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Trader Joe’s Announces The Discontinuation Of Several Popular Items

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Trader Joe’s is known for selling a variety of mouth-watering, can’t-live-without foods, at reasonable prices. With such a vast selection of fan favorite items, it’s no wonder that customers keep coming back for more.

Sadly however, the company has revealed that across its 530 locations nationwide, several of its customer base’s favorite items have been discontinued, or are slated for discontinuation in the near future. Hopefully your favorite foods aren’t on the following list…

Discontinued: Cookie Butter Cheesecake

Photo: ThisImpulsiveBuy.com

One of the most popular Trader Joe’s items in the store’s history has always been the cookie butter. Naturally, when they made a vanilla cheesecake with this cookie crust base and cookie butter on top, it was an even bigger hit.

The bargain price of $7 for this delectable cheesecake was even more popular. Much to customers’ dismay, Trader Joe’s discontinued the product, but TJ loyalists will recommend buying some plain cheesecake and adding some cookie butter on top to try to resurrect this beloved product.

Discontinued: Legendary Nut & Berry Mix

Photo: Cleveland.com

It’s no secret that Trader Joe’s has an impressive assortment of dried fruits and nuts. This on-the-go favorite had a blend of almonds, raisins, walnuts, dried blueberries, cranberries, cashews, and dried raspberries. It was both sweet and salty and bursting with various textures and flavors.

Considered to be one of the best trail mixes that Trader Joe’s had to offer, customers are sad to see that the company is no longer stocking this item on their shelves. While it’s not difficult to make your own trail mix at home, Trader Joe’s still offers a wide selection of grab-and-go options.

Discontinued: Arrabiata Sauce

Photo: Twitter.com

A simple pasta and tomato sauce is a great option when you’re tight on time and Trader Joe’s customers were crazy about this tomato sauce. Prized for its bold, spicy flavor, it features San Marzano tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and garlic. What’s not to love?

While there are many other sauce options available on Trader Joe’s shelves, none are quite the same as this Italian favorite. Its full flavor will be missed and has some loyal fans “arrabiata” (which means “angry” in Italian) that it’s no longer being stocked.

Discontinued: Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies

Photo: Twitter.com

While Trader Joe’s has no shortage of cookies and sweet treats available, this popular item featured two crispy chocolate chip cookies sandwiched together with fudge. The cookies were crunchy, sweet, and buttery. It was impossible to only ever have one.

Unfortunately, they weren’t popular enough to continue stocking the shelves with. Devoted customers have begged Trader Joe’s to bring these sweet little chocolatey morsels back but sadly they haven’t been seen since their discontinuation.

Discontinued: Jalapeño Pepper Hot Sauce

Photo: Caldohome.com

When it came to spice, this hot sauce definitely delivered. Packed with heat but not overly spicy, it paired well with eggs, tacos, and some people even enjoyed it on popcorn. While delicious on its own, fans loved that it didn’t overpower the flavors of the dish they were using it on.

When Trader Joe’s announced that they would be discontinuing this hot sauce, customers were outraged. It had a loyal following and some hot sauce lovers have even been asking for recommendations on any dupes that may come close in comparison to this customer favorite.

Discontinued: Roasted Coconut Chips

Photo: Curlybroccoli.com

A great topping for your oatmeal or smoothie bowl, these coconut chips added a sweet and healthy crunch to your morning breakfast. It was also extremely easy to snack on these coconut chips just as they were. Fans of the product say it was much too easy to finish the entire bag in one sitting.

Customers were outraged when Trader Joe’s revealed the discontinuation of this product. While cloyingly sweet, these chips also had just the right amount of salt which has fans salivating for Trader Joe’s to bring them back again.

Discontinued: Black Bean Dip

Photo: Kirbiecravings.com

This black bean dip was made with onion, garlic, tomatillos, and included three kinds of peppers – serranos, habaneros, and jalapeños. It had the perfect amount of spice which wasn’t too hot. It was a great dip with tortilla chips for a light snack.

Sadly, Trader Joe’s revealed that this product would be leaving the shelves much to its customers’ outcries and complaints. Although this dip can easily be recreated at home, the convenience of grabbing it on your weekly shopping run is no longer possible.

Discontinued: Cioppino Seafood Stew

Photo: Twitter.com

Trader Joe’s Cioppino Seafood Stew became a quick hit with Trader Joe’s fans. The original soup was invented in San Francisco by an Italian-American fisherman named Cioppino, who would add a number of things to it, including onions, olive oil, wine, garlic, and seafood caught from the Pacific.

