Trader Joe's Is My Happy Place

Everyone has a happy place. Whether it’s the beach, the bar, or a backyard full of puppies, when you close your eyes and envision joy a place comes to mind. For me, that place is Trader Joe’s. Yes, the grocery store. You read right. Trader Joe’s is one of my happy places, and I love everything about it, right down to the shiny red carts and bells they ring for extra help at check out.

If you haven’t been, my goal is to convince you to stroll merrily through those automatic sliding doors and into heaven by the end of this article. Let’s just say, there is an entire wall full of flowers, and cheap yet fantastic quality flowers. Who needs a man to buy you a bouquet of three dollar tulips when you can just grab one on your own while grocery shopping?

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Outside of that, let’s start by the atmosphere of the place, which just radiates positive energy. The employees are friendly, environmentally conscious, and you can tell they just want to be there. Go to any other grocery store, and you’ll find miserable, acne-ridden and angst-filled teens stacking Poptarts and mumbling under their breath any time you approach them. No sir, you won’t find this at Trader Joe’s. The employees are happy to help, and love supporting such a great store and products.

Speaking of products, TJ’s has a signature brand and only sells their own line in stores. And these products are one-of-a-kind, in both quality and uniqueness. While they have the classic health-conscious store staples like berries, lettuce, and fresh bread, TJ’s prices are significantly cheaper than its competitor Whole Foods. And in my opinion, tastes fresher and cleaner. 

But that’s not all. Trader Joe’s also has stand-alone food options, things that you can only find at TJ’s, such as cauliflower pizza crust, “Everything but the Bagel” Seasoning, “Joe-O’s”, and cauliflower gnocchi. To go into more detail about these fantastic staples, let me describe the situation behind each item. The cauliflower pizza crust is revolutionary, and will change the way you eat Italian food. This crust tastes like a soft, buttery cloud that cushions your pizza before the first bite, and is my new favorite kind of crust. Pair it with olive oil and light cheese for the perfect combination.

Next, the special seasoning that you may have heard every health-blogger/vlogger raving about, "Everything but the Bagel" is definitely worth the hype. A combination of savory and salty mixture, I put this on my noodles, eggs, toast, bagels, sandwiches, you name it. Such a good, low-calorie addition to add that extra kick, I reccomend going slow with the first few shakes so you don't over-do it!

Next, something that is vastly underrated and one of my favorite food groups is cereal. While it may not have the best health benefits as its counterparts (oatmeal and grits), it is one of the most versatile meals or snacks. Because I tend to stay away from artificial sugars and sweeteners, Cheerios is one of my go-to cereal brands. I love the taste, and I love the texture. Now, TJ’s swiped in to get some of this action, and I am not disappointed. Called Joe-O’s, this cereal goes perfectly with coconut milk, and is a morning-must have. The last Trader Joe product I absolutely swear by is the infamous cauliflower gnocchi.

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These delicious noodles originally contain either cheese or potato filling, and are gooey and savory. However, for those wanting to cut back on calories or carbs, the cauliflower gnocchi is the ideal alternative. Keeping the same savory and texture of a regular noodle, I eat these guys 3-4 times a week. They go with pretty much everything, but my favorites to pair are eggs, brussel sprouts, asparagus, or a classic tomato sauce and parmesan. 

Overall, my goal for you is to map to the nearest Trader Joe's right this moment, and set a date. Take a group of friends, call your mom, or make you signficant other go with you to witness all of the glory of this amazing grocery store. Happy shopping, and happy eating my friends!