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The Trader Joe's List

La Petite Maison Verte: The Trader Joe's List

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Trader Joe's List

Ever since moving to Tampa from Jacksonville, North Carolina, Brian and I have been able to eat better.  With access to really good grocery stores like Whole Foods, The Fresh Market and Publix we can pretty much find what whatever we're looking for: organic fruits and vegetables, sustainable wild caught fish and seafood, grass-finished meat and pastured eggs and poultry.  It's a luxury, having such good stores nearby, after living over an hour from the nearest high-quality store in North Carolina.

That said, shopping at those stores comes at a high price.  I definitely think it's worth spending more money on better food and since Brian and I mostly eat home-cooked meals it fits into our budget since we're not eating out all the time (maybe just 3 or 4 times a month).

Trader Joe's is awesome because they have really high quality products and are pretty darn affordable too.  I think I had a mini heart-attack when we moved here and realized that there is NO Trader Joe's in Tampa.  And not only that, there wasn't one in the entire state of Florida!?!!  (This has since on).

Recently, Brian and I were informed that a Trader Joe's just opened in Naples, Florida (!!!) which is a 2 1/2 hour drive from our house.  I know it's totally crazy and defies logic BUT in spite of that Brian and I have decided to make a road trip to get some staples that can be really expensive at WF or TFM.  And we've never been to Naples, so we're excited to make a day-trip of it and explore the area.  (I readily admit how dorky it is that I get so excited about groceries - NO SHAME!!!)

This is the actual TJ's in Naples.  So excited!  image via

I've started making my list of MUST BUY items to make sure we don't forget anything.  Here's what it looks like so far:

- TJ's Pound Plus 72% dark chocolate bar
- TJ's chocolate chips (semisweet)
- Unsweetened Almond Butter (roasted and raw)
- Unsweetened Peanut Butter
- Coconut Butter
- Raw Almonds
- Cashews
- Other nuts??
- Dried fruit:  blueberries, apricots, ??
- Almond meal
- Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (TJ brand)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Pure Bourbon Vanilla Extract
- Speculoos Cookie Butter
- TJ's Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Mango Ginger Chutney
- Frozen Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Filets (as many as I can fit in my cooler!!)
- 3 Buck Chuck
- Other various wines and beers??
- Sucanat
- Frozen Garlic Naan
- ???????

What am I missing?  What products would YOU recommend?  This is my one shot (at least for a while) so I don't want to blow it and forget something!  Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

Also, we've never been to Naples before and will be spending about a half day there.  I would welcome any recommendations for food, things to do/see, dog parks (we'll have Hudson with us), etc.  Thank you :-)




At February 16, 2012 at 12:46 PM , Anonymous Isa said...

YES I HAVE SUGGESTIONS!!! Some of my favs not already on your list:

Red quinoa, and I recently bought (but have not yet tried) their TRICOLOR quinoa mix.

Spicy Soy Flaxseed Chips, which pair excellently with pineapple or peach salsa

Raisin Rosemary Crisps. a recent discovery, these are AMAZING and ADDICTING. they go great with laughing cow triangles or soft brie.

Dark Chocolate Covered Candied Ginger. also addicting, watch out.

Other Nuts: my favorite trail mix is Nuts about Rasberries and Chocolate. and Nelson is hooked on one that comes in a canister instead of a bag and is cashews, almonds, cranberries and chocolate.

Other Dried Fruit: their dried cherries are pretty reasonable and the natural mango (actually JUST mango with nothing else added, hard to find!) is delicious. we also like the apple slices and orange flavored cranberries.

wine: I like the Blue Fin Petit Syrah and Pinot Noir much better than 2 buck chuck and it's not much more expensive.


At February 16, 2012 at 12:47 PM , Anonymous Isa said...

haha, I don't know why it says I'm "Isa," but I suppose she would like all those things too...


At February 16, 2012 at 1:21 PM , Anonymous Jules said...

Liz, I LOVE your list! I'm excited to try the Blue Fin vinos, those will be new to us, same with the Raisin Rosemary Crisps and Spicy Soy Flaxseed Chips. Someone else has recommended the dried mango too, so that sounds like a must and I love quinoa so the Tricolor mix will be on my list too. Thanks! And I totally LOL'd at the thought of Isa recommending trail mix and soy chips ;-)

At April 25, 2012 at 5:38 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We just bought the frozen chocolate covered bananas and kale and yogurt dip (refrigerated). The dip is a lighter play on a spinach dip!! Both Fabulous!!

At April 25, 2012 at 11:35 AM , Anonymous Jules said...

I've had the chocolate covered frozen bananas before, they're delish! I'll have to look out for that kale and yogurt dip next time I make the trip, it sounds good!


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