your favorite sauce!

Grilled Balsamic Vinegar + Rosemary Chicken Breast | This is one of my absolute favorite finds from TJ’s… they have a lemon flavored one as well, but this take on already-cooked chicken is out of this world. We serve this a lot with a heavier salad or integrate it into an Italian pasta night with pesto and parmesan.

Citterio Salami Sticks | Low carb day snacking done right… high in fat, low in carbs and easy to throw in my bag! So good even the little ladies love these sticks.

Volpi Prosciutto and Cheese Roltinis | The perfect mix of protein + fat, these roltini have rolled prosciutto and cheese all in one = easy, fast and delish.

Pesto Chicken Breast | Another already marinated weeknight wonder, I love this chicken breast. It’s thinly sliced so great for serving over angel hair pasta or on its own with quinoa and sweet potatoes.

Carne Asada Steak | Beef, it’s what’s for dinner!! This steak helps me master Taco Tuesday… add in your favorite tortilla, black beans and/or rice with some peppers and onions and you’re all set!

Balsamic Beef | I just grabbed this for the first time on my last trip and it was delish. We made little beef sliders with it, topping with provolone cheese, sautéed onions and serving on mini ciabatta rolls.

Trader Joe's Haul by popular Nashville lifestyle blog, Hello Happiness: image of Trader Joe's fig butter, Trader Joe's Organic Chocolate Chip granola bars, Trader Joe's Candid Pecans, Trader Joe's Almond Butter, Trader Joe's Pepper Jelly, Trader Joe's Peach Salsa, and Trader Joe's Raisin Rosemary Crisps.

The Pantry Staples

Fig Butter | If you’re coming to my house, chances are I’ll be serving some type of appetizer with this fig butter… pairs perfectly with brie or or serve is as a side sauce with a charcuterie = you can’t go wrong so go ahead and buy two.

Old Fashioned Organic Oats | These are my tried and true go-to’s when it comes to whipping up my reg macros overnight oats each day. They set up perfectly overnight with almond milk and are a great source of carbs that keep you fuller longer!

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars | Always a personal request from my girls for their snack bins, these granola bars are organic and satisy with the sweet tooth without handing them a giant candy bar = you win some, you lose some.

Pepper Jelly | Another staple I always have on hand for appetizer pairings and such, it’s used frequently at our house when we cook breakfast for dinner with biscuits!

Raisin Rosemary Crisps | Absolute MUST when these are in stock, my favorite crackers for serving with dips and spreads and on a charcuterie for crunch as well. They also just released a new Mango flavor I need to try!

Oven Baked Cheese Bites | The tastiest cheese snack the whole family will love… the parmesan and cheddar variety is great, but the all new TRUFFLE is hands down the best! Great for on-the-go and super high in protein and fat = low carb day win.

Creamy No Salted Almond Butter | The base for so many staples for my girls + me = this serves as a great smoothie ingredient, topper to overnight oats, pairs perfectly on an english muffin and then another win for baking as well. I always buy 2/3 of these at a time because I go through them so quickly.

Clif Bars | Jeff’s favorite protein bars… they always have a ton of flavors and options–his go-to ones are anything with peanut butter, chocolate and caramel!

Candied Pecans | So good and SUPER addictive, a great snack packed with the good fats you need on low carb days. I also use this kind to top with salads.

Peach Salsa | Trader Joe’s has THE best and most original flavors when it comes to salsa. Since summer is here, I opted to try the peach variety and it doesn’t disappoint… if you love fruit salsa, be sure to sample the pineapple as well! A great sauce to add to seafood tacos or use as an sauce on a colorful charcuterie board!

Pesto Sauce | I might have the pickiest eaters on the planet, but they both love pesto = sauce win for Italian nights! TJ’s pesto has the best flavor and is great for adding fat to your protein [I top my rosemary chicken with this on low carb days!]

Trader Joe's Haul by popular Nashville lifestyle blog, Hello Happiness: image of Trader Joe's Soft Baked Snickerdoodles, Trader Joe's Spizzico de pizza, Trader Joe's Fettuccini Alfredo, and Trader Joe's mini ice cream cones.

Caroline and Carson’s TJ Favs

Organic Lemonade Juice Boxes | Juice boxes that Caroline and Carson both love = the organic lemonade kind from TJ’s… I also feel better about them drinking these than other brands so a mom swap they won’t even notice.

Fettuccine Alfredo | Jeff will laugh about this one because he knows my hatred of all the white sauces, Alfredo included BUT my girls are both obsessed with this freezer favorite. An easy weeknight dish they will both eat that comes from the microwave = yes, that means it is still homemade in my house.

Spizzico Pizza Bites | The TJ’s version of Bagel Bites, I scoop these up every chance I get because they are great to have on hand for last minute dinner options and are ready, set, done from the oven in about 15 minutes.

Hold the Cone Vanilla Mini Ice Cream Desserts | This is a fair warning that if you buy these the box will be gone in less than two days = I assure you of that. These little cones are the perfect sweet treat when you want something to cure your sweet tooth, but don’t want to destroy your diet!

Soft-Baked Snickerdoodle Cookies | Almost as good as homemade when you don’t have the time… both my babies LOVE some snickerdoodles and these are delicious.

