Howdy pals!
Once a month or so, I like to find time to drive over to our Trader Joe’s and stock up on some of our favorites…wanna see what we love?!  Two of my girlies have Celiac disease, so I appreciate the many gluten free options at this yummy shop, too!  (NOTE: I make substitutions and monitor my daughter’s diets – I realize a few suggestions here are not gluten free, but just know…I got it covered on my end! 🙌🏼)  Here are a few of our must-grabs in different categories – get your shopping list ready, and leave your own faves in the comments for my next trip!

shopping list fresh flowers


First and always first…flowers.  Trader Joe’s has such a beautiful selection for pretty cheap, and their tulips are some of my very faves.  A bundle (or three…..) usually makes it’s way home with me.  Fresh flowers are never a bad idea!

gluten free celiac


Many, many (most!) things we buy nowadays are gluten free, and here are a few of our favorite swap-outs or snacks for the kiddos that make the cart each trip!  Clockwise from top:

-Trader Joe’s has a whole section of bread products all grouped together and easy to find: HOLLER.  It gets exhausting searching and hunting and trying to find those GF labels in every store, so to have it all together in one little corner is so helpful to this mama!

-The kids love pizza, and a healthy GF alternative are these cauliflower crusts for build-your-own pizza nights at home!

-For Asian-inspired dishes, we’ve switched to coconut aminos from TJ’s and haven’t skipped a beat.  Who would have thought soy sauce had wheat?  Boo.

-Mochi is a new frozen treat to our fam, and we are loving this little bites of yum!  We love the green tea and chocolate.

-Another GF snack for the kids are these apple cinnamon sticks…and maybe Mommy sneaks a handful or seven, too.  😉


Let’s just be real.  This is why we all go to TJ’s, okay?!  Get three of each and never look back.  😂  Pro tip: use the cinnamon roll bread to make French toast!  Holy moly, so so good.  I use GF cinnamon raisin bread for my gluten free babies, and this has made Saturday morning breakfast that much yummier!


The kids love these lemonades, limeades and Italian soda’s for an afternoon sip, and Mom and Dad like to add a little coconut rum or lemonade vodka for a sparkly evening sip.  😉


For a quick dinner, I like to toss the greens with that DELISH dressing and add grilled chicken and veggies.  We also load up on the tamales for a dinner option, too!  And that lower cal dip is…..👌🏼


Hubs loves him some tea tree tingle, and this inexpensive body wash is one of his faves!  The other two come HIGHLY recommended by my friends, and they were spot on!  Try really hard not to eat the blueberry scrub, k?  😍


For quick munching options, the girls love dried berries, TJ’s greek yogurts (so thick and creamy!) and these fruit and nut chews.  So many healthy snack options for all of us!


Love adding these acai puree packets to my smoothies to bump up all those healthy yummies.  We use this riced cauliflower stir fry to change things up at home, and I also love adding these rainbow cauliflower florets to dinner….because who DOESN’T love colorful food?!  I know my four girls love these colors for sure!


Feeling snacky?  Try these faves!  I could literally eat all forms of okra all day long, so these crunchy yummies are some of my favorite snacks.  The girls looooooove Trader Joe’s kettle corn bags for an afternoon quick snack, too!


…then get these!!!  OBSESSED with TJ’s “Everything but the Bagel” seasoning, especially on eggs, chicken, avocado toast….all the things.  😍  Their dark chocolate peanut butter cups are the stuff of dreams, and our Saturday’s are no longer complete without cinnamon roll bread French toast.  YUM!!

Now I’m hungry, y’all!  What are some of your favorites from Trader Joe’s?  Any of our faves make your list, too?  Let me know what else I should try next time I’m there!

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  1. Mary says:

    We’ve always liked their meatballs, especially the turkey ones & the party size ones. For quick breakfasts, sometimes we’ve splurged on the mini frozen pancakes. My kids enjoy the shelled edamame in the refrigerated produce section. And come fall, my hubby loves their pumpkin ice cream. Thanks for adding your faves! I’ve added a few of your items to my shopping list. 😉

  2. Lorri Duren says:

    I don’t think I can go a day without the Everything but the Bagle Seasoning, it’s sooo good on everything. I even joke that it’s good on dessert! I’ll need to try a few of your suggestions, the okra and yogurt! I like their dark roast coffee, bacon ranch dip, gluten free pretzels, taco seasoning, maple syrup, gluten free pumpkin pancake mix… anything with TJ on the label is yummy!

