Monday, November 12, 2012

I love Joe!

Nope, I'm not talking about this Joe:

Or this Joe (though I do love him, props to you if you can name him ;-):

The Joe I am referring to is this one:

There is nothing, as far as I am concerned, not to love about Trader Joe. I was first introduced to him by my besties down in Northern Virginia/DC. And while it was love at first shop, our relationship was short-lived because we didn't have one locally. 

Until last month.

If you've never been to a Trader Joe's, allow me to tell you that it is marvelous. Awesome products. Healthy, organic products. Affordable products. As a mom who strives to feed her family nutrious food with a minimum of artificial gunk, I truly appreciate the TJ philosophy, which you can read about here. Here's a handful of the products we love, that make their way into my cart each time I shop there:

This is seriously the yummiest applesauce I've ever had. It tastes really fresh, and the flavor of the wild berries stands out. Sweets loves it and I love feeding it to him because there's no artificial dyes or ingredients. At just $1.99 for a package of four cups, it's also a great value!

Hubs and I really like green beans. Sweets not so much, but we're working on it. These frozen "haricot vert," which is just a fancy-pants French name for green beans, are sweet, tender and incredibly fresh tasting. They are the perfect side to any meal, and a large bag, out of which we can usually get 4 meals, is only $1.99. 

It's winter here in our little corner of the planet, and that means that fresh berries are outrageously expensive :(  But for only $2.69 this one pound blend of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries are a great substitute in smoothies and oatmeal.

 This is TJ's Whole Wheat Tuscan Pane bread. It has a delicious, chewy, sourdough-y flavor and it makes great garlic bread. I slice it up and keep it in the freezer for a pasta or soup side. At $2.49, a loaf lasts us a couple of weeks (obviously we don't eat it every day).

These cereal bars are also only $1.99, and they come in several flavors. Such a quick snack on the go for Sweets (and me, admittedly. A great grab and go breakfast!).

Here it is, our favorite TJ product! The Pound Plus of 72% dark chocolate. Heaven in a wrapper for only $4.99. That's cheap!

Have you ever read the ingredient list on a box of Ritz Bits? They're full of junk. These have a minimal list of organic ingredients and they taste delicious. They're probably Sweets' favorite snack right now, and the price is (again) right, at $2.49 a box.

The whole wheat mini pitas are perfect for mixing it up at lunchtime. They make great little pita pizzas, or stuffed with humus, cream cheese, or peanut butter and bananas, they are wonderfully toddler-friendly. Price? Again, only $1.99!

Behind the chocolate, this is my second-favorite product. They carry several fruit butters, and so far we've only tried the pumpkin variety, but it is "stick your finger in the jar and lick it off" good. We all love it. It is delicious on whole wheat waffles or pancakes, makes a great wrap paired with cream cheese, and the label claims you can use it as an ice cream topping or add sour cream and milk to make pumpkin soup. The deal-sealer is again the cost, coming in at only $2.29.

My mom introduced me to the roasted red pepper and tomato soup, and oh my is it tasty! I've tried these soups in a carton from other stores and I've always been disappointed in the artificial, processed flavor. Not the case here. This soup has a bright, bold flavor that makes a great addition to a lunchtime sandwich. There's probably four servings in this carton, which makes its $2.79 price tag all the more appealing!

So that's what we're eating and loving lately. If you have a Trader Joe's near you, I hope you'll run, don't walk, to grab some good food and great bargains!

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