Trader Joe’s Top Ten Update: Pluses and Minuses

Trader Joe's

On my Top Ten Trader Joe’s post (If you don’t have a TJ’s near you, skip ahead in the post, there is more for you too!), Janelle left the following comment, “… sometimes my staples disappear as TJs continues to evolve what is on its shelf (which I actually respect and appreciate).” Well, in that small window of time between that original post (just a day after I went shopping there), and my next trip to Trader Joe’s (yesterday), they discontinued two items on my list!  I can’t say I am as accepting as Janelle, and I didn’t hesitate to harrass the man sitting at the Captain’s Quarters that day … it seems the Pasta w/ Flax was discontinued due to slow sales (apparently I didn’t get the word out about awesome this product was fast enough!) and I am guessing because of the cost of the commodities, the Tahitian Vanilla Extract is gone and being replaced with a Tahitian “blend.” I took that to mean, not as good. Has anyone tried their Bourbon Vanilla?  I wasn’t sure if it was worth the extra cost.  $4.99 seemed a bit steep. 

Regardless, we need some items to fill in the hole left by those two losses.  Luckily, I have another item or two to recommend, and several of you did as well!

  • Roasted Eggplant and Garlic Dip ~ This is my latest addiction.  I don’t just dip with it, it goes atop poached eggs, gets spooned and stirred into brown rice (with a tablespoon of ground flax) … really, anyway I can think to enjoy it!  It is $1.99 per jar, which only lasts me about 3 to 4 servings, but it is worth it.
  • Bagged Spinach ~ I know, I know, buy in season, but it seems like I always need spinach.  Their baby spinach leaves are organic (one of those top pesticide foods) and I seem to get more out of the bag with less waste than purchasing spinach in the regular produce department at other grocers. Oh yes, and it is $1.99 for 5 ounces.
  •  From VeggieGirl: “I really love their unsweetened/unsulphured dried mango slices; and you can’t go wrong with the Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s around the holidays!!”
  • From Tracey: “Frozen Vegetables…specifically the French Style Green beans (!.99) as well as the frozen asparagus (also 1.99); frozen Edame (!.99); broccoli and spinach (1.19). The organic prices are slightly more when available, but all are at least a quarter less than supermarket brands. – Frozen Lemonade is 1.19 a can…always. It used to be 69cents then 79cents…then it made the huge jump to 1.19, still a bargain and tastes very much like the homemade lemonade I used to make from the lemons on our lemon tree at our old house.”
  • From Maggie: “My favorites are the sesame-coated almonds and the dried lychees.”
  • From Ellen: “I like their refrigerated soymilk, their organic ricemilk (in a cardboard asceptic package), their extra-firm tofu (it’s excellent for stir-frying), and their mint tea, for starters.”
  • From Lori: “TJ’s Cherry Chocolate Chip Soy Ice Cream can’t be beat!”
  • From Nupur: “their selection of nuts and dried fruits (I use them to make my own granola, and as healthy snacks), whole wheat tortillas, chocolate almond milk, jarred roasted peppers, salsas.”
  • From Jean: “You must try Trader Joes’s roasted corn in frozen foods.”

Thank you all for sharing.  Please feel free to share more, and of course, if you have some value-able foods to recommend from other grocers / companies, I am all ears!

Also, before I forget to mention, check out Mambo Sprouts for printable coupons.  If you live in their designated shipping cities, you can have their coupon book shipped to you (I don’t, rats!).  If you don’t live in one of those areas, the coupon books are often available at Whole Foods Market (I have been known to stop in at Whole Foods just to pick up the coupon book and quickly scurry out … that store isn’t exactly frugal for regular shopping!).