  3. TIFFANIE says:

    Bamba is a must for snacks my lil gal loves them!!! Also 21 seasoning salute is awesome on everything 2 and power berries are a mommy must for us! Can’t wait to try some of ur family’s favorites 2 thank you for all u do and share!

  4. Lessye Cam says:

    Our nearest Trader Joe’s is about 30 minutes away. I haven’t ventured over there yet, but after reading this it seems it would be worth the drive!! Yum! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Gwen says:

    Yes, the riced cauliflower and rainbow cauliflower are delicious! I also love the churro bites and cheese puffs. The Sriracha shrimp stir fry bowl (freezer section) is yummy for lunch.

  6. Kelli says:

    LOVE the Green Goddess Salad Dressing.

  7. Kathleen says:

    I remember discovering soy sauce had gluten! BUT Kikkoman makes gluten free soy sauce. Thank goodness. It’s not at TJ, however.

  8. Lori says:

    I am obsessed with TJ’s salt water taffy (gluten free) and their Meyer Lemon cookie thins.

  9. Alesha says:

    The ginger snaps! Nuff said.

  10. Colleen says:

    Chili mango slices always make my cart and of course- FLOWERS😍 I haven’t tried that cookie butter yet but I have definitely wondered why I haven’t…how do you eat it? Like, on toast? I’m very interested in this lol

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Full disclosure? Sometimes just straight outta the jar! 😉 I put it on toast, mix it with lactose-free ice cream, it’s good mixed into pancakes….

  11. Morgan Johnson says:

    Thank you for the gluten free options! I too have a kiddo with celiac disease (he’s 11) so I appreciate your Instagram stuff when you are making GF options and can so relate how time consuming it can be searching out GF labels! Ugh. But it could be worse! That’s what I always tell my son! Our nearest Trader Joe’s is like 45 minutes away but absolutely worth the drive! Can’t wait to try some of these options! My son loves the Trader O’s “Oreos”! So the tamales and stir fry are gluten free? That’s so exciting if they are! Hard to find tasty GF ready made options❤️ Thanks again for this post and keep the GF info coming! This mama so appreciated it!

  12. Sondra Bryan says:

    Will you post your cinnamon french toast recipe please?!?

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Oh yes! Next time I grab a loaf of that yummy bread, I’ll try to film it on my IG stories!

  13. Brittany Carbonaro says:

    Try the mini mango mochi, too! It’s my favorite flavor. They also make delicious crispy GF cookies (just like the Tate’s brand/packaging)! Around the holidays, we stock up on their chocolates and cookies for gifts! They have adorable seasonal packaging. The sea salt caramels are probably our friends and family’s favorite! Their flowers make my week. I go for those alone. Also, GREETING CARDS! 99 cents and so cute! I stock up and keep them in a box. Saves me a hundred trips to Walgreens!

  14. Hannah says:

    I just discovered TJ Meyer Lemon cake mix. Holy cow. It’s amaze balls. Life changing for sure.

  15. Denna says:

    The Chili and Lime Spice is AMAZING. we put it in anything slightly Mexican related and just plain on fresh cut Jicama. It is so good that anytime myself or one of my 2other friend fans use it, we tell each other what we did. Lol I send it to my college kids. All their dairy is over the top creamier and more flavorful than anything else…. I call it the sour creamier. Dried unsulphered mango is a staple in our house, can’t go without, but the very best thi g they sell in Trader Joe’s come out in fall, it’s Gingerbread sticks, that melt in your mouth! They sell out way too fast and coming off that addiction so abruptly is not pretty.

  16. Liz Tudda says:

    I just figured out where I should comment to your post thanks for the Trader Joe’s update I see some new products that I can try and I just wanted to make a comment on your headboard that if you took the two boards off of your old bed on top to remove the curve and added some new boards and then added some moldings around to build it up you would have a new headboard and it wouldn’t cost you that much money thanks for your post have a great day

  17. Jennifer says:

    TJ’s cold brew coconut coffee is TO. DIE. FOR. I also really like their Rosemary Marcona Almonds which are perfect on a good charcuterie board with TJ’s Unexpected Cheddar.

