Hi Friends! Iā€™m Natalie Mason. I live in Charleston, SC and I am mom to Sterling 12 , Frances Moon 8 and our mini golden doodle Dolly.



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8 Things You Should Try at Trader Joe’s

Apr 12, 2012

I have to admit when Trader Joe’s first opened here in Charleston I wasn’t sure what all the hype was all about. A new grocery store? What could be so awesome about a grocery store? Well primarily their prices are amazing. I can grocery shop here for super cheap and the store is filled with all sorts of fun new food items to try. I live about 20 minutes away from the Mt Pleasant store that opened here, yet I find myself making the trek pretty much every other week to stock up. I now see what all the hype was about. I thought I would share with you my staples that I buy every time I shop here. These are tried and true favorites that I love. So, now you dish and tell me what are your favorite things to buy at Traders Joe’s!

This is so good. I am sucker for anything with truffles in it and you can really taste the truffles in the pizza. Side note- I do always add extra cheese to ours before I bake it.

These crackers are my favorite snack. They are tiny, (which makes me think I can eat alot of them), crispy, and salty. Perfect to dip in hummus or enjoy with cheese. I buy two bags every time I go because we eat so many of them!


These little rice balls are addictive. Heat them up and dip them in tomato sauce and you have the perfect appetizer or meal served with a salad. Even my little man gobbles these up.

This is hummus is so good. The jalapeno and fresh cilantro combo works together perfectly. It has a slight bite to it which we love. Try dipping the edamame crackers in this, it is my favorite snack!

This wine sells for $7.99 and it is delicious. I am picky about Sauvignon Blancs I do not like it when they are too sweet. This one is not. It is light, crisp and refreshing. I always pick up a bottle or two to have on hand.

For $5.50 a piece these tortas make the perfect quick appetizer to put out when entertaining. They both are delish but the Sundried Tomato and Pesto one is my favorite. It looks beautiful sitting out and tastes just as good.

I always serve these with the Sundried Tomato/Pesto Cheese Torta. Seems like a weird combination but I promise the flavors work great together. These crackers are tasty alone or paired with plain cheese too.

The orchids at Trader Joe’s are gorgeous and only $12.99. A real steal. I buy a fresh one for my house every few months. They also make great hostess and birthday gifts for friends. This is my orchid I bought there a few weeks ago on my foyer table, beautiful right?

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  1. Alicia xoxxo says:

    love your recommendations! we are getting a trader joes soon! i don't know much about them, but i am def going to keep your list go faves on hand when it opens up! love sauvignon blanc reccs. it is my fave, and i don't like any hint of sweet!

  2. yum yum yum. I'm driving right past Trader Joe's this morning and if the kids aren't crazy I just might stop in and pick all these up. Every single item! And I love that orchid on your table. Looks so chic!

  3. Jill says:

    I seriously just copied this post onto my shopping list for today!!

  4. Leslie says:

    There is a Trader Joe's opening less than 5 minutes from my house!! Can't wait to try all of these šŸ™‚
    New follower!! šŸ™‚

  5. I LOVE Trader Joes! I used to shop there all the time when I lived in Nashville…We are finally getting one here in Dallas in a few weeks, and I'm so excited! A few of my favorite items are their regular humus, their truffle cheese (amazing!), spinach cheese dip appetizer, and gorgonzola crackers! I could go on and on…haha, have a good day!

  6. Uhhhh!! I cannot wait! As soon as we move, I will be able to have Trader Joe's at my fingertips! I will be enlisting your suggestions. BTW, love the entryway mirror!

  7. YUM I need to head over to Trader Joes this afternoon. This all sounds so delicious!

  8. Britton says:

    I love trader joes!! The closest one to me is 2 hours away, sigh. Have you ever tried the spicy roasted red pepper hummus? It is delish!!! Thanks for the recommendations!!

  9. We have TJ here in Greenville now and I've only been twice! I need to go back and stock up on that torta and rice balls!

    As a mom, I'd love to see what Sterling eats. I always try to cook meals that all three of us can eat, but sometimes it's hard because our tastes are so different. Do you end up cooking separate meals for you and Matt and Sterling?

  10. Hannah says:

    We don't have a Trader Joe's anywhere remotely close to here. In fact, I've never been inside of one, but I've seen pictures and heard tons about their wonderful products. You get good stuff. šŸ˜‰

  11. Julie says:

    I love TJ's. The Kalamata Olive Hummus is also amazing!

  12. Char says:

    TJ's gourmet chicken meatballs are a must, they come in several flavors but these are my favorite–

  13. Good picks!! I LOVE the super spinach salad with carrot ginger dressing, edamame and quinoa- MAH-JOR!!
    And… recently I always get a tub of the kale, artichoke, yogurt dip. It's low calorie but SUPER flavorful and I get lots of compliments when I serve it- and it's good enough that I will eat it with some chips during the week.
    I think you've posted about this before, but the veggie chips have also been a staple recently.
    And one more thing- the champagne, gorgonzola, pear vinagrette is very refreshing in the summer time.
    As far as wines go- I have been picking up the Good Earth white wine and the Forever Red (cool skull label) if available every time.
    Have the same sentiments as you about TJ's- prices, quality, unique-ness, can.not.be.beat!!
    Love your blog- has been a daily for me šŸ™‚

  14. I love Trader Joes too! I love finding fun new appetizers!! I will def. have to find the cheese torts they look delicious. I love their spinach and artichoke dip!

