I Love You Trader Joe’s, But You’re Not Perfect

There are a lot of places on earth that make me happy.

My bedroom. It’s where I sleep. And where I cuddle with my husband while watching ‘The Big Bang Theory’ reruns.

My living room. I watch my kids play together and play next to each other. Many times, I join them.

My parents’ house. The yard, the view, the company.

And Trader Joe’s. I could start a blog that is strictly about things I love from Trader Joe’s.

They always have new goodies to try, so I would never run out of fun stuff to write about!

The only time I drink caffeinated coffee is when I get a sample at TJ’s, (that’s reason enough for me to visit). Their snack selection is endless and usually pretty healthy. Their frozen foods are the best I’ve had. They have a great produce section, with a lot of prepped options. And their prices are always surprising.

My kids love the samples and the suckers, assuming they find the hidden dolphin, of course. At our current store, it’s a dolphin (“Dewey the Dolphin,” to be exact). But every store has a different furry friend for the littles to find.

But, like all things, no one (or place), is perfect.Trader Joe'sHere is a list of things from my beloved TJ’s that my family has tried, tested, and thrown away (or at least never purchased again).

1. Prenatal vitamins

Ok. So maybe I’m the only one in the fam that got to try these. I started taking them when I was in the first trimester with my son. I threw up after taking them on more than one occasion. Morning sickness? Yes. But is it odd that I have never once thrown up a “Rainbow Lite” vitamin?

2. Cheddar Cheese

This may or may not be because I am a huge cheese snob and I’m obsessed with Tillamook. Otherwise, their cheese section is stellar. Feta, Parmesan, mozzarella, all great!Feta Cheese(I put their feta on everything!!)

3. Meat

Their meat section, in my opinion, is lame. I’m not impressed with their prices and I have never found anything I ended up liking. When I need to get meat, I head to a different store, (unless it’s frozen).

4. Beauty/body products

I ran out of my normal deodorant last week, so I’ve been using the stuff I got at TJ’s. I won’t go into the smelly details, but by the time this post is up, I will have some good ol’ Mitchum in my possession.

5. Juice

Even though it is TJ’s, and they strive for healthier products, their juices still have way too much sugar. They have one type of reduced sugar version and it is really gross. My 2 year old even refused it, with conviction. I tried to power through it to avoid being wasteful, but I just couldn’t do it.

6. Sushi

Don’t do it. Seriously. We tried it last week. The rice does not resemble rice at all. It had congealed together to form a firm white wrap around the seaweed, crab, and cucumber. If you want sushi, learn from my mistake, go to a sushi restaurant.

7. Bread

We’ve tried pretty much every type of bread TJ’s has to offer. Every single one of them tastes, well, too healthy. Now, I appreciate a great tasting, healthy bread as much as anyone, but I don’t need flax, chia, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds all in one measly piece of bread. But that’s just me…and my entire family…

As I said earlier, TJ’s is one of my happy places. They have a fantastic produce section, a great variety of wine and liquor, delicious frozen and prepped meals, and snacks to die for. Honestly, the snacks alone keep us coming back. But nobody is perfect, including my favorite grocery store.

What is your least favorite thing from a Trader Joe’s? What’s your absolute favorite thing?

Thank you so much for stopping by! If you’d like, please give me a vote for Top Mommy Blogs by clicking the banner below. Thank you!Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

August 14, 2015
Previous Post Next Post


  • Reply Kimberly

    It is sooo funny you posted this today, because I was JUST thinking about going to Trader Joes on my lunch break!! I’ve only been there once before, and honestly I wasn’t impressed. But everyone raves about them so I thought I would give them another shot (and because my friend had some delicious looking chicken burgers she got from there). Any recommendations??

    August 14, 2015 at 8:30 am
    • Reply Tarynn Playle

      That is too funny! Now I want to try the chicken burgers! Let’s see here…I like their Cuban pork wrap, their prepped salads are usually really good, I like their frozen Indian dishes (the lamb is super spicy though). The snacks I like are their honey wheat pretzels, most of their chips, dried mango (they have two types, the one I like is the cheaper one), and cookie butter anything! I’ll likely be doing a follow-up post with a list of my favorites-there are a lot! 🙂

      August 14, 2015 at 6:38 pm
  • Reply Jill @ Maggie May's

    oh I could join you in the love fest for Trader Joes! It is my happy place too. I have few complaints, but I’ll add to your list with their tortillas. they mold within 2 days. It’s really annoying. Their bread in general is usually either hard or molds quickly.
    Other than that….it’s a love affair 🙂

    August 14, 2015 at 8:36 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Yes! The tortillas! The expiration dates are usually for the next day or so.

