A staple grocery for students at The Catholic University of America, Trader Joe’s is almost unmatched in terms of pricing, variety of food, and location. Only two metro stops or a ten-minute drive from campus, Trader Joe’s provides the food oasis any meal-plan suffering college student may need. The Her Campus CUA Team recently got together as part of our bi-monthly Sani-tea chats to discuss this very institution and our favorite finds.
Upon initial reflection, few members knew what Trader Joe’s was before coming to CUA, as there were only local grocery stores within their hometowns. Molly Mullin, a freshman E-board member, noted that her initial reaction to Trader Joe’s was that it was cheaper than she thought. Another E-board member, senior Devin O’Donnell, explained that Trader Joe’s eliminates the middleman and sells the majority of its own products and wholesale deals on other brands. Because of this, the company is able to sell its merchandise for less.
In terms of her favorite Trader Joe’s find, Devin highly recommends its veggie burgers, advertised as “protein patties”.
“They say you can’t freeze them, but I freeze them all the time,” she noted.
Another favorite of Devin’s is the “Neapolitan JoJos”, which she explained were essentially off-brand Oreos.
In keeping with the dessert theme, Mullin and Maria Duffy, another freshman representative, enjoy Trader Joe’s cookie butter. The two explained it was like peanut butter, but is made out of Speculoos cookies instead of peanuts. Both girls recommend mixing it with oatmeal to give it an even sweeter taste.
Furthermore, Maria gushed about “Peanut Butter Bambas”, which could only be described – very particularly – as cheese puffs, but instead of the cheese it’s peanut butter. It’s true, when you look into these delicious sounding treats that they look exactly like cheese puffs, only slightly more brown.
Trader Joe’s also offers Japanese ice cream entitled “Mochii.” Mullin explained that it is dough, but has the texture and consistency of gelatin. O’Donnell also chimed in to say that she can describe it best as, “a frozen Play-doh ball of ice cream.” Stirred by the subject of dessert, Jessie Meyer, another senior E-board member, had to tell the group about her favorite find: Dunkers. Likened to a chocolate chip biscotti, Jessie enjoys dipping Dunker’s in anything chocolatey or milk.
Heading back to the dinner-aisle, Mira Bisesi noted that Trader Joe’s frozen pizza’s are really good. The store also features knock-off Takis that aren’t as spicy as the actual dish; instead, Trader Joe’s offers what appears to be rolled corn tortilla chips in chili or lime flavors. President of Her Campus CUA, Kat Kaderabek, then segwayed over into the Italian section.
“My favorite Trader Joe’s find is the stuffed gnocchi – or however you pronounce it,” she laughed. “It is regular gnocchi but filled with cheese, basil, and sauce. So good!”
The pack of one can easily fill three people, and for only $3 per pack, it is surely quite the steal. For Kat’s dessert, she recommends the signature Trader Joe’s peanut butter cups which are made with dark chocolate and best served cold. She noted that they are the perfect little treat to satisfy any chocolate cravings.
The Her Campus Team also noted that Trader Joe’s sells eucalyptus for a very reasonable, if not cheap, price. Recently, hanging rolled eucalyptus leaves in the shower has become a trend, and Trader Joe’s is the perfect place to purchase some for a home-trial. According to Healthline.com, having eucalyptus in the shower can be an effective form of aromatherapy and even reduce stress, nasal congestion, and provide pain relief.
The wide variety of items available at Trader Joe’s is enough to spur anyone to shop there, but when coupled with the college-friendly budget, it makes the grocery store a must-shop for all students wanting to explore their eating habits and save money.