  15. Katie says:

    Hi Natalie! Great post. I too, love me some Trader Joe's. My must haves are the Organic Brown Rice (in the freezer section). It microwaves in 3 minutes and is perfect for stir fry or a side dish (I'll add sauteed veggies to it for a side dish). Also, the mini chicken tacos are delish. I use fresh salsa, guacamole and sour cream for dipping. My latest obsession is the sweet chili dipping sauce, it is the perfect blend of sweet and spicy. For wine, I love the Beyond Sauvignon Blanc and I think it sells for around $10 or $11.

  16. Megan says:

    I have never been to Trader Joe's but cannot wait to go there when I live in Charleston this summer!

  17. Sarah B says:

    awesome post! always great to go into TJ's with some reccomendations. their 'sauvignon republic' sauvignon blanc is very similar to picton bay and just as delish. the frozen chocolate crossiants are also awesome- you leave them out over night and they rise. good for a weekend treat with a cup of coffee!

  18. I am in LOVE with Trader Joes!! Thanks for the tips… I'll have to try some of these!

  19. great picks! I can't eat most (not gluten free, but look super yummy), but I'll gladly try the wine and cheese! šŸ˜‰

  20. We are finally getting a Trader Joes' here in Houston! I've always heard such great things about them, but I've never actually been able to shop there. I'll have to remember to re-visit this post when the store opens!

  21. We are getting one in Dallas in a few weeks so I will keep this list handy šŸ™‚ Thanks for the recommendations!

  22. 17 Perth says:

    Oh trader joes—why did we have to move so far away from you? We do miss you. šŸ˜‰ Love all of these….the closest trader joes is 3 hours away now–one way (versus 5 mins like it used to be)—it isn't too crazy to drive that far for grocery shopping is it? šŸ˜‰

  23. Kara says:

    We are finally getting a Trader Joe's in Denver this fall and I can't wait! I have heard so many great things about it. Thank you for all of the yummy suggestions! šŸ™‚

  24. Love Trader Joes and fun to have a new list of things to try!! I haven't had any of these things on your list so I really need to go by there soon and load up!! We love the tomato basil gnocci in the frozen section-so easy and delicious! As well as the knock off pirates booty- totally addicted!! Robertson loves that mandarin chicken in the frozen section as well! Love that place!

  25. Oh how I WISH we had a TJs closer…the closest one for us is over an hour away! I have to check out those edamame crisps next time I'm down there!

  26. I love TJ's! They put Whole Foods to shame! Their frozen fried rice is also super delish! Those pizzas are going in my cart next time! xo

  27. The cilantro jalapeno hummus is so addictive, I'm obsessed! I must try the truffle flatbread and I just recently consumed a million of those rice balls at a party. I love Trader Joe's SO much.

  28. Oooh! Thank you! There is a Trader Joes in my neighborhood but I never go there. I'm going to have to stop in and get some of these yummies. They would be perfect for a party!

  29. Nat says:

    I'm addicted to there rice crackers and salsa tortilla chips- they're so good with guac! My dad is retired and actually works at TJ's part-time so I get to try so much food when it first comes out!

  30. Taylor says:

    the title of this post got me all excited šŸ™‚ I love trader joes, especially for flowers – they always have such a great, cheap selection! I love their bruschetta spread for a quick appetizer while making dinner. They always have a great cheese selection too! i need to try those edamame chips asap!


  31. megan says:

    Saving this post for the next time I make it over that way!

  32. Little Fish says:

    Love Trader Joe's we're about 20 min away as well but I try and get over there at least once a month. I want to try everything on your list! I think they have the best fresh salsas and my kiddos love the turkey burgers in the frozen section.

  33. Little Fish says:

    Love Trader Joe's we're about 20 min away as well but I try and get over there at least once a month. I want to try everything on your list! I think they have the best fresh salsas and my kiddos love the turkey burgers in the frozen section.

  34. Alexa says:

    The Picton Bay is AMAZING. When we lived in NZ, it was one of our favs and it still is!!!

  35. This post is the bomb b/c I'm always wondering what I should buy there!

  36. emily says:

    I am so jealous you have a TJ's. Whenever we go to San Diego, I always leave extra room in my suitcase for my TJ's goodies! We are supposed to get one here in the next few months!

  37. Sara Mueller says:

    love trader joes. my closest one will be in Raleigh.

  38. We are getting a Trader Joe's later this year and I am so excited. I have heard so many great things about them. Thanks for the tips!! I just bought an orchid but paid double that price at Lowe's! (just hoping I can keep it alive for a while)!


  39. Those arancini bites are always my secret cocktail party weapon. My mom had the Mac n Cheese bites at Easter and they were epic!

  40. I'm addicted to Trader Joes too! I wish we lived closer to one!!

  41. Megan says:

    Picton Bay is my favorite; it is the best value for a new zealand sav that i've found and i'm so snobby about my wine!! i love tj's!!

  42. Emily says:

    definitely making a note of all your favorite picks!! love me some TJ!! we love the reduced fat pita chips (sea salt), simply the best trail mix, and soft and juicy mango slices — soo good!!

  43. I just got the Pictou Bay Sauv Blanc and the hummus/crackers yesterday… one bottle down and about half the crackers left- delicious!!!! thanks Natalie!!

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