7: What I bought at Trader Joe’s – Vol. 6

It’s been a while since I shared my favorite Trader Joe’s* items. I am sure you must have missed my reviews, right?

To be honest, I am currently patiently waiting for an Aldi to finally open in our area. I am just really curious about the Aldi USA, because it’s originally a German supermarket chain and Trader Joe’s is owned by the same family, although the store concepts are very different. I used to shop at Aldi in Germany all the time and I hear from others that their prices here are so very affordable, not to mention that the store has “German weeks” when it offers a lot of German products that are usually hard to find here in the States. That is the same  in Germany by the way, the German Aldi has “American weeks” (and sometimes designated weeks for other countries) where you can buy products specific to that country’s cuisine for a short period of time. I wish we would have the option to shop there. But I am curious: do you have an Aldi where you live? Tell me about your experience.

Anyway, since we still don’t have an Aldi here in Northern California, I will keep on loving on Trader Joe’s in the meantime. 

Without further ado, my recent favorite TJ’s buys.

Gingerbread Coffee ( 14 oz – $7.99) ★★★★★ // pantry section

Well, it’s that time of year again. I am not much into flavored coffee usually, but this coffee is a must around the holidays. It smells so good and tastes delicious.  Have you tried it?

Organic Popcorn ( 5oz – $1.99) ★★★★★ // cereal and snack aisle

I must have walked by this popcorn gazillion times, but I never bought a bag before until a few weeks ago. And now, I am hooked. This stuff is so tasty and a relatively healthy snack to have around. 

Organic Sriracha and roasted garlic BBQ sauce (19.5 oz – $2.99)  ★★★★★ // pantry section

I never thought of myself as someone who liked BBQ sauce. I would occasionally have it with ribs, but other than that, we never had BBQ sauce at home. And then I tried the Sriracha & Roasted Garlic BBQ sauce and was a changed person. This sauce is seriously so good. It has great BBQ flavor and the Sriracha adds a a nice kick to it. If you haven’t tried it, you should definitely pick up a bottle on your next trip to TJ’s.

Gnocchi Italiani (17.6 oz – $1.69)  ★★★★★ // pantry section

We’ve been into these gnocchi lately. They’re a wonderful addition to a variety of dishes (I’ll share a recipe later this month) and they cook quickly, which is a plus for quick-and-easy weeknight meals. I also love adding more potatoes into our diet during the winter months.

Uncured Bavarian Bratwurst (17.6 oz – $3.49)  ★★★★☆ // meat section

We picked up these brats earlier this summer. Apparently they replace the small Nürnberger sausages that they used to have. While these are pretty darn good, the small Nürnberger were even better in my opinion, so they only get 4 stars from me.  

On a side note: why does Trader Joe’s always seem to discontinue their best items?

What did you pick up at Trader Joe’s this week?

* I am not affiliated with Trader Joe’s, nor have they endorsed, sponsored or paid for my reviews. I am just sharing my love for the store and its products, which basically means free advertisement for them. Ha. All opinions are my own.

  1. We are so lucky to have an Aldi (relatively) close by. While I love their cheap prices I’m always too late on their German weeks. As soon as I hear about it and get there – everything has been sold already. Too many German’s in this area – lol.

    1. I gotta come check out an Aldi in SoCal :)

      1. You better come and check out my guest room :)

  2. We have Aldis on every corner here, but I haven’t shopped at one in many years. At the time it was not impressive (sorry), although I have heard they’ve improved since then. I haven’t tried again because I don’t have time to go to more than one store, so I can’t risk it not having everything I need. That said, spending less money would be ideal. We only have one TJ’s in the area, but it’s not near me. I SO wish I could shop there!! So much yummy.

    1. I guess it depends onthe store – I have heard from some people that they weren’t that impressed, but maybe it’s because of the store concept (not having shelves and all? Or was it the products themselves?).

  3. We have Aldi’s in Minneapolis but none that are close to us unfortunately. So I’ve never been to one! We also don’t have a Trader Joe’s close to us so I don’t go there much either. We did shop at TJ’s when we were in Asheville as there was one that was walking distance away which was super convenient!

    1. Where do you shop?? ;) No Aldi, no TJ’s near by…. how do you live? LOL

  4. Whenever we travel in the States and there is an ALDI store around we HAVE to go there and buy stuff. Last time in Missouri and SoCal. One of the Albrecht Brueder is a Co-owner and founder of Trader Joe’s. But he is the one that after they separated owned the ALDI Nord chain and in the US is the ALDI Sued chain. Funny fact!
    We get the Bavarian Bratwurst from time to time. It is the only sausage my son would eat! (German Genes?Ha) Oh, and he loves Blutwurst too. :)
    Have you tried the Pumpernikel Pretzel Sticks? Sooo good.
    I always like your Trader Joe’s posts since they are very inspiring what to try next at TJs.

