Might As Well Face It, You’re Addicted to Joe’s. Day 18 of My Favorite Things: Trader Joe’s

The Mint Chip Mama - Favorite Things: Trader Joe’s

I Love Trader Joe’s! You know the saying “the first step is admitting it”. Well in taking pictures for today’s “favorite” post I’ve come to the realization that – yes loyal readers of The Mint Chip Mama – I am hereby admitting to my addiction.

I am addicted to Trader Joe’s.

I know I shop there a lot. By a lot I mean exclusively.

I’ve come to say to my friends “if it is not sold at Trader Joe’s I no longer buy it.”

It is part – I like to buy my groceries at a reasonably priced health conscious store where “organic” is everywhere and only a few cents more. But also part – I am lazy and don’t want to go to another store. The last part – comfort level.

Adjusting My Shopping Once In The Suburbs

After living in Manhattan and using Fresh Direct (a grocery delivery service where you shop online and a delivery fairy brings your groceries to your door) for over a decade I have lost the ability to go to a mega supermarket and shop.

It freaks me out.

I’ve tried tirelessly to find a “the supermarket is too big and it gives me the shakes” support group on Long Island but to no avail.

Size Matters

Something I’ve learned is I like going to a store where it is a manageable size and you don’t need a Segway to grab something you forgot while on line. Plus all the staff is so nice, friendly and helpful (they always carry my groceries to my car when I have my son with me). Everyone working there seems happy to be there. So in exchange the customers want to be there too! Why reinvent the wheel and go somewhere else? Ever? Plus they have a funny newsletter that makes me happy.

I Admit It, One Of My Favorite Things: Trader Joe’s

So in light of my other posts where I wrote about a favorite thing in my hilarious, witty, erudite way, today’s post will let the pictures speak for themselves. My addiction came to light because for every photo I snapped I went “oh this too, and this too”. I did my best to get the breadth (speaking of I tried Quinoa bread this week) of my favorites below. It is safe to say any category item you don’t see is only because I didn’t want to go too too overboard (I like it when she says ba-ba ba ba ba). These items are all on my shopping list and have been bought over and over again. They are not only MY favorites but my family’s favorites too. Stock up for back to school!

The Mint Chip Mama - Favorite Things: Trader Joe’s

Favorite Things: Trader Joe’s Pasta

This pasta is one of my absolute favorite products. It is a fun shape, organic, and made with vegetables. My children inhale it. I love it. It is a great base for anything – beans, tofu, feta cheese. I serve it hot or cold for lunch or dinner.

 The Mint Chip Mama - Favorite Things: Trader Joe’s

Joe O’s and single serve macaroni and cheese. Both life savers and immediate kid pleasers.

 The Mint Chip Mama - Favorite Things: Trader Joe’s

Favorite Things: Trader Joe’s Dairy

Everyone in my family likes a different kind of yogurt. My daughter likes these little individual strawberry ones and can take it out of the fridge, open it, and eat it all by herself. I will take a swig of the Kefir if I find myself hungry and don’t know what to eat. It is like a shot of protein.

The Mint Chip Mama - Favorite Things: Trader Joe’s

Favorite Things: Trader Joe’s Canned Fish

I am a HUGE fan of this yellowfin tuna in olive oil. I eat it out of the can or open it and dump it in pasta without draining. The sardines and trout are quick lunches for me when I don’t have second to think about what I want to eat. The salmon is great over pasta too for a quick kid’s dinner.

The Mint Chip Mama - Favorite Things: Trader Joe’s

Favorite Things: Trader Joe’s Produce

We are big veggie eaters in my house. We have recently been all about celery – just wash, slice and bam! The cauliflower, carrots and brussel sprouts I roast in the over and they are fantastic. Kid tested, kid approved!

The Mint Chip Mama - Trader Joe's

Favorite Things: Trader Joe’s Drinks

Drinks galore! My husband was loyal to Tropicana until I introduced him to Trader Joe’s orange juice and he loves it. We give my daughter this decaf green tea when she doesn’t feel well. She calls it “Mama Magic”.

The Mint Chip Mama - Trader Joe's

Favorite Things: Trader Joe’s Snacks

I dare anyone to control themselves if these apple sticks or Inner Peas are open. Great snacks that aren’t terrible for you. Which is important when you can’t help but eat the whole bag…

The Mint Chip Mama - Trader Joe's Ice Cream

Favorite Things: Trader Joe’s Ice Cream

These “mini” desserts are perfect for kids. They get a whole item but it is small so you win – ha ha! Picking it out of the box themselves is a thrill – except for the mint ice cream sandwiches which I won’t share with anyone. Just kidding (no I’m not). The “Hold the Cone!” mini ice cream cones are just about the best dessert out there for a kid – it is a cone with a little chocolate covered ice cream scoop (chocolate or vanilla) the size of your palm.

The Mint Chip Mama - Spreads

Favorite Things: Trader Joe’s Spreads

I studied abroad my junior year of college in Seville, Spain. This marmalade is not only delicious but takes me back and makes me happy. Pretty much any combination of the above makes a good sandwich. The sunflower seed butter is a great alternative for those who can’t eat peanuts. My daughter loves it too so if she wants to take a PB & J sandwich with her somewhere I use this instead if another child has an allergy or in a “peanut-free” zone.

The Mint Chip Mama - Beans

Favorite Things: Trader Joe’s Beans

We are huge bean eaters in my house. There would be a can of kidney and black beans up here too if we didn’t just finish them. I love putting beans in pasta for protein. Both of my kids will just eat a bowl of beans and be happy (sorry JHK).

