Blog Archives

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 10: On the road

Saturday started off in a very good way with some yummy PB&J oats that were perfected this time around. With some Starbucks Columbian VIA to compliment.


I used a bit less jelly this time and no banana (which I saved for lunch). I love how the peanut butter just melted all over the top, then I stirred it together a bit. YUM!


Not long after, we hit the road to visit Josh’s grandma a few hours away. On the way there, I managed to get a grocery list together, using quite a few recipes from Vegan Planet. I can’t wait to cook this week!

For lunch, I had a peanut butter (no jelly!) sandwich and a banana.


We stopped at a gas station before heading back home and I got to post another Operation Beautiful note!


This was in a very small town so I’m hoping everyone hears about it 😉

I snacked on a surprise find at the gas station!


Josh found some supposedly hotter than Hot Tamales which we don’t have at home, he was excited!


I tried a few too but they just didn’t seem hotter. He’s trying to convince me that he needs to do a side-by-side test, which means buying more Hot Tamales. Yeah right! Ha ha.

When we got home, I grabbed some Panera for dinner because I had yet to go to the grocery store.


I had 1/2 a Classic cafe salad, cup of black bean soup and a whole grain baguette. Yum! I love it when I make black bean soup day, I have missed it so many times before. 🙂

After dinner, I went to the store, well stores, and I had major success. On the road, I wrote out all the ingredients for the few recipes I chose to make this week and went to three different stores but I managed to get a ton of stuff and stay well within budget (actually $5 under)!

Check this out:


  • Bananas (a ton, I’m making soft serve this week!)
  • Carrots
  • Avocado
  • Green pepper
  • Red onion
  • Bagged salad
  • Peanuts
  • Rice milk
  • Hummus
  • Spices
  • Soy yogurt
  • Pumpkin
  • Black and great northern beans
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Black olives
  • Celery
  • Sweet potato
  • Whole wheat tortillas

I got all of that plus everything Josh needed for $45. I rule! And I’m glad I don’t have to eat PB&J every day this week again 😉

After all that shopping (two plus hours) I was hungry again, so I snacked on my current fave…with a twist.


1/2 a whole wheat tortilla with PB and chocolate chips. Folded in half, woo hoo!

Next up, Day 11. I can’t believe I’ve officially been a vegan for 11 days.

I love it, it feels so natural to me. It has been a challenge at times but not one that I can’t manage. I feel so good in all aspects of my body and mind. I think I might just have to keep this up 😉

Post-mini grocery trip

Now that Spring is here and Summer isn’t far off, I have been so much more inspired to eat more fresh fruits and veggies than I have in a while. I hate how during the winter, not much is in season and you are forced to eat a lot of frozen things. Makes you appreciate this time of year even more, right?

Here’s my stash from the store this weekend:


  • Frozen peas
  • FRESH spinach
  • FRESH cucumber
  • FRESH tomatoes!
  • FRESH grapes
  • FRESH Sweet potato
  • New! Naturally Preferred Golden Flax high fiber cereal
  • Boca grilled vegetable burgers
  • FRESH oranges
  • Orange juice with added calcium
  • Frozen green giant baby veggie medley

The cereal is totally yummy, I like to eat it in a small cup as a snack or as part of breakfast with a green monster.


I also picked these two things up at a different store earlier in the week.


I’ve been eating brown rice for a while now and I thought it was time to try something NEW and EXCITING = coucous! Also the brown sugar is to “spice” up my oatmeal. The few times I’ve ordered oatmeal from a restaurant, I sprinkled just a little bit of brown sugar on top and it made all the difference. Time to break my oatmeal boredom!

What new things have you guys tried lately? Do you find its easier to eat fresh produce in the Spring and Summer?