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I love food but I HATE food shopping. Go figure. The Safeway near my house is dark, always crowded, expensive and full of “I’m a young professional and I just came from work or about to go to the gym” type of people.

So when our fridge starts looking like this…

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…the only grocery store that I don’t necessarily mind is Trader Joe’s. They have the best food (in my opinion) for cheapest prices. 004

No trip to TJ’s is complete without a few staples. Here are some of my must-have favorites:

PRODUCE

The selection is always plentiful. Z and I go through A LOT of produce each week. It’s nice to have so many options!

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These baby honeycrisp apples are perfect for throwing in my lunch (although I still prefer the large bowling ball sized ones myself).

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REDUCED CARB WHOLE WHEAT TORTILLAS

A standard tortilla will set you back over 100 calories. These mini ones are 45 calories each AND made with whole wheat. We used them for our weekly cheeseburger quesadillas.

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QUINOA

Such a versatile food! Serve it like rice at dinner, serve it like oatmeal at breakfast, add it to salads for an extra protein punch. I like to make a large batch and then keep leftovers in the fridge for the rest of the week.

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FLAVORED ALMONDS

TJ’s sesame honey are my favorite followed closely by their cinnamon. I also try and pick up some other nuts (walnuts, pecans, cashews) to have on hand. I enjoy the fact that they carry raw varieties (no salt added).

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0% PLAIN GREEK YOGURT

Z and I go through about two of these a week. Use as a sour cream replacement on tacos, mix with cucumbers and dill for a veggie dip, or combine with stevia and fruit for a sweet breakfast.  017

CHIA SEEDS

Not widely available in stores, chia seeds make a great topping for yogurt, oatmeal, waffles, apples & peanut butter, the list goes on and on…  005

SALAMI & CHEESE SNACKS

These are one of Z’s favorites. At just over 200 calories total they are a great source of protein to keep hunger away between meals.

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APPLEGATE NATURALS TURKEY

When I met with a nutritionist last year she recommended Applegate farms brand of meats. With less additives (they are antibiotic and preservative free) she predicted they would help quell my sensitive stomach. It’s now the only brand I buy.

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DARK CHOCOLATE

So many kinds, so little time! We always walk out of TJ’s with quite a sampling. My current favorite is their 70% dark chocolate with whole hazelnuts.

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ADDITIONAL BENEFITS

Who doesn’t love a store that gives you coffee samples while you shop??

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There you have it. Trader Joe’s makes my favorites list. Lots of great finds all under one roof.

I want to know…

What is your favorite place for food shopping? Do you enjoy it of think of it more as a chore?

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