Trader Joe's Haul by popular Nashville lifestyle blog, Hello Happiness: image of Trader Joe's Blanc de Blancs, Trader Joe's Organic Jalapeno Limeade, Trader Joe's Cotes de Provence, and Trader Joe's sparkling French Berry Lemonade.

Deletacble Drinks 

French Berry Lemonade | This is a drink I spoil my girls with for birthdays and special events.. it’s their take on a “mocktail” and is sweet with all the fizz too!

Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Brut | A great brut champagne option, especially if you’re mixing it into a pitcher of mimosas or another fun cocktail for weekend drinking. We buy these to keep chilled in our wine fridge and this is a great ingredient to my beloved Aperol Spritz recipe.

Cotes de Provence Rose | Hands down my go-to inexpensive bottle of rose. It’s not too sweet, not too dry = the perfect balance and one I have found everyone enjoys!

Organic Jalapeno Limeade | I’m always on the hunt for finding the perfect margarita mixings and this one is a great option when you REALLY love the lime component and a bit of a tangy bite. Just add to your favorite tequila, rim the glass with the spice of your choosing, add in fresh limes and you’re all set.

Trader Joe's Haul by popular Nashville lifestyle blog, Hello Happiness: image of Trader Joe's Salmon and Sweet Potato dog treats, Trader Joe's Chicken Tenders dog treats, Trader Joe's Beef Rolls.

For the Pups

Salmon and Sweet Potato Dog Treats | Oh yes, you know I can’t leave little Tucker man out!!! These round treats are GREAT for working on his training [we’ve officially mastered sit, stay, place and come] and he goes crazy with excitement when he sees these tasty treats.

Beef Recipe Rolls | A TJ take on the famous “bully stick”… these are great for teething and keeping them occupied so they don’t take up chewing elsewhere in the house!

Chicken Tenders Dog Treats | These are our go-to “you’ve been so good all day long” treat. Love that they are made from chicken and the smell doesn’t infiltrate the room ;).

Trader Joe's Haul by popular Nashville lifestyle blog, Hello Happiness: image of Trader Joe's Fancy Berry medley, carton of blueberries, carton of blackberries, carton of Driscoll's raspberries, and Trader Joe's Organic Acai Bowl.

All the Fruits

Fancy Berry Medley | Frozen berries make the best smoothie and acai bowl add in for me and the girls. The berry medley is also a good treat to top with whip cream for a reg macros day sweet!

Organic Acai Bowl Packets | If you’re looking for a way to make acai bowls at home and save $$$, these are easy to use and love that they come in individual servings too. Just add in some almond butter, chia seeds, flaked coconut and cacao nibs and you’ve got the best bowl in town.

Berries | I ALWAYS stock up on raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries at TJ’s. Their produce lasts longer than anywhere else. Bring them home and then store in these Rubbermaid containers to keep them fresh!

Trader Joe's Haul by popular Nashville lifestyle blog, Hello Happiness: image of Trader Joe's meatballs, Trader Joe's Pastry Bites, Trader Joe's shrimp burger, and Trader Joe's BBQ chicken.Freezer Favorites

Pastry Bites | A great appetizer option to keep frozen for when unexpected guests arrive. They are absolutely tasty, easy to cook in about 12 minutes, and they taste homemade, too.

Italian Style Meatballs | A low carb family favorite dinner for our crew, I throw these in a crock pot on low for 4+ hours, add in my favorite marinara sauce and then voila = easy dinner that’s delectable for all.

Shrimp Burgers | I had to hunt these down for weeks before I was finally able to grab them. Easy to toss in a pan with a little bit of avocado oil for added healthy fat, then top with the TJ Jalapeno Creme over a simple salad and you’ve got a great seafood dish.

BBQ Chicken Teriyaki + Mandarin Orange Chicken | Yep, grab more than 1 of each… my girls LOVE these chicken options. Ready from the skillet in under 10 minutes, we pair this with edamame and jasmine rice for a fast weeknight dinner!

Chinese Style Pork Buns | My recent addiction- throw these in the microwave with a wet paper towel and it’s like you’re at your favorite restaurant sampling the pork belly bao bun goodness.

Steamed Pork and Ginger Soup Dumplings | Another asian-style favorite, they are soooo good without making a mess of your kitchen!


Anything I missed?? Share your tried and true Trader Joe’s haul favorites with me in a comment below!


  1. Try the fried cauliflower rice! I usually use it as “rice” alone, but have started mixing in one bag of the frozen brown rice and it is perfect! Have you tried the frozen turkey burgers? They are absolutely delicious when seasoned with greek seasoning and cooked in a skillet. One of my goes to for low carb day lunches. Also, try getting a bag of the frozen pineapple tidbits and adding them in with the BBQ Chicken Teriyaki. They were doing this is in the store once and it was delish (pairs perfectly with the fried cauliflower rice concoction.) That parking lot in GH is a nightmare! My daughter lives in the apartments on Richard Jones, so it’s super convenient for her.

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2024 favs

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colorful life + style blogger | native nashvillian | wife and mom to two darling little ladies | bringing you all the happy you can handle

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