The grocery store version would be close to the fisherman’s original recipe, coming with scallops, clams, cod, mussels, and shrimp. The 1-pound bag was a steal for $6 for those looking for a delicacy on a budget before it was discontinued.

Discontinued: Chicken Chile Verde Burritos

Photo: ThisCollegeLife.com

Burritos are great when you don’t have time for an entire meal, though they’re not always the healthiest option. The Chicken Chile Verde Burritos that combined dark and white meat in a flour tortilla were a delicious contribution to the freezer aisle.

Despite the heavy amount of sodium (over 2,000 mg) that was found in each burrito, Trader Joe’s shoppers loved this tasty treat nevertheless. While it’s possible to get other frozen burritos these days, unfortunately, the Chicken Chile Verde Burritos are a distant memory.

Discontinued: Handmade Chocolate Ganache Torte

Photo: Brandeating.com

This decadent dessert featured a moist chocolate cake filled with chocolate mousse which was then covered with a semi-sweet chocolate ganache. It was so rich, that often just one bite could satisfy your sweet tooth. Serving it with whipped cream or vanilla could help cut through its richness.

Weighing in at 1.5 pounds, its $7.99 price tag made it a great value for a dessert that could feed as many as 16 people. This torte was so delicious, that loyal fans have created a petition to bring it back. They miss this dessert so much they’re asking for signatures and fighting for its return.

Discontinued: Cheese & Garlic Croutons

Photo: Iheartnaptime.net

These croutons were known for elevating any boring salad into a delicious meal. Adding flavor and crunch to a rather dull plate of lettuce, these croutons immediately made your taste buds sing. Not only good for salads, but they were also equally as good on soups too.

Although not the same, Trader Joe’s does offer plain croutons that contain sea salt and garlic that may satisfy your crouton craving. However, they aren’t as cheesy or as big as the originals, leaving fans devastated that the grocery chain is no longer offering them.

Discontinued: Tofu Edamame Nuggets

Photo: Pinterest.com

This interesting snack food could be found in the frozen section and featured a pocket of tofu that was stuffed with edamame, carrots, and more tofu. When baked, the outsides would become crispy, while the insides stayed soft and tender. They paired perfectly with soy sauce.

Offering a great selection of items for both vegetarians and vegans alike, Trader Joe’s cruelty-free foods don’t always stick around for the long run. Unfortunately, that’s what happened with these nuggets. While some customers have petitioned for their return, sadly they haven’t been seen back yet.

Discontinued: Instant Miso Soup

Photo: Cookingwithalison.com

Trader Joe’s excels at taking simple convenience foods and offering the best possible versions of them. They didn’t disappoint with their instant miso soup. Powdered miso and dried tofu were packaged in single serving portions that just required boiling water and a quick stir and dinner was ready.

The soup featured both white and red miso, kombu powder, bonito powder, shiitake mushrooms, and clam extract powder which all contributed to its robust flavor. Sadly, they decided to pull this from their shelves so now you’ll have to satisfy your miso soup fix with their ramen.

Discontinued: Rice Pudding

Photo: Cookingwithtraderjoes.com

While rice pudding may not be as popular as cake or ice cream for dessert, its humble ingredients are delicious and comforting. Made from rice, milk, and spices, this dessert is simple to make at home but requires time and patience, making Trader Joe’s version a convenient treat.

Trader Joe’s offered a refrigerated version that could be eaten straight from the container. Some creative buyers would spruce up their rice pudding by adding frozen mango, heavy cream, and coconut cream to make mango sticky rice. Unfortunately, they will need to look elsewhere for a replacement ingredient.

Discontinued: Chili Lime Mayonnaise

Photo: Twitter.com

An excellent topping for fresh fruit, fish tacos, and anything else that could use a dollop of spicy mayo, fans were obsessed with slathering this on anything and everything. Despite its popularity, the company pulled this product from its shelves earlier this year.

It’s not known why Trader Joe’s decided to discontinue this item but it did leave some ardent fans very sad to see it gone. Luckily, Trader Joe’s still makes chili lime seasoning which can be stirred into mayonnaise for a DIY version of this favored spread.