    1. Pumpernickel Pretzel Sticks? I can’t even imagine what that is supposed to be.. LOL I have to look for them next time I am at TJs (this weekend!).

  5. We have an Aldi near us but I don’t shop there nearly as much as I should! Or Trader Joes’ actually. I do love Trader Joe’s though! I just haven’t been there in forever because it’s not real close by. The Gingerbread coffee you bought sounds amazing! And so does the gnocchi and popcorn! I might have to make a list and head over there soon!

    1. That’s a bummer that the TJs is far away to shop at regularly… but yes, maybe you can write a list and make it a shopping trip one of these days :)

  6. Yes! There is an Aldi about a mile from our house and that’s where we do all of our grocery shopping. We love it because it is the cheapest place to get food. I am interested in what they sell at the German Aldi for American week? Oreos? Chicken nuggets? hehe. So where I live in PA, the closest TJ is near Baltimore. I went one time and was VERY excited to try it out. But… it seemed like it was a lot like Aldi but with more specialty items and a little more expensive.

    Now that it’s nearing the holiday season, Aldi has a lot of their “specialty select” brand out, which means it’s fancy holiday type food. I really hope you can get to an Aldi and compare it to TJ since you already like TJ!

    1. Haha, you guessed right… at the German Aldi, you can get burger buns, the huge sandwich bread (the toast slices in Germany are usually smaller ;)), Oreos and the like for American week :) People go nuts about it.

  7. I do have an Aldi’s near me but I’ve never been. I should though – that’s cool they have various “weeks” depending on what country you are in. That popcorn looks yummy!!!


    1. Let me know what you think of Aldi, if you happen to go…

  8. The gnocchi looks really good :)

    1. They’re so yummy and cook in 3 minutes!

  9. Yum, nice little haul! That olive oil popcorn wouldn’t last long in our house. :)

    1. Haha, the popcorn never lasts long!

  10. I love Trader Joes and I really wish I had one close to where I live. That popcorn looks amazing!

    1. Oh that’s a bummer that there is no TJs close by… I do most of my shopping there.

  11. totally agree about the small nurnberger brats. I really miss those too!!!

    1. Ugh. Why do they always take away the good stuff? The also got rid off their bagel chips, which were so good!

  12. All those post about the coffee have me wondering how it tastes… no Trader Joe’s in Germany so I won’t know. Enjoy a cup for me, Tobia

    1. So sorry that I am tempting you with this coffee… it is really good though. I should bring some to Germany sometime ;)

  13. Their gnocchi is one of my favorite things they sell. SO good!

  14. Aldi used to be really, like… gross & low-brow, so even though we’ve always had one near me, I’d never been until recently – which was around the same time they started making headlines for being a great, inexpensive, Trader Joe’s-owned place to shop. It’s actually the only grocery store close to me, so now I got there often. It’s sort of frustrating because there are a LOT of things they don’t have, which means always stopping someplace else, too, but they’re great for the essentials, & they’re the BEST place to shop if you’re getting food for a party. So inexpensive!

    1. In what way did Aldi use to be gross? I’v e heard that from some people and I wondered if it was mostly the different store concept (like, no shelves, etc.) I am glad to hear you’re having a better experience there now.

      TJ’s doesn’t have everything we need, either, so I always have to go to another supermarket, but we do most of our shopping at TJs.

  15. We have several Aldis in town and I do shop there every week. It saves me about $40 a week in comparison to what I used to pay at the major grocery store in town. Then about every 2-3 weeks I go to the other store for things I can’t get at Aldi. I just love browsing their specials, such as Advent calendars and German xmas cookies right now. German week, I always make sure to grab enough frozen Brezels for the next 6 months and Apfelschorle. ;-) Our Trader Joe’s just opened a month ago, I’m really excited about that!

    1. Hey Nadine, where do you live? I have to come by and go to Aldi… haha. Also, what is your usual weekly grocery bill? Just curious, because I always feel like everyone around me is spending so much less, even though I try to shop smart and we mealplan and don’t waste any food.

  16. I’m in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Not a very big town, but for some reason we have many Aldis. I spend about $80 if I only go to Aldi. That’s for a family of 4, but cost of living in Kalamazoo is very low.

    1. Oh wow, $80 for a family of four? Cost of living must be very cheap in the Midwest. We almost pay 1,5-2x that much for the two of us.

  17. We’ve had a bunch of Aldis open up here in Richmond and we’ve also got a Lidl or two now as well. I agree that the prices at Aldi are solid and while they don’t have everything I need, everything I bought from them I really enjoyed.

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