Carol's Thoughts, Uncategorized

You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a Trader Joe’s

I have had at least 3 different friends recently tell me that I start at least half of my stories with, “So I was at Trader Joe’s…”

They’re not wrong though.


Back in Ohio, I used to think that Trader Joe’s was a luxury that only the wealthy could afford due to their essentially all-organic spread. Also, there was only ONE Trader Joe’s back in Cincinnati. ONLY ONE. Which is a crime I think.

Boy oh boy. Out here in California you literally can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a Trader Joe’s!! Did you know that Pasadena is the home of THE ORIGINAL TRADER JOE’S?? And Monrovia is the Trader Joe’s headquarters!? BOTH OF THOSE CITIES ARE VERY CLOSE TO DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES.

So naturally, when I moved here, I became a Trader Joe’s shopper. Actually, I think calling myself just a shopper would be incorrect. An enthusiast? A groupie? A cult member? Probably. I have definitely drank the Kool Aid. As a matter of fact, I follow not one, but SEVERAL Trader Joe’s related Instagram accounts. I feel like Trader Joe’s corporate may actually get a restraining order against me if they ever see this post.

Trader Joe’s is the Disney World of grocery stores. Who actually gets excited to go grocery shopping? I do! Every single weekend I put on my Sunday best (my sweaty cycling gear because I usually go after my bike rides) and merrily stroll through the aisles looking at every single product they offer. I say hello to their friendly staff members too because of course they all know me as the sweaty cycling girl who comes in around 10:30 every Saturday morning.

Here is why Trader Joe’s is the best:

  1. IT’S CHEAP. Who would have thought?? I feel like I end up buying more food there than at a regular grocery store but I spend less money!
  2. THERE’S ALWAYS FUN STUFF. Seriously. Where else can I get Everything But the Bagel seasoning, Jingle Jangle, or Pepita Salsa?
  3. SO MANY HEALTHY THINGS. Most of their food is organic! But even their frozen food options are pretty healthy!
  4. THEIR FROZEN SECTION IS LIT AS HELL. Seriously. I’m usually not a proponent of frozen meals but damn, sometimes ya girl is busy and a frozen meal is the easiest option!
  5. THE EMPLOYEES ARE SO NICE. They’re all just so pleasant to talk to. There’s one girl who I talk to every time I’m there and I feel like she just really gets me, ya know?
  6. SMALLER SELECTION. This sounds like it would be a bad thing. But it’s not! While they do offer a ton of unique stuff and have everything I could ever need, my decisions are so much easier. Like I only have ONE brand of frozen sweet potato fries to choose from instead of 10.

Here is a list of my personal Trader Joe’s faves:

  1. Their frozen orange chicken. It’s sooooo good and tastes exactly like what you would get from a Chinese restaurant. I usually also get the frozen chicken fried rice to go with it.
  2. Blueberry lavender almond milk. Bruh. This stuff is amazing. It tastes so good in smoothies or overnight oats!
  3. Jingle Jangle. Ugh, sadly this is a seasonal product during Christmas. It’s basically just a metal tin filled with chocolate covered pretzels, popcorn, Oreos (the TJ’s version), little peanut butter cups, and M&Ms!
  4. Their candles. They have THE BEST CANDLES. Right now I have a lemon cookie one burning and it’s making me hungry.
  5. Hold the Cone ice cream cones. These are a GODSEND. Anyone who knows me, knows I suffer from a severe sweet tooth. These are tiny little baby ice cream cones with chocolate or vanilla ice cream! They’re satisfying enough to meet my craving but one cone is only like 90 calories I think.
  6. Pepita Salsa. I don’t really know what all is in this salsa. What I do know that it’s super creamy and not hella tomato-y which is perfect for someone like me who despises tomatoes.
  7. Everything But The Bagel seasoning. This seasoning essentially takes all the crap off of an everything bagel and puts it into a jar. I really like the seasoning on my eggs!

So anyway, there you have it. Trader Joe’s is a magical place and I will literally fight you if you try to say otherwise.


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