Discontinued: Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips

Photo: Kirbiecravings.com

Crunchy and salty with subtle notes of sweet potato, these chips were the perfect chip to dip into salsa. While Trader Joe’s has several options of chips available, the shelves are now missing the brand’s sweet potato tortilla chips.

While these chips only contained about 18% sweet potato, the taste was barely noticeable and some customers may not have been able to distinguish them from regular tortilla chips. The sweet potato flavor being absent from these chips may be the reason why the grocery chain decided to bid them farewell.

Discontinued: Roasted Gorgonzola Crackers

Photo: Everythingjoes.com

Crackers generally tend to be a vehicle for your favorite dips, meats, or cheeses. It’s no surprise that Trader Joe’s also has crackers that are full of flavor without the need for any extras. Gorgonzola cheese lovers couldn’t resist these crackers, which tasted exactly like the tangy cheese.

Although these beloved crackers are no longer available, Trader Joe’s does offer a few other options that might be worth trying out. They don’t offer anything that offers the same cheesy flavor, but you could always top another chip with Gorgonzola cheese in remembrance of these crackers.

While Trader Joe’s may have discontinued a few fan-favorite items, there’s still a near-endless supply of delicious ones left for you to buy. The question now becomes, which Trader Joe’s items are safe to buy, and which ones should you absolutely avoid at all costs?

Buy: Wine

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A glass of red or white with dinner is a perfectly appointed accompaniment to a delicious meal. There’s no need to break the bank for your before and after dinner beverages, as Trader Joe’s offers a number of delicious wine offerings at a fraction of liquor store prices.

The grocery chain is now quite famous for its “Two Buck Chuck,” which was ranked among its best-selling deals since the concept debuted in 2002.  Sadly, since that time, the “Two” has actually gone up to “Three,” which is still way more affordable than most bottles of your favorite Merlot or Chardonnay.

Skip: Prepackaged Sushi

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Sushi fans can be quite picky fish fanatics. Everything from seaweed wraps to rice to sockeye salmon must be impeccably combined to ensure maximum flavor and freshness with none of the nonsense that pre-made sushi can embody.

Sorry, TJ’s, prepackaged sushi is not exactly your forte. Rice can be over-the-top sweet, with gummy fish accompaniment that is anything but comforting. Not to mention the imitation crab and lobster used in favor of being cost-conscious. Sure, you want to save some dough, but maybe splurge on the Japanese teppanyaki grill that is right around the corner.

 Buy: Frozen Fruit

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Smoothies, desserts, pies, and munching for the sake of experiencing cold sweetness. Having frozen fruit on hand makes all sweet things possible. Trader Joe’s offers an impressive array of ordinary and tropical fruits to cater to every preference.

By far, Trader Joe’s organic mixed berry blend is a crowd favorite. The organic mix contains strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries, and has a sweet, delicious flavor that lends itself well to all kinds of sweet treats.

Skip: Joe-Joe’s

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Most of us have one memory or another of dunking delicious cookies in milk. Crunchy, chocolate goodness is delightfully enhanced by the cool and refreshing glass of milk.  It might seem that Joe Joe’s would be a comparable snacking option to Oreos or other cookies we love, but they disappoint many.

Appearance is the only thing that these two cookies have in common. While Oreos have the remarkable ability to assimilate and soak up our favorite beverages, Joe-Joe’s leaves us hanging in a sea of crumby, crumbly chaos. Stick with the name brand for the best results.

Buy: Fresh Fruit

eating a grape
Photo: Unsplash.com/Gabriel Sepúlveda

We live in a day and age where fresh produce variety is abundant all year long. Regardless of your season, you’re likely to find what you’re looking for at a fair price, even if it is shipped halfway across the world to land on shelves.

Fruit at Trader Joe’s is every bit as fresh as those found on big-box chain store shelves, with prices being a bit lower in most cases. They are perfect for adding to your list, so there’s no need to make a second stop when filling your weekly shopping needs.

Skip: Bread And Baked Goods

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Seasonal offerings like Danish Kringle and French eclairs may be convenient if you’re going for a one-stop experience, but it’s best to avoid bread and baked goods at Trader Joe’s. These tasty treats look tantalizing in their cellophane packaging, but we can’t guarantee anything beyond a pretty appearance.

With freshness not necessarily guaranteed, it’s best to sail past this aisle in favor of your favorite local bakery. TJ has plenty of other advantages, but there’s something about the same-day freshness and a delectable smell you can’t get anywhere else outside of a bakery.

