I love to grocery shop.  My kids do too (mostly because they have no choice). I feel like this is a fading life skill with the creation of all the major grocery store chains quick drive-up and pickup service. Maybe I’m traditional, but I love perusing the aisles, discovering awesome foodie finds and leading my kids by example.

Oh Trader Joe’s How I Love You

One of my favorite places to shop is Trader Joe’s.  I could go there every day but luckily it is about a twenty-minute drive from my house. The drive keeps the obsession in check and usually limits me to 1-2 trips per month.

Before you dive in, check out this episode of the Feel Amazing Naked Podcast where I talk about how to find balance in food quantity and food quality to lose weight.

Seriously, how can you not love this place? You walk in and feel like you were dropped into some tropical food paradise. The staff is always over the top helpful and the mini-carts make my kids uber excited to be there. Although those little suckers (the mini-carts, not my kids) occasionally make me lose my sanity, I know how much they love them though so I oblige.

Go-To’s and Special Gems Alike

It is a great place to find those go-to items you need each week but also an even better place to sneak in some special goodies that are unique to Trader Joe’s and can’t be found at major grocers. There are some food items that I will only eat from Trader Joe’s now because the trifecta of quality, taste, and the cost doesn’t compare to anywhere else (like their canned tuna).

I am a total food junkie and would rather spend an hour at TJ’s over shopping at the mall (my 18-year-old self is shocked by this). Successful grocery shopping starts with a list and going in knowing those things that are a must-have while still leaving room for some food gems you might find.

(Want to learn how to fill your body with real food to look and feel your best? Check out my Feel Amazing Naked challenge by clicking here.)

Oh, and just a quick tip. Never go shopping at TJ’s HANGRY. You will walk out with a plethora of goodness and an empty grocery budget. Trust me, I speak from experience!

My Trader Joe’s Must Haves

I get lots of requests to share my grocery shopping lists from clients and followers. I could almost list the entire store when it comes to Trader Joe’s.  However, this list is my personal Trader Joe’s must-haves to meet your healthy living and eating needs.

My list is based on real food options that are nutritious, delicious, and also gluten-free (welcome to my life).  And I’ve thrown in a few other options that my hubby and kids love that he refers to as “gluten-rific.”

Want this shopping list sent to you?  Click HERE.

Trader Joe’s Must Haves: Produce

TJ’s carries are all of your traditional produce options if you need them.  However, there are a few options in case you need to hit the “easy” button.  They include:

Sweet potato ribbons

Cauliflower rice

Broccoli rice

Butternut Squash Zig Zags

Butternut Squash Chunks

Shredded Brussel Sprouts

Trader Joe’s Must Haves: Lean Proteins

Again, TJ’s has an abundance of traditional meats. There are a few that in my opinion are superior to major chain grocery stores including:


Jerky (many types including turkey, beef and salmon)

Yogurt (0% and full-fat options, along with goat’s milk and almond)

Cage Free Liquid Egg Whites

Powdered Egg Whites

Egg White Salad (ready to eat and a quick lunch option if you are in a hurry)

Almond Cheese (love this like a cow’s milk alternative and great taste)

Must-Have Snacks

Thin Mini Rice Crackers (These are incredible! They are healthy, but make you feel like you’re totally treating yourself. Win-win!)

BBQ Pop Chips

Inca Peruvian Corn (like Corn Nuts on steroids and way more delicious)

Mediterranean Greek Yogurt Dip


Spinach and Kale Dip

Chunky Apple sauce (heat this up with a little sprinkle of cinnamon and it’s apple pie without the guilt)

Must-Have On The Go Bars

Rx Bars

Fruit Bars and Leathers (Great for an on the go snack or pre/post workout snack)

Must-Have Seasonings and Spices

Everyday Seasoning Grinder (Perfect for everything, literally)

Two fun faves…Everything But the Bagel and Chili Lime!

Frozen Basil and Garlic Cubes (These are great to have on hand for a quick saute with fresh meat or veggies)Save

Must-Have Frozen Options

There are some definite frozen Food Must-Haves to put on your list.  In general frozen options can be jam packed with sodium.  Here are a few real food options that are great to have in the freezer for those nights you need something quick.

Sweet Potato Fries

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Mashed Potato Medallions

Super Food Pilaf

Artichoke hearts

Worth Mentioning:

Trader Joe’s also has a huge selection of quick burgers made from veggies, turkey, seafood and vegetarian options as well.  I also love their Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon and cod frozen portions.

Must-Have Gluten-Rific (as my hubby calls it) Finds:

Lavash Bread (Great for at home pizza nights, wraps and breakfast burritos)

Cookie Butter (My son’s favorite treat with a banana)

Secco (If I am going to indulge in adults beverages I go for taste not price.  Some bubbly makes me happy and Trader Joe’s spin on Prosecco is both delicious and budget friendly.

Grab the entire Trader Joe’s list HERE.

What are some of your ultimate Trader Joe’s Must Haves? Be sure to follow me on Instagram HERE because I am always sharing the latest TJ finds and also what I am cooking up!

Work Hard Be Kind,