  18. Brandi Christiansen says:

    The frozen Orange Chicken is a family favorite! Make it quick with some rice and broccoli! Yum…. better than take out! Also their individual salads…. especially the Pasadena (not sure if that’s only a Cali thing) are my fave!! Also my friend just turned me on to the lavender body scrub…. it’s awesome!!

  19. Kaaren Aguna says:

    We live 45 min away from Summerlin where Trader Joe’s is . We love going there and in the fall they come out with the best TJ s Apple cider! Also love their Fontina cheese with crackers from TJs and grapes 🍇 so good! We love their Orange Chicken and chicken celantro pot stickers in the frozen section and their TJs chicken pot pies are amazing too !

  20. Abby says:

    I love the Coconut Strips!! Oh so addicting!!!

  21. April says:

    LOVE the cookie ice cream sandwiches! Definitely a treat I only keep in the house sometimes😉.
    Also the antioxidant facial serum is great. I love how it feels on my skin!

  22. Angela Key-Kirby says:

    You have to get the frozen chocolate covered bananas and strawberries great sweet treat and since it’s fruit and dark chocolate we can say it’s healthy right and at $1.50 a box a good deal.

  23. Sara says:

    The coconut strips and plantain chips are always on my shopping list. I’m obsessed with the chili lime seasoning and seriously put it on everything. I keep a few of their frozen pizzas or mini chicken tacos for quick and easy dinners. My all time favorite thing is how inexpensive the produce is. You can stock your fridge with healthy fruits and veggies for 80 bucks! #winning

    Oh and their plants…so cute, so cheap! That way if you struggle to keep them alive, you don’t have to feel bad. 😉

  24. Cindi says:

    So many great things at TJ’s.
    All of the salad mixes, Sriracha Ranch dressing, frozen Indian meals, Cauliflower Gnocchi, giant dark chocolate bars with almonds, plantain chips, almond granola, their flavored almond milks, ghost pepper chips and the chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches.

  25. Dee says:

    Don’t forget those amazing gluten-free chocolate chip cookies! I have a lot of good options there and not makes life just a little bit better for those of us that steer clear of gluten!

  26. Shawn says:

    Sesame cashews! That’s not the exact name on the bag, but find them!

  27. Pam says:

    Orange chicken, fried rice, kringles (seasonal), TJ’s marinara sauce (the best!) and definitely the flowers are my favs!

  28. Gabrielle says:

    They have the best “company worthy” recipes on their frozen salmon packages. Our recent salmon purchase included a delicious creamed spinach and salmon recipe and in the past I used their honey mustard glazed salmon recipe- so, so good!

  29. Bern says:

    Loved this post. I’ve only TRIED to shop TJ’s a couple of times, but I get overwhelmed with do many selections and not being familiar with where to find things. I love the Windmill cookies (not GF?) and my kids loved some little yogurt star treats from there, but I haven’t been able to find them again.

  30. Marissa says:

    Our family loves the Japanese stir-fry and the veggie/onion pancakes (though I don’t think either are GF). I can’t eat dairy so the strawberry coconutmilk ice cream is soooo good. We also like the herb popcorn and mixed nut butter.

  31. Lynn Wilson says:

    Erin. Thanks so much! I just made a list of all kinds of suggestions from these comments. Great way to force yourself to try “new things”! I guess after 70 yrs it’s about time🤣I love everything about you. Mr. Stems and your gorgeous girls! Be kind and Do You are great advice at any age! Have a blessed holiday season! Love & Hugs to all, Lynn

  32. Pat says:

    Love this post and thank you for sharing! The flowers are a must, fresh fruit and salad fixings, the pre-made salads are great and a perfect lunch! EBTB, Sriracha salad dressing as well as the Chile Lime seasoning & Green Goddess dressing. Love the frozen orange chicken and fried rice ~ chicken or veggie. Breads are great, frozen spicy chicken, organic is the norm and check out the frozen chocolate croissants and apple dumplings. My TJ’s was out of the pound cake mix…you can any flavorings if you want & the Meyer Lemon cake is to die for!! I know there’s more but my eyes are hurting. 😊

  33. Tracy says:

    We love the EBTB seasoning, orange chicken, black bean taquitos, and my go to dip to bring to parties three ingredients..steamed lentils, bruschetta and feta cheese dump and mix. Serve with pita chips. Yum!!!

