Thursday, June 7, 2012

Top Ten - Trader Joe's

If you've never heard of Trader Joe' must live in Canada, haha. Trader Joe's is a grocery store...a grocery store that has committed to all natural & certified organic food products (no dyes, no preservatives, no hormones, no GMO's, grass fed, free range, etc). So you know that EVERYTHING you buy there is a quality product, BUT, it provides these things at a spectacular cost! (compared to a health food store or the organic section of a regular store).

Here are my Top Ten favourite things to buy at Trader Joe's. They have a lot of phenomenal deals, but these ones are the ones I consider the best value, and the things I buy on a consistent basis. If you are able to shop at one, do it. And let me know what YOUR fave things are! Their commitment to quality and whole foods at affordable prices is almost unheard of elsewhere!

As I have been losing weight and looking for quality foods, this store has become even more important to me, helping me to eliminate fats and sugars from my diet, while still give me OPTIONS! I've been shopping there ever since they came into our area about 4/5 years ago. These are not in any particular order.

Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 16.9oz for 5.99!! And in a sweet glass bottle. I have never seen a price this good (Costco, Walmart etc) and the flavour is exquisite
Coming from a girl who hates "fake" Mac n cheese...this stuff is great! The cheese flavour actually tastes like sharp cheddar. It is .99 per box, and has no preservatives or dyes. The colour orange is from annatto and beta carotene. It requires no butter to make it, only 2 T of lowfat milk. Only 270 cals for 2/3C prepared, compared to 400 cals for 1/3C prepared Kraft Mac n cheese. Sold!
hormone and additive free eggs, 1.49 per dozen (brown eggs are 1.99p/dz). Compared to over $3 at walmart for their organic eggs. TJ's also sells a more expensive free range egg (I believe it's 3.29 p/dz)
Sauces in a bottle. These are around 2.79 per bottle (a few of them are more or less expensive). Add some chicken, make some rice, steamed veggie on the side...a quick easy and very affordable meal. They taste amazing, and one bottle feeds all 5 of us for a meal, usually with a bit of leftover. The General Tso's tastes better than some (most) we've bought from chinese takeout!
Their juices. These will vary in price depending on what you choose. Most are in the 2.99-3.99 range, for various sizes. They have amazing juices, no sugar or high fructose corn syrup added. They are way cheaper than you will find at a health food store...and you can't really even find this type of thing at a regular store. Don't add too much of this particular one to your water...sour!!
Super healthy for your gut. It's a fermented milk drink (tastes like drinkable yogurt). So very good for you, and full of protein. I can't remember if this is 3.99 or 4.99 (four 8oz servings), but it's a pretty good price. You can always make it yourself too, but I have not tried that yet. (Similar to making your own yogurt). Pomegranate is my fave (over strawberry and blueberry) *EDIT - I checked my receipt. It's 2.99!!
Organic butter. Kerrygold is 2.99 and TJ brand is 3.99. This costs more than regular butter, however, not that much more! Read about the differences and health benefits of real butter (organic) on my friend Bronwyn's site, here and here.
They have a number of great cereals. Joe's O's and Frosted Flakes are 1.99 per box. We love them! O's compare very closely to Cheerios brand (plain ones) in every way (in ingredients and nutritional info), O's are 110cals for 1 cup, and Cheerios are 100cals for 3/4 cup. Frosted Flakes compare to the real thing calorie wise (110cals for 3/4 C), however, TJ's version has less sugar (9g compared to 11g) and less sodium (125mg compared to 140mg), and TJ's also lists 2g of protein, while Kelloggs lists none. And I love that I know the corn etc used is not GMO. They taste great and do not get gross and soggy in milk. The kids love them, and I do too:-)

They have an extensive section of imported pop/soda, wine and beer. Whatever you're into. You can buy all the same, or mix and match your favourite varieties. Price will depend on what you're getting of course, but I've always found it to be a better value than at the grocery store, where specialty sodas in glass bottles would be very expensive! I can't drink Jamaican ginger beer, but Brian adores it. It feels like it will burn through my throat! 4 of them for 3.99.

I hate Nutella, because I don't like hazelnuts. Enter this yummy spread! Its quite the treat, and VERY delicious! No hydrogenated oils inside, of course. I think it was 2.99, and the kids think I am the nicest mom ever :-) And the peanut butter...ingredients, peanuts and salt. No hydrogenated oils or sugar and other additives, like my normal peanut butter has. It is 2.99 and comes in an unsalted version too. The peanut oil will separate a bit, so you have to give it a good shake before you use it...but wow. It tastes amazing.

**Something I have been excited to try, but haven't found at my local store yet (I know they sell it, just never in stock?), is "cream top" milk - this is milk that has not been homogenized (only pasteurized), so the fat will separate from the milk (you have to shake it!) - this is much healthier than a normal whole milk that has been homogenized (read up on it, it's complicated:-), so I can't wait to give it a go, since the kids and Brian drink whole milk (Brian will ONLY drink whole milk, so I'd like the fat to be as easily processed and used by the body as possible). Next best thing to getting it straight from the farm! I'm sure it'll make my list - if only I could try it!!

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I live in Canada and I've DEFINITELY heard of Trader Joe's. I'm so jealous we don't have anything even close to it here :0(