The Mint Chip Mama - Trader Joe's

Favorite Things: Trader Joe’s Chocolate Perfection

OMG: salt + dark chocolate + crunchy = perfection.

The Mint Chip Mama - Non-Pareils

These non-pareils are often sold out so we stock up. My husband loves them.


In honor of back to school Trader Joe’s has offered to give away four (one of each flavor) vegan, gluten free Fruit Bars to one lucky reader! Made with only the two fruit items listed (no added anything – literally) they are perfect for your kid’s lunchbox!

To win – please post in the comment section below:

Talk to me about your Trader Joe’s addiction. Extra points if you start it “My name is X and I’m a Trader Joe’s addict”

Winner will be chosen Tuesday, August 26th.

The Mint Chip Mama - Fruit Bars


Trader Joe’s Heritage

It all started in the 50s… Would you believe we started out as a small chain of convenience stores? It’s true. Way back in 1958. We were called Pronto Markets. In ’67, our founder, the original Trader Joe, changed our name (yes, to Trader Joe’s) and the way we do business.

We made the stores bigger (if you can imagine), decked the walls with cedar planks and donned our crew in cool Hawaiian shirts. Most importantly, we started packaging innovative, hard-to-find, great-tasting foods under the “Trader Joe’s” name. That cut our costs and saved you money. Still does.

And that’s important, because “Value” is a concept we take very seriously. And by ‘Value,’ we mean great everyday prices on all of our great products — no sales, no gimmicks, no clubs to join, no special cards to swipe… How do we do it?

  • We buy direct from suppliers whenever possible, we bargain hard to get the best price, and then pass the savings on to you.
  • If an item doesn’t pull its weight in our stores, it goes away to gangway for something else.
  • We buy in volume and contract early to get the best prices.
  • Most grocers charge their suppliers fees for putting an item on the shelf. This results in higher prices… so we don’t do it.
  • We keep our costs low — because every pennywe save is a penny you

It’s not complicated. We just focus on what matters — great food + great prices = Value.

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Published by Stacey Wallenstein

Stacey Gish Wallenstein created The Mint Chip Mama blog in 2013 to share her love and passion for giving children meaningful life experiences and helping moms like her navigate the challenges and benefits of raising children in the New York metropolitan area. Before becoming a full-time mom in 2010, Stacey spent the better part of the preceding decade as a high-end customer relationship management (CRM) professional for some of the most well-known brands in the hotel, luxury, fashion, and beauty industries, such as Harrah’s Entertainment, Chanel and Christian Dior, Inc. She managed customer loyalty programs for thousands of clients around the country and created social media strategies for a span of industries including healthcare services, restaurants, consumer packaged goods, specialty foods, local attractions and retail locations. After 13 wonderful years in Manhattan (the last three of which spent as a city mom), Stacey and her husband moved to Long Island in 2014, where they now reside with their three children (13, 10, and 7). There, she is a founding member of her local Parenting Center, which provides classes and coordinates events designed to educate and inform parents while fostering an environment of support and friendship within the community. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Stacey has been active in the New York area alumni organization for nearly twenty years, serving as a board member on the school’s University of Michigan Alumni Club of New York City. She also holds a Masters in Psychology from The New School in New York City. Please check out The Mint Chip Mama in the Press: The New York Post, Psychology Today, NY Metro Parents, New York Family, Parents Magazine, Newsday, News 12, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt: Kids, NerdWallet, Big Apple Kids Guide, and more! The Mint Chip Mama was also nominated as "The Best Blog On Long Island" for 2022, 2023, 2024, one of the Top 20 New York Mom Blogs & Websites, and one of the Top 100 Mom Lifestyle Blogs on the web! For more updates, follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Pinterest.

8 thoughts on “Might As Well Face It, You’re Addicted to Joe’s. Day 18 of My Favorite Things: Trader Joe’s

  1. I share your TJ’s addiction! You must try the Reduced Guilt Spinach and Kale Dip, Reduced Guilt Guac and Rosemary Marcona Almonds (if you haven’t already)! I think we should go on a TJ’s date instead of a lunch date 🙂

  2. My name is Lisa and I’m a Trader Joe’s addict… we love the apple sticks. sunflower seed butter, cocoa almond butter, mini ice cream treats, seaweed snack sheets, string cheese, inexpensive organic milk, whole-grain sandwich thins… the fact that they opened on 72nd and Broadway (my neighborhood!) the same summer my son was born wasn’t a coincidence, right?? I just wish they would bring back the single-serve milk boxes, it was so sad when they discontinued those.

  3. My name is Melissa, and it’s been 72 hours since I was inside a traders joes. My favorite indulgence is their peanut butter cups. Milk or dark chocolate, both are fabulous!!

  4. My name is Amanda and I am a true trader joes addict! It hasn’t been 48 since I’ve been in mine and after reading this, I’m going tomorrow to pick up some of the items you mentioned that we have yet to try! I will only buy bananas there not only because they are so reasonably priced but because they just taste better. I get instantly annoyed if my husband buys them at our supermarket – they are just not the same!! We are obsessed with the Mac and cheese, all of their produce, spinach dip, dried strawberries (perfect over dry cereal in a cup for a snack!), freeze dried mango, Carmelized onion dip if I want to indulge, ice cream treats, waffles, pizza, fresh fish, and blueberry and strawberry bars … Just to name a few! Thanks for your great suggestions!!!

  5. I am not yet a Trader Joe’s addict, but I just heard that we may finally be getting one on the Upper East Side. Word has it that the new building to go up on 86th & 1st will have a Trader Joe’s! I’m looking forward to trying all of these yummy things.

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