Do you love Trader Joe’s as much as I do? Check out the staples I’ve been buying every week– including salad dressing, cottage cheese and a great deal on eggs. 

My Trader Joe's Favorites | Zen & SpiceI’m a Trader Joe-aholic. I’ll admit it. And no, this post was not sponsored by my beloved TJ’s. I just love it so much and wanted to share my favorite weekly staples! 

Ever since a TJ’s opened up less than 5 minutes away from me, I’ve been going every week. Before, I was buying produce at Sprout’s and everything else at Tom Thumb. Now, I start at TJ’s and get probably 85% of everything on my list, and just have to stop at Tom Thumb for a few more things (they’re across the street from one another). 

I love that many of their products are lower in sodium and free of preservatives. I can’t wait to share my weekly favs! Let’s begin! 

My Trader Joe's Favorites | Zen & Spice

Trader Joe’s Salad Dressings

I am in love with these salad dressings (I’ll be saying that a lot in this post). My fiance and I are super picky when it comes to salad dressings. They have to taste fresh and I don’t like when they’re too thick or salty or they leave a gross taste in your mouth. These are DELICIOUS.

Nick loves the ranch and Cesar dressing (not pictured). My favorite? It’s a toss up between the Champagne Pear or Spicy Asian. The Spicy Asian tastes just like peanut dipping sauce for spring rolls. Bonus? These only have 60-90 calories for 2 Tbsp (not that we’re counting but its nice to choose dressings with lower calories) and they’re low in sodium too. 

My Trader Joe's Favorites | Zen & Spice

Local, Farm Fresh Texas Eggs

This week, eggs were on sale for $1.19. What?! $1.19? Yes, its true. At any other grocery store you’re easily going to pay $2.50 – $3.00 for a dozen eggs. I buy a whole dozen weekly (eating 2 for breakfast every morning) so this is a fantastic deal. 

My Trader Joe's Favorites | Zen & Spice

Trader Joe’s Cottage Cheese

I feel like there’s two types of people in this world: people who love cottage cheese and people who are absolutely disgusted by it. I am the first type. I could eat cottage cheese right out of the container (I do…). I’m also really picky about the texture and have only found a few brands that I like. TJ’s is smooth and creamy! It’s also $2.99 for 32oz. 

My Trader Joe's Favorites | Zen & Spice

Trader Joe’s Frozen French Green Beans

These are a godsend. We don’t usually like most frozen vegetables because they tend to be rubbery. But these, you would never be able to tell that they are frozen green beans. Once you thaw them out and steam or sautee them, you’d think they were fresh. This is the one vegetable that I know Nick will love every time. 

My Trader Joe's Favorites | Zen & Spice

Soy Creamy Mini Vanilla Sandwiches

These are SO GOOD. Oh my. They’re the perfect size for an after-dinner sweet (70 calories and lower in sugar) when you just want a little something. I’ve never been able to find mini regular ice cream sandwiches, and you’d never know these were made with soy milk. 

My Trader Joe's Favorites | Zen & Spice

Trader Joe’s Butter Lettuce

Oh, butter lettuce we love you so. Surprisingly, you’d think as a dietitian I would be a lover of all salad greens. I actually don’t like raw romaine, and baby spinach can be tough sometimes. Butter lettuce is soft, crunchy and goes great with sliced avocado (up next!) and some Spicy Asian TJ’s dressing. It’s $1.99 a bag and can made 4 dinner side salads. 

My Trader Joe's Favorites | Zen & Spice

Trader Joe’s 4-Count Avocados

My fiance has never been a fan of the dinner side salad. I grew up on them, so dinner doesn’t feel complete without a little bowl of lettuce, cucumbers and dressing. I discovered a way to get Nick to eat side salads– put half an avocado on it! TJ’s has a 4-pack of small avocados for $2.99 — 75 cents a piece. I also use them to slice and put on my favorite breakfast– Savory Steel Cut Oatmeal with fried eggs

My Trader Joe's Favorites | Zen & Spice

Trader Joe’s Mandarins 

You can get a 2lb bag for $2.99 which is a great deal. We both eat 2 for lunch and it lasts a whole week. It’s the perfect amount for us to eat and not go bad! I keep them in the fridge in the fruit drawer and they stay juicy and sweet. 

