Monday, September 21, 2009


I believe I have mentioned that I love Trader Joe’s. That is, I [heart] TJs. I don’t have one very close, but find it is worth a stop in Natick on my way home from Boston or the twenty-five minute drive to West Hartford, especially since Lord and Taylor is just across the street. If I can get over the nightmare of parking in both of those lots, a success at both stores can be a double shot of joy, as it was on Saturday. After buying a suit skirt AND a pair of pants for only (get this!) 50 dollars with clearance prices and my coupon, I had money left over to go to Trader Joe’s.

I love Trader Joe’s because I can get some things there that I cannot get elsewhere, and all things I can get reasonably priced—with no coupons or gimmicks. I don’t mind printing a coupon to get an outfit at L&T for a steal, but I resent coupon clipping for groceries. I do it, begrudgingly, but I resent it. At TJs, there is no need. I bought a half gallon of milk for $1.49—with no silver coin. I bought arugula for $1.99, without having to buy 2 to get the bargain (BOGO) price. Aseptic quarts of broth are always 1.99 and a package of eight 6-inch whole wheat pitas is $1.49.

I love their Soyaki, which I always have on hand in the fridge along with their mango chutney and Thai yellow curry. Their tomato-less corn salsa is addictive—a cycle of heat and sweet that keeps you coming back for more, and their gyoza is a freezer staple for a quick dinner in a pinch that can ward off a Chinese take-out call. I have been happy with their cheeses and flash frozen fish, and am never without a bag of their haricot verts.

In addition to my standard fare purchases, there is always something new that catches my eye and appeals to my culinary curiosity or stimulates my appetite. Their confections, on shelves above their freezer bins, are always worth a second look. Try as I might to look down and focus on the frozen vegetables, my eyes always find something sweet to consider. Saturday two things made their way into my cart: Seriously Nutty and Seedy Wafers, and Dark Chocolate Crisps.

Imagine a lightly candied disk of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and cashews atop a wafer that without said mixture on top looks like a giant Eucharist, presumably to keep the nut and seed disks separate, and possibly an alternate route to Heaven. And picture Pringles, only thinner and made of dark chocolate, with just the right amount of crunch provided by tiny puffed rice. A. Maze. Ing.

But maybe the best part is that after all my shopping, I still have money left to buy flowers. The bunch of roses and alstromeria in the picture was 3.99. The fifteen stem bunch of alstromeria on my dining room table was 5.99.

So, do you get why I [heart] TJs?

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