Buy: Cheese

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The applications for a flavorful cheese are nearly endless. Whether you go for gooey pizza topping, melted goodness on your favorite sandwich, and as an accompaniment to your favorite wine, no cheesy option disappoints.

Luckily, Trader Joe’s offers an array of artisan cheeses for pennies on the dollar. From sharp-aged cheddar to Brie so smooth it melts in your mouth, you’re likely to find something to fit every taste. Pick up a “Two Buck Chuck” on the way out for a flavorful night.

Skip: Trader Joe’s Chicken Tikka Masala

Trader Joes Chicken Tikka Masala
Photo: Twitter.com/@AGWilliamTong

Grab-and-go frozen dinners are among the more popular items found on grocery store shelves. Most families take advantage of this convenience weekly, as managing work, school, and extra-curricular schedules all time from kitchen preparation.

Trader Joe’s Chicken Tikka Masala may taste good, but the harmful combination of canola oil and corn syrup can really put a damper on your efforts to eat clean. If you’re still craving Indian fare, opt instead for one of the many curry sauces found on TJ shelves.

Buy: Organic Tricolor Quinoa

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Ancient grains are fast making a comeback in healthy, delicious cuisine. People are swapping out traditional pasta in favor of products such as bulgur, faro, and quinoa. While they do require some getting used to, you can create dishes that are every bit as flavorful as your favorite gluten-packed options.

Trader Joe’s quinoa is particularly sensational with its colorful red, white, and black presentation. Whip some up in your Instant Pot in under 11 minutes, and you’ll be amping up your nutrition as you discover a delightful new taste sensation.

Skip: Milk

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Milk is something that is definitely regarded as a staple in most households. Whether your persuasion is dairy, almond, oat, or coconut, the offerings may be many, but this section of Trader Joe’s grocery stores isn’t known for its freshness guarantee.

Many shoppers report too-soon spoilage and expiration dates that are past their prime. This could be due to a storage mistake on the part of store managers, or the grocery store may be due for a conversation with their dairy products provider.

Buy: Vegetables

vegetables
Photo: Unsplash.com/Yilmaz Akin

This one is really important for the fall and winter months when farmer’s markets are closed for seasonal business. Trader Joe’s is a solid option for quality vegetables at competitive prices. Stick to root vegetables such as onions, potatoes, carrots, and squash for best results.

Pre-wrapped varieties of cucumbers, tomatoes, and other veggies cannot necessarily be freshness-guaranteed, though prices for all produce are statistically lower than that found in big chain stores. Purchase vegetables for tonight’s stir fry or crudité with confidence.

Skip: Meat and Seafood

guy cutting meat
Photo: Unsplash.com/Sebastian Coman Photography

One of the staples of a well-balanced diet in terms of protein, meat, and seafood take center stage for many meals, breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Before picking up that fryer on sale for $3.99, consider another option to meet your protein requirements.

Pre-packaged meat and seafood are not processed in-house, so very little is known about the integrity or quality of these products. Of course, if you’re in a hurry, several acceptable options exist for you. It’s kind of hard to turn down an opportunity to purchase bacon, isn’t it?

Buy: Greek Yogurt

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Greek yogurt is all the rage right now, and for good reason. Power-packed with protein, it delivers all the delicious flavor of yogurt without excess carbs and sugar. Perfect for those on the keto/paleo train, several varieties line the shelves for you to peruse.

Trader Joe’s brand nonfat plain Greek yogurt packs an impressive 270 mg of potassium, 22 grams of protein, and 20 percent of your daily requirements of calcium, all with less than 6 grams of sugar slowing you down. This tasty and delicious snack will keep you going for hours.

Skip: Pasta And Rice

making pasta
Photo: Unsplash.com/Becca Tapert

With all the ancient grain and sprouted grain options on the shelves, it’s easy to pass on the processed pasta and rice that line the shelves at Trader Joe’s. Not only is the quantity not really worth the price, but you’re also likely to find more variety at your local grocery chain without the austere tag.

Why not try your spaghetti with a lentil-based pasta, or consider spooning your mother’s marinara over a meaty blend of super seeds and grains? You won’t even miss twirling it around your fork once you get a mouthful of explosive flavor.

