Once or twice a week I head over to my home away from home to stock up on my weekly staples. I am what you might call a Trader Joe’s junkie. Trader Joe’s is perfect for organic produce, organic dairy products, grass fed meats and so much more all while on a budget. The majority of my fridge, freezer, and pantry are stocked with Trader Joe’s finds. From everyday ingredients to seasonal specialty items, and of course you can’t forget about their fresh blooms.

Trader Joe's Pittsburgh
Image via @pittsburghplates

I love to share my perfectly organized fridge (pretty enough to be featured on MTV Cribs) showcasing my Trader Joe’s favorites all over my Instagram @pittsburghplates. I am constantly interacting with other Trader Joe’s vets over the ‘Gram and giving advice to TJ rookies who want in on the tips & tricks of this grocery store eutopia. I love giving my own advice and letting my audience know exactly what I buy each time I visit as well as filling them in on some new finds. So I am here to do just that, to share some of my go-to items.

First, stop and smell the roses. Literally. Trader Joe’s has some of the best flower options that won’t break the bank. I usually pick up white hydrangeas for my kitchen, and a seasonal bunch for my dining room. While your shopping, make sure to touch base at the sample counter. They are always offering something delicious and it’s likely you’ll be adding whatever they are serving to your basket. Pro Tip: Look for notes by items for suggestions on what to do with them. I’ve made a ton of different recipes just by these small suggestions.  

Take a peek at *some* of my Trader Joe’s must haves:


Caramelized Onion Cheddar Cheese (I put this on my grilled burgers)

Creamy Toscano Cheese – Soaked in Syrah (perfect for a cheese board)

Unexpected Cheddar

Chevre with Honey – Goats Milk Cheese (I pair this will literally everything)

Cotswold Double Gloucester with Onion & Chive


Lemon Basil Pasta Salad (perfect for an easy lunch)

Mediterranean Style Orzo Pasta Salad

Mediterranean Style Salad Kit (I add chicken to this for a quick dinner)

Green Goddess Salad Dressing (I put this on everything: chicken, rice, salad, ect)


Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

KerryGold Grass Fed Unsalted Butter


Cauliflower Pizza Crust (great for making your own gf pizza)

Burrata, Prosciutto, Arugula Pizza

Cauliflower Gnocchi

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Brie & Asparagus Mac & Cheese

Hatch Chile Mac & Cheese

Gone Bananas: Dark Chocolate Covered Banana Slices


Organic Elote Corn Chip Dippers (if you love street corn, you’ll love these)

Pepita Salsa (perfect for grain bowls, dipping chips, pretzels, ect)

Corn & Chile Salsa

Guilt free Guacamole (tangy and delicious)

Caramelized Onion Dip


Vegan Chili

Ricotta & Lemon Zest Ravioli

Goat Cheese & Sundried Tomato Ravioli

Lobster Ravioli

Chicken Enchiladas Verde


Grass Fed Beef

Pesto Chicken Breast (so easy to throw on the grill and add to salads)

Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon

Reduced Carb Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas (perfect for tacos or egg and cheese breakfast burritos)

Italian Marinara Sauce with Barolo Wine (this flys off the shelves fast so when you see it, grad a few)


Everything Seasoning (omg)

Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar

Coconut Water w/ Aloe Vera (great for adding to shakes & smoothies)

Bamboo Toothbrushes

Rose Water

Brew Dr. Clear Mind Kombucha

Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls (enough said)

Roasted & Salted Marcona Almonds with Rosemary

Sea Salt & Turbinado Sugar Dark Chocolate Almonds

Cookie Butter

As I mentioned before, this list just scratches the surface of what Trader Joe’s has to offer! Run to TJ’s for even more intriguing items and ingredients and let us know! What’s your favorite TJ’s finds?

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
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