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I'm a Trader Joe's Junkie

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Trader Joe's is grocery store porn.

Trader Joe's

Momlogic's Yvette: The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. So here goes, my confession: I'm a Trader Joe's junkie. I have officially become obsessed with grocery shopping and can honestly say that I spend far too much time shopping for, talking about, eating and now writing about the unique grocery store with the laid back vibe.

No, I didn't turn into a grocery store fixated loser overnight. It all started with a simple lunch at a friend's house where she served an incredible ham and gruyere pizza with carmelized onions. It was outrageous and I had to have more, immediately. That led to my first of countless trips to Trader Joe's. At first I had no idea what I was looking for, or what to make of all those bags of frozen food stacked in the freezers or all those pre-packaged foods in the fridge. I left empty handed and frustrated. But then it happened: My girlfriend took me by the hand and walked me down those narrow aisles herself. She filled my cart with things I never would have thought I'd buy -- sea salt caramels, barbecue pulled pork and buckets and buckets of cat cookies. I was hooked.

Since that day, it's been like our very own neighborhood version of telephone. I told two friends and they told two friends and so on and so on. Whenever my girlfriends and I get together, the conversation always turns to our latest Trader Joe's discoveries. We share this information like friends share photos on Facebook. Did you try the peppermint Joe's O's? You have to try the pesto pizza. I can't get enough of the gyoza. My kids love the sweet potato fries.

Now admittedly, my fixation with Trader Joe's is not such a bad thing, I find that I'm saving lots of money on staples like cereal, milk, juice and yogurt -- so that alone make me feel better about my obsession. But here's the problem: I'm so fixated on their food that I find myself eating entire bags of it. I'm devouring whole pizzas, inhaling bags of dumplings meant to serve four people and don't get me started on their desserts -- an entire apple tart went missing as I typed this piece.

When I first came out of the closet and admitted my obsession, I was thrilled to find out that I'm not alone. It turns out there are a bunch of websites out there like and for people like me who love nothing more that to brag about their latest purchase, report back on a new find or complain that the dish they became addicted to has suddenly been discontinued. Now, I'm not one to complain. I'm loyal to my Joe and I would never air our dirty laundry or grievances in public, so you won't find me complaining on any of those sites. But, if I ever was tempted to grumble about my favorite grocery store -- I'd want to know why every other store sells Two Buck Chuck but I can't get it at my local store. Come on, can you blame a girl? All I want is to be wined and dined.

How about you? Tell us your favorite Trader Joe's obsession.

next: Jerry O'Connell Shows Off His Twins
26 comments so far | Post a comment now
Pam January 16, 2009, 10:57 PM

I can’t get Two Buck Chuck either. And that makes me very, very sad.

My favorite thing is pre-seasoned and ready to cook salmon, southwest style. Oh, yummy. And perfect for lazies like me.

michelle January 17, 2009, 4:38 PM

I want a Trader Joe’s in the Quad-Cities !!! Get one here quick!!!!

Krissy January 17, 2009, 6:27 PM

Yummm…salt & pepper potato chips AND garlic naan bread (frzn) AND gorgonzola cheese crackers…the list is endless!

birdsfly January 17, 2009, 8:42 PM

My family loves the pesto pizza. My fav thing about Joe’s is that I always fill up a cart stress about the bill and then it only costs me $50. I’m constantly amazed at checkout.

Penelope Jordan January 17, 2009, 11:30 PM

I know sharing an addiction is not a good thing, but my son is addicted as well. When we go Trader Joe’s, he heads straight for the sampling station and I usually buy what the daily offering is. However, the apple blossoms and the rasberry creme brulee is TO DIE FOR!!!!!! OMG

ashley January 18, 2009, 9:48 AM

I’m jealous!! I live in Oklahoma and have never heard of such a place!! I want pesto pizza!! I shop at Wal-mart-BORING!! The coolest little market I ever went to was this place called Poppy’s up in Brevard N.C. (near Asheville) where my parents used to live. They have some really cool and different stuff and a cafe inside. Every time my mom and I went to town I made her take me there. Now, I want to know where the closest Joe’s is to me!!

Ann January 18, 2009, 10:10 AM

Kind of boring, I know, but their marinara sauce is FANTASTIC! And inexpensive. Also, I love their hummus dip (the one that has like four different flavors), and their veggie chips. Yummmm….

janine, San Diego January 18, 2009, 11:18 AM

Have you tried the edemame hummas? incredible! We also love the pesto pizza but the ham and carmelized onions pizza is my fave. My kids can’t get enough of the mint ice cream cookie sandwiches..yum

Saqndra January 18, 2009, 2:14 PM

I have shopped at Trader’s for so many years, mostly in Arizona….NOW we truly need one in Rockford, Illinois….please!!!!….

Robin` January 18, 2009, 4:42 PM

I’m soooo with you! I go at least once a week. My family out of California is totally jealous! My kids LOVE the hummus, the cilantro and yogurt dip (goes great with their chips) and the tzatziki! Yum. I buy all of my pasta and rice there, too, not to mention dairy products. I think I need to go tomorrow!

Christie January 18, 2009, 9:04 PM

The precooked brown rice is a huge time saver. Great for making dinner in a jiffy after work. My kids devour it

rob barrett January 19, 2009, 12:33 AM

I’m addicted to the salt and pepper rice chips. And I mean seriously addicted. I think I need help. :-) The cheetohs type things they sell are also great and half the fat. And of course, all the chocolate covered things.

kathy January 19, 2009, 7:40 AM

the vegetable dumpling are rediculous. DELICIOUS!

Gail January 19, 2009, 8:46 PM

We NEED a Trader Joe’s in COLORADO!!

leslie January 19, 2009, 10:01 PM

I’ve been shopping addictively at TJ’s for 25 years. OK, I buy 6 or 7 loaves of the cracked wheat sourdough bread. We go through it like crazy. Everyone loves it. My mom borrows it. And the Mediterranean hummus. Out of this world. They used to make a garlic sourdough bagel that was to die for. AND they used to sell grass feed ground beef. They’ve stopped both, which just kills me. I still go at least once/week.
TJs rocks!

Cindy January 20, 2009, 1:20 PM

Oh, my…I love the Naan bread (or actually ANY bread) from Trader Joe’s. They don’t have Trader Joe’s where I came from, in the South - so, when we moved to Oregon and discovered it, I was extremely happy!

Cindy January 20, 2009, 1:26 PM

- leslie, I am eating the Cracked Wheat Sourdough, right now!!! If you haven’t tried the Tandori NaaN (Garlic), you are missing out!!!

Debbie January 20, 2009, 3:22 PM

Frozen Spinach and Artichoke Dip! Cooks in 4 minutes and tastes like any you’d order in a restaurant - I always have one on hand. The best!

sandy January 20, 2009, 3:40 PM

I want my sea salt caramels - why did they take them away???? Please please bring them back. I know, it sounds gross but they are the most delicious thing I have ever tasted. And speaking of the bread - the garlic sticks are manatory in my house

yoyo January 20, 2009, 4:58 PM

what is trader joes we dont have one here…

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