Buy: Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels

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Snacking is one of those things many of us simply have to do. With it being such a necessity for many, finding a few more healthy options would be in order for keeping our waistlines in check. Fortunately, Trader Joe’s has several delicious and nutritious snacking options to stave off hunger.

One popular snack that took off shortly after Trader Joe’s launch was their Peanut-Butter Filed Pretzels. A mixture of salty pretzel surrounded by creamy peanut butter blends seamlessly to form snacking perfection in every bite.

 Skip: Spices

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Savvy cooks, beware. You’ll likely have to season that Thanksgiving turkey elsewhere, especially if you are a discriminating consumer of nature’s best spices. Trader Joe’s offers an adequate selection of spices, but they don’t all measure up when it comes to flavor, freshness, and quantity.

Spice blends at TJ’s aren’t abundant. If you find yourself in need of an Italian blend, Cajun for that jambalaya, or some fresh basil, you’re likely to come up short. Those who need the basics like paprika, cinnamon, salt, and pepper can usually find what they’re looking for.

Buy: Chicken Soup Dumplings

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Comfort food is grand, isn’t it? Pasta, soup, and bread all rank near the top of the charts when we think about good food that fills our bodies and souls with love. Trader Joe’s has a number of offerings that fits the bill, including the Steamed Chicken Soup Dumplings.

Delightful bursts of soup are packed into each dumpling. These steamy, flavorful delights are every bit as good as those you can get in your favorite Chinatown hole-in-the-wall, and they microwave in mere seconds, so you can satisfy those cravings even faster.

 Skip: Cauliflower Pizza Crust

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Who are we kidding? Loyal pizza lovers favor a chewy, charred crust topped with their favorite tomato sauce and cheese when plowing through their favorite toppings, and it’s getting increasingly harder for keto dieters and low-carb enthusiasts to enjoy a good slice from time to time.

As much as we’d like to say that Trader Joe’s has solved the low-carb delicious pizza issue, their cauliflower pizza crust comes up short. They have plenty of great dough options (on our list, don’t worry), but disappointed customers have called this one “gross and soggy.” Focus on the array of toppings, and you might just make your way through a serving. 

Buy: Wraps and Sandwiches

eating sandwich
Photo: Unsplash.com/Gardie Design & Social Media Marketing

While it’s tempting to stroll through the deli section and grab a sandwich to stave off hunger, do yourself a favor and steer clear of this section in TJ’s. While some of their customized options taste great, you are giving up health in favor of flavor.

Take the turkey club and tarragon chicken salad, for instance. Each of these chewy powerhouses comes loaded with 700+ calories and a fair amount of sodium.  If you’re feeling peckish while shopping, peruse the produce for some healthier options.

Skip: Brioche Rolls

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We’ve mentioned that the bakery section at Trader Joe’s doesn’t have a stellar reputation when it comes to freshness. They can offer some specialized pastries and artisan bread, but you never know what you’re going to get when it comes to taste and freshness.

Similar to the milk section of the store, many customers report that the Brioche rolls are outstanding within the first 24 hours of creation. A day later, the pillowy, buttery softness starts to fade, and some report the appearance of mold growth.

Buy: Nuts and Dried Fruit

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Nuts and dried fruit are the perfect delicious, nutritious snack for a quick afternoon pick-me-up. Easy to combine, store, and pack for the day, the combinations of crunch and flavor are nearly endless, and are limited only to your unique taste preferences.

Prepackaged trail mixes are also abundant on their shelves, great for a quick grab-and-go between meals. Beware of added sugars, however, as you may get socked with extra carbs. The nuttier, the better for those wanting to limit sugar content.

Skip: Philly Cheesesteak Bao Buns

philly cheesesteak
Photo: Pinterest.com/A spectacled owl

Bao buns are delicious, as are the iconic Philly cheesesteaks that many clamor for each year when visiting the City of Brotherly Love. While each can stand on its own for savory taste and flavor, there’s a reason no one ever thought to combine the two.

East does NOT meet West when combining to form the Loaded Philly Cheesesteak Bao Buns, particularly because they don’t hold up well to extreme fluctuations in temperature. You’re better off going for a couple of packages of the frozen Gyoza dumplings instead.

Buy: Diner Mac ‘N Cheese

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Move over, Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese, you’ve been replaced. Not even comparable to the dry, lackadaisical nature of its boxed cousins, TJ’s Diner Mac ‘N Cheese is so good you’ll risk burning the roof of your mouth for a mouthful of gooey goodness.

