Tag Archives: shopping

Why Trader Joe’s is My, and America’s, Happy Place

5 Mar This container of candy from Trader Joe's holds a world of kindness

We all have rotten days. Yesterday was one of mine. Or at least, a day where things didn’t come together well, posed more problems than it solved, and just left me with a sad, crummy feeling.

And I needed to go to Trader Joe’s.

So, I tucked my feelings under my hat and went.

Walking around hunting and gathering for my dinner, I smiled at other shoppers and TJ’s staffers. I was OK. But as I walked to check out, I got sad again. Of course, that’s not too weird – feeling better walking around TJ’s, and getting sad as I’m leaving!

The checker Shaun greeted me with, “How ya doing?!” I said, sluggishly, “OK.” He said, “Just OK?” “Yeah,” I said. We continued chatting a bit. He loaded my bag and put it in the cart.

As we waited for my chipped card to finish processing, Shaun asked, “Do you like chocolate? Do you like dried fruit?” I said yes.

He walked to the product pylon by the check out lane, picked up a container of chocolate-covered dried fruit, put it on top of my bag and said, “I hope you have a good evening!”

I was blown away. And this isn’t the only time I’ve encountered amazingly kind behavior at Trader Joe’s. The store’s feel-good culture is an example for us all in how to care and treat each other. Just a little kindness goes such a long way. Thank you, Shaun! And thank you, Trader Joe’s.

A pot of gold

This container holds a world of kindness


How to survive the summer heat

18 Jul

I don’t tell many people about this, but I have Almostitis.

Almostitis is the condition where you want one thing, but you buy something almost like it to save on money, calories and fat content.

Almostitis is not a matter of simply deciding to buy something you like that’s healthier than something else you like. It causes you to buy something you don’t like as much, when you have a craving for something else. Yet, in the moment of purchase, you delude yourself that “this” is going to be just as good, and maybe even better!

Then these cheaper, less-caloric and lower-fat selections sit in our cabinets, refrigerators and freezers until they evaporate or mold.

What does this have to do with surviving summer heat?

A big part of my Almostitis has been about not buying the ice cream I really want. There are pints of fruity sorbet frost-bitten in my freezer. Bars of ice milk cushioning my frozen dumplings.

These cold symptoms boiled to a head a few weeks ago when I wanted to make a root beer float. Instead of buying some vanilla ice cream, I  brought home a container of vanilla frozen yogurt. The most unsatisfying result of so-called good intentions, and the pinnacle of wrong.

The only cure for Almostitis to go to the root of your desire and buy the seminal item. Delicious, refreshing and satisfying.

So, this is one way I’m beating the heat this week:

Trader Joe's Mint Chip ice cream

Pint of summer survival

It’s been a long time since a pint of real, creamy ice cream was walked through my door.

Welcome home.

What’s your favorite TJ way to survive the summer heat?


Delicious, demi-sized and unexpected from Trader Joe’s

5 Dec

Things happen for a reason, right? A series of fortunate events proved that point.

Last weekend included a series of impromptu gatherings, one of those rare occasions where open schedule meets spur-of-the-moment invitation. The subject of this post came together on Sunday.

In the morning, a friend called pleading me to help her out that night with an overabundance of ham-and-bean soup.  I was happy to be of assistance.

Shortly after that call, another friend texted to join her for lunch and a TJ’s shopping trip. Loyal friend that I am, I obliged.

Then, while at TJ’s, there was a special mid-store temporary tasting station by the cheese section, sampling a new dairy item: Unexpected Cheddar Cheese.

Parmesan cheese is the twist to this classic. The Dickens, you say!

In the words of Monty Python: No one expects the Parmesan cheese!

What’s unexpected is the Parmesan cheese that laces the cheddar. SO delicious!

Then I walked a few steps and saw the cutest demi-baguette of olive bread ever:

Demi-baguette of olive bread

Cutest little olive bread ever!

Everything came together at that moment! The cheese and bread would be my contribution to the soup dinner. And, voila, I made that happen with Trader Joe’s help.

Thanks so much, Trader Joe’s!

And thank you so much for visiting Things I Love at Trader Joe’s! If you love cheese, bread and olives, you have GOT to try these! Let us know what you think when you do.

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

Related Links:

Nutrition info – olive demi-baguette

Nutrition info – Unexpected cheddar cheese

Spicy pumpkin grits with bacon and cheddar

Chicken Chili Lime Burgers from Trader Joe’s

26 Nov

I had a Chile Lime Chicken Burger for dinner tonight. I cooked it – about 7 minutes per side. I toasted an English muffin as the bread element. Sliced onion, spread mustard and layered pickle rounds.