  34. Jessica says:

    We love their veggie gnocchi! Easy meal ideas:
    Sweet potato gnocchi with autumnal harvest cream sauce (seasonal), sweet italian chicken sausage, and add in some spinach. Easy peasy!

    Cauliflower gnocchi with TJ’s vegan kale cashew pesto and the spicy italian chicken sausage! YUMMO!

  35. deeluvs2write says:

    So glad I found you Erin! I’m GF but my hubs is not so I shop for us both at Trader Joe’s. we absolutely love the sampler deli booth/section to try new things they are selling, hubs fave part of going with me. I indulge on their fresh foods first and load up on greens and fruits. I rarely buy bread there be I bake my own but I have tried the GF Tortillas, corn and they are yummy. My hubby loves the pretzel bagels for cheese melts and sandwiches. I also load up on majool dates, raisins, dried fruits and hubs loves the trail mixes for snacking. Icebox section their 0% fat free vanilla Greek yogurt is my fave. I also grab organic milk and butter. I Oh and can’t forget the kefir and kombucha. My GF belly loves this! Their mango/tangerine OJ is very yummy too. Ofc I get my eggs from a local farm so I skip the eggs but my daughter says their bown eggs are great. I’m organic so I try to but most of my groceries oRg! On to processed food which I cannot indulge unless GF but my hubby loves their chicken lime and turkey burgers. Easy to throw in a pan with some Spanish rice and avacodo. The orange chicken my hubby loves and that’s about it. (We buy GF pizza from the market, Digiorno makes it its to die for! ) it’s my weekend treat. I always stick up on the GF oats, Luna bars GF, coconut sugar, almond meal, coconut flour, garlic pasta sauce, GF pasta and reg bow ties for hubs, GF pretzels, Quinoa and Black Bean Infused Tortilla chos GF, GF rice crackers, dark choc covered ginger candy, multigrain baking mix, ofc the bagel spices and rice cakes. I buy their cookie butter, peanut butters, almond butters and their jelly is great for crackers or toast. Can’t miss their virgin olive oils and a necessity for baking is their unrefined coconut oil and ghee for cooking….. as I bake a lot of homemade food and goodies. I stock up on a
    lot of my GF from sprouts as they have tons of GF products. Hubs loves their tavern pot of Hale peon and cheddar cheese, their smoky Gouda and every time we go we grab rice crackers and a few different cheeses to snack with wine on the weekends. I could go on but it’s a book already…. Ty, tY for being you Erin. I love reading all the posts !

  36. Dee says:

    I’m so sorry…it’s miss long winded vack. Lol. A few more items must try: Midsomers Night Cream for the body, Tea tree oil and peppermint shampoo and Body wash, tea tree oil and vitamin E oil. Their TJ Brand medium coffee, brown wrap…awesomeness. TJS garlic salsa to go with the Quinoa chips, their GF TJ brand pasta sauces, I love the
    marinara. The TJ lemonaidevus yummy and kombutcha….Man! Love TJs! Ty!

  37. Jill Edwards says:

    I was at a party and the hostess served a tapenade with some crackers and I could.not.stop. eating it. I HAD to ask her where I could buy more… yep, TJs. I don’t even like tapenade.

  38. Candace says:

    Our family favs: frozen jasmine rice is almost always in our cart, frozen carrot spirals, teeny tiny avocados – my girls love them & they’re the perfect size for them, nuts, plantain chips are my favorite, bbq chicken teriyaki, veggie fried rice, and just found their fruit buttons that my girls love. They have good wine too 👌🏻

  39. Susie P says:

    You nailed all of my favorites! I may or may not use those peanut butter cups to get on our teachers’ good side at the beginning of each school year 😉
    Try the cheese puffs (basically pirates booty) and their frozen Japanese fried rice (NOT the Chinese) is just as good as any restaurant when you add scrambled eggs to it! I keep it
    on hand for a quick lunch. I also like the tomatoless salsa , good with chips or as a salad add in.
    Oh…we love sliced apples in the cookie butter! Slightly less guilt 😉

  40. Susie P says:

    Oh shoot! Forgot the best thing! When it’s pumpkin season buy EVERY SINGLE BOX of GF pumpkin pancake mix. We enjoy them year round. Sooooo good with some roasted chopped pecans and maple syrup 🤤

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