Salty, fatty, cheesy comfort cozies up to your taste buds, and as you eagerly wait for it to cool down after a spin in the microwave, you might find yourself salivating at the anticipation of cheddar, Havarti, Gouda, and Swiss-inspired bliss.

Skip: Original Joe’s O’s Cereal

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Two types of people live in this world, those who consider themselves cereal enthusiasts, and those who avoid milk-soaked bowls at all costs. If you fancy yourself a discriminating consumer of cereal, you’ve likely been disappointed by Original Joe’s O’s cereal.

Meant to be a charming take on the famous breakfast staple, Cheerios, shoppers have said that Trader Joe’s version is unflavored and bland. That’s without even mentioning the mealy texture that cannot be softened by any amount of milk. Spend your dough on some Crisp Rice for a more satisfying crunch and flavor to start your mornings. 

Buy: Everything But The Bagel Seasoning

Everything But The Bagel Seasoning
Photo: Pinterest.com/The Kitchn

Let’s be honest. One of the reasons we go for that “everything” bagel is the awesome combination of seasonings that goes into making its distinctive flavor. Onion, garlic, pepper, and sea salt symbiotically combine to become the perfect combination of savory and delicious.

This perfect seasoning found on TJ shelves is ideal for avocado toast, scrambled eggs, or even a two-by-four if you want to test its capabilities. This seasoning has been flying off shelves since the opening of the grocery chain, and one couple took selling it to the next level. They reportedly made $30,000 selling the seasoning online.

Skip: Paper Products

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Who wants to extend their shopping experience by stopping at several stores as you head home from a hard day’s work? One of the reasons that major convenience chains have exploded in recent years is they offer one-stop shopping for those of us who don’t have time to poke around for the best deal.

While it may be tempting to grab a package of toilet paper when doing your weekly TJ shopping, you won’t be getting the best bang for your buck. $3.99 is a fair price, but the quality of these rolls is less than satisfactory. It would be worth your time to pick up paper products at Target for better bargains.

Buy: Flowers and Plants

looking at plants
Photo: Unsplash.com/Zoe Deal

Many of us know that adding a bit of greenery or floral color to our living spaces can have a positive impact on our body, mind, and soul. There’s something healing about the sight and smell of your favorite blooms as they brighten up your home.

This is one area where Trader Joe’s does not disappoint. Seasonal bouquets, succulents, and small green houseplants light up one corner of the store with such charming appeal that we find ourselves drawn to the beautiful, affordable options, even if we don’t fancy ourselves with a green thumb.

Skip: Vitamins

taking vitamins
Photo: Pinterest.com/Chatelaine

Vitamins cost a pretty penny no matter where you get them, and their efficacy and absorbent nature are not necessarily known unless you do a bit of leg work on your end. More and more Americans are turning to supplementation to reduce the effects of poor diet and excess stress while improving their health.

Unfortunately, you’ll be spending even more of your hard-earned money at Trader Joe’s. A modest bottle of vitamin B supplement sells for a whopping $5.99 on the shelves, with brand-name vitamins going for less at pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS. Our advice? Shop elsewhere for supplements.

Buy: Japanese Fried Rice

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Trader Joe’s founders do not have Asian heritage as a credit to their name, but they know good fried rice when they taste it. While there is no substitute for freshly prepared, a close second is found in the frozen section at TJ’s.

Lightly oiled rice is power packed with delicious edamame, carrots, tofu, and a secret weapon. Hijiki seaweed adds depth to an already complex flavor profile, giving authentic Japanese taste in frozen convenience form.

Buy: Ancient Grains

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Ancient grains have taken center stage for health-conscious individuals who wish to improve heart health, BMI, and a host of other health issues. Not only are they tasty, but they are also a delicious alternative to other grains that may cause inflammation.

Choose from buckwheat, amaranth, farro, or many others, and know that you’re getting a powerhouse of flavor and nutrition. One popular option is the super seed & ancient grain blend, containing buckwheat, millet, chia, flax, quinoa, hemp, and amaranth for the bargain price of $4.49.

Skip: Trade Joe’s Shepherd’s Pie

shepherds pie
Photo: Pinterest.com/Modern Meal Makeover

We all crave a little Old English comfort food from time to time, and shepherd’s pie fits the bill. Creamy mashed potatoes form a delectable crust under which a combination of flavorful meats, vegetables, and savory sauce wait to be discovered.

