Trader Joe’s Must-Haves

by Andrea Cooley

When Trader Joe's opened in Des Moines 2 years ago I was one of the crazy people who had to go on the first day. I didn't care that it took an hour to walk through the store or that the check-out line snaked all the way back to the wine and beer section. It was finally here! No more scouting out the nearest TJs when we were in Chicago or Minneapolis and stocking up our favorite snacks because we didn't know when we'd be back.

Honestly, I don't make it there as often as I thought I would. We tend to stick to Hy-Vee and Super Target for most of our groceries, but when I do make it out there, there are a few things that I always get!

I love the sparkling water. It doesn't have any sugar or sweetener, just bubbles! Adam likes to use it to make spritzers, mixing it with juice. When I was pregnant I'd pretend it was a fruity cocktail!

The unsalted, crunchy peanut butter is the best and cheapest natural peanut butter I've found (I think it's $2.49). The best part is, the only ingredient is peanuts! I always get a couple jars to last me 'til I'm there again.

The marinara sauce is another go-to. It's $1.99 a jar and doesn't have a lot of sugar in it. Who knew most tomato sauce is full of sugar!

Have you tried the black bean soup!? Seriously, it's to die for! It's smooth and has a little kick of chipotle. Perfect with grilled cheese and I love how easy it is to store in the fridge. I have it for lunch at least once a week.

The almond, cashew, and chocolate trail mix is another staple. The best part are the chocolate chunks!

We also love the coffee, orange chicken, pizza dough, and of course the wine! Maybe it's a good thing we don't go there more often!

What are your must-buys at Trader Joe's? 

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Andrea Cooley

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