|Checking out the produce|
As much as I understand the European concept of going to the market each day to get food for that day, it's not how I shop. Sure, I've occasionally picked up food for a couple of meals only, but I generally stock up for the week. I tend to buy multiples of things I like and I love the idea of Costco. But, I also live in New York, in a 1,200 square foot apartment and I don't have a car, so I do have limits.
I go through food shopping phases, too. For instance, when I lived on Fort Greene Park a couple years ago, there was a greenmarket literally outside my door. So, once a week, I did 40% of my food shopping there and the rest at a little neighborhood market. There were no big grocery stores near me then. Since we moved to our current apartment in Park Slope a year ago, I started going to two big grocery stores near me and then filling in with some trips to the nearest greenmarket, a few blocks away.
Then everything changed a month ago when I started going to Trader Joe's, where I had shopped maybe only 15 times before, regularly. Greyson started taking a class near that grocery store in Brooklyn Heights. Getting to Brooklyn Heights involves taking a bus or subway, so I would never make that much effort to do the groceries, but since I'm in the neighborhood anyway, I love going to Trader Joe's.
Now I go once a week, wanting to try everything in the store, and this is what my trips look like. I carry Greyson in an Ergo and I'm pregnant, so I don't mean to get a lot of stuff, but I can't help it. I have mom power, so I somehow make it home. Mom power is sort of like old man strong (i.e, Joe Biden), but only applies to moms.
|I shouldn't buy 4 lbs of strawberries, but I do anyway|
The store's flexible return policy makes me want to try everything. I keep looking at that Wasabi mayonnaise wondering if I'll like it and use it more than twice even if I do. But, I should just get it because I can get my money back if I'm not into it.
There are so many things at Trader Joe's I haven't tried yet, that I feel new to the store and each trip feels like a little culinary adventure. When you find something you love, you feel like you found a gem. Like, their Muscat Orange Champagne Vinegar (for $2.99) is so good and tastes like fancy stuff. I also love how the frozen foods give you ideas and you can sort of mix and match with other Trader Joe's stuff. Like, I got the coconut shrimp last week and I served it haricot verts with the orange muscat champagne vinegar and coconut rice (just rice cooked in coconut milk). It was fast and delish.
Each week, there are a few things that I must get: sourdough bread, the huge bag of frozen haricot verts (for $1.99!), frozen mango chunks and some flowers. I usually get a new cheese since their cheese prices are awesome, a new frozen meal type thing, a new skincare product (love the lavender salt scrub!) and a new trail mix. I pretty much try something new in each category or replenish a staple, like the whole wheat cous cous.
Here's what this week's trip looked like:
Do you have any Trader Joe's favorites? My brother-in-law's girlfriend just told me about their coffee cake mix since my husband's family loooooves coffee cake. I got it today to make as a surprise for my husband. Let me know if there are any other amazing Trader Joe's products to check out!