      August 14, 2015 at 1:06 pm
  • Reply Lauren

    I have never tried the sushi there, so thanks for the heads up. The only meat there that is a good deal I have found is the pork loin. Way cheaper than whole foods and antibiotic free. I agree with you on the juices there.. I never buy them.

    August 14, 2015 at 9:51 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      I’ll have to check out that pork. I really like that its antibiotic free. Thanks!

      August 14, 2015 at 1:01 pm
  • Reply Tricia

    Is it crazy that I still have never been to Trader Joe’s? I always here people raving about it, but I’ve never actually been there. I’m glad to know what to avoid when I eventually go though.

    August 14, 2015 at 10:37 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      You should go! I bet W would like finding the stuffed animal. At our old store they gave suckers and an apple to kids who found it. 🙂

      August 14, 2015 at 11:34 am
  • Reply Kristen

    Um hello? Cookie butter! And eggplant that premade with the breading. And cookie butter cookies!

    August 14, 2015 at 11:31 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      I don’t buy the cookie butter anymore. I would eat it all by myself, because OMG! I haven’t tried their eggplant yet. I should!

      August 14, 2015 at 11:35 am
  • Reply Megan@SensitiveMommy

    We love those Rainbow Light vitamins too! The maternity ones were the only ones I could keep down too! My son takes the chewable kids vitamin with probiotics (they are gluten free).

    August 14, 2015 at 12:29 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      I didn’t know they had some for kids. I’ll have to check those out-thanks!!

      August 14, 2015 at 6:27 pm
  • Reply Robert Woolley

    I keep running lists of both the best and the worst products I’ve tried at Trader Joe’s:




    August 14, 2015 at 1:01 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Haha-awesome! Thanks for sharing!

      August 14, 2015 at 6:27 pm
  • Reply Deanna

    I am always looking for new things to try. I love their graham crackers, they are so tasty. I also love that they have dye free jelly beans!

    August 14, 2015 at 2:45 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      We get their graham crackers too. I didn’t know their jelly beans were dye-free. Makes sense though, they’re pretty good about that.

      August 14, 2015 at 6:28 pm
  • Reply Alana

    I’m with Tricia. I’ve never been to Trade Joe’s though I’ve heard all of the RAVE reviews. Generally, I go with the grocer closest to me, Costco always, and I used to order through Spud.com or go to Whole Foods. Whole Foods is my happy place. It’s a little absurd how happy it makes me. I’m with you on grocery store sushi tho. When you live in Vancouver, Seattle, LA you have some of the best sushi restaurants outside of Japan. Grocery store sushi never cuts it.

    August 14, 2015 at 5:09 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Now it’s been built up way too much for you! I usually go to the closest grocery store, but I like to make the trek out to TJ’s (about 25 min), at least twice a month. But that’s how I am about it, it’s almost embarrassing how happy I am when I’m there! It’s the last sushi I’ve had, so I’ve been really craving good sushi!!

      August 14, 2015 at 6:31 pm
  • Reply Shelah

    I love Trader Joes. But I agree with what you dislike with the exception of the bread. I have found some bread that I like there.

    August 14, 2015 at 5:13 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      I’ve really tried with the bread! We just couldn’t find one we liked.

      August 14, 2015 at 6:32 pm
  • Reply twitchetts.com

    We LOVE TJ’s too!! I have the same problem with bread… (I love their everything bagels, but bread….) Try Rudis brand, they have a lot of different flavor options. It is the most “normal” tasting organic bread I have found. We have tried a LOT of different options. I have a hard time with the juices too.

    August 17, 2015 at 5:23 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Thanks for the suggestion! We’ll have to try that! We like some of their bagels too-not sure if I’ve tried their everything bagels yet though.

      August 17, 2015 at 6:21 am
  • Reply Gail @ Rese Activewear

    I have shopped there a few times and wanted to love it but was underwhelmed by many of the products. A couple were AMAZING. Maybe next you can do a top things you like from there so we can try some good ones.

    August 21, 2015 at 1:57 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      I can definitely see where you’re coming from! The first few times I only went because my husband wanted to go. Then we went several years without going, and finally he talked me into going again. That was my plan! I’m going to share a list of my absolute favorite things from there! 😀

      August 25, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Leave a Reply

    You may also like