My Trader Joe's Favorites | Zen & Spice

Pita Pal Hummus

TJ’s has a huge hummus collection. My favorite is the Pita Pal’s brand– $2.79 for a tub of hummus. They have a bunch of different flavors. You can also get a bag of baby carrots to eat w/ for $1.50. 

My Trader Joe's Favorites | Zen & Spice

Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Couscous

Whole wheat couscous has almost 4x as much fiber (7g) as regular couscous and 8g of protein per cup. Typically with whole wheat products you can taste the difference, but this tastes just the same (to me!) as regular couscous! Nick loves it too. I cook it in unsalted chicken stock and serve it as a complex carb side at dinner. 

So those are my weekly staples! There are even more products I love but didn’t want this post to go on forever. When we move to Fort Worth, the nearest TJ’s will be 25 minutes away so that’ll be sad. I’ll have to make big trips to stock up! 

Do you have any favorite Trader Joe’s staples? 



  1. Holy good deal on eggs! I am a fellow lover (and guilty as charged for eating out of the container) of cottage cheese, but haven’t tried TJ’s brand yet. Ice cream sandwiches are on of the only ice cream treats I crave ALL THE TIME, so those mini ones would be perfect! Can we take a Trader Joe’s run now?! :D

    1. Yay fellow cottage cheese lover! :) Tell me if you try the mini ice cream sandwiches!

  2. The lettuce and spinach are some of my favorites as well. But those plantain chips…those I buy 3 bags at a time. No kidding. I’m addicted. And the pickle popcorn they recently came out with?! It’s so dang good! Other favorites we buy are their ketchup, black beans, pasta, olive oil, coconut oil and coconut oil spray, and flatbreads.

    1. Woah, will need to put those chips on my list! I tried the pickle popcorn a couple weeks ago and it was amazing!!

  3. I recently got to visit a TJ while in Florida because I don’t have one nearby. I loved it! I could have stayed and browsed for hours.

    1. Nice! It’s a wonderful place!

  4. I’m a big fan of TJ’s brother, Aldi! Need to get my butt to our local TJ for those yummy sounding salad dressings!

    1. let me know if you try them!

  5. It’s kind of crazy how much I loved reading this post, haha. I was surprised I actually haven’t purchased a lot of the stuff you love! Some of my favorite staples are (also) hummus, their big packs of zucchini for zoodles, frozen brown rice, and in the fall I love their pumpkin maple instant oatmeal!

    1. haha I’m glad you enjoyed it :) I have bought their frozen brown rice too, it’s great!

  6. I’m so jealous! We don’t have a Trader Joe’s but I think we’re supposed to getting one soon :)
    I want eggs for $1.19! I’ve been paying like $2.99 on a good day

    1. I know, I bought 2 dozen eggs today, they’re still at $1.19! crazy!!

  7. I love TJs! Have not tried the frozen green beans but will get some next visit. :)

    1. They’re so good!

  8. You must have taken a sneak peek at my editorial calendar, b/c I have a TJ’s Favorites post on there for this month!! Some of my faves are the same as yours – the mandarins, although in NY I’m paying $3.99 not $2.99 (hrmph!) and the bags of lettuce – can’t get a better deal than that price! I haven’t tried those salad dressings, but they sound delish! Will look for them next week!

    1. I can’t wait to read yours!!

  9. So many new to me items and I go to Trader Joes all the time! I love that they carry the local goods in the store and those frozen green beans – genius! I’ll have to give them a try next time.

    1. I love the local goods too. I bought local Texas smoked brisket the other day from TJ’s and it was so delicious.

  10. I’ve never really grocery shopped at TJs. My sisters are obsessed, so I’ve had a few things from there. Everything I”ve had I love! Just never seem to make it. I have had that pear vinaigrette salad dressing, its so good! I should look for dressings there. I like to make my own but I don’t always have time!

    1. Haha it doesn’t help that I live 5 minutes away from our TJ’s. I’m obsessed too

  11. Trader Joe’s is far away from where I live or work, so it’s a treat when I go – kind of like Whole Foods since they aren’t far from each other. My must haves (and really the only reason I make the trip) are the jarred seasoned artichoke hearts!! I LOVE them!

    1. Those sound so good! I’ll have to look out for those artichokes!

  12. […] I found the smoked mozzarella at Trader Joe’s. It’s fresh (versus hard) mozzarella, which melts easily and gets all gooey. Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite places to shop—check out this recent post of a list of all my favorite TJ’s staples! […]

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