I thought I’d take a picture of the sandwich beauty in front of me. Then I thought, a bite out of it would be photogenic. Then I took another bite. A few more, and there was only a half sandwich left on the plate.

So, I thought, well, half a sandwich could work, too. After that, I’m not sure what happened, but I think my inner carnivore was unleashed because suddenly there was no sandwich left on the plate.

Here’s a picture of the box and the block of large frozen patties:

Trader Joe's Chili Lime Chicken Burger

An easy, chicken way to get your burger fix

There are four in the box. I recommend recreating the scene I mentioned above and enjoying again and again and again and again.

Sorry for the missing photo.

Thank you, Trader Joe’s

And thank you for visiting Things I Love At Trader Joe’s!

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

Related Links:

Nutrition info

What’s Good at Trader Joe’s review

Homemade Trader Joe’s Chicken Chili Lime Burgers

A Thanksgiving post: Top six reasons I’m thankful for Trader Joe’s

21 Nov

There are so many reasons I love Trader Joe’s. I thought I’d offer a few of them here:

1) Friendly

A pumpkin welcome sign

Welcome to the tasting station. Welcome to Trader Joe’s.

It’s the feeling you get when you walk in the door, when you’re sampling a snack at the tasting bar and when you’re chatting with the cashier while you’re checking out. The smiling. The helpfulness. The amazing return policy.

I’ve been to many businesses that are friendly. Trader Joe’s takes friendliness to another level. It’s part of the culture.

2) Personal

The service is personal and so is the packaging.

3) Fun

Find the walrus at Trader Joe's

Find the walrus at Trader Joe’s

Find the walrus and get some candy. Best thing since sliced PBJs for the 6-and-under set.

4) Animal friendly

Puffin cereal from Trader Joe's

Puffin friendly

5) Cheaper than most

Just check out a couple of my price check posts:

Price check: Coffee filters

Price check: Fage yogurt

Price check: Kind Plus energy bar

6) Good food

And after all the other nice-to-have qualities, the bottom line is that the food is good. The Yum Factor is high.


Happy Thanksgiving, Trader Joe’s! You have my undying gratitude for all you do to give your customers the best shopping experience.

And Happy Thanksgiving to you, too! I’m grateful for your support. Thank you for visiting Things I Love at Trader Joe’s!

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

Related Links:

Trader Joe’s: All stores will be CLOSED on Thanksgiving, Nov. 22

Thanksgiving sides cheat sheet

Another cuppa Joe from Trader Joe’s

5 Oct

Thanks once again to a sample at the tasting bar, I’ve added a new coffee to my list of faves from Trader Joe’s.

Dark Sumatra – a tasty brew

Trader Joe’s Dark Sumatra coffee is a delicious roast. The taste is closer to espresso than breakfast blend. Smooth, full of the caffeine we depend on in the morning and packed with the depth of flavor we hope for in every cup of Joe. This is a coffee to keep high on the shopping list!

Thank you, Trader Joe’s!

And thank you for reading and following Things I Love at Trader Joe’s!

What’s your favorite coffee at TJ’s? Have you tried Dark Sumatra? If so, what did you think?

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

Related Links:

Trader Joe’s coffee how-to

The straight dope: Review

Averie Cooks

It’s pumpkin time at Trader Joe’s!

3 Oct

Leaves changing color, school back in session, November elections just around the corner. Nothing says “It’s fall” like stores pulling out the pumpkin products!

And Trader Joe’s is no slouch in the autumn-alert area. TJ’s announces it jubilantly, and provides a tasty array of boxed, bottled and binned deliciousness:

The walrus knows: It’s pumpkin time at Trader Joe’s

Autumn announcement:  Trader Joe’s raises the bar in pumpkin products

Pumpkin bread made easy

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter: Spread the joy

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pancake and Waffle Mix: The better breakfast batter

And from the produce aisle…

Seasonal produce: Pumpkins in the raw

Thank you, Trader Joe’s.

And thank you for reading and following Things I Love at Trader Joe’s! Have you found other pumpkin products at TJ’s to recommend? If you’ve tried any of these, what did you think? What do you do with your pumpkins?

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

Related Links:

What’s Good At Trader Joe’s, pumpkin pancake mix review

Phoenix New Times recommends: TJ’s Pumpkin Greek Yogurt

Pumpkin recipes


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