Unfortunately, Trader Joe’s comes up quite short when crafting a frozen version of this traditional dish, leaving many die-hard TJ fans disappointed. Users reported less-than-complimentary descriptions of the dish, one citing that “it was completely flavorless mush, and I ended up giving it to my dog.”

Buy: Cookie Butter

cookie butter on blondies
Photo: Twitter.com/@Chenee_Today

Cookie butter, where have you been all our lives? We all love cookies, but whoever conceived the idea of placing all that tasty sweetness into spreadable form is absolute genius. Sweet teeth everywhere pay homage to you.

Cookie butter is now an iconic staple on Trader Joe’s shelves, with supplies consistently selling out in many stores. Now declared Trader Joe’s most popular item, it remains a strong contender for the most versatile dessert item on the shelves. Grab a spoon and dig in.

Skip: Prepackaged Salads

caesar salad in bag
Photo: Pinterest.com/Buzzfeed

Many people are trying to eat better these days. Whether it’s the need to clean things up after quarantine or simply to follow current market trends, we are reaching for salads and soups more often than burgers and fries.

Too bad Trader Joe’s hasn’t prioritized and taken advantage of this opportunity to join the wellness revolution. Their salads come up dreadfully short when it comes to freshness, flavor, and expiration dates. Steer clear of the funky greens and slimy meats, and head to the produce aisle for something less questionable.

Buy: Pizza Dough

Pizza dough
Photo: Unsplash.com/Nadya Spetnitskaya

Pizza dough is not a kitchen endeavor that everyone wishes to undertake. Despite the fact that it’s incredibly time-consuming, the ingredients are few and it’s relatively simple to make. Many grocers offer pre-packaged dough to give us more time to pick out our favorite sauces and toppings for a weeknight meal.

Trader Joe’s has done a remarkable job of crafting an artisan pizza dough that you can grab and go at the store, passing it off as Grandma’s recipe once you get it to the table. This game-changer offers lazy cooks everywhere a chance to create pizzas, calzones, and breadsticks in half the time.

Skip: Frozen Rice

rice
Photo: Pinterest.com/pumpkin ❤️

Rice purists staunchly maintain the belief that it should be cooked a certain way. Traditional methods of boiling and steaming work best and taste is most definitely affected by preparation methods such as soaking, steaming, boiling and adding your favorite toppings.

Frozen rice for dinner works if you’re pinched for time, but Trader Joe’s brand of frozen rice is ridiculously expensive. With convenience being a major factor in its appearance on shelves, it’s no wonder that three individually wrapped packages of brown rice cost nearly $4. Are you really that short on time?

Buy: Dark Chocolate Almonds

dark chocolate almonds
Photo: Pinterest.com/Terri Clement

Some things in life are better experienced together. Peanut butter and jelly, cookies and milk, and now we can add almonds and dark chocolate to this mix. Trader Joe’s has the market cornered on a nutritious and delicious snack with their sea salt and turbinado sugar dark chocolate almonds.

Snack away and know that you have found something “mostly” heart healthy. Crunchy, nutty almonds are coated with thick dark chocolate and sprinkled with a combination of sea salt and turbinado sugar for a texture and flavor explosion unlike any you have experienced before.

Skip: Birthday Cake Popcorn

birthday cake popcorn
Photo: Twitter.com/@Karabo_Mokgoko

Popcorn in itself is a healthy, whole grain snack. When we get down to the business of coating it with all kinds of gooey, chewy madness, it becomes less and less appealing to many. A little drizzle of caramel or chocolate here and there is fine, but this is where the art deco should end.

Trader Joe’s Birthday Cake popcorn is an assault on healthy popcorn snacking. The sickeningly sweet coating is so thick that you can hardly tell that fluffy white goodness is disguised underneath. Some report a distinctly artificial taste to the sweetness that is simply too much. Our advice? Choose a savory cheddar option instead.

Buy: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Trader Joes
Photo: Twitter.com/@LeisureResort

What is it about the magical combination of chocolate and peanut butter that keeps us coming back for more? Health-conscious consumers, you can even justify this purchase, for heart-healthy dark chocolate envelops creamy, peanutty explosions of flavor.

This snack is one of the reasons why Trader Joe’s is well known for its snack foods. With pint-sized bites being your only option, the only danger is consuming way too many of them before dinnertime. Even delicious snacking should be done in moderation.