Trader Joe’s = Dinner Planning Made Easy – Part 2

Last November I wrote about several items from Trader Joe’s that have really helped me to speed up and simplify cooking dinner on work nights. Blog readers and friends told me that they found my suggestions helpful, so I decided to write a follow-up post.

Trader-Joe’s--Dinner-Planning-Made-Easy---Part-2

If you’re new to shopping at Trader Joe’s, I’d suggest leaving the kids at home on your first visit so you can take your time to explore. Even though I shop there once a week, I still always find something new to try. Here are a few more of my favorites that you might want to incorporate into your Trader Joe’s shopping trips.

Soups.

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My current favorites are Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper and Latin Style Black Bean. These soups are so healthy and fresh. Each box contains for cups, and if you don’t use it all it’s good in the refrigerator for 7 – 10 days. At my house, soup plus a grilled cheese sandwich is a favorite and easy lunch or dinner!

Insulated Bag.

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I picked up this insulated zipper bag for less than $6. I usually grocery shop on my lunch hour, stashing my purchases in the refrigerator at work. I use this bag to transport my cold and frozen purchases home during rush hour. It doubles as a great bag to take snacks and drinks to my daughter’s lacrosse games.

Hummus.

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Trader Joe’s carries quite a variety of inexpensive and delicious hummus selections.

Noodles.

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My husband enjoys these easy and tasty noodles that cook in two minutes in the microwave. There are several varieties to choose. I usually keep a box or two in the pantry for those rushed nights when even cooking pasta is going to take too long!

Pesto.

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This is the best pesto! Add a few teaspoons to pasta and top with grated Parmesan cheese. Gourmet! Top an omelette with a spoon of this pesto and your family will think you are moonlighting for the food network!

Greeting Cards.

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Trader Joe’s carries a variety of high quality 99 cent cards. I’ve been impressed with both the card stock and the messages – far nicer than similarly priced cards at the drug store or Target.

Nut Butter.

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OMG the nut butters! Peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter. The selection is amazing.

Inexpensive Honey:

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One of my girls loves making smoothies with honey and frozen fruit.  Trader Joe’s carries a great selection of both, very reasonably priced.

Fresh Cut Flowers.

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Who doesn’t love fresh flowers?  Trader Joe’s has bouquets that don’t break the bank. I bought my girls tulips for Valentine’s day – a bunch of 12 for $4.99. And they lasted over a week!

Cheese.

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The Cheese. Trader Joe’s has the most amazing selection of reasonably priced cheeses. Whether you are entertaining a group or feeding your family, there are cheese for days!

Deli Meat.

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Trader Joe’s Columbus packaged meats are as good as Boar’s Head and available without the wait at the deli counter.

Fancy Foods.

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Trader Joe’s has lots of reasonably priced and delicious treats like this, great for entertaining or for a date night in.

 

Dips.

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The dips! Such delicious treats – the spicy black bean dip is to die for!

Herbs.

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Love these gourmet herbs – a great variety and they last for over a month in the fridge.

Nuts, Nuts, and more Nuts.

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NUTS. O.M.G. The variety and prices are amazing. We are addicted to the roasted, salted almonds.

Trader Joe’s makes grocery shopping fun. The staff is an awesome, eclectic, customer service oriented group. If you haven’t been, check it out. If you are a regular, post your favorite finds in the comments!

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