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My first visit to Trader Joe’s

In my previous post, I mentioned that a Trader Joe’s store has finally come to Kentucky!

Well, there was no way I was going on opening day or even the weekend because I knew it would be crazy busy. I went today around 4:00 and while the parking lot was crowded and there were plenty of people in the store, it was easy to get around and I didn’t have to wait in line but for a few minutes to check out. I went up and down every aisle and was there less than an hour. Score!

So what did I get?

  • Diet root beer (6-pack)
  • Roasted veggie no cheese pizza
  • Strawberry and peach soy yogurt
  • Non dairy creamer (for Josh)
  • Edamame with red chile and garlic (so excited to try this!)
  • Frozen veg panang curry with rice
  • Chipotle pepper hummus
  • Tempeh
  • Veg soy chorizo
  • Masala veggie burgers (4-pack)
  • Twin pack of sprouted tofu

Now for the really shocking part. How much did all of this cost me? I would have expected much more than $26!!!

Granted, I only got stuff for me this time and didn’t happen to need any produce but I still can’t imagine ever spending more than $50 here in a single trip. I would bet that the same stuff above at Whole Foods or another grocery store would have run me more like $40. I was happy.

A couple of things worth noting: the roasted vegetable pizza was the most expensive thing on my receipt at $4.29. The Amy’s roasted veggie pizza I usually buy which is almost identical is $6.49 and that’s at Kroger where it seems to be the cheapest. On the down side, I didn’t realize it until I got home and drank one that the Hansen’s diet soda contains Splenda. Stevia is the only “artificial” sweetener I like to use but I guess even that has some drawbacks. Still, I won’t buy those diet root beers again.

I wasn’t going to but since I was already there, I decided I might as well stop into the wine shop and see what was up. It was really small but they had a great selection, many “Available only at Trader Joe’s” wines and while they did have an expensive section, most were well under $10. I decided it was time I met this Chuck guy everyone talks about.

I got the two above bottles plus a nifty little Trader Joe’s wine carrying bag for $7. Yep, I guess that’s why they call it Two Buck Chuck. I tried half a glass of Shiraz tonight and it was just as tasty as one I would have paid a lot more than $2.99 for. I foresee some Christmas presents coming ;)

A lot of my friend’s don’t get the hype over TJ’s and think the last thing Louisville needs is another grocery store and another store on Shelbyville Road at that — the place is already known for horrific traffic at certain times of the day. Also, a few friends were turned off by the packaging of produce — many items are already placed in plastic containers or bags. I can see their point, but at the same time, having exactly 1 lb of organic grapes in a container seems like a time and cost-saver to me.

I found a couple of articles about the store to be really interesting. First, The Best and Worst Products at Trader Joe’s  — I need to go back for the falafel and veggie burritos, definitely! Another, a local article entitled Seven Things That Make Trader Joe’s Different, pointed out some things about this store I can really appreciate. No sales, no coupons. You will always know how much everything costs and how much you would spend. I can dig that.

What do you think? Do you have a Trader Joe’s in your area? What do you like/dislike about it?

Day 24.2: Fall flavors

I ended up going to Whole Foods, Valu Market and Kroger before my grocery shopping extravaganza was finished! I went a little over my budget (which was $40) but I splurged on a couple of seasonal items :)

This is why I love Fall!

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There is also a “Nog” flavor that I will be getting closer to Christmas time.

I’ve been on the search for pumpkin butter for a while too and I finally found this little gem, which just happens to be local (from Hazard, KY) which makes it that much better!

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These apples were no splurge, I got 3 lbs for $1.50!

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When I got home, I was starving for lunch, so I had some leftover Vegan Refried Bean Cakes that I turned into a wrap when I topped them with salsa on a tortilla.

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Then I had some carrots and hummus on the side to round out my meal. I really enjoyed this!

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After shopping at all those places, I think I want to try and get more stuff from Whole Foods next time. They had a lot of winter squash on sale and also avocados for $1 each! I passed those up this time, but I did find peanut butter for $1.79, a new kind of hummus to try and of course the Silk Pumpkin Spice. I will be using that in my coffee tomorrow morning!

There were a lot of things that were more expensive though, like bread, lunchmeat, etc. that I buy for Josh so I doubt I will ever do all of my shopping there but maybe when we have a bigger budget.

I actually found some really great things at Valu Market, especially produce! So I think next week I may try to do Whole Foods + Valu only, we’ll see.

It’s time to go be crazy with Courtney at the Halloween stores!

Hope you have a wonderful day :)

Day 17.2: The Great Pumpkin

Before I left home earlier, it really started getting cold in the apartment. But I’m still not turning the heat on yet! Supposedly on Monday we’ll be back in the 60’s so I don’t want to have to turn it on and then right back off.

So I knew it must be pretty cold outside and I needed to layer it up!

Long socks, check.

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Warm hoodie, check.

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Silly face picture of self in hoodie, check.

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I went to the new Target and it was so nice! Everything was new and clean and the grocery carts and baskets were so much more ergonomic and comfortable to hold on to. I was really impressed with the handle of the basket (it doesn’t take much for me, ha ha).

But, I wasn’t all that impressed with their groceries. I did appreciate the wider selection than other Targets but so many items were overpriced. The one shining star I did find on this trip was a ginormous 2-lb. container of oats for $1.50!

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That ought to last me a while ;-) They also had some natural PB on sale for $1.88 so it was still a good trip to make. I ended up going to Walmart and Kroger too though.

Here’s my stash: I spent $46 this time, still trying to work my way down. It would’ve been less if we didn’t need some non-grocery items this week.

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Not too shabby!

When I got home I was so ready for lunch but I did not feel like making a salad like I was going to. Perhaps it’s because of the big container I just bought but all I could think about was oats. Here was my thought process…

Can I have oats for lunch? What about vegetables? Hmm…

Well, YES!

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Pumpkin (a vegetable!) peanut butter and jelly oats! This hit the spot in a major way. I’m so glad I went with it :)

Now, I know some of you may not consider pumpkin to be a vegetable and that’s fine. I know all the reasons why it is considered either a fruit or a vegetable and sometimes both by some people.

But, I’m just curious…what is your opinion? I always consider it a vegetable. I group it in the same category with sweet potatoes whether that is correct or not.

Pumpkin: Fruit or vegetable? Answer in the comments :)

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