I don’t leave TJ without . . .

While it is extremely difficult for me to narrow down to saying one thing is my absolute favorite in the whole wide world, there is a 

long list of things I really like.  Here is just one of the items on my list.  I like to call these my Brown Paper Packages!

It’s time for a light hearted post!  How ’bout it?!  My Brown Paper Packages today is none other than the fabulous Trader Joe’s (TJ).  This is the best grocery store.  I might like it a tad more than most grocery stores because there is not one within 150 miles from my house.  So, when I have the opportunity of shopping at TJ it is a treat!  I’m not sure what it says about me that going to a grocery store makes me want to kick up my heels but I won’t dwell on that thought.  Let me say this too, for those of you that aren’t familiar with TJ, a lot of the items are TJ brand so the prices are very reasonable.  Plus, they have unique items that you won’t find anywhere else.  And it only adds bonus points that there is always an employee walking around carrying a huge question mark ready to help!  Where else do you find that?

Moving on to the important stuff, I’ve been wanting to share my TJ staple list for some time and I’m finally getting around to it.  There’s are things that I DO NOT leave TJ without.  And typically I have at least two of each item so they last a bit longer once we are home.  Without further ado, here it is!

Taco Seasoning – It’s cheap, there are two servings in one package, and the flavor is the best!  I’ve tried several taco seasonings and even made my own.  They don’t hold a candle to this stuff.  I use it in much more than just tacos.

Olive Oil – It’s cheap.  Enough said.

Crunchy Cookie Butter – This concoction is made from crushed biscuits and I’m sure a whole heck of a lot of sugar.  My favorite way to eat it is mixed with marshmallow cream but the opportunities are endless.  There is even a facebook page dedicated to this product.  Crazy! 

Coconut Thin – A paper thin cookie that has a hint of coconut flavoring.  I’m a sucker for anything coconut.  They are delicious as a snack on their own but I also have mixed them with ice cream and made little sandwiches.  Yum!

Chocolate Covered Bing Cherries – Similar to Harry & David’s version at a fraction of the price. $

Pizza Dough– I don’t know about you but I keep pizza dough in my freezer for last minute, throw together meals.  This was my first TJ staple item.  My cousin introduced me and I haven’t turned back.  Regular and whole wheat options are available.  They are both good (we prefer whole wheat) and can be frozen.

Squeezable Tomato Paste – The squeezable tomato paste is so convenient for using some and saving the rest for later as opposed to having to throw a partial can away.  However, it’s typically pretty expensive.  TJ brand is reasonably priced!  $

Dark Chocolate Roasted Pistachio Toffee – I can eat the entire box on the way home from TJ.  Seriously, it’s that good.  You should probably buy three or four or more.

Cold Brewed Coffee – I have made Pioneer Woman Cold Brew Coffee and it’s really good!  TJ’s bottled version is just as good.  However, it takes several steps and is supposed to set overnight.  So, this is much easier.  My little secret, I use it in chocolate shakes.

This is definitely not the only items I buy at TJ.  However, I ALWAYS come home with these items (unless they’re out and that did happen once with the cookie butter=sad day).  Oh and one more quick note, they have fun recipes on their website.  A second quick note, I’m always adding items to this list so if you have any suggestions please leave me a comment.

Click here to learn more about Brown Paper Packages.